How sweet are these brothers? They are two of four! I have a feeling these two have a lifetime of memories ahead. Big brother was so proud to be with his little brother. And then he just looked at me and made these images happen. I’d say, he’s a natural. Not a “normal” two-year old session, that’s for sure.
The yawn. One of my FAVORITE newborn image. I love how it’s a whole body experience for them, and looking at the image brings back so many sweet memories.I shot this session in a WARM home (mom pumped up the heat before I arrived, my suggestion), and in front of a window with great light. I always bring a heating pad and warm up any place I am going to lay the new baby. It really helps them stay asleep and relaxed. Next time I need to remember how warm the house can be, and dress accordingly.
Capturing siblings together can sometimes be tricky depending on who close in age they are. It’s hard to get them to all look at you, and attend to the newborn safely. This time I skipped that and just had them draw their attention to baby brother. Mom was thrilled how this session turned out. A happy client, is the best client
Grandma was at the home taking care of mom and the family when I was there. I asked her if she would like to pose with the baby for a shot or two. She was reluctant, (since she was cooking and not really “ready” for pictures) but I love how these turned out. What special images to have for your children when they are grown. Note to photographers: Consider suggesting grandma, or other special family member be present during a in home lifestyle session. They are a great help with kid wrangling, and you might even be able to get them to step in front of the lens for you too.
Newborn photography is not my specialty. There are so many amazing professionals out there that do AMAZING work. BUT newborns are so yummy, and when a friend has one, well I run over as soon as possible to cuddle them up. This little guy was no exception.
And what a pretty mama! Four boys in tow, she is one of the best mothers I know. (I was so not trying to rhyme there.)
What a fun time I had photographing this St. Louis area family a few months ago. When photographing newborns it’s always a good idea to give yourself a lot of time and arrive prepared. We had our share of “accidents”, feedings, and diaper changes, so I was glad I had slotted a few hours for this shoot.
I always send an email to the parents letting them know what to expect. Parents have said this really helps and puts them at ease when they hand off their fresh newborn to a “stranger”.
Of all my clients, new parents require the most sensitivity. They are tired, sometimes hormonal, and almost always nervous about either the shoot, you, or how their baby will behave. (Or sometimes all three). It’s your job as a photographer to make them feel as comfortable as possible, as well as get the best photos you can. This takes patience and experience.
I try to start off by just hanging out with the family. I explore the house for the best light, while they get used to the idea that I have arrived to photograph their newborn. Then I talk to them for a bit about the baby, how it’s going, etc. This gives me sometime to gauge their personality and the normal expressions of their faces (assuming you are taking some photos with the parents). There is nothing like seeing a photo that doesn’t represent your personality at all, is there? Then I start shooting.
Newborns can’t really pose, so sometimes it’s waiting for them to make the cutest face, yawn, or open their eyes. Other times, I actually pose the child by setting them how I want, and holding them there for a few seconds until you feel them relax. For example, if you want a hand on a cheek, place the sleeping child’s hand there. Then keep you fingers on it for a few seconds until the baby relaxes. Let go, and shoot.
In my bag of tricks for newborn photo shoots:
- heating pad (and extension cord)
- extra blankets
- a waterproof crib mattress pad (This is great for folding under any blanket or material you are putting the baby on.)
- a burp cloth (I usually ask the parent to led me one.)
- trimmed nails (I don’t want to scratch the baby I am trying to photograph.)
- quiet accessories (Not the time to wear the bangle bracelets or noisy earrings.)
- warm hands (I try to warm up my hands before I hold the babies when they are undressed. This helps them stay asleep, or at least feel less uncomfortable if they are awake.)
- a list of poses (Sometimes I actually write out a list, sometimes I have a list in my head. Sometimes mom or dad has provided some sort of a list, or ideas of what they want. And sometimes, you just have to go with the flow and what the parents are comfortable with.)
I recently captured this adorable newborn, John. Isn’t he yummy. It isn’t often that I catch newborns wide awake, so this was a special treat. He wasn’t as in love with me, as I him, so I worked fast, and I think the photos turned out well in the end.
I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating, newborns are not usually known for their clear complexion. This can become a distraction in a photo and sometimes a disappointment to the parents. For this reason, I find it’s most flattering to photography newborns in black and white.
You know who you are. The parent who looks down on their child and says, “Say Cheese!” [We’ll deal with cheese another day.] Do you really think you’re getting the best shot of your messy cake eater or toothless star? With a quick bend of your knee, I promise you’ll get a shot you can be proud of.
1- Level your camera (and this INCLUDES camera phones) with your subject’s eyes. (This applies to pets too!)
2- Center your subject in the view finder frame.
I know, easy right? Try it for a week and see what you get. I bet you’ll be impressed with yourself. I know I will be.
P.S. From time to time, you might find you like the looking up shot, and that it’s appropriate. I’m totally cool with that. I agree actually. On adults it’s usually more slimming. Sometimes you get brighter eyes too. But let’s limit this pose for special occasions, and not the daily facebook post for grandma. Cool? So glad we agree!
Free Birth Announcement! It’s baby season around here. I’ve been doing a lot of newborn photo shoots over the last few weeks. I whipped up this free birth announcement template to share with you.
Sized for 5×7 high-resolution template. For personal use only.
Download by clicking here.
Save the image to your desktop.
Open the png file in Photoshop. (It might work with other programs, just give it a try, and let me know.)
Place your photo in the layer named “PLACE YOUR PHOTO HERE”
Resize your photo.
Add your own text in the grey box and circle space.
Print (or send to printer. I like to print here and here.)
To email or post on Facebook, re-size the file to 500 pixels wide and “save as” a jpg image. I’d love you to tag us in your Facebook post if you use this template.
Don’t have photo editing software?
Send us your print ready photo and we will add the template and text for you. Cost is $10 per final piece. Service does not include photo editing. We will email you a proof within 48 hours of payment. One set of changes may be made and may include photo and/or text. Send request and high resolution photo to email @ resatroyer.com
Artwork is property of Resa Design, LLC. It may not be resold in any way.
I must confess, this is a photo of one of my children. My mother HATES this picture (not the kid, just the picture). I remember when she first saw it she said, “Why would you take a picture of him screaming? It’s so sad.”
Why not? Babies spend so much time crying, that I think every parent should have one photo in the archives to show the child once he’s grown. Because, sure, I have thousands of pictures of all the happy moments, but this is real life in all it’s reality. And I can still remember how he sounded and how only I could make that face go away.
Some other, less than thrilling moments, worth capturing:
The tears and skinned knees of the first bike fall.
A face covered in chicken pox.
The casted kid and the culprit (i.e. on the bed, with the skateboard)
Too mean? Do you take pictures of your children on their worst days too?