• Photos By Laurinda

Capturing Your Own Newborn Photos in Lockdown

With the current COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown rules I am really feeling for the brand new Mums out there. Babies are still being born and won't wait for a more convenient global situation before they make their entrance into this crazy world.


Many new Mums plan a professional photo session when baby is around the two week mark but unfortunately that is not an option right now. This fleeting moment of newness is not going to wait for a reschedule so I thought I could share a few photography tips so you don't have to miss out on capturing these precious early days. You will be able to use these professional tips to capture beautiful, natural photos of your new baby even if the best camera you have is the one on your phone.



Getting Ready

Firstly, make sure your house is a comfortable temperature so bub settles easily and doesn't get too cold. Baby will be happier and sleepy after a nappy change and feed before you start, although it is perfectly fine if baby is awake for your photo session.

I suggest wrapping your baby after the feed and taking your first photos with baby wrapped up as they are likely to stay settled for longer.


What to wear

For baby, keep it nice and simple. A white form fitting onesie is a good choice as many clothes don't fit bub well at this stage. Choose one or two of your favourite wraps to swaddle bub in. This will help them settle and feel snug and secure.


For any family members that are keen to be involved, keep your clothing simple and neutral. For timeless, professional looking photos try to avoid large logos and pictures on clothes or any bright or neon colours.




Light

Choose a room that has the most natural light from a window or door. You don't want a room with harsh sunlight streaming in; you are looking for soft, indirect light. Between 10am and 12pm is a good time of day, the indoor light is softer and babies are usually happier in the mornings! Master bedrooms are great if there is enough light as the bed is a big safe place to lay baby. If you find there is not enough light in the bedroom you can lay a wrap or rug down beside a window or glass sliding door in any room and photograph baby there. If baby is a little fussy you could move a comfortable chair close to a window and photograph them in someone's arms. Wherever you choose, you will need to make sure there are no overhead lights on and your camera flash is turned off.



Your Camera

It doesn't matter if you don't have a fancy expensive camera, as they say the best camera is the one you have available right now! You can even use your phone for these photos. While it may not replicate what a professional photographer can achieve the whole point here is just capturing and recording this tiny newness before it passes you by. Some phones have a portrait mode on them which I would recommend to give you some nice background blur. Give your lens a clean before you start and remember to take lots and lots of photos so you have plenty to choose from when selecting the best shots.


Safety

It is worth a word or two about safety here. If you do have a large camera always make sure the strap is around your neck when photographing baby, especially from above. Always have an extra set of eyes besides your own on baby and someone within arms length of bub. Never place baby in any unnatural positions or unsafe places and never try to replicate anything you have seen online that has likely be been achieved by Photoshop!


The Photo Session

So now after you have set up a location in your home, baby is fed and wrapped and everyone is dressed you can place baby for your first shots! Whether you are placing baby on a bed or a wrap on the floor place them with the light source either to their side or at the top of their head so the light washes down their body. Take your photos looking straight down or side on, not looking up their little noses! For side on shots get down at baby's eye level.









While baby is content and swaddled have someone take photos of you holding baby. These photos can be taken standing or sitting right next to the window. Connect with your little one and pretend the camera isn't there. Look at your baby, kiss them, smell their little heads, rock them and sing to them while another family member snaps lots of photos of these beautiful moments.






For photos of siblings and the new baby, place baby on the bed in the master bedroom with their head pointing towards the window. Ask your other children to lay on their tummies behind baby and smell baby, kiss baby, point to their nose. Get down on their eye level and capture all the special interactions with their little brother or sister.



At this point you could gently unwrap bub, release their little hands and feet for some nice close up photos of all the small details. Photograph the way they stretch, their tiny hands and feet, their little lips and nose, an ear, the top of their head, all that tininess you want to preserve forever.






Of course the beauty of doing a DIY photo session is that if baby is not in the mood, you have cranky toddlers that don't want anything to do with baby or if there is a poop blow out mid shoot, you can always try again tomorrow or the next day!


I hope that we can be back taking pictures of your precious bundles again very soon but for those of you who are bringing home new babies during this time of home isolation, I hope this has helped give you some confidence to capture your own simple, natural photos of your little one you will treasure always, because those tiny toes will never be this tiny again!


Take care,

Laurinda x