6 Important Soothing Techniques for Newborn Photography

August 3, 2012

in Newborn Photography, Photography Session Tips, Rachel Durik

Soothing Techniques for Newborn Photography Sessions | I Heart Faces Tutorial


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:

To this:

Tip #1| Make sure the room is warm. If you plan on undressing the baby, you’ll want to turn the thermostat up a few degrees so that baby is comfortable and warm.

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 #5| Swaddle. If the naked tooshie pictures aren’t happening, swaddle the baby. It looks cute and it’s comforting for baby.

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!

Newborn Photography Tutorials | Baby Photography Guide
Rachel Durik is a photographer located in Southwest Florida. You can learn more by visiting her photography site, Savor Photography, Naples Wedding Photographer, blog, or the Savor Facebook page.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

lita emianita December 25, 2012

calm and patient.. i think that;s the key.. just like taking picture on an animal. 🙂

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Diana Stanshop August 15, 2012

The photos are so cute. My nephew is so cute like the photo on the baby and I want to capture photos like this one.

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Jenn Sawtelle August 7, 2012

Great advice, Rachel, thanks! The photos of your son are gorgeous and he is absolutely precious. Enjoy him!

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Jhoanna Lyncon August 6, 2012

I like these soothing techniques for newborn photography since this could help me capture perfect photos for my little nephew. I will definitely use this techniques.

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Jennifer Taylor August 4, 2012

Nice to see some sane advice on this topic! So often I hear/read tips on how to get THE shot (you know the one…. hands under chin….) when a baby is crying and upset, and I want to yell, “Maybe that baby saying in the only way he can, ‘I don’t like what you’re doing to me!'” Thanks for reminding everyone that it’s OK to just go with what works for that particular baby at that particular time.

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Gezi Tatil August 4, 2012

They are like an angel when they are on sleep. 🙂

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Rachel Durik August 3, 2012

Jenna,

That awesome hat and blanket were made by my talented friend, Nikkii Hall. http://clinicallyfedup.com/

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Jean Smith August 3, 2012

Awesome tips Rachel! And huge congrats on your wee one!

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Life with Kaishon August 3, 2012

These tips are great Rachel! Thanks for sharing! : )

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Jeanna August 3, 2012

Great advice! Do you mind sharing where you got that super cute chevron blanket?

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Caroline (Frogmum/TMFH) August 3, 2012

Beautiful ~ and great advice 😀 Congrats to you too Rachel !

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Tara August 3, 2012

Great advice! I agree that we need to be calm and patient! If everyone is peaceful, the baby is much more likely to be calm as well! 🙂

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