What I would have given when I first started out in Newborn Photography for some quick, easy steps to enhance my end product.
Now I am a few years down the line I figure I have a few little gems I truly wish I had known from the outset.
Instead of learning from trial and error I could have avoided the errors altogether.
So let me help you to set off on the right foot..
1. Angle the light
When I began I had no clue about how to properly light the setup. I would plonk my backdrop square onto the window thinking that the more light all over the baby the better. WRONG! Shadows are your friend too, they add texture, depth and a natural look to your photographs. Therefore you need to angle your setup/backdrop to your light source.
As I am a natural light, in home baby photographer I pop my babies on an approximate 90 degree angle to the largest window around. Therefore the light hits one side of their face/head and casts gentle shadows on the opposite. If it is too harsh then I use my reflector on the side of the shadows to bounce some of that beautiful natural light back the the baby.
I am never afraid to ask to move things around in my clients home if it's blocking the natural light.
2. Send your clients a prep guide
Okay so this one take a little bit of extra effort on your part. Spend some time putting together a blog or pdf with some helpful tips to share with your clients prior to shoot.
I do not tend to send this when booking, instead I wait until baby has arrived and share it with them just a few days before the shoot. This way its easy for them to find and fresh in their minds.
The tips to include vary a lot between newborn photographers. We each have our preferences and specific things we personally find help our sessions to run more smoothly and more efficiently.
It's easy for you to do some reading around and trial and error to see which you might want to include in your preparation guide.
Some of the common ones are crank up the heat, dress baby in clothes that undo at the front, pop lotion on baby the morning of the shoot, try to feed baby during set up, book your session well in advance, keep baby awake for a period of time before the session and so on.
Always reassure your clients that these are simply tips and not to worry over them too much, you have scheduled plenty of time to work around baby and understand that babies are unpredictable. The last thing you want is for your prep tips guide to come across like a list of demands. Therefore maybe just pick your key 3 tips and leave the rest out.
3. Less setups - More angles and crops
During my early days I found that I changed my setup a lot, multiple colours, props, baskets, bowls and so forth. Transitioning between these woke the baby and I spent too much time getting baby back to sleep.
So I learnt to select fewer setups and perfect making those work to produce multiple images. It's amazing how simply changing the angle or crop creates a completely different look.
Of course if you can learn the Flow Posing like that taught by the amazing Kelly Brown you will also be able to manage your time more efficiently.