Although I’m not a newborn photographer, I have done a few newborn sessions for friends and have gained some significant experience in the last few weeks with the addition of my third child. Being the baby of a photographer, he’s been initiated into the family with several photo sessions.
Often, the hardest thing about newborn photography is getting the baby to be calm and asleep. Because of this reason, give yourself plenty of time when scheduling newborn sessions. During the session, here are a few tips for soothing the baby.
You can go from this:
Tip #2| Use a hair dryer. The noise and warmth of a hair dryer on a low setting at a far distance from baby can give a soothing effect. If it very important to keep the hair dryer several feet from the infant so that the baby does not get too hot or burned. Once baby is settled, or you feel you’ve had the hair dryer on too long, turn the hair dryer away from baby. You’ll need an assistant for this. Don’t try to do this and shoot at the same time. Safety is the highest priority.
Tip #3| Listen to what the baby is telling you. Two of baby’s greatest needs are eating and burping. I’ve found Priscilla Dunstan’s research to be extremely helpful in figuring out what the baby needs. There are very clear indications of when baby needs to eat or when baby needs to burp. Also, because gas that doesn’t get out in a burp in the morning can cause abdominal gas in the evening, try scheduling sessions in the morning.
Tip #4| Be flexible and calm. I tend to get flustered during newborn sessions. I’m not a baby whisperer and sometimes find myself all hot, sweaty, and frustrated. It’s important to relax, keep calm, and have patience. If you’re flustered, it’s much harder to calm baby. If a pose you’re trying to achieve won’t work, try something else. You or your client might be determined to get a hands propping up the face pose, but if that isn’t working, be open to more organic and natural poses. (I sense this is the upcoming trend in baby photography anyway!)
Tip #6| Embrace the awake face. If baby is calm, but just not falling asleep, go with it.
I hope you’ll be able to utilize these tips to soothe the newborns you’ll be photographing in your upcoming sessions!
Don’t Miss Our Ultimate Newborn Photography Guide. An amazing FREE resource for all photographers!