3. Wait until baby is good and sleepy before you start your newborn shoot. This way you can pose her however you like. If you catch your baby in the first few days of her life, this won’t be a problem. But if, like us, you try to do the photos around day seven or beyond, be prepared to twiddle your thumbs for an hour or so until the newborn is snoozing steadily.
Two years, ago, I did one of these sessions for a delightful young couple in Florida at the beach. It was a lot of fun! I was clad in Bermuda shorts, flip-flops, shades, and sunscreen, no less, as I attempted to immerse myself into the celebratory nature of the event. That would my personal advice to beginning photographers doing these sessions. Have fun doing it! Smile, laugh, enjoy yourself, too, and do throw in an occasional compliment on how great your clients look and are doing throughout the session. It would go a long way in making your clients comfortable and pleased with the session. :-)
Blooming Tree Photography is a family-oriented photography studio located in Frisco, Texas. Jessica, their photographer, specializes in child, family, and newborn photography, and is an expert in custom portraiture and lifestyle photography. Blooming Tree Photography’s style is natural, and driven by Jessica's passion for capturing intimate family moments to be shared with everyone.
Know ahead of time how formal the wedding will be, and how you fit into the event. Some wedding photographers, like David Ziser, like to wear a suit to every wedding. Other photographers think it is perfectly appropriate to wear slacks and a shirt. Some female photographers wear a dress, and others wear jeans and a nice polo. I wouldn't say that there is one right answer here, but it is worth thinking about beforehand.
Finding homes for unwanted photographs. Many people feel strongly that no old photo should ever be tossed. However, if you have tons of photos but have no connection to them (or if they’re just not your thing), what can you do with them? One option is to donate them. Historical societies worldwide often accept photos, especially if you can provide information about how they came to you. It can be a point of pride for small towns across the U.S., Europe and elsewhere to see how far and wide their native sons and daughters have traveled over the course of generations.
The first thing that we do together is choose a location. Then, we set a time for the shoot. On the day of the shoot itself, we will meet at our pre-determined location and get started! Instead of just walking from landmark to landmark and working through a set of pre-chosen poses, we'll take a walk and stop to shoot along the way. I'm looking for beautiful light, incredible backgrounds, and interesting compositional scenarios that we can use for your portraits. While I will set you in "poses", they're more gentle guides to interaction. I want to see how you are together, and how you're comfortable. If you're less inclined towards public displays of affection, rest assured that I won't have you do anything that doesn't feel natural to you. If you're exuberant and outgoing, I won't set you into poses that are reserved and hands-off.
DO finesse compositions. Instead of asking her subjects to move, Hotchkiss moves herself. "You don't want to disturb the moment by heavy-handed posing. I block out unwanted background clutter by tweaking my position left, right, up, or down." She also says to be aware of the lighting. If, in your viewfinder, the lighting looks harsh on your subjects' faces, it may look even harsher in the final image.
Consider a special service. Rent the Runway offers a genius Wedding Concierge program that helps brides get dressed for their big prewedding events. (In this case, that could mean an engagement photo session followed by an engagement party—talk about two birds, one stone.) Sign up for access to styling consultations and outfit rental options that won't break the bank.
#1 – it automatically forces you to slow down. That’s a good thing. You can check your settings, review the composition, and exposure to make sure you’ve got everything right. All to often it’s easy to get carried away once you put the camera up to your eye and forget to check something only to see later you had the wrong White Balance, or ISO was 6400, or you accidentally shot Small JPG. Slow down, avoid an “oops”.
These close-up “detail” shots are not only adorable but they are great accompanying images for albums and accordion books. Because of the sensitive focus on a macro lens, the best time to get these images is when the baby is very still (in their deepest sleep). As shown with the newborn workshop where you get to shadow me on an actual on-location shoot, when I notice the baby is deep in dreamland, I’ll just stop whatever I’m doing and I’ll pull out my macro for 10 minutes and get all the shots that I need.
The best photographs are often the ones where everyone is engaged or interacting with each other. Understand that not every picture needs to have everyone looking at the camera and smiling at the same time. If you are engaged as a family and loving on each other, your eyes will be on your family members and your smile with be natural. These are the photographs that you will cherish most because they depict your family connection and your love.
When I first began doing maternity work I made a pledge. A commitment I swore I’d stand by through thick and thin. I promised myself I’d never take “the maternity picture.” You know the one. Daddy’s arms around mommy’s belly with hands affectionately forming… gag… excuse me… a heart. There’s NOTHING wrong with this photo. AT ALL. Calm your rage oh you who just did this exact shot this afternoon.
My husband and I were just talking about how we haven’t done a family portrait since our youngest child was born; that was five years ago! I like your tip about how a good family photographer will know how to help cheer up the crabby child. We may need to look into getting this done soon. I’ve always enjoyed looking at people’s family pictures hanging on their walls.
When I’m photographing kids I make a total idiot of myself. I make funny noises, I sing songs (I’m really bad but they don’t care), I make fish faces, I play peek-a-boo behind the camera. I run back and forth to the camera with the puppet. I lie on the ground, I stick my butt out. Kids are the ones that have life the right way around, it’s us adults that ruin it. Let them be kids, let them have fun. Then be ready to capture it when it happens.
Hi Linda! Perfect, so glad you love the article I hope you signed up for our mailing list to get your newborn toolkit and other freebies to help get you going quickly and lastly, you are among the first to know that we are working on finishing up our complete Newborn Photography Workshop Course which will be out at the end of the year…it will be an amazing product though which we are so excited for!
