I always believe that newborn photographer is one of the most rewarding and satisfying jobs in the world and I feel very lucky to be able to do what I do. One of my favorite parts of photographing newborns is capturing a newborn’s smile. Is there anything more precious than seeing a newborn baby smile? Well… I never guarantee a smile during a newborn photography session (no one does, right?) but for some reason I was always lucky enough to catch their beautiful smiles!
Of course a lot of them are fussy and cranky, and that’s why you need be patient. Sometimes you can tell when a newborn baby might smile. Watch for the signs such as heavier breathing, eyes flickering a bit, and changing facial expressions. When you see a baby frown or grimace, a smile may be very near. Sometimes a little tickle on the lips or nose can also bring out the big smile.
When newborn babies feel safe and warm, they might smile very often. Make sure the room temperature is at a suitable level to help make the baby calm, I usually adjust it to be 2 degree higher than your regular room temperature or somewhere close to 80 degree Fahrenheit. When the adults start to feel warm you know the temperature is right. Wrapping or covering them securely in the blankets will also help.
Some parents worry about baby not falling asleep during the session and they want cute cuddly sleeping baby photos. However, quite often you will see them smile when they are awake. It’s a precious moment when the babies smile at the camera and their eyes are looking directly through the lens. These type of photo are truly emotional and really capture the baby’s character.
One of the other trick I found is that when the camera’s shutter beep is turned on, and when I am continuously tapping the shutter button on the camera to make this “Beep” sound, newborn babies react to that and a lot of times they just gave me big warm smiles.
In the end, it takes a lot of patience to get the smiling photos. So hold your camera, wait and hope for a big grin!