Katie Ellison photography

Ten top tips for photographing your baby

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Katie is a multi-tasking mum we love. Not only does she blog for Kiddicare (hurrah!), she also writes Mummy Daddy Me as well as running her own photography company. Read her top tips for photographing your little one and take five to enjoy her beautiful photos.

Katie writes: Having a newborn baby is the most exciting time of your life. But it is also the most demanding, exhausting and intense time too. The first couple of weeks pass so quickly so you want to make sure you record every moment, yet it can be hard to find the time to pick up the camera with everything else you have going on.

I am a massive fan of taking photo’s of my two daughters, and I snap away constantly recording our daily lives. Here are my top ten tips for photographing those early newborn days with whatever camera you have…

1. Take one last photo of your bump. You will miss it!

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2. Make sure you take some photos in hospital. Yes, you’re tired, you have just given birth, and you might not really think to take many photos in the hospital aside from a quick snap to put on Facebook or to send to family. Try and take some photos in the hospital as in years to come you’ll want to remember those little details of the most important day of your life. Some good ideas for shots are of gifts or flowers, close ups of wrist bands etc.

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3. Get in the photo! Yes you are exhausted, you have just given birth, and your hair hasn’t been washed for a week. But you know what? In years to come I can guarantee your children won’t see that. They will see photos of them all brand new with their Mummy. And another good tip is, if you really don’t like photos of yourself, just convert them to black and white using a phone app like snapseed or an internet program like picmonkey. You always feel a bit better in black and white!

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4. Take photos against a plain background. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – a baby blanket will do – but by eliminating the clutter it will really draw the attention towards the baby and make the photo look less like a snapshot. Light colours work the best in this instance. Another tip is to put them on a bed. This one was taken on ours!

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5. Use natural light wherever possible and try to avoid the flash. Unless you have a fancy studio or flashgun, it’s more than likely the built in flash on your phone or camera is going to be rubbish. They just don’t make for a nice photo. The best thing you can possibly do is turn it off and try and shoot in natural light. Think outside or by a window. It will make your photos much calmer and natural.

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6. Focus on the little details. Newborn babies have such gorgeous features- make sure you take lots of photos of them. Little hands, feet, ears and eyelashes. Or their little fingers curled around yours. They are all things that you will want to remember.

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7. Take photos of them with their Dads (or other close family members)! After all, who doesn’t melt seeing a photo like this?

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8. Always have your camera handy to record the little moments. You will want to remember every stage when they are older. Keep your camera handy so you can snap photos that you will treasure forever- like their first smile, or a sleepy curled up cuddle! It’s the unscripted and unposed moments that you will love the most.

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9. Think outside the box. Think about different ways to frame your shot, you don’t always have to take a photo straight on with a person in the middle of the image. Experimenting. Here’s my youngest’s first meeting with her Great Grandma.

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10. Dress them up once in a while! No one can resist a baby in a cute (silly) outfit. And you need ammunition for their 18th birthday album or their wedding day!

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  1. Would love to win a photo shoot for my god daughter, Sienna. The picture that means most to me is taken of me and her on the day she was born. It’s very surreal to look at now, I couldn’t believe she was finally here after nine months of so much excitement with her mum, my best friend. They’ve had an emotional first five months, and a photo shoot would be a wonderful Christmas present for them. x

  2. But I can’t pick 1. I have 2 favourite photographs. The first is my Facebook profile picture. Our first photograph as a family, so relaxed and didn’t realise it was being taken but it shows exactly how we feel. The second is I laid my son in bed with his dad and he held his pinky and they’re both asleep and I got a photo of them above. No words can actually describe it you have to see it to feel the love!

    Georgia Ellis
  3. The photograph that means the most to me is one of my son lying on my chest asleep, it’s the first day home from the hospital and he’s relaxed and snuggled in. I look the most content I’ve ever been, all the wondering about what it would be like to be a Mum finally realised.

    Cheryl Atkinson
  4. I just love all the photos of my lil one.from the first scan photo,to the big bump i had,from the first day i held him in my armz till now lying in between me nd his daddy,thats because he is my first one and everything is just so beautiful that i m speechless.i wish i could win this photoshoot and will frame it cause i think my photos are not that good to b framed.

    Qurratul ain
  5. Thank you for these lovely comments – a real pleasure to read them. Good luck everyone! Vicky x

  6. I love taking special photographs of my beautiful 3 week old baby. There’s a precious close up one I have of his hand holding his great grandmothers, it melts my heart. Another is one of his little fingers grasping on to my locket which holds a photograph of my brother who passed away. Whenever he feeds, he holds on to the locket. My favourite though is one of him lay on my chest, snuggling. Its a black and white one and he looks so happy and content with what looks like a smile creeping across his face. I would love to win a photoshoot to let a professional capture magical moments we can keep forever.

    siobhan boyers
  7. One of my favorite photos is our first family portrait. We’d just brought our boy home from the hospital and all three of us were snuggled up on one seat of the sofa because the house was full of family who couldn’t wait to meet him. I didn’t know the photo was being taken and both my partner and I look so content it’s lovely.

