Try saying the words “I am a professional baby photographer” to other professional photographers and watch them have shocked expressions. The shock or shiver they express is not due to the fact that there is something such as a baby photographer but the fact that you can handle photographing babies. Babies are generally known to be unpredictable and tricky to handle so do not worry, they might have shocked expressions but that does not mean they do not respect your courage.
If you are still trying to get the hang of handling a baby photography shoot or you are considering venturing into it but are still unsure of what to expect, then the following hints are for you:
Hint #1 – Why is photographing babies deemed as a tough job?
The fact that babies generally do not like to move around due to the fact that they are unable to support their weigh yet makes baby photography shoot difficult for most people to handle. This is because they are quite unpredictable when they are between the ages of a few days old to 4 months old. A baby that is immobile makes it difficult for certain poses or postures to be attained by the photographer and this can frustrate the photographer.
Hint #2 – Knowing how to handle the immobility and unpredictable nature of babies
During your baby photography shoot, a good idea would be to place the baby on a soft surface (bed, pillow, and cushion) and try lying next to it with your camera to get a good angle on the picture. Not only is the baby the main focus of the camera lens but it gives you a close up shot of the lovely soft features of the baby.
Hint #3 – Have more tricks in your bag for older babies
The reason why parents have a baby photography shoot is to document the growth of the baby so it will not be surprising that the parents have a shoot once in a while. If you happen to be shooting babies that have attained the age of 5 months, then chances are they are quite good at facial expressions already. They are also mobile and know how to handle some of their body weight so expect them to smile and lift their hands and legs as well as respond to sounds. You should be taking advantage of this new ability by making use of sounds and toys to get them to respond to you. As you get them to respond to you with different sounds, make sure you have your camera shooting at the same time.
Hint #4 – Your studio or shoot location
Unless you are making use of the toys to grab the attention of the baby, then keep them away from arms reach as babies are generally grabby. They can also get easily distracted so you do not want to lose their attention by having them play with toys. Unless you intend for the toys to save as a feature in the picture then be aware of this.
If there is anything that baby photographers do best, it is making sure that the prep work is flawless. Prep work is crucial to the success of any and every baby photographer out there because babies are the kinds of clients that don’t really wait for anyone. The moment that the baby comes into the shoot, you need to make sure that you are able to get right on to taking the pictures. There should be no transitory lag in between. The moment that you hesitate and delay, you end up wasting precious time in between and you should try to avoid something like this as much as possible. Prep up the setting early on. Come in early for the baby photo shoot so that you will be able to go ahead and make all of the necessary arrangements needed to set the scene and to get the job done for the baby photo shoot. Lay out the studio or the room that you are shooting in. Arrange the props and the toys accordingly. Get everything ready so that you have all of the right things going for you once the baby starts coming into the shoot.
Be prepared for unthinkable
This sounds funny but baby photographers are always prepared for the unthinkable. When you are facilitating a baby photo shoot, anything can happen. This is something that will always turn out to be a part of the equation at the end of the day. This is the kind of thing that you will need to go ahead and figure out one way or the other. Get a nice box of toiletries for the baby photo shoot. Have a small pack of wet wipes, fresh towels, and other cleaning materials that you can use in the event that the baby barfs or has any other body fluids situation going on. Get things cleaned up fast so that you will be able to go ahead and get right on to the shot itinerary that you need to go through with at the end of the day. Babies have always been a bit of a handful to manage but for as long as you have all of the right cleaning supplies prepared ahead of time, you shouldn’t have too much trouble with it. The parents will appreciate the fact that you have actually put in enough thought into the shoot enough to prepare for moments such as those. It will reinstate the fact that you are an absolute expert in what you do when it all comes down to it.
The macro shots are the money shots and something that baby photographers don’t take for granted at the end of the day. The parents will always be looking forward to the macro shots. They are emotional and adorable at the same time. These are the kinds of shots that get reshared on social media a lot of time and at times go viral. You will really be able to establish your creative identity as a wedding photographer with your planned shots.
Have confidence in what you do, regardless of the amount of experience you have. Confidence is everything and can really help a lot especially during the times when you feel as if you are swimming in uncharted territory. If experience is something that you do not have on your side, there are still a lot of things that you can do to help you gain experience at some point. You can witch video tutorials. You can read about self-help articles, you can even get some classes so that you are able to get the most basic of trainings, at least. Arm yourself with enough knowledge and skills and you won’t ever have to worry about not knowing what to do. You can become the best newborn photographer you can ever wish to be.
Discuss all of the photo shoot details with your clients and listen to what they have to say. A newborn photographer should always discuss all of the details with his client. Find out if there are any poses or props in particular that they would like to use for the photo shoot. Discuss all of the little details down to a T until you are sure that everything is pretty much covered and accounted for. Make sure that you are able to manage the expectations of your clients. That should be a pretty surefire way in ensuring that satisfaction is always guaranteed.
Blankets and Bean bags
The kind of blankets and bean bags you use will greatly improve your chances of getting great looking photos. If you are going to invest in them (and they do not always come cheap, by the way), you might as well make sure that it is something that you get to do right. Go for blankets that are soft to the touch. Texture is quality is everything especially if you are using it for props for when you are taking photos of babies. Go for those that are thick and soft. And of course, make sure that you always work on keeping them clean and washed after every single use. Babies might pee or barf on them so go for something that is easily washable and for something that dries fast too.
Lighting is everything to a newborn photographer and should be something that you should pay a good amount of attention to. Babies do not like harsh lighting. A photo studio is also something that is usually enclosed so lighting is quite limited. What you can do is to position the area of the shoot somewhere that a lot of natural light can stream in so you can use it for your photos. You can try somewhere like a window or a door or something like that.
Keep the baby comfortable at all times. Babies should always be kept warm and snug and if they are not very comfortable, you will end up waking them up at some point and that is something that you would have to avoid doing especially if you are still barely halfway through your shoot at some point.