Oh what crazy times we are in. I had several newborn sessions that have been cancelled, well who am I kidding, everything is cancelled, life has been cancelled (according to my teen). But babies are still going to come, thankfully! I know that some of you will have zero photography options for capturing the miraculous brand new baby-ness that is so special.
I wanted to help some of you new moms and moms soon-to-be, with some simple tips on how to get some nice pictures of your new love, that would be share worthy, even if you all have is a cell phone with a good camera. And I love sweet baby pictures at 3 months too (hint, hint). Their iris has developed it’s color, and baby smiles, and perfect baby skin make a great combo for amazing portraits! . But until I get to met your new loves, I wanted to share some love and give you some simple tips for diy “covid 19 quarantine” baby pictures.
Tips to get you on your way to snap some sweet pictures
IT IS ALL ABOUT THE LIGHT!
The right light will be your secret weapon, and I am giving away a few photographer secrets here!
Find the biggest and brightest window in your home, that does not have direct sunlight coming in. Doing this in the morning or mid afternoon will give you the softest, prettiest light. To make this simple, here is a little diagram that best shows how best to position your baby to the light for pictures. This is important, and has to do with how the light cast shadows on the face and highlights facial features best.
Baby is about 45 degree angle to the window, and really close to the window as well. You can just put a blanket on the floor, or a pillow under baby to make a softer spot, and lay a plain blanket over, place baby on top. I have also used a large padded ottoman to get baby closer to the light coming in from the window.
Turn off any other lights in the home, as different light bulbs give off different colors of light and can make the skin color look off.
Once you have baby in this spot, stand over baby, or take your picture more from above, it is more flattering, just like a selfie looks a bit better shot from higher up!
I also recommend swaddling that little bundle. They tend to flail their arms, a lot, when they are awake, and that translates into blurry blobs in the pictures. And if you swaddle, they will probably fall asleep and you will capture these sweet peaceful pictures.
And if you have a toddler in the home, swaddle baby well, and try having the toddler lay down on the floor right next to that window, and place well swaddled baby next to the toddler, or have the toddler put out an arm and lay baby’s head on that arm, but stay close, as those toddlers are quick and unpredictable!
Once you get a few pictures by the window, think of getting pictures of where baby is happiest, cuddled in mama’s arms. See how I had them right next to the window in this picture? Just cuddling and peaceful, and I was probably standing on a step stool to get this angle. And don’t forget to get some detail pictures, little hands, or feet. Just pay attention to the light. These detail shots are best done while they are sleeping, so they are not moving and blurry.
And lastly, some technical advice, most cell phones automatically meter the light, and kind of guess at a neutral light level, and what you are taking a picture of. But sometimes with taking pictures near windows, the light is so bright that the people are too dark. There is a fix, as most cell phones you can tell the camera where to meter its light by just touching on the live view image on your phone screen, and it will change how it is metering the light for the image. For example, this picture above, on your phone you would touch on the baby or mom, and this will tell the phone that is what you want to take a picture of, and it should adjust the light appropriately.
These tips also work for in the hospital too! Just pull the bassinet over to the window!
I hope these tips are super helpful, and you can still get some sweet pictures to savor for many years to come, that really show off your sweet baby!
I hope for peace and health for you until we meet again!