Taking your own baby photos at home...
So, I know that you'd rather have ME take your baby or maternity photos but thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic I can't. I am a non-essential business and I too have to stay home!
So, I wanted to give you all some quick and easy tips to help you take some pretty great photos for those of you who can't wait for me to take them! Babies are coming regardless of what's going on in the world!
Photos in your home!
For photos in your home find your natural light. In my home I am lucky and that one side of my apartment has great windows. One in my bedroom, living room and dining room. The living room is a little blocked so my best options are my bedroom and my dining room. Open up your blinds and curtains and let that light in my friends! you want to face you or baby towards the light! This helps eliminate shadows! Just remember when you're taking the photo to not stand in front of the light too!
One of my favorite tricks for newborns is to find a blanket that you can use that is the same pattern all over it, or plain. In the top 2 photos I have the blanket spread out so it creates a nice simple background. In the top right photo I actually have someone holding the blanket up to create a backdrop type look! Both the babies on top are also sitting on boppy pillows. I also put a little blanket in the middle so they don't sink completely. Or if you have a boppy lounger that could work as well. I also have them laying a little on their sides to get a better view of them as I took their photo from the front or slightly angled up.
You don't need anything fancy for baby photos! You can make things happen in your own home with a little bit of creativity.
For our first time mommas out there BE PATIENT! When I go to a family's home to do newborn photos I am there for a minimum of 2 hours! Babies need to be fed and changed and soothed! So we have to be patient! I am often hanging out, shushing, keeping a hand on baby until they settle and fall asleep so I can move and pose them. I opt for a more lifestyle look, swaddle that baby and lay them down on the ground. Shoot straight down on them or from the side of them. Get on their level!
Another great option is in mom and dad's arms! Face them towards the light and take your photo of their shoulder. Mom and dad just take turns! Focus is still on baby!
For your photos in the hospital, same things! Get close to your window, swaddle baby and lay them in the hospital bassinet while asleep and shoot that way. Also in mom or dad's arms closest to the window!
Let's talk about maternity photos!
First either take your photos from hip/stomach up or full length shot and don't cut off those feet!
Position your hands one on top and one on bottom of belly to help accentuate that cute bump!
Slightly bend the leg/pop your hip closest to the camera to give you more shape. Your feet straight together isn't as nice.
When you're sitting down put one hand on the top or bottom of your belly, looking up to the camera, or down at your shoulder with a small smile! Are all cute options! Keep your body slightly angled when your standing like the above right photo! Shows the bump and your cute figure and the popped leg gives you a nice shape!
If you're doing these outside overcast weather is great! That means no shadows or spotty light!
If it's sunny out find shade to avoid the spotty light on you or wait for golden hour (the bottom right photo above) Golden hour is the time in the evening when the light is amazing. It's usually about an hour-ish from sunset! I shoot with the light behind the subject and voila!
If you have an iphone 11 go ahead and experiment with portrait mode but that may not work for all of your photos!
The other thing I want to show you all is when taking iphone photos many of us take the photo with our phone up near our faces! BUT I would suggest you also taking some photos down a little lower so it's not entirely all looking down on you! Experiment with both! When I'm taking photos with my camera I am often looking through my cameras eyepiece and I am often crouched over a little! I hope that makes sense!
Last but not least a couple people have mentioned needing to take some photos of some of their older kids! So, for those babies who aren't entirely always able to sit up on their own we prop them up often or lay them down and shoot down on them!
This is George! In these photos he was 3 months old so, we went for one of each! On the left I have him propped up on a bed with some big fluffy pillows facing the light! And on the left you can see there are a little bit more shadows on him because we laid him down on the ground!
This is Ruby, if I remember correctly she was maybe almost 6 months old? So, not entirely sitting on her own SO I grabbed this cute basket of mine and threw in a blanket behind her in there to help support her a little better. We also laid her down on her stomach and I laid down on my stomach (I was not pregnant at this time so mommas make dad do this one!) And took the photo facing her! Again if you're at home face your light, or if outside, find shade!
Last but not least here's a perfect example of me taking a selfie in my apartment today one in front of a window and the other not so much!
Someone else asked me about doing a flat lay to announce their pregnancy! This was one I took today. I did this in my bedroom, the window is to the right in this image and I stood above it. This way all the light is coming in from the right and i'm not blocking it by standing in front of it.
The last thing I want to tell you is that there are a lot of photo editing things out there especially on your phones! I believe lightroom is free, also you can also use vsco on your phones!
If your photo looks too blue you'll want to edit the warmth and add some yellow, if your photo on the flip side looks too yellow, add some blue warmth it it. Lighten your shadows, brighten it to your liking and you should have something great!
I wish all you momma's out there having to take your own photos right now. This is such a crazy weird time to be pregnant and having babies. You've got this and if you have questions let me know! We all need nice photos to remember our babes being so little! Good luck ladies!!