I know that during this time, it can be an emotional roller coaster. Losing out on your newborn posed sessions, can feel like a devastating thing. These moments are so important, that I chose to specialize in it. I do not diminish what you are missing, as I understand you valued these images. I have also had to cancel clients newborn sessions, and breaking the news was hard.
I want to give you hope!! For one, many of us that specialize in newborns and babies, can capture your little one up to 3 months old, in some poses. Ideally, it is best between 3-14 days old, but that does not mean it can't be done!
In the meantime, I want to help you capture some sweet images of your little one, while they are still so small and new. While it may not be able to replace the posed newborn images, it will help you have some good memories.
What you need:
A white sheet, or a color sheet you want for your background
A white fuzzy or soft blanket
A very large plastic or wooden mixing bowl, or a woven basket
A nice stretchy, blanket or stretchy fabric
Camera or a phone with a camera
not required but can help:
sheer white curtains
headbands or bonnet
A simple onesie with neutral colors
The first thing you want to do, is get baby well fed in the morning, after keeping you up all night, so they can be nice and sleepy. You want the room very warm, close to 80 degrees for naked pictures, or a little less for swaddled (never keep baby in a warm room for sleeping, this is only for pictures)
Find a nice big window in your home and get baby nice and close to the window, you want to utilize the bright, natural light coming in. A bed with a white comforter works great for these precious lifestyle pictures. White bounces light and keeps you from working as hard at capturing good light. You want to get their head closest to the window light, and the feet towards the shadows. You don't want the feet in the light and their face in the shadow. (see image above)
Get above them and take a picture, looking straight down. (See image 1 & 3)
Get nice and close with your phone or camera, to capture their little features. It is best to take the picture from their forehead, not from the direction of their feet. (see image below)
For this image, try using a couch cushion on the floor. Roll up a receiving blanket or towel and put it under the blanket or sheet you want to use, where the head will lay, closest to the window light. Pull the blanket as tight as you can to avoid wrinkles. (bags of rice or beans or hand weights work great at holding the edges of the blanket tight on the ground Lay baby on their side, with their head on the area of the rolled up blanket. You can leave diaper on, and put a blanket or cloth around their belly and let it fall behind them, tucking it just a little. Place legs one on top of the other, tucking their hands under their cheek, between the cheek and blanket. (remember to not leave baby unattended on elevated surfaces, and keep hands and eyes on baby at all times.)
Get creative, while not attempting any poses that you are unsure of. Many poses are not what they appear. We do not suspend baby from a swing in the air, we do not hang them in fabric hammocks, and we do not get baby to hold their own head up in an upright position. Many images are composited (taking 2 images and editing them into 1).
For a pose like this one here, you will need a faux fur or soft, thick blanket. A large basket or mixing bowl, or even a nursing pillow. Start by placing the bowl/basket/nursing pillow near a large window (daylight). Throw the furry or thick blanket over the bowl/basket/nursing pillow. Now lay your newborn into the little nest of the bowl or basket in a comfortable position. Always make sure that baby's chin isn't too far forward to the chest, and airway is comfortable and safe. Keep the head of your baby near the window, with the feet away from the window. Sit near the head of your baby and take the picture from the direction of their nose, looking down. (meaning that you are not taking the picture from belly, looking up the nose)
If your pictures are too shaded and too dark, you can put up a white cardboard in front of the baby to reflect some light from the window, back on them.
Get a stretchy piece of fabric, or a stretchy blanket and swaddle your baby nice and tight, making
sure arms are on their sides, and checking for plenty of breathing room inside the swaddle (stick fingers down both sides and wiggle) Once you know baby is safely swaddled, you can place their heads close to the window, on the blanket or sheet of your choice. Once again, take the picture from slightly above. Don't forget to also get in close for some nice detail shots, like below
Most importantly, don't forget that safety is the priority. Do not try to force baby's neck to turn a certain way, or legs to go where they don't want to go, as not all babies can do the same things. Trying to recreate Pinterest images, is never a good idea, since you don't know if it is a composite. Never walk away or leave your baby unattended in any props. Do not leave them to sleep in the blankets or props. This is to be done only while hands on, and observed at all times. Never use glass or breakable props. Always check for anything sharp, before placing baby inside of a prop.
While these may not be perfect, or exactly what you envisioned, it will be a sweet memory for you to cherish a lifetime, until it is safer and Photographers are taking sessions again. Please feel free to reach out to me any time, for help capturing your little one safely at firstname.lastname@example.org