A newborn picture (that was not taken by me) recently popped up in my Facebook feed. There were lot of likes and comments stating how cute and perfect this picture was. Now let me say this, I see A LOT, a LOT, of newborn photos. Some of them are stunning. Some of them are okay. Some of them are awful. This particular picture was plagued with so many of the major flaws I see in newborn photography. Then I realized that most people aren’t educated with what makes an actual solid newborn picture.
I am extremely aware that I am very critical when it comes to newborn photos, because I expect the highest standards from my own newborn work. So my heart is always a little sad when people don’t get that, regardless of where they go, 100% of the time. I didn’t start out with all of my newborn photos looking perfect. It’s taken a LOT of research and a TON of practice to get them where they are. If you haven’t put the time and efforts into this process, you won’t be able to obtain the same result.
Newborn photography is the most challenging to master, in my opinon. These little tiny people don’t care what you tell them to do. They will do as they please, and you have to adapt. If your photographer has the expeirence with how to handle them, you’re set. So let’s talk today about what to look out for when choosing your newborn photographer. I want to give you four things to look at when doing your research. If your photographer can pass the test with all of these, you’ve found a good one! :)
Newborn posing is CRITICAL. If you can’t properly pose a newborn, you will get a messy picture. The thing you must understand (and as a client, see first hand when I do your shoot), is that there are a ridiculous amount of factors in newborn posing. For instance, if the baby is awake, they will move and ruin your pose. If they baby is cold, they will cry and ruin your pose. If the baby isn’t calm (which it’s the photographers job to get the newborn calm), then you won’t be able to pose them at all.
So check out your potential photographers posing abilities by looking through their work. Look at the newborn’s hand positions, feet positions, etc. Are their little tiny hands flat, or are the cringed up near their faces? Do they look peaceful, or instead look awkward, like something just isn’t right? Check out one of my favorite newborn photographers, Keri Meyers. She is the master of newborn posing. Now can everyone compare to her (myself included)? Absolutely not. But she’s a fantastic gage of perfect newborn posing.
2. NEWBORN SKIN
If you’ve seen at least some newborn photos, you may have noticed that a lot of pictures have a weird foggy tint to them. Do you want to know why that happens? It’s because newborn skin is often red, and this shows heavily in pictures. If you don’t get these issues right when shooting the newborn, or don’t know how to fix them in the editing process, that’s how many photographers fix that issue. With an oddly foggy picture that has unnatural colors. There are great tools out there to help you correct newborns skin color, and an experienced photographer will know how to avoid ugly foggy pictures.
Another issue with newborns is baby acne. Very common, and easy to fix in the editing process. Look clearly at your potential photographers pictures and check out how smooth a baby’s skin is. A little secret for ya…most of the babies in these pictures you’re looking at had lots of blemishes. But guess what, I know how to fix them. So when a big 20×30 canvas of this perfect baby is hanging for all to see, they will oooooo and awwwwww over how cute they baby is, not frown at the pimple on their cheek. :)
3. THEIR FACE
You would think this is an easy one, but you guys, this is where I see the most mistakes in newborn pictures. I can’t tell you how many pictures I see where a newborn’s face is half buried into the ground. It boggles my mind why photographers don’t turn their faces completely forward. If the baby is posed on their side, gently move their face so we can see it in full. If the newborn is on their back, make sure their hands are wrapped so their face isn’t being blocked.
This is probably my single biggest pet peeve, not being able to see 100% of the newborn’s face. Espeically when it comes to pictures with their parents holding them. There have been many pictures I’ve come across where the baby’s face is planted into mom’s shoulder. Wait, aren’t we doing newborn pictures? Don’t we want to see their face?
So do your research. Does your potential Orange County newborn photographer have a lot of photos where the baby’s face is buried or covered? Or do you see this little angel face clearly in all of their images?
Now this last item won’t ruin newborn photos, but it’s a definite bonus. Does your photographer have props for you to use? All of the blankets, wraps, headbands, backgrounds, etc., that you see in these pictures, they’re actually mine. When I arrive at a new parent’s home, I know that odds are they don’t have many things I could use. So I make sure to have lots of photogenic props to make their session that much better.
Check out Caralee Case Photography. She has an absurdly incredible collection of newborn props. And her posing skills are impeccable.
Now don’t get me wrong, I can do a full session without any props, and still create beautiful pictures. But I love my props and I feel they enhance my pictures. So I choose to use them. :)
There ya go! Four things to look out for so you’ll have the most amazing newborn photos EVER! If you haven’t chosen a photographer for your little one yet and your in Southern California, contact me. I’ll help ya out! At the end of the day, I want you to have stunning newborn photos that will make you, your walls, and everyone on Facebook, smile. Forever.