As we faced many changes during 2020, one of the adjustments that I loved was moving some of the newborn photoshoots outdoors! It may feel overwhelming for both a photographer and the new parents to take the baby outside for a photoshoot. But with proper preparation and a positive attitude, your outdoor newborn shoot can become an unforgettable experience for your clients, resulting in a stunning gallery of newborn portraits!
Tip #1. Set the Mood and Expectations.
Every one of us knows how stressful a photoshoot day can be for a mama. Get everyone ready for the session, feed the baby, look pretty, get to the location on time, not forget anything important (like a diaper bag). The list goes on! When my clients arrive, I always tell them firsthand that they did their homework wonderfully: came well prepared and beautifully dressed, and now they can relax, enjoy each other and put all the worries behind!
Tip #2. Less movement.
Find a spot where the light won’t hit the baby’s face, and you will be comfortable shooting through the entire time of the session.
Try not to move the family from location to location. That is why ideally a photographer should arrive earlier and find that perfect evenly-lit spot for the shoot.
Tip #3. Go with the baby’s flow.
If the baby arrives sleeping or falls asleep during the shoot – do the individual baby portraits. I find the seagrass baskets the most effortless yet most beautiful setup for outdoor newborn shoots.
When the baby is awake but calm, try to do the family portraits and pictures with mom, dad, and siblings.
If the baby is fussy, it’s time for some candid shots – walking, parents rocking, and singing to the baby. The key is to calm the parents and reassure them that even ‘not perfect’ moments of crying baby photograph beautifully. Also, it is a good time for some portraits of the rest of the family: mama and sibling(s), daddy and sibling(s).
Tip #4. Keep the session shorter.
While shooting outdoors, we have less time before the following feeding/diaper change, even with the perfect sleeping baby. So make the most out of the time you have. (This does not apply if you are shooting in your client’s backyard, and they can step inside for feeding/changing).
Tip #5. Keep warm layers on hand.
Even on a warm day, the weather can be tricky from location to location, so keep the warm baby blankets and a hat on hand to keep the baby warm and comfortable!
I hope these tips help you feel more confident during your next outdoor newborn photoshoot and empower you to document some precious moments for your clients!