The natural beauty of a pregnant woman in a beautiful outdoor backdrop is simply breathtaking! The parallel of a mother about to bring to life into the world and Mother Nature is a powerful one. Disadvantages are that the shoot is weather-dependent and shooting hours are limited to the golden hour of sunrise or sunset (when the quality of natural light is at its best). Reschedules can happen and may trigger the rescheduling of other related appointments (e.g. professional makeup and hair artist, florist, venues, etc.) Remember your sunscreen and bug spray! Be prepared to walk/hike to the location and change outfits outdoors.
Thank you so much for this article! This past weekend I did my 3rd newborn session which happened to be my grandson. It took 4 hours and I had such difficulty getting him into the poses that I had planned in my head, that when the session was over with I felt totally defeated. I experienced everything you mentioned, including overwhelming myself with too many props. I started doubting myself and wondering if I was even cut out to be a newborn photographer. Your article was very helpful and encouraging at the same time. Thank you so much!
Digital cameras are very good at coming to a neutral exposure, but the truth is that the neutral exposure is not always the best exposure. For example, suppose you are taking a picture of a person on a bright sunny day. The camera will likely make the face of the person dark and the background too bright. The “neutral” exposure is mid-way between exposing for the face and the background.
A great way to keep your couple happy after the wedding is to send them a few preview images. They might be expecting this if you have discussed it in your contract but if they’re not it can be a great surprise. Just drop them an email telling them how much you enjoyed their wedding and give them some indication as to when the final images will be complete. This is a great way to keep them in the loop. Additionally, they might share the images on Facebook or with family and friends which can be great for referrals.
As a full-service photography studio in Dallas for families, moms-to-be and newborns, her priorities lie not just with producing emotive and stunning photographs, but also the comfort and safety of her clients. In addition to having a child-proof and safe studio for photoshoots, Jenny Leigh also travels on-location to hospitals, homes and other areas of the client’s choosing.
One last thing to look for is that they know how to use light. Outdoor photography can be difficult when the sun is out. One thing you might want to watch for is to make sure that people don’t have harsh shadows on their faces. The light should fall softly on their faces in a flattering way. Part what makes this difference is time of day (that’s why most photographers like to do outdoor sessions in the evening), but there are a lot of other little tricks for getting the lighting just right. In the examples below, the photo on the left is a test shot that I took in harsh midday light just to show my client what the location looked like. See the dark shadows and blown out hot spots on my (super enthusiastic) son’s face? Then on the right, you see a family posing in the same spot with soft light that is much more flattering.
Posed/studio sessions – Typically must be done within the first 2 weeks of birth when the baby is very sleepy and “mold-able”. The focus in this type of session is on shots of the baby looking perfect, usually in blankets, wraps, hats, & headbands. The session can last up to 4 hours with feeding, potty breaks, and posing. Editing this type of session also takes quite a bit of time as each image needs to go through Photoshop individually to get a polished end result.
One thing I learned when I became a parent, was that the baby is the boss regardless of how much control I pretend I have. The same is true for newborn photography. If the baby doesn’t want to go to sleep for posing after you’ve tried everything, take some lifestyle shots & keep shooting. Swaddle tight and try to get some eye contact. Get images of mommy rocking the baby, be open and flexible – the session doesn’t always go as planned and that might just be the best thing that happens to you.
Apply lotion one hour before the photo shoot. Moisturizing your skin just before a photo shoot can create a glare when the flash goes off. Be sure to apply moisturizer If you are going to have a close-up photograph of your bare baby bump, be sure to apply lotion early in the day or one hour before the photo shoot at the latest. This will give the lotion enough time to properly sink into your skin.
The double session is for families who really want to take time to get that perfect family photo. This session is 1.5-2 hours long. This gives you lots of time to focus on each shot, outfit changes, and even explore multiple locations. Door County is such a beautiful place. We have so many great photo locations and a double session allows you to get a great variety of backdrops for your family photos.
She advises against using a Speedlight mounted on the camera. While this may be her preference, and often for good reason, it really depends on your location's light. I tend to shoot in open shade under a large tree where it can get pretty dark. Shadows under the eyes, nose and chin can be eliminated with a slight flash fill. In post processing, I'll using Lightroom's dodge tool to add more light to faces, if necessary. Even a half-stop boost will make your subjects stand out.
When scheduling the session the earlier the better. Newborns much younger tend to do very well in the studio, oppose to a baby that is 10-14 days old. They tend not to wake up frequently and as easily when getting them posed for the scene. A mere 48 hours in a newborns life is very crucial when prepping them for their session. I have witness many, many times after the 10 day mark, newborns have discovered the art of stretching! Once that happens…they won’t let us curl them up in the cute little newborn poses, without a fight!
Hi Debbie! Babies are HARD to photograph, especially as they get a little older and more mobile. And babies at that age always have their hands in their mouth! I really love my 50mm 1.8 lens for portraits – it doesn’t zoom in or out, meaning you just have to move yourself to get a closer (or further away) photo, but it lets in tons of light and does a great job blurring the background. It’s around $100, so it’s very reasonable for a nicer lens.
So, those are our wedding day photography timeline tips, myths and F.A.Q.s! If you are one of our clients, then we are happy to review your responses to our questionnaires and we will give you customized feedback about your wedding day photography timeline. No matter who you are, we hope that this page was helpful and that your wedding elevates the meaning of the word “awesomeness” to a whole new level!!! :)
I tried to read this article but gave up quickly. The first tip alone contains at least four or five instances of the wrong word -- or wrong form of a word -- being used. We're photographers, not writers, but there's no excuse for such lousy basic communication skills. Even if you don't wish to hold your contributors to a standard, you surely make enough money from this site to have someone take a low-level proofing run through the articles before posting publicly. Please?