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Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Kathy Cobb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/30/2005

Photo Shoot with a Newborn

Hi all,
I have my first newborn (she's 1 month old) studio photo shoot next week and would appreciate any suggestions, tips on posing and any other ideas. Thanks.

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12/1/2006 3:20:34 PM

W.    It is long ago that I did babies, but I would consider stuff like what's the background, have I got (soft) enough lighting and fill-in (light? reflection?). Especially if you want high-key images, have I got 3/4 different sounds (little bells, quacking duck) and/or jiggling thingamejigs to draw the baby's attention. Be aware that the actual session probably won't last much longer than a half hour max before the baby will probably fall asleep (good for sleep photos of course).
Try to get as many eye-level photos - the baby's eye-level! - as possible. On her back, on her stomach, sitting up if possible (in her car/carry seat?), on mama's lap, on mama's shoulder, and nursing on mama's breast.
But also try to take photos from straight overhead. Both when she's on her back and on her stomach.
Good luck. Could be a really nice session.

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12/3/2006 11:41:55 AM

W.    Oh yes, I forgot maybe the most important thing about portraying the complete innocence of a newborn: nude photos!

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12/3/2006 11:45:12 AM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Oh great, now that you said the "N" word, I suppose we're going to have to deal with the whole Jacques Sturges thing.

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12/3/2006 3:58:18 PM

Jennifer L. Taranto
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/1/2006
  W.S. had some great suggestions! The only other things I could think to add was to keep things simple. Too many bright colors or lots of props might over-stimulate the baby's senses and then you'll have a fussy screaming newborn on your hands (not fun, LOL). Maybe Mom and Dad can bring a special blanket or stuffed animal with them to use as a prop. My daughter was a preemie and in the NICU for 20 days before coming home, and some nice ladies from a local nursing volunteered to crochet blankets for the babies - Ashley was the 1st to get one, they put it over her isolet ... anyway ... she still uses it. And my son was given a blue stuffed animal dog when he was in the hospital that he still absolutely loves. If the baby has something like that, it would add a nice personal touch to a photo. Baby boys look great in blue, and baby girls look great in pink ... I know it's cliche but maybe for some of the photos you could use a pale pink or blue (not sure if it's a girl or boy LOL) background, or maybe a soft white background with the baby laying on a pale pink/blue blanket. Oh, and try some black and white shots!
Best of luck! -Jenn Taranto

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12/4/2006 9:50:03 AM

Kathy Cobb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/30/2005
  Hey W.S. and Jenn. Thanks so much for your suggestions!

I have a neutral background I was planning to use, with some added Christmassy touches (mom wants something Christmassy). I thought if things were going well, maybe use my black background at the end of the session for someting more dramatic.

I did suggest they bring a favorite receiving blanket and toy. And I do need to get some "thingamejigs".

I don't have a posing table so I guess I should bring in a table large enough to be safe to lay her on and cover it with my backdrop and the blanket? Or maybe with baby bottoms-up on a santa hat! I do have my Christmas tree up so I will offer that as a background for some.

Thanks again!

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12/4/2006 11:13:47 AM

stacey c. damon
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/12/2004
  Try using natural lighting...window light is my favs with the babies...and include the parents for help too!

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12/6/2006 7:52:55 AM

Richard M. Knox
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/28/2006
  This may not work on such a young baby (a 1 month old), but here goes. The second time I ever did any portraits on anyone, my kayaking buddy asked me to do some portraiture of his daughter and her 5 month old son. I also planned to shoot their cats & dogs, so I brought some toys for the cats, which they hated! But the kid loved them. One was a colorful, feathery thing on a plastic rod. the baby would reach up to grab it and I got some great shots that way. The other toy was a battery operated mouse that moves around on the floor and makes noises and has flashing lights. The baby had a blast crawling around after the mouse, and so did I rolling around on the floor getting some great shots of him playing. Find out what toys stimulate the kid, and have fun playing with him/her. Toys that make noises, are colorful and that move are good. I also got some more formal, but good shots of him & Mom sitting in Mom's lap. Kids are fun to shoot, play with them first, so they get used to you, have the camera around your neck so they get used to that. The noisemaker idea is good to get them to look at you, just be ready to shoot.
I will put some of those shots on the site as soon as I can get Mom's permission.

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12/6/2006 10:49:27 PM

Debbie Del Tejo
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/30/2005
  Kathy, Stock up on PATIENCE....don't expect too much from a one month old. They either sleep or cry and if they are awake their little heads wobble all over the place. Then you have the parents that put these god awful outfits on them to make them look like grown ups. I fight collars on babies ALL THE TIME. The babies are great but the outfits with the collars won't stay down and end up covering the face. So, I wish you lots of luck. One thing I do with one month old is take close ups of the feet, arms, hands, etc....then do a collage with the face in the middle...sells every time. I also keep classical music playing and a calm atmosphere....
Best wishes! Let us know how you do.

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12/7/2006 3:18:22 AM

Sharla    Have you ever looked at ? I get many ideas from there. go to "peanut gallery' and then under "photos" you'll find a wealth of great photos. you can narrow the search further to include babies only. have fun!

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12/11/2006 6:30:23 AM

Kathy Cobb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/30/2005
  Thanks everyone for your wonderful suggestions! We had to postpone the shoot, so I'll have time to "take in" all of the ideas. I'll try to post some pictures when we're through. Thakns again! Kathy

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12/11/2006 7:18:50 AM

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