Bay Area photographer Nancy Alcott creates beautiful, high-end images for the families who hire her. Today she's giving us tips for photographing your newborn baby, which she recommends you do in the first week of life. See her online portfolio for more examples of her work with families.
(note that our website has degraded the resolution of this photo)
Let there be (natural) light
The only thing as pure as the beauty of a newborn is the look of natural light, so be sure you work with your baby under the blanket of indirect, natural light. Open the shades, pull the curtains and wield the power of soft, beautiful natural light.
Keep it simple (go naked)
As cute as that striped onesie is that grandma gave to you, keep it simple and showcase your babies amazing newborn skin. By photographing your newborn with as little distraction as possible, the viewer will see your baby first and not their clothing.
Give props when props are due
Have fun with your artistic side. Look around your home and you'll likely find something you had hidden that you can use to add texture and stylize your image. Etsy.com is a remarkable library of moms like us selling beautiful handmade hats, diaper covers, cocoons, etc.
Timing is everything
A newborn that has a full belly of milk is likely to be ready for nap time, which is the best time to photograph. A contented, sleeping baby will lay still and allow you to pose her hands and feet. A hungry baby will not sleep deeply enough through the stimulation of posing and changes.
Heat it up
From womb to swaddle… a warm baby is a happy baby, so turn your heat up when photographing your baby naked.
Texture, texture, texture
Seeking out simple textures can add depth softness and beauty to an otherwise ordinary image. Using wood bowls, faux furs (Pier One, Etsy.com), knitted cocoons (Daida L' ‘Orange on etsy.com), or the shag rug on your living room floor can all help stylize your newborn photos and make them pop!
Thanks to Nancy for the guest post and the lovely photos! Don't miss her gorgeous website at nancyalcott.com.