Mommy Maven Bentley Waters Takes the Perfect Newborn Photo
There is nothing more beautifully hectic than the first few weeks after giving birth. Somehow, in the midst of all the excitement and chaos, parents are expected to put together the perfect birth announcement to send out to friends and family – a difficult task even when your life hasn’t just been turned on its head with a brand new human being! Since most of us aren’t professional photographers, taking the perfect photo can be the first challenge to creating a cute birth announcement. I’ve asked my favorite photographer, Bentley Waters, to share her tips on taking the perfect newborn photograph.
A few tips for getting the perfect newborn portrait for your birth announcement.
A birth announcement should ideally go out within the first 6-8 weeks after the baby is born. This means you should aim to do your shoot within your first couple weeks after coming home from the hospital. In order to get that perfect shot I have a couple tips that will help things go as smooth as possible when photographing your newborn.
I like to keep things simple and really think all you need is a clean, plain white short sleeved, pantless onesie. It’s nice to see your babies arms and legs, which makes them look less “blob-like”. You don’t want anything to distract from your newborns pretty little face. A nice blanket underneath, with some color or a pretty pattern can add to the photos as well. And of course, you can choose to take the onesie off and shoot in the diaper or naked, just make sure the room is very warm. Newborns don’t like to be cold.
The best time to try your shoot is after the baby has been fed, burped and is perfectly content. They might drift off to sleep and that’s ok. A shot of a sleeping baby on your birth announcement is perfectly acceptable, and is very sweet. I also recommend shooting in the morning if possible vs. later in the day when babies tend to get cranky.
No need for flash, and your baby will thank you for not using it as well. Choose a spot in your home, preferably on a bed or somewhere you can easily get on their level. An ottoman works well too. Plan to shoot during a time of day when the room gets the best natural light. As mentioned above, the morning is a better time of day so try to shoot in a room that gets great natural light in the morning, or even a spot by a window will work too.
You can lie your baby on his stomach with him/her facing you, and the natural light. If you have a been bag or big stiff pillow, this is a nice prop to use underneath them, covered with a pretty blanket. You can also try swaddling the baby and lying him/her on their back, shooting overhead. If they don’t like to be swaddled, you can still lie them on their back to shoot overhead. Take a few shots of just the face, from the mid-chest up, and a few full lengths. Shoot horizontally, as well as vertically so you have both options when choosing an announcement.
Choosing the birth announcement:
I love Minted and PaperCulture and often send my clients to their sites. They both offer a wide variety of modern and fun designs that will coordinate with your photo. If you can’t find a design that coordinates with the colors in your photo I suggest converting the photo to black and white.
AND If all else fails, you can always call Bentley Waters Photography to come and help!