In this blog post, I will cover some of my top tips and pointers for a successful newborn photoshoot using natural light and baby-led posing.

Embracing Natural Light

Natural light has a magical quality that adds warmth and softness to newborn skin. When photographing newborns, especially during those tender first few weeks of life, using natural light is not only a beautiful way to soften the skin tones, it is also a safe way to photograph newborns without the need for harsh strobes and flash heads.

Here are a few tips for embracing natural light in newborn photography:

  1. Choose the right time of day- Plan your photoshoot around the best light in the day, and when there is an abundance of it. For me personally, I only shoot at two times during the day and that is 10am and 1pm.
  2. Find the perfect spot - My studio is south facing with a large window flooding the room with light. However, that doesn't mean I can just plonk the baby down in any spot and I will have perfect light. My beanbag is positioned in front of my large window, but can be moved closer or further away depending on the harshness of the light on any particular day. I will always try and position the baby so that the light source is coming from the side of their face, this creates the loveliest shadows and soft contrast and accentuates their already beautiful features.
  3. Diffuse and reflect the light - I will always pray for an overcast day as a natural light photographer, this is because it provides the softest and most dreamy light and is so so flattering. But we aren't always bless with such soft light, especially in the summer months, so diffusing and reflecting is absolutely necessary. My trusty white shower curtain is always on hand to help me soften even the harshest of light.

Baby-led Posing

Baby-led posing is all about following the baby's cues, ensuring their comfort and safety throughout the photoshoot. I will never attempt a pose that either myself or the baby are uncomfortable with, and I will always stop for feeding and comforting as required.

Here are some tips on how to embrace the baby-led posing approach:

  1. Stay flexible - Every baby is unique, while at the same time every baby will show the same cues that they are hungry or full of wind. Be prepared to adjust your poses, workflow and set up based on what the baby is telling you.
  2. Keep it natural - Instead of trying to force unnatural poses (don't get me started on the froggy pose!) focus on capturing the baby exactly as they are and prioritise their comfort at all times. Let them stretch, yawn, cry and follow their lead.
  3. Be patient - Newborns have their own rhythm, so be patient and allow plenty of time to stop, comfort, feed, change and soothe. A happy baby will always be easier to photograph than one whose needs are being ignored. Read their cues, stay relaxed and the rest will follow.
  4. Safety - Always prioritise the safety of a newborn. Only use props that are appropriate for their age, if any at all. Personally i avoid props all together, aside from a blanket or very rarely a small teddy bear Never leave the baby unattended. Take the time to put them in the desired position, read their cues and be aware of their breathing and circulation.

As a newborn photographer, I absolutely love capturing the innocence and beauty of tiny brand new babies. The tufts of hair, tony finger nails, the cutest toe beans.

For me, embracing natural light in newborn photography is so so important, it allows me to create timeless and beautiful images that celebrate life at it's most delicate.