At first glance I thought, "How hard can it be? Once the baby is asleep you just pose them in all sorts of interesting ways and you get amazing shots. It's almost like taking pictures of a bowl of fruit." Those thoughts just prove that I have never tried to take newborn photos before now (not ones of any value at least).
My sister-in-law agreed to let me try my first trial photo shoot on her adorable new little girl. So with camera, boppy, white sheets, and my own 4 month old in tow I arrived on the scene, ready for action.
When it was all said and done I carried away several lessons:
1. The more props the better. I'm fighting the temptation to run out and buy many fuzzy blankets, hair accessories, furniture, some kind of portable white backdrop, and several more things that I see in professional newborn photos.
2. It takes a lot of time. I knew this but didn't really plan for it. There is a lot of soothing, nursing, comforting, more nursing, positioning, etc. that takes place before you're even able to get the shot.
3. I need more confidence. My desire is to know exactly what I'm looking for and then explain to the mom how to get there. As it was, I was doing a lot of asking, musing, sighing and trying to figure it out as I went along.
4. The best place to take photos is on your own turf. I really feel as though I know my environment better. I know the lighting and how it hits certain places during the day. I know how to set the stage and position things. It's much harder to do this in someone else's house when I haven't had time to evaluate positioning, lighting or anything else.
5. A space heater is a must. I was unprepared here. I should have brought my own, had it set up and gotten the room nice and toasty before even introducing the baby into the scene.
I definitely have a LONG way to go and am looking out for more new babies that I can "practice" on. I would love to give anyone a free photo session so I can learn more about what it all takes. Here are the shots I ended up with. Like I said, I definitely have a long way to go and much to learn. The only thing that saved me with this one was that she is so adorable!
My other comfort...that professionals Tracy Raven and Kelly Ryden, who were interviewed on the Today show, said that little girls (espeically those around 6 or 7 lbs) are the hardest to photograph. So I'm blaming all of it on that (not the fact that I am a complete amateur at this point).