April 20, 2020
As we settle into another two weeks of shelter in place, there are so many people weighing on my heart. It’s no secret that we are made for community and relationships, so this time of “social distancing” COVID-19 has brought has made a lot of our day-to-day life shift.
As a mother and photographer, I can’t help but think of all the new parents who are now missing out on the Newborn Sessions they’ve been dreaming of for months. It may feel trivial in light of all the hardships others are facing, but that doesn’t take away from the feeling. I firmly believe that having quality photos of such an incredible time of life (even in the midst of a hard time in the world) is still important and valuable.
So, in hopes of helping you preserve those memories on your own, I wanted to share my number one tip for capturing gorgeous images without a professional photographer on hand. It’s a lot simpler than you may think, and it all comes down to one thing. Here it is:
Pick a clear space near a window in order to take advantage of natural light and TURN OFF all competing artificial light sources.
That one tip will make a world of a difference in the quality of your photos. When you have two different kinds of light competing, the white balance and overall feel of your images will always be off. But, by turning all indoor lights off and moving into soft light near a window, you’ll have a much more natural image!
A few more tips:
- Pick a clear background with minimal clutter
- Make sure you and your husband get in the photos, too! Wear neutral, soft colors, avoid black shirts, and take turns photographing each other with your babe! Make sure you are angled towards the window light and that you aren’t standing in direct sun.
- Try doing photos right after a feed! Newborns are most content when their bellies are full and diapers are clean.
- Don’t worry about changing their outfit a lot…this will just make them fussy! Stick with a simple swaddle or sweet outfit (white onesie, neutral + plain sleeper)
- Direct light is when the sun is shining right through the window and you can see actual LINES of light. You want to avoid that for photos (at least for now!). Even light is your friend!
- Photograph your baby in his or her crib. Don’t be afraid to get creative: use a step stool to take photos from above or shoot through the crib spokes, too!
- Details! Get in close and try to capture their little feet, hands, belly button, ears, and nose. It’s much easier to take these photos when they’re asleep.
- Find a flat surface in even light, lay down a favorite swaddle or blanket, and take photos of your little one from above! Make sure to pay attention to the angle of your phone and avoid tilting it.
I hope this is helpful for any of you finding yourself in need of taking your newborn photos! I’d also recommend taking some sweet videos (make sure they are horizontal!) of your little one, too — I love looking back on videos of Annabel & Lily’s little squeaks and baby movements!
And, as another encouragement, know that it is never too late for professional images of your newborn! Even if the images don’t happen in the first 7-10 days of life…they will still be beautiful and so full of love! So please don’t just cancel 🙂 Here’s a couple of cuties who had their sessions at a later date: one took place at 5 weeks and the other a little after 8 weeks.
Again, I hope this was so helpful, and I look forward to seeing the images you are able to capture using these tips! Comment below or tag me on Instagram (@sarahelgersma) — I’d love to share!