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Learn Newborn Photography

Do you want to Learn Newborn Photography?| Learn How To Do Newborn Photography

I’m glad you are here! Newborn Photography is my specialty and I absolutely love to teach others how to safely pose, and calm babies with easy soothing techniques. I am an Edmonton Newborn and Maternity Photographer that has been specializing in newborn photography for 11+ years. I’m always surprised at how many people are under the impression that learning or doing newborn photography is easy. Babies just lay there on the fabric and then you take the picture right? Well, I think every newborn photographer wishes it was that easy! There are several things that go into a newborn session before you even begin! Lets start with the items needed beyond the “camera & stuff”.

First I recommend that every newborn photographer has a dedicated room in their home, with little natural light that has access to a bathroom. If you do not have that, you can use a room in the home and block off most of the windows other than one main window. Searching for the right window, if you plan on using natural light, should be as large as possible. You’ll want to diffuse the light if you have direct sunlight shining through. You can diffuse the windows with frosted shower curtains. You may even need to double up on the shower curtains if there is a lot of direct light! If you have a room that you can dedicate to your studio, you can begin to organize it for efficiency.

Getting a studio light is Ideal. This allows for the best consistency for every newborn session. Giving you full control, studio lights will also help you learn lighting faster because its more direct. I recommend the Einstein from Paul C Buff. I also recommend a 64″ PLM with a white diffusion fabric on the front, and black cover on the back of the white umbrella. You’ll also want to get a light stand that is reversible. This means your light will be able to go low to the ground and give you more control of your lighting situation.

What do you pose on ? | Learn How To Do Newborn Photography

Next, you can use either an ottoman, dog bed that is raised off of the ground (I recommend the Large Coolaroo from amazon), a FIRM bean bag designed for newborn photography (I don’t use this anymore because I get terrible back pain from it), A card table that has extra strength and is secured from collapsing, or a regular table. Adding foam to all the options other then the bean bag is ideal for a soft surface for the newborn.

After, you should look into purchase some posing tools. These would be large, medium and small posing beans, or posers. These can be purchased on amazon as well!

Then you will need fabric. Lots and lots of fabric. Avoid blankets as they are too thick, and limit the control over your newborn baby posing tools. You want to pose the newborn on a firm surface. You can’t do that if the surface is super soft and flexible. Minimal give is important. Think Soft but firm!

I will put around 5 inches of foam on top of my dog bed, clip all corners so fabric is tight, and then place 11 – 13 layers of fabric on top of the posing tools. The posing tools will be placed on top of the foam.

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Of course you’ll then need to invest in plenty of Bonnets, Tiebacks (adjustable and dainty newborn headbands), wraps, and other newborn photography props.

What else do you need? | Learn How To Do Newborn Photography

Learning newborn photography must be done safely and is only achieved with the correct setups. So yes, there are more things that we need to add in to the mix. You’ll need a space heater and a fan. You can use the space heater to warm up the room before you move onto wrapped poses. Once baby is dressed and wrapped, then you no longer need to have the heater on. This is when turning the fan on can really help your set up! I do recommend a closed or smaller room for the naked portion because it helps maintain the warmth in the room for baby. However you do need to watch and make sure that baby does not get over heated! This is very important as a professional photographer. You need to know how to read the cues of the newborn baby. You never want to wrap too tight, over heat a newborn baby or do anything unsafe. These precious newborns are in our hands, and their parents are trusting us with them.

One way to help parents feel at ease is to also prep the parents for their newborn session. So before we can even bring that newborn into the shooting space, parents need to know how to prepare their newborn baby, and what they should bring for themselves to help the session go smoothly! I have a great newborn prep guide that you can grab to help you with this. You can grab it here! 

How old can a newborn be for a newborn session? | Learn How To Do Newborn Photography

So beyond the fact that so far we haven’t even gotten to lighting details, or camera settings – what are some other things to consider? First of all, age is a huge factor. Yes older babies sometimes can be posed into a variety of newborn poses, but the truth is that most newborns have a small window of under 3 weeks old, and usually the first 2 weeks are the best time. This allows babies to be sleepy, less sensitive to being moved around, and less stiff. Newborn poses can actually mimic some of the ways babies are inside the tummy. This is another reason why we don’t want to wait too long before you do this newborn session.

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So we’ve talked about:

  • A closed off room
  • One window for light or studio light
  • Heater & fan
  • Posing Bed & Posing tools
  • Fabrics – not blankets
  • Prep Guide for parents
  • Watching cues of babies and making sure they don’t get over heated etc.

Props for newborn photography | Learn how to do newborn photography

Props are something that are essential for newborn photography. Why? Because newborns don’t really like to be on a posing bed for very long. They like to be secure, and the best way to secure a newborn is with a wrap. Wrapping a newborn baby is the best way to pose them in props. There are several different types of wrapping tutorials and you can find some here. Some props for you to grab to begin your collection would be a wooden bucket, a wooden bowl, a basket and a newborn cradle or bed. These 4 props can give you a large number of choices when posing.

Education on posing newborns | Learn how to do newborn photography

You can be an incredible photographer. But that doesn’t mean you can do newborn photography. Newborn photography takes patience, skill and more patience. It’s always a challenge and it never gets old. Every session is different exactly how every newborn baby is unique. The best way to be an amazing newborn photographer is not just with free tutorials like you can find on my youtube channel “MomTog Educate“. But you need to invest in online education courses where they show real sessions, and all the procedures to produce a successful and beautiful gallery, or attend in person workshops. I also teach in person workshops, and I also have a beautiful channel for newborn photography tutorials that you can find here.

Lighting is probably the MOST important aspect of learning newborn photography and you can find my lighting tutorial here.


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