Newborn Photo Shoot Help

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by kimberlygfeller, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. kimberlygfeller macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2009
    Hello there, i'm new to these boards, but they have so far been very fun to stalk! lol

    I am a young photographer and I am just starting out...building up my portfolio. In the next several weeks I am going to have a few newborn photo shoots that will take place in their homes.

    If any of you have done newborn shoots before, do you have any tips for me?

    I definitely want to take naked pics but how do you keep little lads from peeing everywhere?

    My main question is with the lighting. What kind of lighting should I set up? I know I can do a lot with the natural light, like from a window, etc. But if it is a cloudy day, should I just set up a softbox? As of right now, I do not have any lighting equipment, because I do all of my shoots outdoors. So, I need to know what to purchase, how to set it up, etc.

    I understand this might be a lot, but if anyone could help me, I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks :)
  2. Mousse macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2008
    Flea Bottom, King's Landing
    Not for money. I've only done newborn photos of my kids. They're asleep most of the time, so forget trying to pose them unless you have Mom holding the ankle-biter. If Mom has unslightly hands and arms, have an aunt with attractive hands/arms holding the baby. I usually want to capture the emotional connection between mother and child.

    There are pee-pee tee-pees available at Babies 'R Us and the other baby stores.

    Stick with what you know. A paying customer is no place to test out new equipment and techniques. It's not fair to the customer and it could do irreparable damage to your reputation as a photographer.
  3. kimberlygfeller thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2009
    I looked into the teepees, i'm going to have to find a place to purchase them!

    Also, I don't charge for my shoots right now, i'm just building my portfolio with the help of family and friends. I have told them I do not have any experience with newborn photography, but if I did get lighting equipment I would definitely master it before going to a shoot.

    Thank you for all of your help!
  4. davegregory macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2009
    Burlington, Ontario
    I just finished doing a photoshoot of a 2 month old child this weekend. I did it at the client's house, using window light and a softbox mounted on my 580EXII flash. The box I used was a Lasolite EZBox that was 2ftx2ft. It worked perfectly. Just remember, the closer you can get the box to the subject, the better. It will give you softer shadows. Also, just a good tip for shooting babies. Show a picture of them grabbing their parent's finger or something like that. Anything that shows how tiny they really are. It's hard to get that perspective when it's just them in frame. Good luck.
  5. Woodrow72 macrumors member


    Nov 16, 2008
    First of all congratulations on starting your business and building a portfolio. I am at a similar stage in my photographic career and it has been a blast. I think by not charging them you are making a very smart decision, it seems like if you arent getting paid for it a little of the pressure goes away.

    I just did my first newborn shoot in september and had most of the same questions you did. I researched "newborn photography" through the internet and other photographers examples and that seemed to help me a lot. I had the same lighting questions and I figured out (unfortunately after the shoot) that a dedicated flash with a soft-box would have helped greatly. Also if you have a fast lens that can help as well. Here is an example of the shoot I did

    Good luck, and I would love to see the samples after you are done!
  6. kimberlygfeller thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2009
    Thank you for your response, it was very encouraging! I shoot with a rebel xti and I went out and purchased a speedlite 430ex ii last night! I am excited, but now I have to figure out how to use it! I don't have a softbox - do you think i'll be ok without one?

    Your shots are great! Little Aiden is a cutie :) My husband and I might name our first son Aiden! It is between Aiden and Ian. No, i'm not pregnant yet, but we have names picked already! lol

    I know, one of the main reasons I don't charge is because it takes away most of the pressure! Although, people usually give me money anyways even though I refuse it over and over again!

    Here is my website:

    Thanks for your reply!

    P.S. I've decided I love your work - especially your couples' shoots and landscape shots!
  7. Woodrow72 macrumors member


    Nov 16, 2008
    I am still learning as far as lighting and flash go so I will let someone else on here answer that question. But I would recommend picking up any book by Scott Kelby, he is a great teacher and has some awesome information.

    Aiden is a cute little guy, his mom is one of my really good friends. And thats not weird that you have names picked out, my wife isnt pregnant yet either and I already know what I want to name my girls and boys (all my girls will be from songs).

    Thats funny that people give you money still, I have the same problem. I went so far as to threaten my sister in law that if she tried to pay me I would delete all the pictures lol.

    Thank you for the compliments on my photo's it is a never ending learning process and I think that is what I love the most.

    P.S. Your portfolio is good, you are great at placing people, which is something I'm still trying to master.
  8. mtbdudex macrumors 68000


    Aug 28, 2007
    SE Michigan
    My wife attended a newborn infant massage class and I took some shots of those. It was neat because mother/newborn bonding, yes they (infants not mothers) were all butt naked and cute as could be. Eye-eye contact, simple smiles, etc.

    Good luck.
  9. littleman23408 macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2009
    Hi there,
    I have done quite a few new born shots and also group new born shots. It was alot of fun and 3 or 4 hours passed quickly. I do them for my sister and some of her friends that have new borns.

    I use a very fast lens and just open all the windows (or curtains/blinds to let light in) at the house. I take it down to about F/2 - F/1.8. When I am taking the pictures I don't try to pose the children, we just let them react naturally to the given situation. By playing with toys in front of the children and snapping photos of their laughs, or if they are older, the dad will hold one by their feet and swing them around.

    For a group shots, one way I frame a picture is have the father/mother sit in each others laps with their feet on the couch and whoever is in front is holding the baby while the parents just kind of watch their child. It's a little hard to explain, but if you get the emotion just right you will make for a wonderful picture.

  10. stagi macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2006
    For the infant work that I do I normally just use natural light (and higher ISO's or fast lenses opened up) For small children I think strobes going off a lot can distract them and get in the way of you getting natural images. If I really have to I would setup one of my strobes and just use the modeling light so its consistent and not flashing, but I really never get into this situation. There always is enough light in one of the rooms in the houses.

    Depending on your camera you might want to shoot at 1600 (if it gives you results you are happy with) and shoot at 2.8 (or lower). Some of my work is on my site ( under lifestyle. I haven't updated this section in awhile but there are some indoor baby shoots in there.

    Good luck and have fun!
  11. soLoredd macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2007
    I concur, you need a very fast lens. My son is 7 months old now and it wasn't until recently I got a Speedlight for my XSi. I think with my 50 1.8 the pictures were a lot nicer and crisp compared to the ones I tried with the flash. He blinks so much due to the flash that almost every shot taken with the Speedlight has a blur where his eyes are.

    I need to try using more natural light and the Speedlight together. Just haven't had a lot of time lately to fool around with it. When he was a newborn and asleep, it was easy to just set up a tripod and go that route. Got some very nice shots.

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