In my wildest dreams, I could never have imagined what is going on around us. My name is Misty, and I am a family/newborn photographer in Franklin TN. Our business is closed to any photoshoots right now, and we don’t know when things will be back to normal. I have been thinking about all of these babies being born during these months of quarantine, whether there was a newborn shoot planned that had to be canceled and how everyone is coping with the daily changes.
I want to help all these parents plan out a beautiful DIY newborn session so your memories can be captured! I have been teaching photography to kids at homeschool coop, an online kids photography class, and several photographers workshops, but this will be a little different for me. Let me start by telling you a little about my beginning in newborn photography. I had mostly been photographing families and high school seniors when my first grandchild was born. This changed everything!!!! We went straight from the hospital to the studio, and while my daughter rested I started my love for newborns. Over a 10 year period, I had 7 grandkids born. Some of the photoshoots were in the studio, and some were in their homes as we lived in different states and needed to make it work for each situation. Now many years since my first newborn shoots, I have learned so much and feel I could help guide you through a sweet and beautiful memory-making day for you and your family.
Have your temperature turned up (76-78) in the house so that baby is comfortable. I would suggest using a small heater for the areas you will be using and even a heating pad under blankets. Make sure that you keep layers between baby and heating pad. This creates a warm little nest. Have everything prepped and ready before you feed your little one. The goal is a milk coma and lots of sweet sleeping shots, but sometimes that doesn’t come when you want so you can either take shots of them awake or you can wait for sleep. Just remember that you may get cross-eyed shots since they aren’t great at focusing yet. If you plan to do naked shots, be ready with towels and wipes for accidents!
The biggest thing is looking around for the best window light. Check throughout the house in the morning to see where your best spots to use will be. Large windows that create a beautiful filtered light across the room is awesome. Turn off the indoor lights and make sure your flash is off on your phone or camera. You want the soft natural light for the best shots. De-clutter the areas you would like to use. Remove anything you think would be distracting in the shot. We want the focus to be your baby, so anything that draws your eye could be a distraction. Good props would be chairs, sofas, beds, and medium shallow baskets.
It’s great to have everyone in neutral colors, whites, creams, light gray, and other muted colors. I found a wonderful photographer with an amazon link to specific items that I will post below. Siblings are great to play or watch a movie until it’s their turn. Sometimes it is hard to get toddlers to interact with the new baby. I have found a great workaround for that is to have baby posed and ready and put little snack puffs close to baby and have them get the snack. A kissing baby shot is always great if they cooperate.
The best shots are simple backgrounds and surroundings with good light to capture your baby during these tiny moments that will soon be gone. The details are key. Make sure your camera is focused on the baby's face and that you are not shooting up the nose but down for a more flattering angle. Get in close so that you cut out most of the surroundings and stay tight to the important things. Have fun with it, and since you are at home you can take a break and start up later or the next day if needed. Soft throws and fluffy pillows are a big help with posing.
Here are shots you could try:
Full baby from above
Close-up, my fav
Hands, toes and other tiny features
Basket shot (take blankets and fill to make a nest)
Family with a timer if possible
What you need:
Camera or iPhone
A simple outfit for baby (clothes swallow them so simple is best)
Space heater/heating pad
Swaddle fabric ( you don’t have to be a pro at this, I love a loose blanket swaddle over a tight one)
Outfits for family
Headbands/small accessories (I prefer dainty small headbands over large ones)
Here is a link for suggestions by Danielle Hobbs Photography.
At Misty Westebbe Photography, we specialize in all your family photography needs! This includes maternity, newborn, baby, children, family, and high school senior portraits. Our Cottage Garden studio is nestled in downtown Franklin Tn on 2.5 acres, and services clients in Nashville, Franklin, Leipers Fork, Brentwood, Belle Meade, Green Hills, Thompson Station, Murfreesboro and more!