If you’ve photographed a newborn baby, you know there is going to be a lot of pee, poop and crying on the babies part and probably a lot of sweating on your part. Here are a few tips we’ve learned to utilize when things go wrong at your newborn photography session.
1. Stay calm & use a soothing voice.
Newborn babies are happiest when their environment is calm, quiet and soothing. Make sure your voice and body language reflect that throughout the session.
2. Ask mom to sit far across the room or go to the next room for a few minutes while dad takes over.
If the baby is really fussy, we typically ask our moms if they will wait in the next room or sit far across the room as fussy babies will smell mom and want her… even if they have full bellies. Most moms are happy to relax for a few moments and let us or dad take over to try to calm baby and get a few photos. Usually this works great and gives dad a job to help.
To go along with this, we also work plenty of extra time into our Newborn Sessions so that mom will be able to soothe a crying baby either with a little one-on-one cuddling time, changing their diaper or by feeding them. This many times, will calm the baby right back to sleep.
3. Use a white noise to calm the baby.
- We both own iPhones that we have downloaded white noise apps onto. Angie prefers QuietNoise (99 cents) while Amy likes to play White Noise by TM Soft ($1.99). There are also many free white noise apps available as well. You can find small speakers to plug into your phone, so it’s not right next to baby.
- Bring a white noise machine to the session with you.
- Turn on a computer and go to one of these free white noise websites: Rainy Mood, Sound Sleeping, White Noise 24/7, Nap Sounds, and White Noise Player
- We’ve worked with babies who don’t like white noise but will calm immediately when a familiar song is playing (like the lullaby on their swing). In that case, we’ve pushed the play button over and over again so their favorite music can play and they remain calm.
4. Warm up the room.
If you are so warm that you are perspiring profusely, then the newborn baby that you are working with is probably going to be very happy. Even in winter, we dress in light tops and are prepared to sweat our way through a session to keep the baby happy and calm.
5. Have extra props and blankets for accidents.
There are many beanbags that are made just for the newborn photographer. We’ve also found that the Boppy Nursing Pillow can be your best friend during a newborn session.
6. Keep wipes handy.
No explanation needed on this one…they are very much needed!
7. Try something else.
If the baby will not hold still or stay in that cute position… think of another pose. Maybe mom holds the baby and you get some close-ups. Sometimes those candid moments end up being precious even when the baby is crying.
Don’t worry, we all have sessions like this…
No matter how stressful it may seem at the time, the mother of that newborn will no doubt be thrilled by what you capture of her precious little bundle of joy!
What are some newborn photography tips that have worked for you?
Don’t Miss Our Ultimate Newborn Photography Guide. An amazing FREE resource for all photographers!