Photography tips for Photographers - Newborn Photo Shoot Tips

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Planning any photo shoot requires meticulous planning, but a newborn photo shoot has a few additional challenges, since your subject is tiny and fragile.  When planning the shoot, keep in mind factors like safety and comfort of the newborn and mother as well use of specific props.  Here are some newborn photo shoot tips that will help ensure that your shoot goes off smoothly and that you end up with great photographs.

Timing:  

Plan the timing of the shoot keeping in mind convenience of the family.  Remember that the shoot will probably take at least a couple of hours.  Mid to late morning is the best timing to begin a newborn photo shoot.  The light is sufficient and the newborn is generally fed and rested at this time.
    

Location:  

The best and most practical location for a newborn photo shoot is the baby’s home.  Find a couple of spots where there is enough natural light to get good photographs (avoid using the flash for newborn pictures).  If the nursery has good lighting, great; if not, any other room or even the porch would be a good place to shoot.
    

Carry some basic props:  

Props can play a huge role in newborn photographs, especially newborn portraits.  When planning a newborn photo shoot, make sure you carry some basic props like a couple of baby blankets, a basket, some head bands and caps.  You can also use items present in the home as props, especially ones that are family heirlooms or have some special significance to the parents, for example, a crib that has been passed down generations or a blanket used by one of the parents.
    

Be prepared and ready:

 Make sure you have all your equipment for the shoot ready and set up at the time planned.  Newborns sleep most of the day and a lot of the time they are awake goes into feeding and changing.  Be prepared so you can make the most of the tiny window of awake time where the baby is awake and active.  You could capture a fleeting smile or cute expression.  Also be prepared with the props when the baby is asleep so you dress them, pose them and click, all very quickly.
   

Stay calm and patient:  

Babies can be unpredictable so your shoot may take much longer than you anticipated.  Even when awake, the newborn may be upset and cranky.  Stay calm and be patient through it all.  Make the best of your shoot – capture as many expressions as you can, both asleep and awake, try and get some lifestyle shots during feeding and changing times so that this time is not wasted, and most importantly, enjoy the shoot!

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