In the moments after giving birth, most of us get a few snaps of baby. It’s those pictures that we’ll pour over for hours and hours in the future.
When our kids are much bigger and the sweet baby smell has long gone from their heads, we’ll wonder, where did the baby days go? At the time they can feel like they’ll last FOR-EVER! But one thing remains true, when we’re all a little older, the memories aren’t so easy to recall.
These days there’s no reason to be stuck with one or two generic shots after birth. Give this article to your partner, this can then be their job. But it’s an important one, because these are the moments you’ll want to remember forever. Bella Jordan Photography gives us her top tips to help you capture your own Fresh 48 Newborn photoshoot in the most beautiful and authentic way.
The toughest aspect of hospital photography is low hospital lighting, often resulting in blurry shots. To bring out the best in your newborn, you need to get in as much natural light as possible. Open curtains, but make sure that the sunlight isn’t shining directly on your subjects, as this will be too bright for baby and will result in harsh shadows and squinting! So leave a sheer blind down if necessary.
You’re going to want to get lots of different shots of baby, but for the main baby composition you might want to include most of baby's body, or just head and shoulders. For this try and shoot from above so their whole body looks in proportion. Shooting from an extreme angle is also great for a dramatic look.
The main reason for the lack of newborn photos is timing. “baby was always feeding / had it’s eyes closed / needed a nappy change etc.” To me these are the absolute best moments to capture. There’s no way you’re going to get baby with open eyes, staring lovingly down a camera lens every time, so go with the the points of difference, embrace every moment, and snap snap snap. And those crying photos? They’re absolutely adorable in black and white!!
So you’ve got your shots of baby swaddled and asleep (gorgeous!) now move on to all of the other things you’ll want to remember. If it’s warm enough, unwrap baby and get a few shots of baby in their nappy, then go in for the close-ups, ears, fingers, feet etc. When I’m doing my close-ups of baby’s details, I like to blur out the rest of the image by using a low f-stop (f1.6 - f2.2) which really makes the viewer focus on the details at hand. You can use portrait mode on the newer iPhones to get this effect.
Moments between family members are just gorgeous to capture, mum sniffing baby’s head, dad staring with adoration, snuggles with big sister. And don’t forget to focus on Nana’s face as she gets to hold her grand-baby for the first time!
If your new baby has an older sibling, the moment that they meet can be absolutely priceless! It can be wonderfully heartwarming, but equally it can also be unceremoniously ordinary! This is a huge day for the big brother/sister, and can sometimes be daunting or confusing. But no matter whether big sibling is ‘into’ the moment or not, this can be a truly gorgeous time to capture… even if you are documenting big sister being far more into her new toy than her new baby brother!
Flash OFF! Let in as much natural light as possible. If you’ve got a DSLR I recommend setting it to Aperture Priority mode. This allows you to set your f-stop low, letting in as much light as possible.
Remember, if your f-stop is very low, your point of focus will be more precise, so make sure you focus carefully, especially in close ups. Google will be your friend with the specifics and settings of your camera model.
Download your photos to your laptop and giving some basic editing a go! Most free photo editing software have enough versatility to allow you to bring a little more atmosphere into your images. Give black and white a go, try upping the contrast or clarity and see the effects change the mood of the image. This bit is so much fun! Don’t go overboard though, you don’t want your images to end up looking like Warhol’s Campbell Soup posters!
So baby’s due date is imminent, the nursery is ready, so pick a teddy, and practice! Angles, low lighting, composition, points of focus, mainly practice your camera settings. You could even print and frame a couple for the nursery!
Bella is the preferred Newborn Photographer at Epworth Freemasons.
27 October 2019