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Newborn Photography Props – Ten Most Useful Props for Newborn Photographers

By Steph Smith

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This article will attempt to look at the top ten props used in newborn photography.

If you are a professional photographer this article will give you ideas of some of the more highly used props in the industry and help you wow your clients.

If you are a proud new mom or dad this article will help you document the newborn in your life while creating amazing photos of your bundle of joy.

Mom and Pop

Although not technically a prop, the child’s mom and dad are one of the most overlooked inclusions in infant photography. The roll of mom and dad in baby photography is to show the family as a total unit. The child should be portrayed as either an extension of the parents body or as being surrounded by one or both parents. In many resent infant photos, babies are being posed with mom and dad’s wedding rings around their little fingers and toes. This is a great way to show the bonds of family and the love that is extended to the member.

Hats

Babies in hats are just adorable. There are many cute hats available sized for newborns. After all, their little head might get cold! If you are more of the crafty type there are many free patterns available online and at your nearest hobby store to knit or crochet. If you are not so crafty there are many artists in your area that would enjoy a little bit of your business. Hats that work the best have large ruffles, flowers or buttons sewn onto them. Also hats with ears, eyes or other animal features are highly popular.

Cocoon

These go by many names. Cocoon, swathe and pea-pod are just a few. They are a lot like a swaddle but not so structured. Often they are made of cloth and come in two varieties. There are open cocoons in which the infants entire body can be seen curled up inside. There are also closed cocoons that look more like a sleeping bag and only the baby’s head or arms can be seen sticking out. Cocoons also come in hanging varieties.

Fabrics

Like the backdrops of traditional portrait photographers, fabric of all colors and textures provide the backdrops of modern newborn photography. Sheets of fabric can be used as a simple surface covering or background for your photography. They can also be used to build up three dimensional surfaces for posing the newborn on. Babies this young are not capable of posing themselves and lush layers of fabric will help to hold them up. Look for fabrics that provide a variety of textures and complimentary color schemes.

Antique Produce Scale

The first thing that dad tells everybody he calls about his new baby is how much it weights. I don’t really know why that is, but a photograph of the same sentiment is just as meaningful. Though modern digital scales can be used to the same effect, there is nothing quite as charming as seeing a newborn baby posed and sleeping in an old produce scale. Look for scales with rich patinas and bold numbers. Remember that curves and shapes are primary elements in your photography. Don’t forget to be mindful of rust and sharp metal edges. Infants have very delicate skin.

Antique Chair Look

For these at antique stores or estate sales or ask your clients to bring along a family heirloom. Using an antique chair to pose infants on gives a look of luxury to your photos. Chairs are a mainstay of modern interior design and a core expression of our environment. Look for chairs with rich colors, strong lines and ornate details.

Large Plush Pillows

Pillows and bean bags are more of a posing aid than a prop. They go underneath the fabric and other props, but they are just as important. They give rigidity to your other props and allow you to sculpt a miniature landscape for your photos. Also, they are soft and warm. This will help ease the baby into a gentile slumber for those sleepy lullaby shots.

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Image by Ruby Lane Photography

Trunks

Imagine finding a newborn baby inside of a little treasure box… Okay don’t call social services just yet. Trunks, treasure boxes and other ornate storage boxes are great for posing babies in. A baby is a beautiful treasure, and these boxes give a warm and luxurious feel to your newborn photographs. Look for ornate woodwork and rich detailing. Boxes with crackle textures or metallic finishes are especially popular.

Bowls

Bowls are a great item to pose babies in. They can be made of many materials, from gorgeous woods to bright metals. Bowls are available in many shapes, colors and textures and can be found just about anywhere. They can be highly modern and sculptural or antique and rustic. Just a small sample of different bowls can give your photos many different feels and themes. Along this same theme pots and colanders may be used to the same effect.

Baskets

This is the number one, all time favorite baby photo prop. Whether they are woven of wood, cloth, metal or other fibers, baskets and newborns go together. A baby in a basket is like a puppy in a shoe or a kitten in a tea cup. It is just plain cute. Baskets are great because they can be filled with other items such as stuffed animals, different fabric papers and other textural items. Be aware that the basket might be considered an overused prop by some savvy clients who would rather see the baby curled up in a cocoon or wooden box. You should be prepared to offer these other props if baskets are unwanted.

Original Article written by Stephanie Smith, owner and head photographer of omorfiPixel – Kansas City based wedding, family and newborn photography. http://www.omorfipixel.com

DSP Tip On Where to Buy Newborn Photography Props

If you need props for newborn photography, your best bet is to get it online as you can consolidate the items and have variants of each shipped in one order.

Just click the Amazon links to display all the best deals for some of the items listed in the article, I believe most of them have at least 10-20% discount and Super Saver shipping.

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