When embarking into the world of newborn photography it can be very daunting. Where do you start? How many poses should you be achieving? What accessories to buy there are so many from baskets, buckets, swings and moons through to hammocks, stools, crates and more…
We are listing below what we consider to be the five main items to get you started. You will see from this short list that with some careful planning and practice with these essential items you will be ready to start out in the world of newborn photography.
1 | Posing beanbag & backdrop stand/frame
A newborn posing beanbag is by far the most essential item that you need to start with. You need to ensure you beanbag has a firm flat surface. Using traditional beanbags means that the baby will just sink into them, which causes unsightly shadows. You also need a large surface area to pose your newborn on – the larger the better in terms of safety.
There are an array of fabric backdrops out there, from chiffon and lace through to soft knits and cable knits, in so many colours it can be hard and daunting to know where to start. We recommend you begin by picking two neutral backdrops, maybe a cream and beige. You will also need something to hang your backdrops from. You can start with a simple backdrop stand or invest in a beanbag posing frame to attach your backdrops to. Drape them over the beanbag and this creates a lovely soft area to photograph your newborn. Add a couple of neutral hats and bonnets, a couple of hair-ties and 2/3 coordinating wraps and you are good to go. We love neutral colours as they create a timeless image that parents will love, and the final produced product will always go with their home décor.
2 | Disposable waterproof pads
These are easy to find in the baby nappy section of shops – or pet shops! You need an absorbent liner to place over your beanbag and under your fabric backdrops to protect the beanbag from stains when the inevitable accidents happen. You can also layer your backdrops on the stand perhaps having three ready to go. Then place an absorbent layer between each backdrop. Once the first backdrop is soiled, it’s then easy to remove that backdrop and pad and move onto your fresh new backdrop.
3 | Pacifiers
We always have brand new unopened pacifiers (dummies) in the studio. Always ask the parents before a shoot if they already use one as they can help make a shoot if you have a fussy baby. It helps to settle them and you can then quickly remove it, take your shot and pop it back in again! We would explain to parents that don’t use one that using one for the session will not affect their baby’s routine at all; if the parents don’t want us to use one then we would respect their wishes.
4 | White Noise app
A simple but effective newborn accessory is to purchase a white noise app from iTunes. There are many on there and you can even get one that has a womb beat – this is relaxing for the baby and can help to promote sleep during the session. Play it on your iPhone but don’t place it too near the baby or use a docking station.
5 | Space heaters and thermometers
You have to have a warm studio when photographing newborns. We have the studio at approximately 80 degrees as the baby will be undressed and will not settle if they are even slightly cold. We place a small space heater either side of the beanbag ensuring it is not too close to the baby. We tell the parents to wear layers to ensure their comfort too.
In our next Blog we will cover style and posing in more detail.
At Newborn Baby Posing Limited we are the largest UK supplier of newborn and maternity photography props, as well as being newborn photographers ourselves. Find out more at: www.newbornbabyposing.com
To view our upcoming newborn photography training workshops you can visit www.newbornphotographylimited.co.uk