Art aww-some!

Women photographers often dominate the field of newborn photography that demands a combination of tenderness and intuition.
Last Updated 24 February 2024, 21:20 IST

Newborn photography is a unique and heartwarming genre that captures the innocence and fragility of newborns in the very first few days or weeks of their lives. Showcasing the delicate essence of newborns through the lens is both an art and a skill.  

From selecting props to creating cosy settings, newborn shoots are today much in demand and are a cherished realm of creative photography. Women photographers often dominate this field that demands a combination of tenderness and intuition. In this edition of Lenscraft, let’s explore some tips and emerging trends in the field, along with the challenges faced and how to overcome them. 

• Safety first: Always prioritise the safety and comfort of the newborn. Use soft, padded surfaces for posing, and never force a baby into a position that feels uncomfortable or unnatural. Use composite techniques for intricate poses. 

• Props and settings: Utilise soft blankets, pastel wraps, and tiny hats to add charm and comfort to your newborn setups. Props can certainly add personality to newborn shoots but opt for simple, timeless ones that won’t overshadow the baby. Wooden crates, fluffy rugs, and textured fabrics are some popular choices. Set up multiple themes ahead of the shoot. 

• Gear: Most of the newborn photoshoots take place in a studio with multiple light/flash settings. Some photographers opt for UV-coated flash, which is safer for newborns. Others use low-power flash with diffusers or bounce the light to avoid the light hitting the newborn directly, thus also creating a soft, warm feel. A full-frame camera body with a prime lens is the favourite choice. To capture the tiny details that make newborns precious, a macro lens is often used, focusing on their tiny fingers, toes, and eyelashes, for adorable close-up shots. 

• Incorporating family: Include the parents and siblings (if any) in the frame to capture family moments. Encourage natural interactions for genuine emotions and go for candid shots. With family members in the frame, the photoshoot can capture the special bond between the newborn and their loved ones. Shots of parents cuddling and interacting with their babies will make for genuine, emotional moments.

• Patience is the key: Newborns can be unpredictable, so be prepared for a change of plans (or diapers) at a moment’s notice! Stay patient and flexible. Allow time for feeding, soothing, and diaper changes as and when needed. Some parents prefer their newborns to be in a sleeping pose, mostly once the baby is fed. While some babies cooperate from the word go, others can be fussy or cranky during shoots, requiring patience and flexibility from the photographer. 

• Schedule: Newborn photography is best done when the baby is anything between 5 to 15 days. However, some parents prefer to schedule periodic shoots from the time the baby is 15 days old to three months, or six months right up to its first birthday, complete with a cake smash!

• Trends: Keep an eye on emerging trends. Experimenting with new ideas can set your work apart and keep it fresh. Experiment with unconventional angles and creative compositions to add a modern twist to your newborn portraits. Try your hands at nature-inspired themes or unique props for a fresh look. 

• Post-Processing: Enhance the final images with subtle editing techniques. Softening skin tones, adjusting exposure, and removing blemishes can help create portraits that will ultimately become part of a family’s precious memories. Hiring a skilled editor is a bonus.

The dominance of women photographers in newborn photography may stem from their nurturing instincts, patience, and attention to detail, all of which are essential qualities in working with newborns. Additionally, women photographers may find it easier to establish rapport and trust with parents and new mothers may feel more comfortable and at ease with a woman photographer.

In short, newborn photography requires a blend of creativity, technical skills and sensitivity to capture the tender moments of a baby’s early days and create timeless images that families will cherish for years to come.

(with inputs from Bhargavi Jakkala and Preetisha Goswami)

Lenscraft is a monthly column on all things photography — tips, tricks and everything in between.

The writer is a photojournalist who tells stories with his pictures. Find his pictures on X and Instagram @pushkarv or mail him at dhonsunday@deccanherald.co.in

(Published 24 February 2024, 21:20 IST)

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