Occasionally, a client will ask me, “Who are your favorite newborns to photograph, boys or girls?”. That is such a tough question to answer because I like the newborn baby photography clothes, hats, headbands and props for both. I will say that it is always fun to photograph a girl. Here is how to get better photos of your newborn girl.
1. Headband size and design: Many clients are given headbands as baby shower gifts. Of course, your friends and family are limited to what is available to them in the most accessible stores. In my experience, headbands are often “overwhelmingly” large. By that I mean that the flower or bow is nearly the size of the baby’s head and the baby is “lost” in the photo. All attention goes to the headband with the huge flower on it, and not to your darling daughter.
2. Headbands are not always a baby’s favorite: While parents may have the “perfect” headband for their daughter to wear for her newborn photo session, your daughter may have other ideas. Many babies will not take to having a headband on. It is often a lot of fussing around to get them on straight, with the bow or flower in the right spot etc. Further, many headbands are so delicate that they are knocked out of place with even the slightest shift of the baby during the newborn photography session. A professional has a lot of experience dealing with headbands, but even still, it can take a lot longer than you may think to get your daughter looking princess like with her headband.
3. Elastic is your friend, not the baby’s: In my experience as a newborn photographer, elastic is not a baby’s bestie. While it makes posing a newborn easier, I think it is irritating to the baby. Perhaps they do not like the tightness around their head. Or maybe it grabs on to their hair and pulls it. One way to work around this is to “wrap” the elastic band in yarn. Yes, it is labor intensive, but it does help to feel more comfortable on the baby. Another way to avoid elastic, while still getting the benefit of a firmer hold, is to use a piece of stretchy fabric, like jersey-knit or a cotton blend with a touch of spandex. Cut about 18 inches in length so you have enough space to fit around your baby’s head and then tie a generous bow. You can use velcro to attach a small flower or bow.
4. Low or High? This is a personal preference, of course. But it is good to know how you feel about it before you get to the newborn photography studio. I would say that every newborn photographer has their way of styling headbands on newborn girls. Some prefer headbands high on the forehead, and some lower. Of course, the baby will ultimately decide (grin). But you are more likely to get images you really love if you know how you feel your baby looks best in her headband.
5. Mohair: The Professional’s Choice. Newborn photographers often prefer to work with mohair. It photographs beautifully and is “soft” to the camera’s eye. The headband in my image above is crocheted. And while it is fairly delicate, mohair is even more subtle. Mohair is very intricate, and many mohair headbands can only be used once or twice before they do not look good anymore. This is one reason why mohair props, clothes and headwear are so expensive. But if you are looking to make a great gift for a friend who is planning on getting newborn photos taken, you can make your own mohair headbands inexpensively.
Katie is a newborn photographer in Los Angeles CA, 91042