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10 DIY Newborn Photography Tips Anyone Can Master!

Getting baby pictures taken is one of the most exciting moments of a parent's life for their new bundles of joy. DIY newborn photography is something you might consider when you’re expecting or when you have a new baby. 

Whether it’s your first time with a baby or not, perfecting all photo shots is always tough. With DIY newborn photography, you’re entirely responsible for the pauses, shooting, and your baby’s safety.

Fortunately, there are a bunch of photography tricks you can master in a snap. Keep reading for a highlight of some easy tips to help you in your next shooting. 

Take Your Time

DIY newborn photography is convenient as it fits your schedule well. So, there is no need to rush the photo session as you have all the time in the world. Right after birth, you will need to rest and recover so you can do the photography later when you’re active and fit.

Getting the right equipment and creating a perfect setup is also another headache. At the right time, after adequate preparation and relaxation, you should start to prepare for the photoshoot for the best picture results.

Planning for DIY Newborn Photography

Like a professional photographer, you must prepare if you want the perfect images. Since you want the most quality photos, you'll have to make sure you have all the requirements.

Here are some newborn essentials for a photo:

  • Photo Shooting clothes
  • Small swaddle and background blankets
  • A reliable camera (DSLR is recommended)
  • Formatted memory cards
  • Posing beanbags
  • Props
  • Waterproof pads 
  • Calming/soothing toys

Set up your home mini studio by using pillows, blankets, cushions, and other props. Remember to look for space with zero clutter and adequate natural lighting. 

Understand Newborn Photography and Timing

DIY newborn photography depends a lot on your understanding of photography and the baby. If you want photos of the baby before they get to two weeks old, posed photos work better.

In the first 14 days, the newborn is typically always sleepy. You can probably pose them easier and include a lot of props or people in photography. 

In this stage, you can also take perfect photos of the baby in a wrap, baby coat, headbands, or blanket. After three weeks, babies are more awake, and you might have a little more trouble trying to pose them easily. 

Dress Up for the Photo Session

Often times, in a newborn photo session, the babies don’t wear anything. This helps to focus on the baby’s features better. But adorable and creative outfits will liven up the photos more so play around with themes, styles, and colors that fit your baby.

Go for comfy and light-toned colors that are timeless and withstand style changes. Comfy clothes will allow the baby to be free and prevent them from crying.

If you include all family members in the photoshoot, they should also go for plain and lighter colors. For mom, sleeveless tops work best to produce skin to skin looks with their baby. Meanwhile, dads can do both tops-on and topless shoots.

Lighting Is Vital

Photography is nothing without the right lighting. Lighting determines brightness, darkness, tone, atmosphere, and the mood of an image. If you want to bring out all your baby’s features, you should set up in a room with adequate sunlight.

If the baby or the intended shot has shadows, the photo might not come out clear as expected. To achieve better images, allow light to flow down the baby from the head at approximately 45 degrees.

Avoid shooting when the sun rays are too strong as you can harm the baby. Instead, the light should look like shadows that don’t hit the kid’s eyes. 

Make the Baby Comfortable, Safe and Get the Poses Right

While posing the baby, make sure they aren't in stressful positions, and the wraps are as comfortable as possible. The room should be warm to allow for topless photos.

Safety is crucial when taking DIY newborn photography. Introducing personal elements is a great idea but keep a lookout any sharp-edged or hard equipment or props in the shooting room.

Pose the baby in positions that reveal their features the most are you've cleared out a space for them in front of the lens. Focus on capturing all the tiny details that make the baby stand out. 

Make the Baby Happy

For a productive photo session, try to keep the baby calm and happy. A lot of times, babies cry during photo sessions which causes you to stop shooting.

Use noise to distract the baby or baby sound apps to soothe them. Make sure you give them time for sleeping and feeding well before the session.

Keeping the baby happy allows you to win their smile and improve the outcome of the whole photography. So, be patient, connect with the baby, and do your best to keep them engaged. Having another person around to help distract and calm them is a big help.

Embrace Creativity in DIY Newborn Photography

Try all angles and shoot from varying directions instead of repositioning your baby, or adjusting the setup. Walk around and take several images. 

Use a variety of creative baby outfits and props that help take your pics to the next level. If you're stuck on ideas, think of your cultures, personalities, and hobbies.

Remember, your setup is not permanent. You can explore the environment around your home for more natural and better photos. 

Be Flexible and Cooperate with Your Baby

A standard DIY newborn photography session could take up to 3 hrs. That's because newborns are unpredictable and can get fussy or sleepy while you're trying to get the perfect shot.

The best thing to do is to work on the baby’s schedule. Take advantage of the minutes they stay calm and take as many images as possible. The shooting duration can vary depending on the scene setup, wardrobe changes and your family’s size so be flexible.

Looking to Try Out DIY Newborn Photography for Your New Baby?

Parents with new babies are often eager to capture the best moments. Trying out DIY newborn photography gives them that opportunity without having to spend much extra money.

Remember to get the best lighting, keep the baby happy and embrace creativity. Don't get frustrated if you don't capture the best shots in your first session. You can keep do a few more sessions and continue to practice.

Shop our collection for some cool clothing or your next family shoot. 

January 07, 2020 — Niomi Thompson