Wrapping a newborn for photos doesn’t only soothe them to get better images, but helps to add texture and interest to your images. Follow these 7 newborn photography tips focused on helping you nail wrapping the little one.
Newborn photography tips | Wrapping
1. Invest in different lengths and textures.
If you really fall in love with a brand, texture or color, buy more than one and cut the second one in half. Use a smaller piece of fabric when you just want to cover part of the baby or the fabric is thicker and you only need one layer. Use a longer piece of fabric when you need to double it up so it won’t be see through or you are using a tail. I have a collection of vanklee, cheesecloth, lycra and pieces from the fabric store.
2. Practice on a doll.
If you see a wrap you want to try, use a doll first! This will help you determine where to place the wrap and baby to start, if you need to leave more fabric on one side, and so on. You will feel more confident recreating the wrap on a real baby.
3. Have a wrapping workflow.
Just like with your posed or lifestyle work, you should have a plan. Set aside the wraps you want to work with, keeping mind what textures and colors go with your current background. Start with wraps where you don’t have to move the baby too much, think of them as your safe shots, then go for a more complicated wrap. Layer your wraps for added variety. This is great to do if the baby isn’t in a deep sleep or fussing a little. Start with a tighter swaddle and then add a darker color over. Here, the blue wrap was placed over the beige wraps.
Whenever you can, tuck the wrap around the baby instead of picking them up and actually wrapping it around them. Your chances of waking the baby up will be less so you can maximize on your workflow.
If you are using a longer wrap with a tail, bunch the extra fabric behind the baby for two different looks.
5. Don’t use a flat surface.
When the baby is on their back, you want a surface that has some give so you can give the baby some shape. Use a bowl or a bean bag so you can dig a little hole for their bottom so you can curl the legs and feet up. The baby on the left has less shape and looks bigger. Take advantage of having a tiny newborn in your hands and curl them up.
6. Wrap them tight for sibling shots.
Babies startle easily and swing their arms and legs around. Swaddling them tight creates a nice clean look and keeps them warm. You don’t have to worry the baby scratching their sibling or rooting.
7. Use directional light. I prefer side lighting when the baby is laying on their back. This helps bring out their features and the texture in the fur. When moving from posed shots on the bean bag to flokati shots, I need to move my set up so the light is coming from the side.