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Newborn Photography: An Essential Guide To Capturing Gorgeous Images

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It’s not every day you give birth, so when you do, you want to capture your newborn in photographs that will last forever. Here’s what you need to know…

The cost of a photography session for your newborn can hurt more than childbirth itself. What mum isn’t going to want a version of every one of the 200 frames taken? So finding an excellent photographer to capture your newborn on film is an investment worth making. But how do you know who’s great? Who will capture your baby beautifully, in images that won’t date, are beautifully lit and more importantly will handle your baby with the care they deserve on the day? Enter Rainee Lantry has photographed more than 100 babies, pregnant women, new mums with their bundle of joy and family portraits. Here, Rainee shares her top tips on newborn photography.

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Awww… a bundle of joy. Photography by Rainee Lantry at Cloud Nine Photography

1. Look at their photographs and ask yourself if you really love their work.

“When booking a photographer, take a good look at their website and blog,” suggests Rainee. “Do you love their images? Does their style fit in with what you envision hanging on your walls? Is their work consistently at a high standard? If the answer to this is no, then keep on looking.”

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“Hey sis, put a zipper on it!” Photography by Rainee Lantry at Cloud Nine Photography.

2. Ensure they will handle your baby with care….

“Many of the newborn images you see are actually composite images,” explains Rainee. “A composite image is where two images are blended into one, allowing babies to be supported and held in positions safely. Images are then blended in Photoshop later to create the finished product. This is the most important consideration when considering newborn photography. To make sure your photographer is going to be safe with your baby, send them an email asking them about what safety measures they use.”

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“Me and my bestie…!”  Photography by Rainee Lantry at Cloud Nine Photography.

3. Check their style works with your style.

Are you modern mum or more classic in style? “Consider what style you are drawn to,” advise Rainee. “Do you like the cute sleepy shots? Outdoor photography? Or non-posed lifestyle photography? If you know what style you are after it will make it easier to find a photographer to meet your needs.”

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Love, times three. Photography by Rainee Lantry at Cloud Nine Photography.

4. Don’t be caught out by the ‘free photography session’ offered.

“Most of us know someone who has been given a free session by a large chain store or at the local shopping center stand, only to find that it costs an absolute fortune to purchase a print,” Rainee says. “I’m not suggesting that photographers should not charge for their work, but you need to be aware of their pricing before you book in for the free session.” Rainee says that you get what you pay for in terms of quality.

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Mother love… Photography by Rainee Lantry at Cloud Nine Photography.

5. Know what you are paying for…

Is a photographer who charges $50 just as good as a photographer who charges $500? Not necessarily. Photography is a creative art, and all artists skill levels are different and their style unique. “When you pay for a reputable professional photographer, it’s usually reflected in their work,” Rainee explains. “Professional photographers have many overheads, like expensive equipment and software, insurances, props, specialty training and more. This is why a professional photographer needs to charge accordingly to make sure they cover their costs and earn a living. Most photographers will charge a session fee to cover the time taken to photograph your session. After the session there will be an opportunity to purchase prints, albums and products. If the photographer you love is slightly more than your budget allows, ask if they have a payment plan or layby option available.”

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Like me hot wheels? Photography by Rainee Lantry at Cloud Nine Photography.

6. Add your newborn photography to your Baby Shower Gift List!

Here’s a clever idea. If you’re overwhelmed by teddy bears and wraps, you can always give family and friends the heads up that you’d like them to contribute to a photography session instead. “Once you have picked your photographer, you can always ask if the photographer will set up a baby register and make family and friends,” suggests Rainee. “Even small gift vouchers can be put towards print credits for when you are ready to order.”

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“So tired I could sleep anywhere!” Photography by Rainee Lantry at Cloud Nine Photography.

7. Ask friends for recommendations.

If you’re still at a loss and can’t settle on a photographer, then ask around. “Word of mouth can be an effective way of finding your photographer,” suggests Rainee. “If friends or family have used a photographer in the past and were happy with the results, then this can help you decide.”

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“The sound of waves sends me to sleep everytime….” Photography by Rainee Lantry at Cloud Nine Photography.

8. Capture your newborn at the right time…   

“Most of the cute sleepy shots you see of newborn babies are photographed within the first two weeks of bub’s life,” explains Rainee. “This is when they are at their sleepiest. It is best to book in with your photographer whilst pregnant especially if the photographer is in high demand.”

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Double luck! They are both asleep! Photography by Rainee Lantry at Cloud Nine Photography.

9. Don’t let the opportunity slip by…

“Being a mother of two myself, I can attest to how quickly children grow and change,” reveals Rainee. “In the blink of an eye they grow and move on from the baby stage. Newborn and baby photography is not something you should put off for another year.”

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The first smile captured on film! Photography by Rainee Lantry at Cloud Nine Photography.

10. Be relaxed, organized and prepared!

That’s easier said than done when you are learning the new language of baby with broken sleep, but don’t let a photography session stress you out more. “Don’t worry too much before your session about whether baby will settle,” advises Rainee. “A photographer who has experience with babies will have some tricks up their sleeve. They can tell you what to bring to your session (I usually tell clients to bring a dummy if bub takes one and a feed). And relax about what about to dress bub in – gone are the days of matchy portraits. Simple color palates that complement each other work much better.”

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Stress free mum sharing a beautiful moment. Photography by Rainee Lantry at Cloud Nine Photography.

Have you had your newborn’s photos taken? What was your experience? And what advice do you have for other mums? Tell us here…

Written by Franki Hobson

Franki Hobson has worn many hats during her many years as a women's lifestyle journalist and editor. Her launching pad was COSMOPOLITAN magazine, where she moved from News & Entertainment Editor to Features Director, covering everything from the legalisation of the Morning After Pill to Gwen Stefani, fashion, beauty, sex, health, fitness, entertainment and relationships.

Franki Hobson is a contributing lifestyle writer for The Carousel.

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