Today I was thinking about my very first newborn session. That was over ten years ago now! I remember thinking, “hey, as long as I have my camera and some pretty fabric I should be good! Heck if I want to get really fancy I’ll buy a basket!”
While it’s true that it doesn’t take an entire studio full of props and equipment to get started as a newborn photographer (I’m walking proof of that.), If I could start over with the knowledge I have now- ten years later- there are some items that would have made my life infinitely easier.
I don’t care if you have a fancy posing bean bag, work on a dog bed, or use people’s ottomans or couches like I did when I first started, the physical strain that comes with being a newborn photographer is real. If you don’t have a way to support yourself on baby’s level, your back will absolutely let you know the next day. Keep at it and you could injure yourself beyond a few aches and pains. Don’t do that to yourself. Get a yoga ball. These are easily purchased anywhere, but if you’re an Amazon junkie like me, here’s a great option for a yoga ball on Amazon.
If you don’t use a posing bag and work primarily closer to the floor like those who use a dog bed (or heck even during floor prop work), get one of these half yoga ball things. Then tell your back I said you’re welcome boo. 😉
Yes that’s right. Not just for your own tootsies. Have several pairs of new/clean adult socks in varying lengths. For instance have some no show socks as well as some of the longer tube socks.
These are amazing for little tiny micro adjustments needed sometimes with baby’s posing.
While you’re at it, here’s a BONUS. Go get yourself a pack of washcloths and a pack of the Gerber cloth diaper prefolds. Both of those items are just as helpful with posing.
You know, the things that go on top of a baby’s changing table? Like this one. These things are absolutely wonderful. There are times when it’s just better to put baby down rather than hand them off to another human. Some babies immediately feel it’s time to feed when being held and it’s often much easier to transition posing when you start from a neutral position.
This is also very helpful when the inevitable cleanup occasions arise. And twins? It’s a must have if not two!
Have you ever worked with a baby when your hands are FREEZING for some unknown reason? I mean I heat my studio to about 80 degrees and my hands are like ice! What is with that?!
How about those babies that are just so touchy and posing them feels akin to being an explosives tech trained in defusion?
Enter fingerless gloves. You have the control needed with your fingers, but the bulk of your hands are much easier on baby. Boom. Diffused.
(Okay… in hind sight I see that “boom” wasn’t the right word there. I got excited about sharing that nugget of info… moving on.)
Okay okay so #5 isn’t an “item.”
Unless your significant other is your assistant and you guys are “an item” (buh-dum-pshhhhh)… Wow that one was awful.
Seriously though, if you take one thing from this blog post, take this. Have an assistant. Not only does it make your life so. Much. Easier, having an assistant keeps the baby safer, mom and dad more at ease, and I guarantee your work will improve when you can focus purely on delivering the best artwork possible.
An assistant’s job is this: Keep baby safe. That person’s eyes never leave baby and their hands are always either on baby or inches from them.
Look, I get it, you may not be able to hire and assistant. Bring your girlfriend who needs a baby fix, your neighbor who wants photos of her kids, your significant other, anyone. Trade or barter for the help. It’s worth it I promise.
So definitely don’t let not having those things or anything really keep you from capturing those sweet babies. Add these simple things into your workflow though, and you’ll see just how much easier things get! It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out, or have been doing this for 10 plus years like myself, having little things like this make all the difference in the world!
Till next time!