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As a new mom, you want to document every second of your baby’s life. And what better way to do that than with beautiful photos?
But let’s be real. Newborns are not the easiest subjects to photograph. They’re often fussy and squirmy, which can make getting a good photo feel impossible.
But don’t worry, mama. Here are 10 newborn photography tips for working with a professional photographer that will help you take great photos of your new little one — and they’re anything but cliché.
Fort Worth Moms subscribers are in luck! Marcia Gilmore Photos is opening up her fall calendar to accommodate mini sessions. Readers can take advantage of special discounted pricing — just $150 for a 30 minute mini shoot. It’s the perfect amount of time for family photos and maternity/newborn photography! To get on her schedule, click here.
1. Schedule your session during your baby’s “golden hour.”
Unlike the traditional golden hour, which is usually right after sunrise and right before sunset, opt for your baby’s golden hour. This is when your baby is calm and sleepy, usually around an hour after waking up from a nap.
Again, coordinating with your photographer will help ensure you get the most out of your session.
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2. Plan to breastfeed or bottle-feed during the session.
Whether you breastfeed or use formula, come prepared with food. Not only will this help soothe your baby, but it will also produce some adorable photos. Just be sure to communicate your feeding plan with your photographer, so he or she can be prepared.
3. Dress your baby in simple, comfortable clothing.
Newborns are notoriously fussy, so it’s important to dress baby in something that won’t be irritating or need constant adjusting. And since baby likely be spending most of the session on his or her back, avoid clothes with buttons or other embellishments that could dig into the skin.
4. Bring any unique props or toys that have meaning to you and your family.
These could include a stuffed animal, a family heirloom, or a beloved blanket. These items will not only add personality to your photos but will also help keep your baby entertained and happy during the session.
5. Be prepared for (a lot of) diaper changes.
Newborns tend to go through A TON of diapers, so it’s important to pack plenty of extras for the session, including wipes and a changing pad. Your newborn photographer will likely take care of all the changes during the session, but it’s always good to be prepared just in case.
6. Don’t worry about anything else besides taking care of your baby during the session.
Yes, technically, you’re there for the photo shoot, but at the end of the day, your baby is the priority, not the photos. So, if baby needs to be fed, changed, or rocked to sleep, don’t hesitate. The photos will still turn out beautifully.
7. Trust your photographer’s vision—and expertise!
One of the reasons you hired a professional newborn photographer was because he or she has skill in capturing those precious moments. Trust the photographer. If he or she asks you to do something that makes you uncomfortable (like easing up on the feedings or taking off ALL your clothes), try to go with the flow and trust that he or she knows what’s best for capturing those fleeting newborn moments.
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8. Keep an open mind about how the photos might turn out.
Every single baby is unique and beautiful, but sometimes photos contain flaws, like clothes folded awry or other details. So instead of hoping for perfection in your photos, try thinking about how wonderful it will be to look back on these moments 20 years from now — imperfections included.
9. Choose a newborn photographer whose style you love — and who makes you feel comfortable.
It might sound like a no-brainer, but making sure you love your photographer’s style is crucial. Of course, you want someone who can capture those priceless moments in a way that speaks to you.
But just as important as finding someone whose style you love is ensuring you’re comfortable! You should never feel pressured or uncomfortable during your photo shoot. If you do, move on. There are plenty of other photographers out there who would love nothing more than to capture those perfect moments for you.
10. Most important, have fun!
Yes, having beautiful photos of this fantastic time in your life is essential. But don’t forget that this time is fleeting, too. So, while getting some fantastic shots is essential, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy this momentous occasion!
Capturing beautiful newborn photos may seem daunting, but with these 10 tips in mind, you’ll be able to achieve picture perfection! And don’t forget, at the end of the day (or photo shoot), all that matters is that these sweet moments are captured forever, imperfections included!
Marcia Gilmore is originally from the D.C. area but got to Texas as fast as she could 18 years ago. She considers herself a Texan now. Marcia has three kids and a firecracker of a dog named Kelley. When she’s not taking care of her family or working, you can find her binge-watching documentaries, re-editing old photos, enjoying coffee, or playing tennis when time and temperatures allow.
Marcia Gilmore Photos is a lifestyle-documentary photography company. She specializes in in-home photo shoots for first-time parents. Her work has been featured in JCPenny and Tylenol family marketing campaigns. Marcia’s work has always been about capturing facial expressions that are as close to the real thing as possible, and her photos have a warmth and authenticity that families love. Follow Marcia Gilmore Photos on Facebook for the latest updates!