Newborn or Baby Photography is literally one of the most precious and rewarding types of photography sessions that a photographer is honored to shoot. If you are ever asked to photograph one of these sessions, I can give you a few pointers that I wish someone had told me the first few go-arounds.
If you are asked to come into a hospital room for Knoxville Newborn Photography, and you can’t control the environment around you, be prepared for a short and sweet photo shoot with these little ones. They are just hours old and still not sure what is going on in this big outside bright world. They get cold quickly and just want to sleep and be left alone, but don’t fear, you can still capture some amazing shots if you have a plan and work quickly.
I prefer to go to the home where the parents and baby are comfortable and the environment can be controlled. You will want to prep the parents as well, and give them some important instructions to help things go smoothly.
Instructions for the Parents:
1)Choose a well-lit room in the house for the photoshoot to take place, with lots of natural flowing light. Large windows or sliding glass doors are great.
2)Free that room of any clutter and get it photo ready
3)Instruct the parents to feed the baby 45 minutes to 1 hour prior to the photo session. This will help the baby have a full tummy but it can also give the baby time to have a diaper change before you get started
4)Have any clothes, blankets and props laid out and ready
5)Have spare diapers, burp cloths, pacifiers and bottle ready in case the baby becomes fussy
6)Make sure mom and dad both have an extra set of clothes readily available just in case baby has an accident on them (they always do!)
7)This last one is the most uncomfortable but also the most important for Knoxville Baby Photography: Turn the HEAT ON. No matter the season or time of day, these newborn babies hate to be cold and hot temperatures are an absolute must to keep the baby happy.
8)Both you and the parents should a lot at least 2-3 hours for these sessions which will give spare time for in-between feedings, cleanups and diaper changes.
Once you have prepped the parents, now you prep yourself. You want to be able to show up confident and well prepared for each shoot. You may still run into hurdles along the way, but hopefully the following tips will help you get started.
1)Prepare your camera bag with an extra memory card, battery and all the lenses you need.
2)Bring extra warm, soft and fuzzy blankets that will be used as props and backdrops and remember that sometimes these little ones have accidents so make sure you have extras just in case.
3)Don’t forget your clamps to secure your blankets and backdrops in place
4)Take smaller blankets or soft fabric for swaddling (wrapping the baby burrito-style)
5)Bring along any cute baby hats or props you may have lying around, including any cloth diapers or diaper covers if you have them.
6)Dress very light as the room should be very warm for the complete comfort of the baby (you WILL sweat!)
After you arrive and get things set up, ask parents to play some soft and calming music, or if they don’t have any, you can download an app on your phone (I use an app called “Relax Melodies” which is great). Now it’s time to get started so have fun! And remember, the baby is the one in control of this Knoxville Newborn Photography session! Don’t stress and stay calm… Baby Photography is challenging but also very rewarding.
Over the past decade, it’s been an honor to be published and recognized among the many talented Knoxville photographers as well as recognized and well known in other metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, GA and even over international waters. Over the years, I have also had the pleasure of mentoring and teaching some bright and talented amateur photographers across the United States and overseas. Anyone from stay-at-home mothers who may have been gifted a nice camera, to semi-professional photographers just getting started. For me, it’s a joy and passion of mine to take the knowledge of what I have learned by trial and error from being self-taught and starting my own business at the young age of 25 (when I was completely clueless), and passing the detailed insight on to other aspiring photographers. So if any of this sounds like you right now, then fasten your seat belt and let’s take a ride and I will give you some valuable tips on how to execute a photo session from start to finish.
1) First and probably the most important tip is: Always collect a deposit at the time someone books an appointment. The reason this is the most important is because if you do not secure the appointment right away, then the rest of my tips won’t matter because the session may not even take place. So, no matter how much you decide to collect as a required deposit, make sure it’s paid to you before you put them on your schedule. Note: Always have a cancellation policy that protects both you and your client.
2) Second, if you are planning an outdoor photo shoot, make sure you take into consideration the temperature, weather, sun direction and high/low tide (if at the beach). The very best skies are overcast/cloudy and golden hour sunrise/sunset. Knoxville photographers, be sure to consider the southern heat and humidity and try to avoid mid-day photo shoots. If you are shooting at a beach, get a tide table and make sure you schedule your beach sessions at high tide times.
3) Next, send your client(s) some helpful tips on how to prepare for their photo shoot with you. For example, give them do’s and don’ts outfit suggestions, props they could bring to personalize their session and always tell them things to avoid like wearing sunglasses on the way to an on-location shoot (eyes need time to adjust to sunlight, so if they wear sunglasses on the way to an outdoor shoot, they will be squinting through most of the session).
4) Prior to the scheduled photo shoot, it’s a great idea to scope out the area if you do not know it well. Take note of the sunlight and how it hits the area you will be shooting in at that specific time of day. This could make or break the photo shoot. Look around for great scenery, props and also pay attention to the small details like if there’s going to be people or cars in the way. Knoxville photographers should check festival schedules as well as University of Tennessee sports schedules to avoid showing up to a location where you are unable to shoot (yes, I have done this).
5) On the day of the photo shoot, come prepared with extra batteries, extra memory cards and more than one lens for different styles of photography. You would be surprised how often even the most professional of photographers forget these small details that seem like common sense.
I hope I have given you some simple yet useful tips on how to execute a successful photo shoot. I look forward to sharing more of my photography tips throughout the fall season! Until next time….