TURN YOUR HOME INTO THE PERFECT NEWBORN STUDIO
You know what is crazy? Having four kids. That is just one of the things that Suzy and I have in common. We met when we both only had 2 kids and have doubled that number in just 3 years. We are real life best friends, and I’m so excited that together we will be sharing creative projects and ideas with you all. Crazy projects, crazy ideas, and soon to be eight crazy kids together. GULP. Also, Hi. I’m Alana.
Remember that crazy of my 4 kids? Well it was seeming a little daunting to get everyone ready for newborn photos and it was a cloudy dark day with sunset approaching. My husband was saying he might not be home in time, and I went on FULL BLOWN panic mode and told him we had to cancel our photoshoot. Luckily, Suzy knew better than to let that happen and assured me that we would make it work – and work it did. We turned my house into a little newborn studio in less than a minute, and it was easy!
We love a to keep shoots simple especially for newborns, and love the comfortable cozy feeling of home. Home is where our babies story begins and so there isn’t a more beautiful or natural way to document it. Not to mention the fact that you don’t have to pack up anything to go anywhere. If you need any baby necessities, you have them, want to change outfits, no big deal. I promise that any house with a source of natural light can be a studio and allow you to get beautiful photos. You can even set the room up and take these with your phone!
First, you need to find the natural light in your house. If you are good at planning ahead, make note of the time of day that you have the most light and if possible, plan to shoot during that time. Or if you are like Suzy and I, you just have to make the precious time not occupied by naps and carpool work, you find a way. Don’t stress.
I was worried that all my photo-worthy rooms were way too dark for any photos at that time of day, but it didn’t matter. We walked through the house and found the light. The one room with good light is virtually empty, so we grabbed the white duvet (would recommend white or cream for newborns always) and pillows from off my bed and made a faux bed on the floor. Simplest and best solution. It sounds silly, but it photographed like we were on a bed, and it made it easier to get those overhead shots. BONUS: It’s more flattering than on an actual bed where the photos might be taken from a lower angle which isn’t as flattering as photos taken from above. Heaven knows, us post partum mamas need all the help we can get with angles!
We set up a little olive tree and lamp to add some interest and height so it didn’t look so bare. We had created a home studio space and it seriously took us all of 30 seconds to set up.
Remember, a newborn is small, and so all they need is a corner of a bed or blanket to lay on to capture them in photos. Just make sure when you are taking photos of your newborn that you put them facing the light to avoid weird shadows on their face. Grab a stool and get above them to get those photos you have seen all over Instagram. Taking photos of a family, you really just need one wall to shoot against and some empty floor space and blanket. Prop up your phone or you can even tape your phone to the wall if you are doing these yourself!
How to dress for photos?
I really wanted these photos to be simple and feel natural. Nothing too formal, not even shoes for the kids (which we don’t wear in the house anyways). I always opt for complimentary outfits that don’t necessarily match perfectly and have different textures and colors. It is fun to go shopping for all new clothes that coordinate for photos, but I love to look and see what we have, and then fill in the gaps with a shopping trip. Although I did use family photos as an excuse to make my husband get some new clothes, and for me to buy something that fit that wasn’t maternity, 90% of what my kids wore was from their closets. I brought out a few hand-me-downs and made it work. I realized I would be wearing white, so I tried to not be the only one in a lighter color so that I wouldn’t stand out too much. Key: Complimentary not perfectly coordinated and matching- matchy matchy look went out a few years ago.
And for a newborn – less is more. I had the cutest sweater that I had planned for baby girl to wear, but it was too big, and she was just drowning in it. A white onsie and some leggings weren’t what I would initially would have done, but I also wanted her to be able to be seen and so it was so much better when I took off the sweater. Newborns are so tiny and that is really what you want to remember, not what clothes they were wearing. Key: snug fitting newborn outfits.
Bribery goes a long way. My kids were promised all kinds of treats and dollar amounts if they cooperated. But start small and work your way up with the bribes so that you have some room to bargain if they are really stubborn.
Try to have everyone well fed. That means you too! Everyone is happier when they have a full stomach. Especially baby, and if you need to take a quick break to feed, that is okay too!
Don’t stress like me, because really, all you need is one good photo.
Tracen Shirt: Old (similar) Jeans(Having boys, we have gotten to the stage where their pants are worn out way too fast. I love these jeans because they are a great price, fit well, and I don’t cringe as much when i see holes in the knees.)