Having been a lifestyle newborn photographer for a few years now, I feel like I can pack my camera bag in my sleep. Not only do I know what lenses I need to bring, but I know exactly why I want to have them in my bag and what they will help me achieve during my session.
Read more: 5 Reasons to Try a Lifestyle Approach
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I honestly feel like I have the dream team of lenses in my camera bag, making photographing newborns not only easy but fun as my lenses help me achieve the creativity that I crave.
- No.01To Achieve Bokeh
I photograph 75% of my newborn sessions using my Sigma 50mm f/1.4 lens. Not only is it wonderful for portraits, but the low aperture allows me to achieve some beautiful bokeh. I love achieving crisp focus by placing my focal point on the baby, while using a lower aperture like f/2.8 to blur the foreground and background. This helps to create a soft and quiet image that is perfect for newborns.
- No.02To Document The Surroundings
Being a lifestyle newborn photographer means that I document newborns within their home. A big part of this style of photography means incorporating the surroundings of the family’s home within the images. For that, I love using my Sigma 24mm f/1.4 lens, as it has more of a wide angle that allows me to get more of the surroundings within the frame. This lens is also wonderful for working within tight or small spaces, so I am sure to take it with me so I am prepared to photograph successfully in any space, big or small.
- No.03To Tell A Story With Depth
Using lower apertures to create depth in an image is a powerful way to tell a story within a photograph. In the photo above, I used my Sigma 50mm f/1.4 lens to create depth by placing the focal point on the baby’s sweet head. By choosing an aperture of f/2.8, it allowed me to blur my background just enough to keep the focus on the baby but still visually focused enough to capture the emotion of joy of the parents.
- No.04To Get Higher Off The Ground
Photographing from above is a very powerful way of telling a story, as it creates a unique perspective. I use my Sigma 24mm f/1.4 lens when photographing from above because the wide angle capability of this lens helps me to get more within my frame without having to step on a step stool to capture the moment.
- No.05To Tell A Story With Scale
Incorporating the surroundings of the home into the image not only helps to tell a story, but it helps to create scale. I love showing just how small babies really are within photographs by comparing them to their surroundings. Because the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 lens allows me to bring more of the surroundings into my image, it helps me document how small the newborn is by directly comparing them to their huge surroundings.
- No.06To Help Combat Low Light Scenarios
One exciting thing about being a lifestyle newborn photographer is that every session lends us a different setting. Sometimes, like the session featured, the setting has beautiful natural light that is ideal and perfect in every way. Other times, we are given low light and we have to make it work. I love that both my Sigma 50mm f/1.4 and Sigma 24mm f/1.4 lenses both combat low light well because of their low aperture capabilities. When placed in a setting with low light, I know that my camera can help me bring in more light with a higher ISO, while my lenses can help me bring in more light using lower apertures. This ensures that I can reflect my bright style in my images regardless of my surroundings.
Another helpful way to combat low light is by using a tripod. I always bring my tripod with me, just in case, to help me steady my camera and still achieve crisp focus in settings with lower light.
- No.07To Fill The Frame
One of my favorite things about my Sigma 50mm f/1.4 lens is that it helps me fill the frame with all things baby. I love using my 50mm to capture the sweet details of newborn toes, hands, and face. Although I do not currently use macro lenses, they are also another great way to capture the details of newborns.
To ensure that I am not wasting time switching my lenses out throughout the session, I find it easier to use two camera bodies and place my Sigma 50mm f/1.4 lens on my Nikon D610 and my Sigma 24mm f/1.4 lens on my Nikon D600.
With a wide variety of lenses to choose from, I find that I only need two lenses in my camera bag to help me achieve my photography style during my lifestyle newborn sessions. Choosing the right lenses to bring along to a lifestyle newborn session can really ensure that your session is a success.
Remember, lenses can help you achieve the story you are trying to tell, whether you are telling it through your subjects, through their surroundings, or from a different point of view.