Well hasn't this lockdown been a barrel of laughs?! I could go on a political rant but instead all I'll say is that I am so, so sorry to everyone I had booked in this (and next?) month that I have had to postpone your shoots.
So I wanted to put together a few 'guides' for photos in your own home, that can be taken on your camera or phone (most phones have a timer on thankfully these days if you need to be in it). I've kept it a quick read and as simple as I can, we have babies to feed, toddlers to run around after so don't worry, it should be skimmable I hope.
Newborns are such a wonderful subject, although to be honest these tips work well on all ages and I'd say are aimed up to around 6 months. Honestly, it is near impossible to take a bad photo of a newborn, that being said it can be a little daunting knowing where to begin so I'm going to break it down for you- i think that photography is best sectioned into light, styling, texture, emotion and connection.
Every photo you take should have good or flattering lighting. For newborns this is soft, heavily diffused (hang a voile up in the window or make sure there is no direct sunlight- overcast days are best). Look for a lovely, light area of your house- your room, on your bed for example?
My favourite photos have a neutral but warm aspect to them- browns, creams, off whites and beiges- all mixed together. Babies in little timeless onesies and parents in casual, neutral clothes- Zara and free people are my go-to brands.
Knits are fabulous, (extra brownie points from me if they are handmade) and are great for layering- pop baby in a little neutral onesie and then a cardigan and hat on, as you progress through the 'shoot' remove the hat, then after a while the cardigan to mix up the styling throughout the images without changing and disturbing abby too much.
Layers underneath baby, knitted blankets, laces and baby blankets etc make a lovely backdrop with minimum effort- keep them to the creams and browns theme for some really beautiful photos. As previously mentioned, dressing baby (and you?) in textures can add definition and interest.
Emotion and connection
This one is easy- how can a newborn not be emotional?! But ways that you can up this can be adding yourself into the photo (even if just as a prop such as baby over your shoulder, in your arms, with your hands or kissing their cheek). One lovely photo that is very easy- try taking an awake shot of baby looking towards the lens.
If, like me, you adore the natural baby photos to the posed ones (which you should not do at home) then swaddling baby (here is a step by step guide) is a truly wonderful way to get that authentic baby feel in your photos. In the studio I use stripes of jersey fabric, I also have some knitted ones which work great (make sure the are wide enough- a wide scarf would work).
Example Shot List
1) Macro images/close ups- eyelashes, hands, feet, lips... the tiny details that, unfortunately, you will struggle to remember.
2) Backlit Baby (pop baby on the bed with the light behind).
3) Baby and Parent's hands.
4) Baby on your chest/in your arms.
5) Eye contact.
I strongly advise getting lightroom for mobile, you can buy (but also get free) presets, and I am currently making one to download for free so hopefuly I'll be sharing that very soon. There are other editing apps such as VSCO that are good enough to recommend but I think I'll stick to those two. (One important point- please don't airbrush your skin too much, trust me, it is not a good look and in a few years you will want to original, beautiful photo, not the heavily smoothed one.)
I truly hope that this helps, if you need any help at all please drop me a message either via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on instagram @rosephotoco