Babies are a work of art only few can master.
When I say babies, of course I mean newborn photography. So…I wanted to share a really honest overview of some lessons learned with some side commentary on my first and only baby shoot. For all you new moms and dads and photographers wanting to give newborn photography a try….here we go…
Meet the Biggs Family. They welcomed Baby Biggs into the world mid June. I shot this about 3 weeks or so after she was born, so still very newborn. She was GREAT during the session. She just chilled throughout most of the shoot until the end.
Only thing I would have done differently on timing is I think I would have preferred to shoot maybe 2 weeks in. Her mom was telling me that Baby Biggs was already stretching out more than she had just in the last few days. So obviously, it’s not necessary, but you do kinda want the babies to be all wrapped up in a little ball, swaddled in something. Or stuck in a basket. Because that’s what people do with babies…put them in a basket.
My lens selection here was an 85 1.4 and a 105 macro. I feel like these were kinda poor lens choices. I love the 105 macro because of its ability to give beautiful detail to small things. And then the 85 1.4 is my go-to lens for ALMOST everything. I love the bocah, and how the background just melts away like butta on a warm roll. (Ooo, rolls sound good.) Also, the 85 has some lens compression, which makes for a nice foreground as well. Anyways, I typically love this lens selection, but I wish I would have brought the 50 1.4. If I had a 35 1.4, I would have definitely brought that. Or if I had a 50 macro, then I would have been good to go! You will want something that is shorter because you are going to be standing over the babies. With as long of lenses as I brought with me, I had to borrow a step stool. :/ So that sucked, and that’s why I recommend bring a shorter lens, or a range lens. You definitely don’t want them to look distorted by using a wide angle, but I think the 24-70 would have been nice to have.
As for posing babies, this was a little difficult for me. I do not have babies of my own, and I hardy ever handle babies. So I was worried her head would fall off or something. This sounds stupid, but they just seem sooooo fragile. Because of this, I kinda just let Baby Biggs do whatever, and I moved around her. Her mom also kinda moved her around a bit after I described the shot I was looking for. I do feel like posing babies is a lot harder than it looks. What’s a normal position for a baby? Do you ever think of that? And does that normal position look weird on camera? Or does it make people go “googoo” over it. (ha, pun intended.)
Props? I don’t have any baskets to put babies in. I didn’t bring blankies or fur things, or toys. I think this is definitely something you can do and incorporate. And it will look awesome, but it’s an investment that I am not ready to make in my business. The family had a couple of props like flowers, blankets, bonnets, and bloomers. Those worked great for our purpose…but again it depends on what they are looking for.
Postwork. I’m just going to say it. Babies need retouching. They are so adorable, but you can see skin bumps and red spots. They are just random, but you will just need to soften it up a bit and brush it out. Believe it or not, this picture has quite a bit of retouching done to it.
All in all, I had a great time shooting the Biggs Family. I learned a lot about taking newborn pictures. While I loved shooting Baby Biggs, I preferred shooting the family pictures. I think it’s because there is interaction between the parents and the parents with the baby. Whereas with newborn photos, they are asleep or you are setting them up in a scene, so there is less interaction.
Alrighty, hopefully this will help somebody out there looking to take photos of some little chicks. 🙂 If you have advice to add, feel free to comment below! And can we please discuss the difference between artistic baby pictures and cheesy baby pictures???