10 Professional advice of how to take great newborn photography

Newborn photography and baby pictures have become more popular than ever, especially as we are going through these conditions of quarantine due to the spread of the Coronavirus, so this is a great opportunity to capture precious moments before they grow up.

Professional baby photographer Karen Wiltshire shares 10 important newborn photography tips, these steps can be taken to professionally photograph newborns at home.

In this series of 10 professional advice, professional selfie photographer Karen Wiltshire explains how to take great newborn photos that you’ll be proud to hang on the wall, post on social media, or even participate in a photo contest.

Use manual mode

newborn photography

Karen Wiltshire (Left side) shares her experience with Heather Brodhurst
Karen explains: “Because we were using supplemental lighting, I told Heather to put the camera in Manual mode. The shutter speed on my camera is 1/160 sec. We kept the aperture at f / 4 because I don’t want a lot of image detail to become. Out of focus. And sensitivity to light ISO set it at 100. ”

Yes – use studio lights!

newborn photography

“I was so amazed that we were using the lights,” says Heather. “In my beginners courses I learned that it is not necessary to use lights with children,” but as Karen said, “This is nonsense!” It is difficult to get the appropriate lighting pattern, because children have such small noses, but I put the basic lights on top, and the mother of this child asked his eyes to remain open while he looked around.

Preparation is the key in this photography

newborn photography

Preparation is the key. Plan the workflow so that you can easily move the child from one position to another. Make sure your camera and memory cards are ready, and that props, hats, and blankets are easily accessible.

It is also important to be calm and relaxed throughout the filming, so that the child feels safe and comfortable with you. Parents also need to feel confident in your work if you are conceiving someone else’s baby.

And newborns may have a hard time regulating their temperature, so you need to keep the room warm – 71-75 degrees Fahrenheit / 22-24 degrees Celsius is ideal. Make sure the blankets and sheets are warm, as the temperature changes will irritate the baby and cause him to cry.

Tools of the profession

As a professional photography professional, Karen uses the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV as a full-frame, full-frame camera that is highly preferred for professional photographers. I usually pair it with a Canon EF 24-70mm f / 2.8L II USM lens, but here I used a Canon EF 24-105mm f / 4L IS USM lens where the other lens was in the repair!

And as always, there is no right or wrong camera – the right camera is the one you have. The best DSLRs and the best mirrorless cameras are all equipped to do the job.

Pre-start photography by doing a photometry

If you are using a supplemental light, a light meter should be used so that you know exactly what you are doing; You don’t want to tune in and loiter when baby is in position. Prepare props and scenery ready to shoot, then measure the light before putting the baby in place. If you don’t have a photoepilator, use the built-in camera focus counter to adjust exposure.

Keep the focus properly

Karen uses a single fox point on the autofocus mode (you can follow this explanation in the video on how to focus a single fox point), fixing one fox point is easier, and she uses an aperture of f / 4 more than f / 1.8, because it is more suitable for photographing infants. That is why using one focus point gives you greater control over the focus, and always try to focus on the eyes.

Right Light

Karen prefers to use a pair of Profoto-and-Bowens lights. The largest lighting setup used, for photographing props and backgrounds at ground level, is the Profoto Softbox RFI 4ft Octa with Bowens Gemini GM250R. For photography and to photograph the baby basket I used the slightly smaller Profoto Softbox RFI 3ft Octa Light with Bowens Gemini GM200RX.

Safety first

newborn photography

You should always set safety limits in your knowledge. Ask your dad or mom to sign up if necessary. Be gentle, and never force a child to be in a position where he or she is not comfortable. Karen says, “Also, a full stomach makes the child more comfortable.” “Babies need to be fed every 20 minutes, and some can go for hours without feeding. But do not ask the child’s mother to feed him more than necessary during the filming period.

Props and backgrounds

newborn photography

It is essential to have a cool background. For her props, fabric, and backdrops, Karen suggests the Baby Prop Shop – for special baby photography designs.
“I took the pictures, and sent the files to be printed, so I can have all these different settings,” Karen says. It’s printed on a waterproof plastic canvas, which does not wrinkle or unravel ”.

Increase the volume

Karen recommends staying calm around the baby and walking on tiptoe. You have to do the opposite, as the noise will actually help calm the baby! In addition to turning on the radio, download a white noise app for your phone. Karen uses MSoftTM’s White Noise Baby mobile app to get the right sounds during the photo shoot.

About the photographer

After 23 years working in a magazine printer, Karen Welchira established her own studio in Dorset in 2011. She was the first to gain professional status in Children’s Portrait Studio by the Syndicate of Photographers, twice winning the Photographer of the Year award, and also holds workshops as part of Baby Whisperer Academy. For more information visit her website