Baby Photographer Shares Secrets to Get Great Pictures

Anna Kooiman Baby 2018
Anna Kooiman Baby 2018
Anna Kooiman Baby 2018
Anna Kooiman Baby 2018
Anna Kooiman Baby 2018
Anna Kooiman Baby 2018
Anna Kooiman Baby 2018
Anna Kooiman Baby 2018

Looking at these sweet newborn images three months after Brooks was born, I almost can’t believe how small he was! Don’t get me wrong though. He’s still very much an infant, only recently able to hold his own head up (and it’s still a little bobbly wobbly!). 

I’m currently back in the USA right now introducing Brooks to my friends and family. I put together a book filled with these images for his grandparents and great grandmothers. It’s a great way to treasure these moments forever… and a great way for them to easily show him off to their friends and family at church, in the neighborhood, and nursing home! ;-)

I am so happy my husband and I made the decision to take newborn pictures when Brooks was less than a week old. He is so cuddly and squishy! I am simply melting once again over these images!

Anna Kooiman Baby 2018

Below you will find a Q and A with an amazing Aussie photographer, Kath Mclean. She shares why taking pictures early is best, how to get good light, what to do if the baby is crying, and several other secrets to snapping such heartwarming pictures.

ANNA: When is the best time to take newborn pictures?

KATH: The best time to take newborn photos is in the first 10 ten days after you give birth.  They are still very sleepy and happy to curl up into sweet poses, you also capture them at their tiniest which doesn’t last long.  After about 10 days they like to stretch out those legs and arms and start popping on the kgs.   However any time in the first 3 months works, especially if that works best for mum everybody needs to be happy and relaxed.

180201_Bright_Photography_Brooks_finals-36.jpgAnna Kooiman Baby 2018

ANNA: How should new parents go about finding a newborn photographer if they are wanting to hire a professional?

KATH: When you are looking for a newborn photographer its important to find your right fit.  Word of mouth is great otherwise find somebody who is local to you.  Its really lovely to support your local businesses.

ANNA: Are images best taken at the home or in a studio?

KATH: There are benefits to both in home and studio sessions with your newborn but I am personally a fan of in home lifestyle sessions for so many reasons.  Even if you live in a tiny apartment with too many bits and pieces I can find space to make beautiful images.  In home sessions are easy, no driving around trying to time feeds and sleeps and having a crying newborn in the car seat.  Its lovely and relaxed and we are able to use things around your home that really mean something to you.

ANNA: How should you dress your newborn? 


KATH: When it comes to dressing your newborn for a session I am a firm believer in less is more.  Its so lovely to see their tiny bodies and more often than not clothes don’t fit well.  I like to photograph their shoulders and hands, fingers and toes, all those precious spots mums and dads cant stop kissing!  Its nice to have little accessories like beanies, absolutely nobody looks as good as newborn in a beanie.  Any changes of clothes during the session can really upset the baby so I like to keep it simple.  Of course at the end of your session I live to photograph them in oversized socks and frocks.

ANNA: What should mom and dad wear?

KATH: I recommend that parents wear clothes they are comfortable in for their sessions.  I like to have plain colour or simple patterns without bold text on them as this can be distracting in the finished images.  

ANNA: What kind of lighting is best?

KATH: When lighting an in home session I like to position myself next to some soft, flattering window light.  Its all you need.

ANNA: What kinds of toys, props, etc should parents have at the shoot?

KATH: I really like to use props during my sessions.  Things that are important to you, knitted by nanny or just super cute.  Its lovely to have a special teddy bear to photograph your baby next to, its very sweet but also gives a great size perspective, you can really see how tiny they are next to a teddy bear.  Its also very sweet to have them photographed with that same teddy at 1 year and  following years so you can see how they explode in size in just a blink of your eye.

ANNA: Babies are expensive! What if a professional photographer isn't in the budget? Do you have some tips for taking good pictures without a professional?

KATH: If hiring a pro photographer is out of your budget  you could follow these tips to getting some great shots yourself.   

-If you have a camera other than a phone camera use that. 

-I would recommend when baby is very small to photograph them asleep or --When they are very relaxed.  

-Look at your background and de clutter it before you start.

-Always look for good light. 

-Take a few shots so you can pick the best of the bunch.

ANNA: Anything else you would like to add?

KATH: Booking a newborn session is such a gift not only to you but your baby and eventually your baby’s babies.  You will have beautiful pictures of your precious baby, you and your partner, something you cannot do yourself .  Professional photos last life times unlike the newborn phase of your journey with your children, its gone in a haze of breastfeed, sleep deprivation and hours of just staring and kissing your baby.  It’s a legacy you pass on for generations.  How many times have you poured over photos of your parents, yourself and your partner as a squishy baby, so adorable.

*Check out Kath Mclean's Bright Photography online here.

Anna Kooiman Baby 2018