Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Newborn Shoot Checklist

I’m gearing up for a series on Shooting Your Own Newborn Photos. I wanted to share my shoot checklist to help guide you Mamatographers (and myself) into an organized process for capturing newbies as they will never be seen again! 

As with any shoot, it is important to feel well versed with your camera's settings NUMBER ONE and then you can begin to think about lighting, props, poses and later, potential editing techniques.

Lets begin...


If you don’t, pick up my Photo Basics Camera Bag Companion ebook for an easy breezy lesson on how your tool functions. Click here: http://store.mamatographylessons.com/product/photo-basics-beyond-ebook
2. Determine your shoot location(s)
Are you shooting indoors or outdoors? I’m based in South Florida so now, in February, I’m spoiled with pretty rays of sunshine and moderate temperatures. I’ll probably be doing my upcoming shoot mostly outdoors in my garden and perhaps with an indoor studio setup with lights and a backdrop depending on the amount of decent shots I can get outdoors. I love the concept of placing newborns in nature because their presence is just so...NATURAL
This is the fun part. Choose props based on the sex of the baby or theme of your environment. It’s typical to see plush blankets and fluffy filling in baskets where the newbie will be laying because you want them to feel as if they’re back in the womb. Make them comfy enough and they may even crack their first smile : )
Here’s an example list:
BOPPIE Pillow is A MUST, if you are nursing or have in the past this is a Mama & Mamatographers best friend!
•Beenie caps/hats
•Headbands for girls
•Stylish but neutral blankets
Here’s a link to a fellow Mamatographer’s Etsy shop. She is an expert crochet artist of all things BABY: http://www.etsy.com/shop/WillowsGarden
4. Create a warm temperature
If you’re in a COLD climate it may not be possible to shoot outdoors. So, turn the heat UP and pick a spot by a window where there is nice natural light. You may need to use a little Flash to fill in shadow areas that often occur in the pooches and wrinkles of sleepy newborns.

5. Line up your gear; Here’s a list of basic necessities:
•2 CHARGED Camera Batteries
•2 Lenses (One “Prime” 50mm; One zoom)
•AA Batteries for Flash
•Lightstand with hotshoe bracket (for off camera flash usage)
•Softbox or Umbrella (to diffuse flash)
Reflector (w/ gold, silver & transparent layers to bounce sunlight onto subject)

Oh, and expect the unexpected! If you want them sleeping, they’ll probably be awake and if you want nudie shots the WILL pee all over your props, GUARANTEED! So keep clean up supplies near by and use a pantiliner between their little legs to minimize the mess while still capturing their purity.