I absolutely love all those fancy newborn baby photos….like the one of the baby and the deer. Seriously though, if that had happened to us my husband would have been running around trying to find his bow.
Ahhhh, the saga of a hunter’s wife.
Anyway, since newborn baby photos with a professional photographer are way outside our budget, we’ve never had those fancy schmancy photos done.
Poor Conner (our oldest child) didn’t even have newborn photos with a decent camera. I just used my old iPhone 3….and the photos came out pretty terrible since I had no clue what I was doing.
But now that I’ve been able to experiment with taking newborn baby photos with my youngest two kids, I’ve been able to score some pretty awesome shots of my babies. Granted, these aren’t professional photographer worthy, but they work for us. So, if you need a little help figuring out how to be your own amateur newborn baby photographer, here’s what I do:
You need to take your photos of your sweet new babe in a room with plenty of natural light or outside. Thankfully for us, our baby girl’s bedroom has plenty of natural light coming through so I just took all her photos in her crib.
My second child Collin had his pictures taken on the floor of our living room. Just figure out where in your home the best natural light comes in and take your photos there. If you are struggling with the lighting, you can always use a mirror to help you out.
Use a Mirror
If you’re struggling to get the lighting right, you can take a mirror and use it to reflect the natural light coming in through the windows onto your baby.
I used my Nikon P150 camera*, but you can use whatever camera you have on hand. If you have an iPhone, I strongly recommend you read the book, iPhone Only Photography by David Molnar. Even though I no longer have an iPhone, it enhanced the way I take photos on my smartphone in amazing ways. I haven’t taken his course, so I’m not sure if that’s a worthwhile investment, but I can tell you the book was awesome.
The only settings that I used on my Nikon was taking the flash off. I’m still learning all the various settings of my camera so for the most part, I just leave it on auto and then use PicMonkey to edit.
When you’re actually taking the photos of your sweet newborn, avoid taking them too close up. You want to be able to edit the photos as necessary, and if you zoom in you may be left with an overly pixelated photo. Also, don’t be afraid to try different angles – I’ve even used my coffee table as a stool to stand on to capture images.
I’m a huge fan of PicMonkey for editing photos. When cropping your photos, make sure that the “corner” points of your grid lines meet up with your focal point and avoid centering your focal point in the photo. You want to add depth to the photo by placing your focal point outside the center of the photo (in this case, my focal point was Charlotte’s face.
Adjust the brightness as necessary – don’t just use the auto adjust. Play around with the level of brightness, highlights, and contrast until your photo is just as you want it.
You can even use PicMonkey’s filters (the wand icon) to add even more effect to your photos – just remember to avoid overusing the special effects.
My photos are definitely not perfect, but taking my own photos has definitely been worth the money saved on newborn photos. And with a few tweaks here and there, you can be a better photographer than you were before.
[My favorite place for birth announcements is Shutterfly – just make sure to check for any special promo codes for discounts under their promotions link.]
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