Is there anything sweeter than a sleeping newborn baby? We've all seen those adorable newborn photo shoots with the tiny naked baby in a knitted hat, with their beautiful little bum in the air. Newborn photo shoots have grown so much in popularity over the last few years and I seriously considered paying for one in the weeks before Oliver was born. That was, until I realised how expensive they were. With a baby shopping list the size of my
arm bump, there was no way I could justify spending so much money on a photoshoot, so I decided I'd give it a go myself.
I'm definitely not a photographer and although I've always wanted to learn, I've never got any further than watching YouTube tutorials and reading some photography tips blog posts. One thing I had on my side was my good old friend Pinterest for inspiration and the benefit of being able to take the photos at any time. There was no risk of a screaming, hungry baby during our two hour time slot with a paid photographer. Our set-up was just a few feet away, and we could wait until Oliver was suitably fed, and in a super deep sleep before we attempted anything.
I took our photos on a canon 600d SLR, but you definitely do not need a camera like that to do your own photos. The cameras on iphones and new smart phones are enough to produce really good quality images, especially if you use an editing tool afterwards.
So, here's my tips for a DIY newborn photoshoot:
1. Get inspired - my top source of inspo for everything in life is Pinterest and I got so many ideas from searching newborn photography. My advice would be to avoid over-ambitious poses like when the baby has their head in their hands - leave those poses to the professionals (and photoshop). Luckily babies are so beautiful that you don't have to do much to get a lovely result.
2. Photo props - Oliver was born in October so I went for an autumnal theme and picked up some artificial leaves and wicker pumpkins. We already had a wicker basket in our living room which, once we'd padded it out with a few throws, worked perfectly. Search newborn photography props on Amazon for beautiful knitted outfits, cushions and everything else you might need.
3. Create the set - Find the place in your house that gets the most natural light, set up any props you have and take a few test photos to check the light and find the best angle. Do all of this in advance so that once your baby is fed and in a deep sleep, you can pop him/her in place and get snapping.
4. Prepare before nap time - Make sure you don't need to do anything other than move your baby from one place to another for the photo. If you want your baby to be naked then make sure they're naked when they fall asleep. We let Oliver fall asleep in his nappy, wrapped up in this big blanket and all we had to do was lift him from the couch into the basket when he was fast asleep.
Once you're finished you can lighten, brighten, sharpen or do whatever you like with editing apps or software on your computer. I used basic Picasa editor to lighten mine ever so slightly. We ordered copies of the photos from snapfish and we even ended up using vistaprint to make them into thank you cards for all our gifts. I'm so glad we have some lovely photos of our baby in his first few days and I'll always cherish them. Even now, just three months later, I can't believe how tiny he used to be.
Did any of you do your own newborn photo shoot?