10 Must-Haves for Every Newborn Photographer
The needs of each newborn photography studio will vary somewhat depending on the type of studio. But a few essential tools are necessary in just about every newborn photography studio. Today we are sharing the newborn photography studio essentials we could not live without.
1) Posing Beanbag and Stand
First up is a posing beanbag (or other similar surface) and beanbag stand. We use this about 50% of the time for each newborn session. It is a safe and comfortable place to perfect your newborn poses. Our stand is the adjustable aluminum backdrop stand from Newborn Studio Props. We love how sturdy this stand is and that the height is adjustable. You can view the stand here. The beanbag we purchased used and filled from another photographer so are not sure on the brand. I do have a great video tip showing how I fill posing bags in a relatively easy and painless method. You can view the video in my Facebook mentoring group here. You will need to request permission to join the group first.
2) Hardware Store Clips
The next newborn photography studio essential tool are these handy clips. You can find these at any hardware store in multiple sizes. We use these in so many ways. We use the larger two to pull fabric tight over the beanbag and clip it snuggly to the beanbag stand. The smallest ones we use to pull back fabric on outfits that are a bit too large. We also use them to keep our backdrops rolled up. We have them screwed into a board along the wall for easy storage. Some hardware stores sell a plastic version of these clamps. We highly recommend that you do NOT purchase these for your studio. These clamps have a tendency overtime to wear down and can snap unexpectedly. When they do so they can fly across a room at an incredible speed and are quite dangerous. Here’s a link to the brand we recommend.
Posers are the next important tool we use during every newborn session. We have all kinds of posers in different shapes and sizes that we use for the various poses we achieve during a newborn session. We love this deep donut poser. We use this one every session for some of our favorite poses. We also have a smaller version for other specific poses. And when in a pinch we sometimes use a rolled up towel to achieve the same desired effect. Photos of the donut poser and then the donut poser in use. This poser we also purchased used so are uncertain of the brand.
This cart contains the bulk of our posers. The multicolored ones we call posing beans and these are from The Original Photoblocks Props shop. We have a large variety of these beans and use them in nearly every image we capture. We love how thoughtfully designed these beans are. Also a note about the rolling stand. While it may not be an essential tool for the newborn photographer it definitely is a convenient one. In addition to the posing beans we keep extra towels, wipes, clamps, lens cleaners, batteries, etc. all on this handy rolling stand from Ikea.
4) Quality Light Source
Every newborn photographer needs a good light source. Whether it is natural or artificial light you want to be certain you have beautiful quality light that can be shaped to create stunning images your clients will love. While we love shooting with natural light, when in studio we prefer to use strobes. The options for artificial light are numerous so the things we looked at when deciding on what to use in our studio was the color consistency of the light as well as the flexibility of the power of the light. We love the Einstein system from Paul C Buff. We love it so much we have two! We pair one of the strobes with a massive 86″ PLM to create the beautiful soft light you see in our images.
5) The Right Lens (or lenses)
At a minimum every newborn photographer will need at least one lens that has a relatively short focal length so you can stay close to baby while photographing them. Many zoom lenses will work fine but we prefer the clarity and sharpness of prime lenses so around here you will find us primarily shooting with a 35mm lens during our newborn sessions. We love the Sigma Art f/1.4 35mm.
Sometimes we switch to the Canon 50mm f/1.2 L series for certain images. And at some point in every session we pull out the yummy Canon 100mm L series lens so we can capture the baby’s sweet details with this dreamy macro lens.
6) Pee Pads
This may seem like an odd one. But these pee pads save us so much in laundry and the wear and tear on our props. We use the large ones whenever we are holding baby without a diaper on. We place them under the layers of fabric on the beanbag and in props so if baby has an accident we only have to wash the layer they were directly laying on. We also cut small strips and will hide them under baby when we are photographing them on a surface that isn’t particularly fun to wash such as the large wool flokatis. We only use the adult chucks you can find at a hospital. Be wary of using pee pads made for animals as those are often treated with chemicals that could be harmful for a baby. We order these from Amazon here.
7) Baby Care Essentials
In our studio we keep newborn diapers, wipes, lotions, diaper cream, extra bottles, extra formula, hand sanitizer, pacifiers and anything else we can think of to make the experience more convenient for our clients. While these items may not seem essential I guarantee you will think it is when a client realizes they forgot to pack something. We also have a convenient changing table with all of our supplies.
8) Step Stool
We have three step stools in our studio. The tallest we use when we need to be a bit taller than our clients. Normally when photographing parents or families. We avoid using the tall step stool when photographing baby for safety reasons. We have two short stools that my assistant and I both use. We sit on these during the session, it provides a little extra height when needed for a shot but we are still low enough to the ground that there is no risk to baby, and they are handy for reaching all of our props that are stored up high.
9) Space Heater
A space heater can be an extremely helpful tool for the newborn photographer but must be used cautiously. We never want a baby to overheat. We will use the heater to generally heat the studio area to make it more comfortable for baby. We also use it at the beginning of the session when we are undressing baby. Anytime the heater is directed towards baby we make sure it is also hitting us so we can tell if it is getting too warm. Used properly the space heater is a newborn photographer’s best friend. Baby’s love being snug and warm.
Not all newborn photographers use a lot of props. It really depends upon your style. At Lindsay Walden Photography we design our sessions specific to our clients. We love creating one of a kind, deeply meaningful artwork that our clients will cherish for generations. In order to do this we have a continuously growing supply of gorgeous props.
Newborn Photography Mentoring
We hope you’ve found this helpful. If you are a newborn photographer and would like to learn more about mentoring with us or our upcoming newborn workshops click here. If you are a potential client and would like to learn more about the art we can create for you click here.