Did you see my previous blog post with 'Plan B' for booked clients? If you're booked in with me and are worried your newborn photoshoot may be affected, please have a read.
I can't tell you how awful I feel about so many parents missing out on precious newborn images. So not only have I thought of a plan for customers, but for other new parents too. Anyone who has a session booked with me (or wanted to but didn't get round to doing it, get in touch if this is you) will be receiving a DIY kit, which includes a camera with a memory card, a beanbag, a blanket, wrap, hat and headband in any colour, and props and accessories. I will be giving them a guide on how to take SAFE poses at home, and then when I get the equipment back, I'll edit the photos on the memory card for them and email them over. This is a free service and it's in addition to still doing their professional photos when normal life resumes. You can read more info about this here.
The guide I mentioned above was initially just going to be for clients, but I've decided to share it here too, for everyone to have access to. At a crappy time like this, we all need some positivity so this will hopefully give parents a chance to get some gorgeous images at home, and it'll be a fun thing to try to pass this horrid time in isolation too. No equipment will be lent if you're not a customer, so it'll be your own props used and taken with your phone/ own camera.
Before I begin, remember, anyone who does want to book ANY type of shoot for the future, there's 25% the WHOLE package price until 24th April! Click here for more info!
1 - All images I have taken here were done using things I found around my home. I didn't use any professional equipment. I used natural light, a blanket from my daughters bed as well as the rug from her room, an egg basket, a washing basket, flowers from a vase, a scarf and a cardigan. So you can easily find things in your house to use as props, you just need to think outside of the box. For the base, if you don't have a beanbag then a sofa cushion or something soft. Whatever you use, do not leave your baby's side. Even newborns can roll off. Choose your colour scheme and go on a scavenger around your house for things to use, blankets/ throws, cushion covers, rugs, anything with texture. If you have any hats/ headbands and accessories, get these out too. You'll get more inspo as we continue...
2 - I did these photos in my conservatory at home. You'll need natural light, so a conservatory is perfect. If you don't have one, then next to a door/ window with lots of light. Make sure the sun isn't glaring into the room, you don't want to make baby too hot or burn them. Your photos will also look rubbish with direct sunlight! Make sure it's not too cold either, baby's lose heat very quickly so pop the heating on and don't leave them undressed for too long. See how baby is sunken in the middle of this beanbag? Try and do the same on whatever you use. This is a blanket from my daughters bed, it's not a photography prop. See the photos I took from this shot next...
3 - I didn't move the baby at all from the position in the previous photo. Make sure baby is laid comfortably, either in a nappy or outfit. But a little tip, nappies don't look great, but it's better than showing their private bits. If you have any fabric, drape this over the nappy. Or a fitted vest looks nice. Don't have anything too loose as you'll lose the baby. I took all of these images without moving the baby. All I did was change my position to get different angles. I took 3 here, but you can take many, close up and full shots. Mix it up with a headband/ hat too. Again this is my own daughters headband.
4 - As you can see, baby is still in the same position, still undisturbed. All I've done here is fold the bottom of the blanket up and over the body of the baby.
5 - Once again, baby wasn't moved, I just changed my position to get a few different shots. You can do this with baby's arms out, in or above. With or without a headband or hat. Or a mix of all for lots of different photos
6 - Here I put the blanket back down and turned baby onto their side. Once they're safely in position, drape a wrap over the nappy. Make sure baby is front heavy so they don't roll back onto their back and wake themselves up through shock. Baby's tend to naturally put their hands where they want them in this pose, but if you can avoid having hands in front of their face and more under the cheek it'll create a better photo. With this position, make sure their limbs aren't getting squished as they'll turn blue/ grey meaning blood isn't circulating, which is obviously very uncomfortable. Again, baby didn't move and I got multiple different photos from moving around the beanbag.
7 - Whilst baby is on their side from the pose above, pop a wrap underneath them by tucking it as far as you can underneath their body. Then gently roll them over and onto the other side so you can pull the wrap from under them. Then roll them back onto their back, and you have this. A little fabric to one side, and a lot on the other. Although you can pop baby on your lap to do this too if you feel safer doing so. This wrap is just a bit of fabric, you can use a scarf or similar for this, just make sure it's not an itchy fabric.
8 - We all know how to swaddle, so do exactly this, but just make sure it's a bit tighter than usual (but be careful not to do it too tight and cut off any blood circulation. If you're creative, try and fold it neatly to create a pattern as shown here rather than just wrapped messy and anyhow. You can do this with baby's arms in or out. Just like all of the other shots, I've shot from different angles without moving the baby at all. Again mix it up with hats/ headbands.
9 - Next there's props. Please be so careful with these as baby's can easily startle or roll out. Especially is the object is shallow as shown here. Make sure you or someone else is close enough to the baby to place hands on them in a flash if they show any signs of movement. Also make sure there's equal weight within the prop, if you put the baby too high up for example, it'll cause them to topple over head first.
10 - Here I laid the same blanket down I used before. You can either use another one or use the same one so all photos match. I then used a fruit basket from my kitchen as the prop, some flowers from my daughter's bedroom, and her cardigan for the basket stuffer. Then draped the same fabric over the nappy. Just like every other set, baby wasn't moved, and I managed to move around and get lots of angles and close up shots too.
11 - Same rules as the last shot, but just to get more variety I used a different prop. This is my daughters washing basket and fluffy rug from her bedroom, with the same flowers as before. I ruffled the blanket underneath the prop just to mix it up a little.
12 - Finally we have the sibling shots (if you have other children). Here I used my 18 month old and her doll, which she was very confused about! I popped the rug I used in the previous prop onto the beanbag, or you can do this on the floor (I do it on the floor in the studio). I then wrapped a scarf around my daughter for a more artistic look. But you can use a complimenting coloured top/ dress. I'd advise to swaddle the baby as it's easier and safer to pose with a sibling, and place on a child's open arm and ask them to cuddle. You can get a few shots here of them looking and kissing. Make sure someone is close by if your other child is young as little ones tend to just get up without warning not knowing the danger to their newborn sibling. If you have more than one child, just pop them the other side of the baby.
So I hope that helps you? I really do hope you manage to get some beautiful images of your new addition using this guide. If it's helped you, let me know and share your images on this post - there will be a competition for the best 'at home' shoot and an AMAZING prize of a complimentary photoshoot (for when work resumes) will be awarded to my favourite shoot, so make sure you comment with your photos! In the meantime, remember if you book a photoshoot, either maternity, newborn, milestone or cake smash for anytime in the future between now and April 24th 2020, you'll get a whopping 25% off the whole package price. Should you purchase a discounted session and then win this competition, you'll be reimbursed the price you paid meaning you will pay nothing for the shoot of your choice.
I can't wait to see everyone's images. So enjoy & stay safe! x
Disclaimer: Please take extra caution when taking these photos, a newborn baby is not a doll. I'm sure you'll use your own parental instinct but if you feel your baby is uncomfortable at any point, please don't force them into a position or pose. Not every baby will do everything you want. Also, it takes a lot of patience. As you're untrained I don't expect you to get this done within half hour like I would. It may take you a couple of days of coming back to it when baby is fed and sleepy. Don't put too much pressure on yourself, and make sure there's always a spotter to keep your baby safe at all times. I do not take any responsibility for what happens during your home shoot, my guide here is simply advice and it's at your own discretion if you try this.