Do you remember photographer Anne Geddes? You know, those pictures where the babies or toddlers were dressed in insect costumes laying on top of a giant flower? Or dressed in a flower costume sitting inside a terracotta pot? I was probably in high school when I discovered her photos. I loved her photos so much that I bought her 12-month calendar so that I could look at those pictures everyday!
Nowadays, newborn photography has changed. It usually involves babies laying on a furry blanket inside a basket, or deep asleep in their parents’ arms, or sleeping inside a knitted sac. Almost everyone that I know who was pregnant had professional newborn photo shoot or knows someone who did. When I told Steve that I really wanted to hire a photographer for a newborn photo shoot, he promptly rejected the idea and suggested he would be our in-house photographer. I was in my third trimester and wasn’t thinking too much, so I said okay and did a bit of research to prepare him for it.
I found some great advice on how to set up for the photo session here. I browsed through lots and lots of newborn photos and collected those that I really like and something that I thought I can duplicate at home. The best time to take these photos is the first two weeks of birth. I thought, well, I have done my research, Steve has all the camera and gears, we’ll just put some props together at that time. I mean, we had two weeks to take those photos, right? Plenty of time.
Well, you know what? It didn’t happen. We were busy and sleep deprived for the first two months!! A photo shoot where we actually have to set up props and think about lighting and positioning the baby was too much for us to handle. We finally did it by week 10 after we were able to get more rest!
Here’s a simple prop that we set up:
 15 gallon galvanized bucket |  1 firm pillow |  1 Boppy pillow |  1 yard black faux fur fabric (I think this is what I have)
Step 1: Place a firm pillow on the bottom of the bucket. I used a memory foam pillow which worked very well since it’s firm enough so support the baby weight without sinking in.
Step 2: Place the Boppy pillow on top. It should sit a few inches below the rim of the bucket. Note: I used the Boppy pillow because my baby could lie comfortably at an angle. You can switch to any pillow that works best for you.
Step 3: Cover the Boppy pillow with the faux fur fabric so the pillow is not showing. Note: Make sure to pre-wash the fabric so it’s clean, since the baby will lie directly on top of it!
Step 4: Wait till the baby is deep asleep and place him inside. Be very careful not to hit his head on the bucket! Once the baby is comfortably settled in the bucket, go ahead and take tons of pictures!
You can use a wicked basket instead of a bucket or change up the fabric. You can even buy pre-made props (such as those here). There really is no limit to your imagination!
Photos taken by Vean Chen