Photo Plus - - The Apprentice -

1 be pre­pared Prepa­ra­tion is key. Have a work­flow planned so that you can eas­ily tran­si­tion the baby from one po­si­tion to an­other. Make sure your cam­era and cards are ready, and that props, hats and blan­kets are eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble.

2 Re­lax! It’s im­por­tant that you’re calm and re­laxed through­out the shoot, so the baby feels safe and com­fort­able with you. Par­ents also need to feel that you’re con­fi­dent.

3 keep the room warm New­borns have trou­ble reg­u­lat­ing their tem­per­a­ture, so you need to keep the room warm – 22-24 de­grees is ideal. Make sure your blan­kets and wraps are warm, as changes in tem­per­a­ture will star­tle and wake the baby.

4 safety first Al­ways have a spot­ter to en­sure the baby is safe at all times. Ask dad or mum to get in­volved if need be. Be gen­tle, and never force a baby into a po­si­tion that they are clearly not com­fort­able in.

5 Turn up the vol­ume New­borns haven’t come from a quiet place; it’s been noisy for them in the womb over the last few months. So put the ra­dio on and don’t be afraid to chat! Don’t tip­toe about – noise ac­tu­ally helps set­tle the baby.

6 Fill them up A full tummy makes the baby more likely to be con­tent. Some need feed­ing ev­ery 20 min­utes, oth­ers can go for hours with­out feed­ing. I warn par­ents to ex­pect to feed a lit­tle more than nor­mal dur­ing a pho­to­shoot.

7 Wide awake Don’t be afraid to cap­ture wide-awake mo­ments as well as sleep­ing ones. The yawns and baby pouts are cute, and new­borns sleep a lot, so get­ting a shot with open eyes is im­por­tant to the par­ents.

8 Take your time A new­born shoot takes time – two to four hours is com­mon. Pre­pare the par­ents in ad­vance and ex­plain that the baby needs time to do what ba­bies do. There will be lots of set­tling, feed­ing and chang­ing nap­pies!

9 clean­li­ness Use an­tibac­te­rial hand wash be­fore and dur­ing the ses­sion, and make sure your blan­kets are washed af­ter each one. Never pho­to­graph a baby if you are ill; even a com­mon cold sore can have se­ri­ous con­se­quences.

10 know your cam­era and kit New­born pho­tog­ra­phy is very spe­cial, so make sure you know your Canon cam­era, lenses and lights in­side-out. This way, you’ll be con­fi­dent when you need to tweak set­tings on the fly, and can re­ally en­joy the ses­sion!

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