Updated: Apr 19, 2020
So, here we are in the middle of a global pandemic. A completely unprecedented situation that none of us are familiar with - forcing the closure of many businesses all over the country (and world).
Sadly - this of course, includes us, and as a photography studio specialising in such a time sensitive genre, the thought of us not being able to create these timeless portraits in a time that you can't get back is something we've really been struggling with.
So, we've put together some of our top tips for you amazing pandemic parents to help you create some beautiful images at home!
We will cover some very basics, that you can complete safely yourselves to get great results (please don't try any complex poses as these really do require specialist training and knowledge).
What you'll need;
- A camera (or just your phone if you don't have one). The best camera you have is the one you have on you!
- A towel and/or some absorbent pads (i.e changing mat liners/chemical free puppy pads).
- A plain large piece of fabric i.e a bed sheet
- A fluffy rug (optional)
- A large beanbag (optional)
- Lots of patience!
First and foremost - before you even attempt to photograph baby it's very important that you get the conditions right.
1. Ideally, plan to take your photographs in the morning as this is often a sweet sleeping time for babies and the lighting is better. Time it so that you begin right after their feed.
2. Set up next to a large window, with the window light coming in from the side. Place the baby down so that their head is closest to the light if possible.
If the light is too harsh, hang a thin white sheet over the window - this will soften the light.
3. Heat your room to a lovely and warm 28 degrees celsius.
4. Drape your chosen fabric over the beanbag/sofa and pull it as tight as possible.
5. Strip baby down and de-tab their nappy or take it off completely if you have an absorbent pad to hand to replace it with.
6. Feed & wind baby.
7. Soothe baby to sleep. Tip: Download the SLEEP BABY app and have it playing loudly throughout.
Once baby has settled to sleep you can begin.
Important; please have another member of your household assisting to ensure baby is safe. Someone must always be focusing on baby and within reach.
For the first pose, we will cover what we call tushie pose;
Sit baby upright on your lap (while asleep) and bring their hand up to their cheek, palm facing down.
Rest your hand under the hand which you have placed under their face and gently tilt baby forward to bring them down on to their front whilst on your lap. With your other hand scoop their legs up and gently lay them down. Patting their bum gently will aid you to transition smoothly in to pose. Cross their little feet over, so that you have one foot through and the toes are pointing towards you.
Tip: You will need some elevation and the top and bottom end to create a curve and to ensure baby is comfortable. Muslin cloths are ideal for this - just fold them up and layer them!
Don't be hard on yourselves if it's not perfect - although a simple pose in theory it is quite difficult to get it spot on. Keep baby's safety and comfort your top priority. Have someone within arms reach of baby AT ALL TIMES.
When you lift your camera, angle down the nose (never shoot up the nose) and be ever so slightly above baby so you are tilting down somewhat.
Be creative. Once baby is in this pose you can get some lovely close up shots of their face and also some shots from above too.
For the second pose, this is what we call nighty night;
This is a lovely and simple pose to achieve, and you can get quite a variety too with little hats and teddies if you have any that are sentimental.
Simply lay baby down on their back, making sure you have plenty of fabric at the bottom to fold up. Bring the leftover fabric right up and over their tummy and pull tight either end.
You can have their arms tucked down beside them, or bring them out and over the fabric.
Additionally, if you have a small enough soft toy you can have them bring one arm around the teddy.
If you have a very relaxed baby, you could bring their arms up above them and tuck their hands under their head to give the 'I'm just chilling' pose.
Finally, an overhead pose;
Ignore the prop here - what we're concentrating on is the pose.
What you need to do is create a 'well' underneath your fabric or fluffy rug. To do this, get a large towel and roll it up on it's longest side so that you have a towel 'snake'. Pop it underneath your fabric/rug in a circle. This will give baby a comfortable support.
Gently lay baby down on their back and position them in to the well that you have created. Add muslin cloths to give added lift if needed (particularly under the head and bum area).
Ensure that you have crossed baby's legs over properly so that they are not exposed in any way. Curl their bum to one side to give the body that lovely c curve shape. If you have a long scarf, you can use it to wrap around baby and tie at the bottom end for an added variety.
In this pose, be creative and use the opportunity to get some lovely close up shots of their hands, feet and facial features!
You can obviously add your own personal hats/headbands and accessories for more variety but often, less is more! Keep it as simple as possible and don't be disappointed if you don't get amazing results. Don't forget, newborn photography is a very specialised skill which takes years to master. Be patient, but most importantly have some fun with it.
When everything returns to normal, we'd love to create some gorgeous professional images for you!
Let us know how you get on, and feel free to ask us any questions you may have!
Don’t forget to give us a follow on Instagram - @amplifiedstudio
Tag us in your results!
We have had lots of emails from clients due to come in asking us if we would take a look at images which have been taken at home and retouch them to give them a more professional look so, we have decided to open up a service to anyone who wants it. You don't have to have been booked in with us. We'd like to help as many new parents as possible. :)
Professional retouch & image quality enhancement : £10 per image
Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with your request and attach the files that you would like us to work on for you. We'll do the rest - including skin perfecting and background smoothing!