1 Blankets and props
We want a contemporary look for our baby photos, and a big part of this is picking the right colours and textures for the backdrop. We used soft blankets, wraps and hats from babyprops.co.uk. A wrap or a hat can be a great way to add a splash of colour and texture to your shots.
3 Direct the light
Window light is ideal for newborn photography – it’s soft and flattering. Light direction is vital with any type of portraiture, as it’s light that forms highlights, and shadows that give depth to a subject’s features. A sideon position will create bits of highlight and shadow.
5 Stock camera settings
Here’s a good stock setting for window-lit portraits. Set Manual mode with a shutter speed of 1/200 sec and Auto ISO. The ISO will adapt as best it can to give a correct exposure. Set the aperture to a wide setting of about f/3.5. Anything wider might be too shallow.
2 Check the settings
Time is usually limited – babies need feeding, parents are tired and there’s always the threat of a nappy change. So it pays to get your setup sorted before bringing the baby in. Use a toy that’s roughly the same size to check your lighting, backdrop and camera settings are spot-on.
4 Bounce with a reflector
A simple reflector is useful when shooting with natural light from a window. Held opposite the window, the reflector lets us bounce light back into shadows, which evens out contrast for soft lighting. If your reflector has different coloured surfaces, white or silver are best here.
6 Good lens choices
A lens with a wide maximum aperture is crucial if you’re looking for that shallow-focus and soft-backdrop look. Prime lenses are a good choice for this: they usually offer wide apertures and excellent optics. We used a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 and a 105mm f/2.8 macro in this instance.