Ok, this isn’t a novel idea, but I use this a lot (even still) and think it’s worth the small investment for the random times it’s used. I have this tripod with a bag carrier, found on Amazon for $14.99. It’s a handy tool for years to come. Many times I’ve set my tripod up, and RUN into the picture. The toughest part about this method is making sure all the kids look in the right direction, and not at you running back.
For good portraits you must turn off your flash. Your camera’s pop-up flash does more harm than good in most photography situations, so make sure you aren’t using it when you try to photograph your newborn. Instead, find a good source of natural light, like a large window or glass door, and set up close to it. If you have enough light coming in you won’t need either your flash or your overhead lights (which are also not a good plan when taking portraits). If it’s warm enough you can even set up in your garage with the door up to allow lots of light in. Start paying attention to the light in the room in yourself with the largest window – notice when the room is bright, but you can’t see the shadow of the window on the floor in front of it (see this post for more explanation of this). That’s the time of day when you want to plan your newborn photo shoot.
despite my wanting it to be, my baby bump never got very big. this photo above was taken only a few weeks before delivering our daughter and everyone always said, “there is no way you are having a baby in a couple weeks!” smaller bumps can be harder to photograph sometimes, but laying down is a great way to show that belly off. plus, laying down just feels plain good when you are in your third trimester. am i right?
There are a few bonuses to using accessories well (as well as layers). One is that changing them up a bit throughout the session can give you multiple looks without having to do many wardrobe changes. They can also be something that the subjects can interact with. A sassy little tip of the hat, holding the ends of a scarf while running and letting it billow behind you, grabbing the lapels of a husbands jacket while pulling him close for a kiss – all these little gestures and ways to interact (and become more comfortable in front of the camera) can be made possible with styling choices. Many of my sessions will feature items used outside their intended use or subject. My girls are often seen in mommy’s hats or scarves (scarves can be used in different ways like wrapped around their shoulders, as a hair piece, etc) and they love to wear my costume jewelry.