I can recall thinking to myself, with a smidgen of guilt: how am I ever going to get a picture I like of my newborn? What angle could possibly capture the love I felt for this ruddy, crinkled, not yet plumped-up little being who consumed my days and nights?
I was surely blinded by mother’s love. But I was also self-conscious enough to want a picture-perfect image for my birth announcements. Since neither of my newborns were quite Gerber images in those early weeks, I recall ultimately sending announcements with images that were at best clearly focused. Oh, and the baby was awake.
With the design quality of today’s birth announcement cards showcasing crisp, vibrant colors and whimsical details to frame your baby’s image, most of us want to do equal justice to our little darlings. Many professional photographers will tell you that waiting a few weeks may be the best idea. This is true especially when a newborn hits four weeks; the eyes open more infants and attempts to smile begin.
To maximize those photo op moments between feedings, naps and diaper changes, here’s a few ways to get a good photo of your little one:
- Begin observing best times of day for a calm mood and alertness.
- Smiling may begin between 4 – 8 weeks, but a focused, steady gaze is the goal.
- Pay attention to lighting. Newborns turn towards natural light, but harsh artificial light can agitate them and have the opposite effect (note: beware camera flash!)
- Don’t contrive baby’s body posture. Newborns are not yet sitting, so don’t pose them that way.
- Accessories such as a gently draped blanket or carefully placed stuffed animal can liven up the image.
- Dress baby simply. Steer clear of busy patterns or fussy frills.
- Consider black and white images. They show off a baby’s skin beautifully.
- Focus in on endearing features such as a baby’s hands or feet, or a close up of the face.
- Shop birth announcement designs ahead of time to see what kinds of photos work best in designs you like (e.g. a single close-up or a collection of images?)
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