7 Tips for Taking Your Own Newborn Photos

newborn session photoshoot
Whether you just welcomed your baby into the world or are eagerly awaiting their arrival, prepare to hear the phrase "they grow up so fast" more times than you can count! It's true though, newborns grow and change so much over their first couple of months. Like every new mom, I bet you are thinking up ways to freeze and remember your newborn's every detail. Cue newborn photos - the best way to capture those sweet features you never want to forget!

You've likely been dreaming up those newborn photos since finding out about your pregnancy. Maybe you even hired a professional photographer but have sadly had to cancel your photoshoot due to the current situation. Don't fret, you can still get those newborn photos you've been dreaming of! Take the wheel, mama, and grab that camera (pssst you don't need a fancy camera, your smartphone will work great)! We've got 7 tips for taking your own newborn photos! 

Tip 1: Happy Model
Choose a time when your little one is happy or sleepy for the best results. You want the experience to be enjoyable for your newborn. Your shoot will be easier and your photos will turn out much better if your baby is in a good mood. Try nursing or giving your little one a bottle right before your shoot! It's totally okay if your model falls asleep too - those make for some of the best photos! 

Tip 2: Focus on Light
For best results, take your photos near a bright window but not into direct light. You can diffuse or soften the light by draping a sheer white curtain over the window. You'll usually get your best light during mid-morning or late afternoon. Try to avoid that harsh mid-day sun if possible and make sure the sun isn't hitting baby's face directly. 

Tip 3: Keep it Simple
This can be a matter of preference, but less is often more when it comes to newborn photography. Your newborn is the star - make them the focus of each photo you take. You don't need to go overboard with props. A simple solid swaddle or two, something to prop baby up (such as a cushion or nursing pillow), and maybe a cherished lovey is all you really need! 

Tip 4: Be Prepared
Have an idea of what types of photos you would like to take ahead of time. Create a mood board with newborn photos that you love and model your shoot after those. Take those photos first! If you have extra time, use it to take additional or creative photos. Also, make sure your props/outfits are ready to go ahead of time! Click here to start getting some inspiration 

Tip 5: Consider Your Angles 
Once you have carefully posed your newborn, shoot their pose from multiple angles. Stand on a chair, get down low, and shoot from both sides of the room. Take close up, detail shots (such as of baby's adorable hands and feet) and wide-angle full body shots. Take LOTS of photos - you can always delete the duplicates or unflattering photos after the fact but you don't want to feel like you missed out on a photo op. 

Tip 6: Editing
Start by paring down your photos. Delete blurry photos, poor angles, bad lighting, and choose the best photo in a series of duplicates. Once you've narrowed down your selections, begin editing. You can use editing software such as Lightroom or Photoshop or download a free editing app to your phone! You may want to tweak settings such as exposure, contrast, shadows, and make some minor color corrections. You can also create or purchase a preset to keep your results consistent! 

There are so many presets to choose from. Here are some of our favorite presets:
Mandi Nelson- She has so many classic presets that arent too trendy
Mary Salas - She has so many beautiful presets to choose from. She does such a great job at having colors pop in a subtle way that isnt overwhelming 
Jessie Martin- Her presets are more dramatic and beautiful.
Delilah Loeppky- Her presets have a pop of color but are also very neutral that you will love!

Tip 7 Take Care of Yourself 
The ideal time to do a newborn shoot is within the first 10 days or so. Keep in mind that YOU are still recovering during this time. Go easy on yourself and don't overdo it! If you are able, have someone help you with set-up and take-down. You may also need to call in backup to get some of those tricky angles (if your body is telling you not to climb up on a chair, listen!). And guess what, you live with your model, so if today's shoot doesn't work out you can try again tomorrow! 

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