DIY Newborn Photography: How to take newborn photos at home
Hey new mommas, it’s hard to understate how much I wish I could be there in person to capture your little ones’ first days. I wish I could wave a wand and make this time be a thing of the past. But since I can’t be, I wanted to offer a DIY newborn photography lesson on how to take your newborn photos at home with your cell phone.
Steps on how to take newborn photos at home
- Find a window. Almost any will do, but a larger window, facing north will offer a nice diffused light. It’s also nice to choose a window where there is an opposite wall nearby that can bounce the window light around, further softening the shadows in your newborn’s picture. (note, I did not have a second wall to bounce, but I will address this below).
- Supplies needed: A couch cushion or something similar. A white sheet. A nursing pillow (a.k.a. boppy) or soft-ish pillow, up to four chairs.
- Set up your background. If you are setting up on the floor, grab a couch cushion for a soft, but supportive surface, which you can also easily rotate. Lay your “background” so that the window is positioned to the side of your baby’s head. Next, set your nursing pillow. I like the full boppy lounger, which offers the most support for the baby’s body. I only had this one, so I adapted it for support with a rolled-up towel. If you don’t have a boppy, a pillow will do in a pinch, you’ll just have to be on heightened alert to make sure there’s no rolling.
- Cover your “staging area.” You may need to first cover your pillow or boppy with a white towel if your sheet is thin like mine. Then cover that with your sheet. I prefer white because it will reflect light back onto your little baby, softening shadows for that dreamy effect.
- Create a clean background. If you want to create a very clean background, set up the backs of the chairs facing toward your support, then drape your sheet over the chairs. Bonus, if you have older kids at home, the setup of chairs and blanket is a great activity for them since it’s much like building a fort.
- Position your baby. Keep this simple! I know those posed pictures with a baby resting their head on their arms are sweet, but it takes some skill and your little one might lose it before you get them molded into position. When you’re already stressed from “these times,” this is a straight ticket to complete meltdown. Instead, go with the classic side or tummy sleeper. If you’re still having trouble, swaddle them up, which is very calming for most babies and makes them easier to manage for pictures.
- The position. Lay the baby so that the window is directly to the side of their head, but slightly forward. This is called “feather” the light. This effect creates dimension to your little ones’ features.
- Next, if you have portrait mode, use it. If not, don’t fret. Just come close enough to your baby so there’s not a lot of distracting things in your background. A good photography rule of thumb is holding your lens just above the baby’s eye level, which is a flattering angle.
- Rotating is key. Once you’ve nailed one newbie photo, keep rotating your little one or rotating around them, for as long as they last. Don’t forget to look for little details like their toes, hands, shoulder dimples, and tushes. Also, you might not appreciate it now, but it can be fun to have the “outtakes” like yawns or cries too.Regular Mode
- Make your images pop with filters. I love Lightroom Mobile because it gives me the most editing power. I can adjust brightness, color tones, blur backgrounds, and even do minor retouching. Before
Good luck! Direct message (D/M) me if you need any other newborn photo tips and tricks. Also, check out my Instagram account for the original post and leave a comment sharing your own experience with DIY newborn photos.
Also, if there are any other tutorials you’re interested in reading or seeing, let me know below. I’ll give this whole IG/TV a shot. Now’s the time, right?
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