The days with your newborn baby go by so fast! In the early days you’re in a delicious, fuzzy warm fog of sleeplessness and snuggles. But before you know it you’ll be walking them to school – I’m not even kidding! Whilst we’re yet to find a way to keep our babies tiny, we can try to capture their everyday changes at home!
You may decide to hire a professional to mark the occasion and take some beautiful photos of your new little family. But the photographer can’t be with you every day, and they really do grow and change so quickly! So here are my top 10 tips to help you capture precious memories of your newborn using your camera phone!
1.Turn the flash off and use natural daylight. Natural daylight is very flattering on skin tones. Direct sun (or a flash) can cause harsh shadows, and make it difficult for the camera to read the light properly. Instead, make sure you are near a window with good natural light coming through, whilst avoiding any direct sunlight. Turn your baby towards the window so that soft light is falling gently onto his or her face. If sunlight is streaming through the window, take a step or two back to ensure you stay in the well lit area yet out of the sun.
2. Shadows can be your friend. Shadows can add really interesting detail and texture to a photo. Look at how the light falls and play around.
3. Keep colours and backgrounds simple. Clear the background of clutter if you can, to minimise distraction.
4. Keep baby happy. Ensuring baby is well fed, comfortable and ideally sleepy will keeps things easier for you to capture some co-operative shots!
5. Photograph by the month. This is a great way of showing just how quickly your baby is growing and developing! Try taking the same photo every month, in the same spot, even maybe wearing the same clothes! You’ll be left with a gorgeous set of 12 images of your baby’s first year that you can frame and hang on your wall. I’ve used this frame for the monthly photos I took of my little boy in his first year and I included a few maternity photos and detail shots too. I photographed him in a washing basket every month and the memories were so worth the effort!
6. #ExistInPhotos! Don’t forget to be in the photos with your baby! Set your camera to self timer if necessary – the only thing you’ll regret is looking back and wishing you had more photos of you with your new bundle!
7. Don’t forget the detail. Cameras these days can get you pretty close to your subject. Tap on the screen to focus and meter the light for the area you want to photograph. Don’t be afraid to move in and capture the detail of their tiny hands or feet – one day you’ll forget just how tiny those little fists were! Use your hand against your baby’s for scale. Think about different angles too – by keeping your baby in the same spot, but by moving around him or her you can get very different looking shots.
8. Edit sparingly. Whilst it’s always best to get it as right in camera as you can, it’s not always that easy. There are some really powerful apps available which can help you tweak your photos to make them really sing. The LightRoom app is a great one, and it’s free. Edit sparingly though, as you still want your little darling to look like your little darling! Lighten, brighten, crop and off you go.
9. Save, save, save your images. Back up, back up again, and back up a third time. Your photos are so precious. Keep them organised as your library of memories grows.
10. Print your photos! Finally, print your photos so that you can enjoy them every day. They are not much use to you on your hard drive! Print them, share them, enjoy them. Tangible memories are the best kind!
Emma is a newborn photographer at Emma Jackson Photography. She offers light-infused in-home newborn sessions, and will come to your home in the early days to photograph your new bundle, making it as easy as possible for you. You don’t need to travel or pack any bags, and the session is led by your baby. There is no posing, no props, just naturally beautiful images.