Taking Your Own Baby’s Pictures

Ask any photographer and they will tell you that photographing newborns is tough.  It takes a lot of practice and a lot of patience.  And I personally think that shooting your own baby is even harder.  Particularly because you are tired.  And when I’m tired I have very little patience :)

With both of my kids I looked forward to photographing them.  Brayden was difficult.  I couldn’t take his pictures until he was over 3 weeks old.  Anytime I got close to him he just wanted to eat.  Kennedy has been much easier, but I’ve been much more tired with not just one but two kids and haven’t had as much time to take her pictures.  I’m doing my best to try to not let a day go by when I don’t take her picture, but some days go by in the blink of an eye.

Here are some tips for photographing your own baby:

1)  Start early! This is easier said than done.  After you have a baby the last thing you might want to do is get your camera out.  But, newborns are the easiest to photograph in the first 10 days.  They sleep a lot and they still curl up easily.  After that first 10 days they will wake easier and they will start to develop baby acne.

2)  Warm it up! Turn the AC and fans off.  Your baby will sleep better if it’s warm.  Uncomfortably warm for you.  For this image I hid a heating pad under the comforter (make sure it’s not too hot for baby!) AND had a space heater going.

3)  You will get wet! I think babies are cutest when naked.  But, know that you will get peed and pooped on.  And whatever you put them on will most likely get peed and pooped on as well.  Put down a blanket to protect your comforter, mattress, and furniture!

I got pooped on while transferring her into the box :)

4)  Close ups! Get up close and make sure you capture all the tiny parts of your baby.  A macro lens helps with getting these shots.  Don’t have a macro?  Don’t want to invest in one?  Rent one for the occasion.  You’ll be happy you did!

5)  Measure up! Make a plan to photograph your baby in the same place or wearing the same outfit throughout their first year.  My friend Julie sent me these awesome monthly fabric stickers from Baby Cakes Design Co so we can photograph Kennedy during her first year.  If you photograph your baby in the same place each time, you can really see how much they are growing!

6)  Patience, Patience, Patience – Patience is key with babies.  And patience is something you probably have very little of after giving birth and getting little sleep.  If you want to try to pose your baby, your baby will need to be asleep in order to hold the pose.  Make sure your baby is in a deep sleep before attempting to pose her.  Don’t rush it!  Otherwise, you’ll have to start from the beginning.  If your baby isn’t feeling it that day, just try again tomorrow!

7)  Have a helper - When taking your own baby’s pictures, it’s crucial to have a helper.  It’s always important to have an extra hand to make sure baby is safe.

8)  Safety first! - Don’t try anything crazy with your baby.  Don’t put him in harms way.  We’ve all seen the super amazing images of baby’s hanging from tree branches or scales.  But, unless you’ve done that before and know the SAFE way to do it, don’t try it.  Leave it to the professionals!

Comments

  1. Congratulations! She is just so sweet! And I love the chair you are using for her monthly photos… we’re using a chair, too. :)

  2. Meghan says

    Love the close ups! That chair is AWESOME too! It looks like the one Julie says she has been eyeing! Gorgeous!
    Meghan´s last blog post ..Baby Carson {Temecula, CA}

  3. Andrea says

    Great tips! I found that with taking my own little ones photos I really had to Schedule them. I missed her 9 month photos because we got to busy. I needed to really schedule it, tell my Hubby and have him help me to remember. Sometimes it can be so busy being Momma that you forget to capture those milestones if you don’t schedule it.
    Andrea´s last blog post ..Holiday Mini Sessions {Family Photographer, Phoenix, AZ}

  4. Jess says

    thank you SO much for posting the link to the fabric stickers! I’ve always wanted to know where to get them!
    Jess´s last blog post ..I Heart Faces: White

  5. Sarah says

    Saw your session on the Baby As Art blog yesterday, and just drooled. LOVE the photo with K & B together. So sweet. Congrats to all!!!

  6. Alicia S says

    Great tips! I am due with my second in February and am hoping to take lots of newborn pictures (what better way to practice than with your own…I say that now when I’m not sleep-deprived, ha!)
    Alicia S´s last blog post ..Lillie ~ 2 Months {Indianapolis Infant Photographer}

  7. Christy Bliss says

    Loveeee the “Special Delivery” one. B is the cutest big bro ever. Such creative pics, Drew!

  8. Drew……….you are AWESOME!!!! The special delivery photo is super. I need to keep a running tap of the photos you have taken that I would like to try with my kids. They won’t be anything like your’s, but it is still fun.

    First on my list, your Christmas tree photo on the beach last year…..second, the special delivery photo.
    Amber’s Articles (future Click. Pray. Love.)´s last blog post ..If There Were No Heaven………Chrissy’s Response

  9. Leslie Zagelow says

    LOVE all these photos… not to mention all the other ones on your blog. We had our first baby in May so I went out and bought myself my first “fancy camera”. I am just starting to figure it out & trying to ween myself off the AUTO setting. I was having a hard time putting everything together until my good friend showed me your blog. I have to say it has helped me tremendously – way more than any manual or “Dummies” book!!! Thank you. I love when you jot your camera settings below the photos. It really helps me visually understand. If you don’t mind sharing, what were your settings on the 2nd & 3rd photos (hospital sleeper & the bed).
    By the way… congratulations on a beautiful baby. I LOVE being a mommy!

  10. Tara says

    Hi Drew,

    I am addicted to your website. Your pictures are amazing and I learn so much from your work. I was wondering where you found the headband that has the three flowers on it. Most baby headbands I see are so big that they take away from the adorable face of the baby. Thank you for posting so much even though you have two little ones to keep up with, I really enjoy your blog so much.

  11. Fabiola says

    Thanks for your post! it’s very helpful :) I have no idea about photography but I would love to do my own newborn session for my baby. I am learning a lot watching and reading tutorials in Internet. I would like to know, which camera would you recommend to buy to have better results? I don’t want a super proffesional one or to invest a lot of money… just a fair one for this kind of sessions. Thanks in advance!!

  12. Lily says

    Hi DrewB, are you available for children and family photography Dana Point during Sundays? Do you travel?
    Lily´s last blog post ..Hello world!

  13. baby says

    Thanks for the tips . Excellent photos

  14. Great blog post and great advice for families wanting to capture those special moments. Sally Lucy Photography, Great Dunmow, Essex.

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