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Photographer’s How-To: Capturing Your Newborn + Giveaway

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Ask any experienced parent: Capturing your sweet sleeping baby in the nursery is a moment you’ll want to cherish because the reality is, it lasts for what  feels like only seconds when looking back. The truth is, my kids came out all red and pimply. One had “spider bites” while the other had “strawberry marks” as per my pediatrician.  So I admit, I was hesitant and now oh so regretful that I did not invest in a professional photographer to fill their album with magical, tiny newborn shots. Well, today I thought I would go straight to the source (And who knows? Maybe a third child will benefit from this down the road!). I reached out to the exceptionally talented Rebecca Thompson of Rebecca Joy Studios located in Victoria, BC. After only a few moments of browsing her newborn and maternity gallery, I wanted to know how she did it and how our readers could safely try to capture the same precious moments at home!

Top newborn styling tips according to Rebecca:

1. TIMING: Photograph your baby preferably within the first 10 days of life. The younger the better for deep sleep and more flexibility for posing them.

2. NATURAL LIGHT: Turn off your camera flash and use the natural lighting of a large window with soft, diffused sunlight. If warm enough head outside to use light from an overcast sky, shaded patio or sun spotted area under a tree.

3. WARMTH: Babies like to be very warm and cozy, so turn up the heat. Keep the photos simple and timeless by photographing your baby in the nude. Use a heating pad to prewarm a spot for baby to lie on. Remove pad before placing baby on the blanket.

4. FULL TUMMY: Be patient and allow sufficient time for baby to have a full feed. First undress baby and loosen the diaper to prevent marks. Wrap baby loosely in a warm blanket and feed until in a deep content sleep.

5. PROPS: Props should compliment the shot and not overwhelm the baby. Keep it simple with a knit hat or delicate headband. Gauze wraps can be used to swaddle baby or wrap snugly around baby to make a cocoon. Use a beanbag covered with a knit, faux fur or textured blanket for baby to be safely posed on. Keep the background clutter free.

6. DETAILS: Get close up to your baby or use the macro setting on your camera. Capture all the little details like tiny toes, squishy lips, back wrinkles and the whorl of baby fine hair. Baby’s tiny size can be emphasized by placing dad’s or mom’s hands in the shot. Be creative and photograph from different angles.

7. SAFETY: Put the baby’s safety first. Have your partner or friend assist you with the shoot and to be a spotter. Never put the baby in harms way in the quest for the “perfect image”. Leave the latest trends of poses for the professionals. There is more to the story then you see in the final image. Never do anything with your baby where you are not confident about their safety.

A big thank you to Rebecca, busy mother of two wee ones, professional photographer and Etsy shop owner for sharing her inspiring expertise and incredibly helpful photography hints! Our friends at Shutterfly believe it’s important that your new photography skills and beautiful baby should be cherished in one of their amazing new custom photo books! And from personal experience, they are the best on the market. Details are below:

GIVEAWAY ALERT! The first 5 readers to comment on how you will or how did you capture your newborn in photos win a free 20-page 8×8 photo book with hard cover. Taxes, shipping and handling charge will apply.  Offer does not include premium licensed photo books, leather, or padded covers. Good Luck!

brooke t

Tuesday 8th of November 2011

we never did newborn pictures on our 1st child... big mistake! I can't wait to have them done when we have #2


Wednesday 14th of September 2011

I can't wait to try out these tips. I took baby pictures of a my friend's new little boy and I wasn't sure that I was getting the best shots. I like how you said, take simple shots. As my baby girl will be due in less than 2 months, I am going to try this on her. Thank you.


Friday 13th of May 2011

When it comes to taking photos, I really have a lot of regrets. For one, I never had a maternity shot. Well, I hated the way I look when I was pregnant and photos of my bloated face and tummy made me cringe. But now, how I wish I had documented my baby bump. I also regret not taking many photos of my little girl when she was just a newborn, or at least taking her to a professional photographer's studio. These photos here have intensified those regrets. Sigh.


Thursday 12th of May 2011

Great idea! All new moms are obsessed with photographing their babies. Nice to share some tips and tricks from professionals! Xoxo Misty. Frosted Events


Wednesday 11th of May 2011

Crystal and Meredith - You should have gotten your codes this afternoon. My apologies for the delay! Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks and congrats again!