Infants can be notoriously difficult to photograph, mainly because they’re incapable of following instructions. So don’t expect to go into a photo session with your newborn and get specific poses and facial expressions. Although most professional photographers have a few tricks up their sleeve to elicit smiles and draw a baby’s attention, especially if they have experience with kids, you shouldn’t expect them to be miracle workers. And if you come in with a fussy baby, all bets are off. However, you can take steps to ensure the best chance for beautiful photos to send your family and friends, showing off your newborn. Here are just a few tips for soothing your infant before a photography session so that you get gorgeous snapshots that will last a lifetime.
- Feeding. The best way to stop a baby from fussing in most cases is to make sure he’s getting fed on a schedule. With a newborn you may still be trying to work that schedule out, but most babies tend to want food approximately every two hours. Try to make the appointment for your photo session fall right around feeding time so that you can give him some milk immediately before he has to sit for his close-up. Unless your photographer is booked solid, he’ll likely make some accommodations so that you can calm your fussy baby. After all, it will make the session go a lot more quickly if your newborn isn’t crying and flailing the whole time. An experienced photographer will make sure you have plenty of time for the session anyway.
- Naptime. Most babies tend to get fussy when they’re tired, so if you’ve managed to get in a groove with your newborn that includes specific times of day for sleeping, it’s probably best to schedule your photo session following naptime. And since babies often wake up hungry, you can feed him, as well, making for an infant that is primed for some excellent photos.
- Toys. Chances are your child is not going to be too keen on sitting in the bright lights and being posed for photos. For this reason you’ll certainly want to bring along some distractions to keep him happy and smiling. Anything that has noise or lights will draw his attention, which can definitely help when it comes to getting him to look your way (or towards the camera). But you should also bring any toys that have made him smile or laugh at home. Making faces could do the trick, but having some props on hand is also a good idea.
- Comfortable clothing. Your infant might not be particularly fond of clothing just yet, especially stiff, fancy clothes. So keep him in a onesie or swaddled in a sling until your photographer is ready to go. If you put him in fancy outfits too soon he could get fussy or mess them up.
- Rocking. Holding your baby is comforting, but the rocking motion will help to keep him calm and quiet. Of course, you can’t exactly cart along your rocking chair. A carrier that rocks is probably your best bet, but simply walking and swaying with your baby in your arms could work in a pinch. And the pros at a qualified studio like Nadine Nasby Photography should be happy to make concessions in order to ensure that your newborn photography session is a success.