I sit here on this Easter Sunday thinking about all of the moms and dads who have just welcomed or are getting ready to deliver a baby during this pandemic. I can't imagine the stress and everything you are dealing with. Worried about your health, the health of your new baby and, on top of that, just the birthing process in general. Please know I am thinking about all of you and sending so many good thoughts your way. I know photography isn't essential right now and I absolutely understand the need for us to be shut down but my photographer heart breaks for all the moms and dads with new babies that aren't able to get those first photos. The sessions they had dreamed of and booked months in advance or planned to have taken at hospital. I have had a few clients ask me if I have any tips to help them make these memories. Below I put together a few quick tips that I hope might help.
1) Find the light! Natural light will be your best bet. Flash from a phone or camera is really harsh and unnatural looking and tends to wash out some of those itty bitty details you want to remember: the flaky skin, wrinkles, fuzzy baby hair, etc. Open up all the shades and get as close to the window as you can.
2) Shadows are your friend. Lighting baby from the side or top of the head down is most flattering. Soft shadows or even deep shadows can really define a photo and little features and keep the images from looking flat. Back lit images are some of my favorites as well.
3) Remember the details. Of course baby's face is the cutest <3 but don't forget the hands, toes, belly buttons, top of the heads, side profiles, fuzzy ears, and pouty lips. Those are the things that are fleeting and change before your eyes.
4) It's no secret babies like to be warm, keep them cozy and if all else fails swaddle!
5) Less is more. A white onesie or side snap shirt are my favorite things to put baby in. You can really see baby's little body. They might not love being unwrapped so swaddle again is key. Just a simple muslin blanket or even a hospital blanket are my favorites. They are thin and still allow you to see the size of baby without being wrapped in a bulky blanket.
6) Siblings. This can go a few different ways haha. In my experience it is not always love at first sight, which is ok! We want nothing more than that sweet snuggling photo but often times I don't even get it, and I have done this many times. If all else fails try swaddling baby, lay them in their hospital bed or crib and have the siblings peek in.
7) Mom and dad need to be in the photos! Mom might not want to be in the photos but I plead with dad to capture some of her with her new sweet baby. Capture the closeness, bring baby nose to nose, snuggle them up on your chest. They don't need to be full body shots or even looking at the camera. Again details and emotion are key.
8) Get a family shot. Even if baby is wrapped up and mom isn't feeling her best and the older siblings are a mess. Just take the photos. They are real memories and you will want them.
9) PLEASE do not attempt posing your baby like you see in some of the cute newborn photos online. Many/most of these poses are done with a spotter or are a composite image so it could be 2-3 images combined in photoshop to make one final image. It might look like baby is holding themselves up on their hands in what we call a "froggy" pose but really the photographer had someone with hands on the baby at all times and combined multiple images in photoshop. We are trained to do these type of photos and often they look easier than they actually are. Just be safe :)
10) Last thing is just keep it simple. Don't stress. This doesn't need to be perfect, hard or take a long time. Get what you can and remember we are here waiting to photograph your sweet baby and family as soon as we can <3
Here are some of my hospital photos to give you a few ideas. All done with natural light and a lifestyle approach.