Posing a Newborn Infant ~ 7 Pointers
Posing a newborn infant requires both thought and skill. While certainly not an exhaustive list, here are seven pointers that have served me well.
1. Get organised.
Artists don’t tend to make great administrators, but getting organised is not really an option for a newborn photographer. With a little thought and planning, even an artist can be sufficiently organised. You don’t want to be short of wipes when baby poops, for instance. If you’re just getting started in newborn photography, download my free Newborn Photography StartUp Guide.
2. Practice patience
Patience might be a virtue, but it’s also a necessity when it comes to photographing newborn infants. Gently coaxing the baby to sleep and allowing time for feeding and soothing involves chunks of time, and to rush would just work against you. A stressed, restless baby makes posing a newborn hard and capturing those beautiful, serene images very difficult.
3. Think safety.
This is worth underlining often. And repeatedly. As a newborn photographer, it is important to always remember that you’re working with a very fragile little life, and nothing is to be over-looked when comes to assuring his or her safety. Always make sure there is someone spotting the baby and use composite images when necessary for those more difficult poses. It goes without saying, experimenting on a doll outside of client sessions is a good idea!
4. Pose compactly.
The newborn infant is most relaxed when posed compactly, mimicking their time in the womb. Most babies LOVE to be wrapped as it makes them feel secure and adds to the warmth factor. To do this, tuck their little arms and legs gently against their body and secure them in a beautiful wrap. Images with the newborn stretched-out offer variety, and when the baby happens to pose themselves this way, I’m more than eager to get the shot. And at all times, protect the modesty of the child when posing a newborn.
Still with me?
More pointers for posing a newborn infant.
5. Target face.
My goal is to focus my shots on the newborn’s face. Certainly, at this young age, the beauty and uniqueness of the child is best captured in his or her face. Use the baby’s hands to support and frame the face, let the face be the first thing you see through your viewfinder by using different angles. Of course, a picture of just of their hands or feet is adorable and offers variety to the collection, but the face is where you should predominantly focus.
6. Selective props.
Props are widely used in newborn sessions but should never be the star attraction. Our goal in newborn photography is to capture the beauty and uniquness of each baby. Using props selectively when posing a newborn can achieve this goal. Props used willy-nilly can detract from it. It takes some careful thought and planning to allow the props to work for you and achieve a balanced image. While some parents might request certain less-than-subtle props—such as the hubby’s favourite football team—or a holiday season might require a little more frills than usual, as a general rule less is more. By the way, if you’re looking for a great prop vendor, try Love That Prop.
7. Maximise set-ups.
An organised photographer still has to be flexible. Even though you might have five or six set-ups planned, you’ll still need to go with the flow. If the newborn settles down into a deep sleep during the second set-up, for example, don’t be in a rush to move onto the next one. Rather, maximise the current set-up by taking as many photographs from as many different angles as possible. Swap hats or headbands, make slight adjustments of hands and leg positions or change the wrap.
These seven pointers on posing a newborn infant have worked well for at Lorna Kirkby Photography. What has served you well?