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