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Tips on taking a newborn’s photo, if you dare

This article will provide you with the basic information to take your own newborn photos, in your own home. However, before we get to tips and tricks for professional quality newborn photos, I must warn, DO NOT DO THIS!   

 

DO NOT TAKE YOUR OWN NEWBORN PHOTOS! 

 

DO NOT DO IT!! 

 

Definitely NOT recommended. 

 

Why? Because:  

 

  1. You just had a BABY! 
  1. You JUST had a baby! 
  1. YOU just had a baby! 

 

There are many qualified photographers who take gorgeous newborn photos and I highly recommend that you take advantage of their expertise and the fact that they did not just have a baby.  And if you are in the York area, I would be happy to schedule a session, since I also did not just have a baby. 

 

However, if you are feeling up for some self torture, which I can assure you, taking your own newborn photos is, then keep reading. 

 

After I had my third baby, and feeling like such a pro at this baby thing, I decided to take my own baby photos.  And why not?! I was sleep deprived, recovering from a c-section, and had two toddlers running around the house asking for snacks relentlessly.  Easy, no problem.   

 

The following are a few things I learned in the process.  

 

  1.   Set up for your photos in advance   

 

And keep it set up until you have the time, energy, and brain power to take the photos.  If you have props, use them.  If not, you really don’t need them.  Babies are most comfortable swaddled in a blanket and they look adorable!  Swaddles photograph nicely and keep arms and legs from jutting out into the center of the frame.  Keep your setup simple so you are able to keep it out until you are ready.  This could mean the setup is in your way for a day or two, or five, or 10. But the results will be worth it. 

 

  1. Make sure the bigger kids are ready

 

The older siblings need to understand that if they want their picture taken too, they will need to be ready quickly.  For most kids who are excited about the new baby and eager to do things with them, this should be fairly easy.  Have the outfits for the older children in a safe place where they won’t get wrinkled or soiled before picture day. Choosing clothes in advance will save you time and energy the day of pictures. If you can, enlist the help of a family member to do their hair and get them dressed. Local family members are often in and out visiting once you are home from hospital, so use it to your advantage and ask for help. If you don’t have help, or the time to go out and get coordinating outfits, this is a great opportunity to go black and white. Everything matches in black and white, and your toddler can wear that bright pink skirt with that neon yellow top she loves, and no one will ever know. 

 

       3. Wait until the baby is asleep   

 

Take the photos when they work for you and the baby.  And take your time.  If the baby wakes and is miserable, take a break.  No one expects a new mother’s house to be clean anyway, so take advantage and leave the photography mess around.  I always tell my clients if their baby is fussy, it is much better to wait until the baby is fed, changed, and calm, than to try and move quickly with photos while the baby is crying.  Babies are the sleepiest from days three to 11 after birth.  So try to take your photos before day 11 when they begin to wake more often and stay awake longer.   

 

        4.  Have your spouse take photos 

 

Have your spouse take as many of the photos as possible, being sure to interject and critique as much as possible, so your photos don’t suck.  I mean really, all this work and he takes a photo straight up the baby’s nose?  No thanks.  Have him bend down and take those photos that you aren’t able to take right now.  Have him get close and highlight all of those adorable baby details: tiny toes, fingers, that little button nose.  

 

  1. Make use of your time in the hospital

 

If you will be in the hospital for more than a day or two, take photos while you are there. You don’t have to wait until you get home to.  Use what is available in the room.  My favorite picture of all three of my kids was in the hospital bed. My children are wearing ridiculous outfits, their hair is a disaster, and the baby’s face was bright red.  Black and white saved the day, and this is one of my favorite pictures.   

 

Taking your own newborn photos can be challenging, and there were many times I wanted to quit, but if you prepare and take it slowly, you can take your own newborn photos.  I did it, and I am so glad I did.   

 

Heather Gray attended Rutgers University in her home state of New Jersey and now resides in York, PA.  She is a former family therapist, and now a stay at home mom to her three beautiful and crazy kids, and part-time photographer. Heather loves art and has too many of hobbies including water coloring, crocheting, cake decorating, and drinking coffee.  She can be reached at heathergraystudio.com
 

 

Heather Gray
Heather Gray attended Rutgers University in her home state of New Jersey and now resides in York, PA. She is a former family therapist, and now a stay at home mom to her three beautiful and crazy kids, and part-time photographer. Heather loves art and has too many of hobbies including water coloring, crocheting, cake decorating, and drinking coffee. She can be reached at heathergraystudio.com

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