I started researching newborn photography about two days before Calvin arrived. Not being from this area, I had to start from scratch online while looking for a photographer, as opposed to using one of the amazing photographers I know at home in Ohio that I could get a WOM recommendation on. I discovered 1, that this is extremely late in the game to start looking as most people book these sessions months in advance – and 2, holy $$$. I have to say that several months ago, I was still trying to wrap my head around the idea of having a child, let alone taking pics of him.
New Jersey is out of control with cost of living, daycare, services such as photography, and everything in between. I’m not even going to tell you what it would cost here in the Princeton area 😳 Professional newborn photography is amazing, the photos are priceless, and I wanted them badly, but I decided I just wasn’t willing to fork over several months of (NJ priced) rent to have these photos done right away. We did purchase the photos the hospital offers to take, as they are extremely cost effective and conveniently done, just not the same quality as a boutique photographer.
We are going home later this Spring and I hope to use a local photographer in Ohio when he is just a couple months old. 😊 Let me know if anyone has a solid recommendation!
*Insert brilliant idea to try this on my own here*
Once I accepted that we would have to wait on pics of our little angel, I started doing some research (mostly high quality pinteresting) on how to take photos on my own. Call me cheap, but I’d like to use the word resourceful instead! Being someone who knows nothing about photography (I didn’t even take photo 101 in HS), here are the 4 easiest & most important steps I discovered and applied:
1.) Make sure baby is content – I recommend doing this right after a feeding. Calvin is either out like a light after eating, or pretty awake and content. Either way you’ll need a happy baby I order to pose how you’d like and get still shots. A well-fed baby will pretty much let you do whatever.
2.) Make or find a back drop/setting – for my photos I took a large blanket from Pier 1 and laid over a boppy pillow. This way baby was in a comfortable position and blanket covered nearby surroundings. You can really take any piece of material and fully cover the item in which you are placing baby.
3.) Find natural light – This is key! You’ll need a lot less editing if you are able to use the natural light coming in through a door or window. This light shouldn’t necessarily be direct sunlight, as you don’t want over exposure. Is that the right term?!
4.) Use a camera you are comfortable with – I used a Nikon Cool Pix L120, which I am still trying to figure out, but honestly if you do a good job with iPhone, that would work as well. It doesn’t have to be fancy. iPhone actually has a decent quality camera (8mp, auto focus, auto image stabilization, etc) with minimal complicated settings and is what I use/prefer 95% of the time. Photogs, don’t judge me! Gotta give my dad a shout out here – he takes some amazing photos and had only an iPhone 4 until just recently. Check him out on IG here.
Below is my attempt at in-home newborn photography with our Little Bear:
Blanket – the one I used is sold out, but here are several other Pier1 options.
Baby Hat – the one Cal is wearing is from Gymboree, but here is an option from Carters.
So how did they turn out? Let me know what you think! We personally believe Calvin could make anyone’s mediocre photography skills look professional 💙
Thanks for reading!