How To Use Window Light When Photographing Newborns

February 19, 2013

in Lighting, Newborn Photography, Photography Tips, Photography Tutorials, Rachel Durik

Newborn Photography Lighting Tips - Using Window Light for Newborn Photos


If you want to take better newborn images, check out our FREE Newborn Photography Guide with links to over 100 of the best newborn photography tutorials, tips and ideas compiled from across the web!

Newborn Photography and Lighting

When photographing a newborn session, I find that the easiest lighting is often window lighting. Using a single window, you can achieve several different looks depending on how you place the newborn in relation to the light.

Simple, Even Light

To demonstrate this, I called up a friend for an impromptu newborn session. We chose the room with the most light. It looked like this, with two windows near the bed.

I Heart Faces Newborn Photography Lighting

For the first few shots, I laid baby down on the bed. I used both windows as a light source. As a result, the light was even and simple.

I Heart Faces Newborn Photography Lighting

Using this same light, I was able to capture some wonderful detail shots as well.

I Heart Faces Newborn Photography Lighting

Facing the Light

Next, I had mom hold baby so that his face was facing towards one of the windows. She stood with her back towards the window and he was looking straight out the window. The light fell nicely on baby, putting the highlight on him in the image.

I Heart Faces Newborn Photography Lighting

Backlighting

Next, we used the other window for back lighting. By placing him on the bed with the window behind him, the light outlines his features beautifully.

I Heart Faces Newborn Photography Lighting

Angled Towards The Light

And for the last shot, I had mom stand against the wall behind the bed (moving the bed slightly away from the wall.)  I then had her angle her body towards the window so that her face was lit by the window. Again, the light creates a beautiful outline of her face.

I Heart Faces Newborn Photography Lighting

In this image, she’s standing close to the window and the edge of the window is in the picture to the right. I cropped out the window and then extended the canvas to create the final image.

So you see, in many cases there’s no need for a complicated light setup or a studio to get simple, beautiful portraits of a newborn. All it takes is a window and knowing how to get the most out of your light.

Rachel Durik Headshot copyRachel 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.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenny December 18, 2016

Great stuff 🙂

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whitni taylor October 7, 2014

Thank you for these awesome tips! 🙂 What lens were you using for this? I find it difficult t o find the perfect one for indoors and newborns!

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Victoria October 29, 2013

These are beautiful! I wonder what direction these windows are facing?? I have all South facing windows to work with and it’s definitely challenging, even when diffusing the light with a shower curtain, etc.

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Life with Kaishon February 19, 2013

This post was very good Rachel! So helpful! Thank you for sharing. Beautiful work.

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Amanda February 19, 2013

I LOVE all the blog post I get from you! You know how you sign up for email subscriptions but when you get the email you never really open it and sometimes even unsubscribe? Well, happens to me, haha. Well I love all the emails I get and they are always full of useful information or inspiration for me. Thank you so much! One of the best blogs ever!

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lisacng @ expandng.com February 19, 2013

Love these lighting tips! Would love to try with my newborn in July!

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Jenny February 19, 2013

doh~ Wish I had better window lighting myself. All I have it one window and a tinfoil board 😛

This is a great post though, thanks for posting it!

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