April 12, 2020

Documenting Your Babies During Quarantine

I am a firm believer that parents should invest in photos of their babies. Your children grow so fast, and things seem to change almost overnight it seems.

I absolutely love being a lifestyle newborn photographer, and am so sad at this time that I cannot capture so many of my clients babies. I want to help families still be able to photograph their little ones and have portraits to remember.

These will not be the same as professional portraits unfortunately, but they are still worth trying to document. As a way to give back to the community, I will to professionally retouch 5 digital photos of your babies (at any age!) that were taken during quarantine, at no cost. Even if they are cell phone photos! Email me the files at nataliegracephotos@gmail.com and we will chat 🙂

Before you take out your iphone or the camera you bought for family vacations (and never use, let’s be honest) read my step by step guide below!

Here’s my Gracie girl at 3 days old!

Quick story time; five years ago I was a single mom, starting a photography business with absolutely NO money. I regret more than anything not saving every last dime I had for professional newborn portraits, but at the time I didn’t realize how priceless those would have been to me. And, honestly I was broke. So I took photos on my cheap starter camera and on my cell phone. But now here I am, 5 years later running a successful business and hundreds of shoots under my belt. And I want to share with you the top 8 secrets for quarantine photo success


Rule #1: Look for a clean neutral background with good lighting

This was shot in a bedroom, with white walls and on a white blanket to keep things minimalistic looking. Too many details and colors can make the images appear messy and won’t allow you to focus on the subject; your baby.


Rule #2: Stick with Neutral Outfits & Simple Accessories

I am all for neutral color tones in newborn photos! Whites, grays, tans, navy, blush & blacks tend to photograph the best. Stay away from busy patterns or stripes which can appear unflattering. If you choose to incorporate accessories or props keep it minimal- a single book, photograph (such as a sonogram photo) or a bow headband will work. Feel free to bring in seasonal props (flowers for spring!). I did some of my daughter with Christmas props since her birthday was close to the holiday.


Rule #3: Pinterest is Your Friend

I feel like a lot of photographers hate on Pinterest but hear me out; part of the reason you hired a professional is for their guidance, their coaching for posing, and for their creativity. If you are struggling to set up a photo scene do not beat yourself up! This is totally normal. Hop on Pinterest for a few “lifestyle newborn photo” searches and see what you can create in your own home.


Rule #4: Document Your Baby with YOU

Get in the photo. I know those first few weeks after having a baby are rough. You are tired, you probably haven’t washed your hair in what feels like forever. You are not exactly feeling camera ready- and that is ok. But get in the photo anyways. I always like to document a parent holding a child in their hands and in their arms, because those things are outgrown the quickest. One day your baby is so small, and perfectly cradled in your arms safe from the world.  In the blink of an eye they are a toddler no longer wanting to be held down. Trust me, you will want those photos to look back on to remember how wonderful it felt holding your baby.


Rule #5: Time for Your Closeup!

Take lots of photos of baby’s hands, ears, little lips and feet. Those change the quickest and newborn baby toes are the cutest.


Rule #6: Get that Good Lighting

Turn off all the lights in the room. Orange/ yellow fluorescent light is incredibly unflattering. Try to make sure there is at least one window in the room, if possible. Try to do photos during the day, in the morning hours if possible when the light is even filtering in through the windows. When you position your baby for photos, try to have them so that the window light is on top of them or to the side so that they have even shadows across their face.


Rule #7: Make Sure Everyone is Ready to Go

Make sure you baby is fed and has a clean diaper before beginning the shoot. Bribe your older children with snacks. Make sure the room your shooting in is warm, and remember to be kind with yourself. This is for fun and you are doing a great job.


Rule #8: Send Your Favorites to Me!

You created some photo magic but let’s be honest it’s missing some professional finishing touches. Email 5 of your favorite images to me at nataliegracephotos@gmail.com and I’ll try to knock out some edits on them as fast as I can. And don’t forget to reach out when this is all over to schedule 6 month + first birthday cake smash photos!

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