Newborn Photography Los Angeles

Truths About Newborn Photography

Newborn photography is a funny thing. When people look at newborn images, they see a cute, serene beautifully posed baby. “Aw, how cute”, we all say to ourselves. And it’s true, the final images are indeed cute. “What a great job you have hanging around cuteness all day”, clients tell us newborn photography experts. But what many do not understand is what it takes to get that final image. Here are some truths about newborn photography. Whether you are looking to get images of your own baby or thinking about becoming a newborn photographer, you will be interested to know these things.

Reading A Newborn

After a newborn has been fed, and we know that all their basic needs are met for the moment, this is when the photographer will take the baby into their arms. Every move the baby makes, every sound and squirm are all important clues as to how the baby is feeling. A newborn photographer has to be able to read these little communications and follow the baby’s lead about what to do next. If we misread, we may place the baby in a position that is uncomfortable for them, and this can upset the baby for the rest of the session. So, those first 10 minutes or so in the photographer’s hands are, in many ways, the most important ones. During this time the photographer can asses if the baby is super sensitive, likes certain positions over others, and what their little body is able to do in terms of poses.

Newborn Photography: The Ultimate Non-Race

Newborn photography takes what some like to call “slow time”. Nothing moves quickly in this genre, except maybe that fleeting newborn smile. Everything from wrapping, to posing, to feeding all take time. So if you have participated in a newborn session that took 4 hours, that’s pretty normal.

Those adorable poses with the baby’s chin on hands, or elbows supporting their head took a lot longer than many think to pose. Some poses, usually the favorites, are ones that can take 10 to 20 minutes to get a baby into. Newborns are delicate in many ways. So we have to pose them in stages, slowly and in ways that their body can manage. Thus, if you see a newborn session has 5 or 6 different poses, you can bet that session took at least 2 hours. While posing adults is not as time consuming, it too takes time as we talked about in this post.

Further, getting cute hats, pants, rompers and headbands on newborns take time too. And it is not uncommon to have wardrobe malfunctions that further add time to the shot. Most people think wardrobe is worth the effort though. Babies really do look cute in their outfits. But be aware, some babies are sensitive and will not wear certain textures.

Newborn Photography Post-Production

Getting the actual base image in camera is only part of the process in newborn photography. The next part is in the retouching or post-production. This is when we edit out skin color issues, blemishes, stork marks etc. as wanted by the family. During a session, the studio can get pretty cluttered with wraps and props and pillows. It is not uncommon for some of these object to inadvertently get into images. Of course, they need to be removed in post production.

So, as it turns out, there are a lot more skills than people think to be a newborn photographer. Not only is there the camera, lighting, and lens selection, but there is also posing, handling a baby and high level PhotoShop skills needed too.

Katherine Katsenis is a newborn photographer in Los Angeles. You can see some of her work here.

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