Photographing Infants – A Cry For Help

Written by:

I have to shoot a baby.

Okay, that came out wrong. I don’t have to shoot shoot a baby, I have been asked to photograph my friend’s newborn.

This request comes in two phases. Phase One will take place in the actual hospital, in the actual birthing room, moments after the baby is born. Phase Two will follow about one week later, in the couple’s home, under much less hectic (and messy) circumstances.

Fortunately, I have a couple of months to prepare for these photography sessions – the baby isn’t due until mid-November. So, I have about two months to fret over this. Two months to agonize over lighting, and lenses, and angles, and how to successfully maneuver around the doctors and the nurses and the proud papa and the birthing mama and take all the photos desired while keeping her modesty and my sensibilities intact.

That last part is key, there.

Immediately after I agreed to this, I hopped on-line and found several excellent articles with lots of advice regarding the very pictures I want to achieve:

- Purple Stork reminds us to use solid background colors, and practice on a baby doll first to get the shots set up.
- Best Family Photography Tips warns against the use of a flash, and extols patience.
- Digital Photography Tutorial recommends limiting the range of colors in the photo, and also has some great suggestions for different, non-standard poses and angles.
- The Digital Photography School has two great articles – Baby Photography 101, and 10 Tips for Photographing Babies. They both cover a range of subjects; from timing, to props, to a reminder to heat up the room, and they include some great post-production tips.

Here is where I ask for your help. I’m really agonizing over this. It’s important, this memory and these moments that I’m expected to capture flawlessly. I don’t want to mess this up. So, in my opinion, the more information I have, the better prepared I will be. Do any of you have any recommendations or experiences you’d like to share, related to photographing infants? What worked for you, and what didn’t work for you? Did you achieve the end result you were looking for, and what would you do differently if you had the chance to do it all over again? Do you have any advice for a poor photographer lost and confused in a hospital and trying not to get in the way?

Thank you. You have my utmost gratitude.

Photo Credits (in order of appearance):

- “Sleep Like a Baby”. Photo by peasap on Flickr Creative Commons.
- “Baby Feet”. Photo by christine on Flickr Creative Commons.

Previous Post:

Comments are closed.