    Elizabeth George
  8. Any picture of my husband and son together makes me emotional. The two people I love more than anything together, looking happy and can just tell were meant to be part of the same family. Priceless xx

    Esther Hancock
  9. Mine is a photo of my gorgeous son staring into the camera and half smiling. It reminds me of the progress that he has made after being diagnosed with a disability and is a beautiful photo.

    Lisa Jackson
  10. the first picture ever a family means so much to me my fave one was me and my husband and my son after I had my emergy c section after 32 hours and 18 days overdue my son was and 4 days slow labour being induced twice membrane sweep water broke and epidural in back 4-5 times only going up 1cm then back to 0cm had gas and air we was both in danger we had to have extra help then me after emergy c section I started to haemorrhage after my c section I feel so scared and didn’t know what was going so worth the wait I love the picture so much because it was worth it all in end to have me and our little boy safe and healthy after a scary and hard labour it was lovely to see our picture together holding our son after it was so worth it was one lovely and happiest moment and it was magical we was over the moon to have him here after all complications and nearly losing us both I feel so blessed to have us all together it just feel we was family it just feel like a mricale and we feel so lucky to be together I just feel lucky to have my husband and my son I don’t know what I do without them

    stacey hutchins
  11. I’d love this expecting my 2nd in 5 weeks my little boy is now 71/2 and seems like a life time ago when he was born we took pics of him but never anything professional at that age so would love to have a shoot with both of them in it as this will definatly be our last. :)

    Wendy Mann
  12. Cant choice one cause i think every single photo is Nice and special. But My i like THE one when they just Born but AlSo when they first come home after Born and taking THE picture with their brothers and sisters Cause i like every single moment from My Kids from sleeping to playing! I encourage every single moment from them they grow up so fast! Make picturea from every moment cause before you know iT they already teenager/adult, #Katie Ellison Photography

  13. My favourite photo is of my fist baby and he’s on our bed at home rummaging through magazines looking at them so intensely as if he’s reading an artical. Every time I see it it reminds me to stop even for a small moment and try and remember all the little bits that they do, and to try and take more photos of them!

  14. I’d love to win this. My favourite photo is of my nan with my 4 day old little girl in matching tshirts. That little girl is now two and her sister was born 2 weeks ago, and my nan passed away 8 weeks ago so I can’t recreate that shot. It’s got pride of place in my 2 year olds room.

    Kirsty Forbes
  15. You can never have enough photos of your baby :) My boy is always being snapped by adoring relatives and I have the occasional photo of him dressed up in a cute cat outfit or halloween etc :) he is 11 weeks and quite a little character. We made sure to get photos of the bump as it grew and Reuben in the hospital. Also try to capture his funny expressions on camera now that his character is developing, he sticks his tongue out, raises his eyebrows to make you laugh :)

  16. My favourite photo is of both my children. Its when they first met, my son giving his sister a lovely cuddle, he looks so proud to be a brother! He still kisses and cuddles her lots every day, and I’m waiting for the day where she tells him where to go!!

    Lisa Astley
  17. My favourite photo is of my 3 together smiling, it makes me feel blessed to have them. I am due to have number 4 in 6 weeks and can’t wait to get them altogether to capture those special moments of sibling love.

  18. My favourite phone of my eldest is when he was nearly 3 years and we where having photos being taken and he’d had enough, he has a really grumpy face and a big frown! We had to have it.

    With my youngest I have a photo of him actually being born, so just his head was coming out! Obviously not one that I would show off but I love the natural snap shot!

    Rebecca clarke
  19. My favourite photo is one of my first grandson at just a few hours old being fed from a small beaker because he was 5 weeks prem and wouldn’t feed. He looks adorable and needs to grow into his skin. My daughter is now expecting again and she would love to win a photo session.

    Penny Baker
  20. My little man is 5 weeks old & I already have so many favourite photos! There are 3 that stand out though…1 – me & him very soon after delivery, my hubby managed to capture the look of pure joy on my face. I look a complete mess of course, but I don’t actually see that now! 2 – picture of my husband having his first cuddle with his son. The truely happy smile on my husbands face & the chubby face of our baby peeping out of the towel he was wrapped in melts my heart. 3 – a very recent addition to the favourites…my boy has just started smiling!! :) I managed to capture one of his earliest smiles on camera, it’s just beautiful.
    I would love to win this as its not often we’re able to get pictures of the three of us together…it would be even better if we could get our furry baby Molly (the collie dog) in on the action too!!


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