How to start a Newborn Photography home studio
So you want to know what it takes to start your own home newborn photography studio?
First things first! Newborn safety. Do you have children of your own? Do you know the safe ways to handle a newborn? Learning about newborn safety is the first priority, luckily, there is lots of information out there! There are so many poses that are a risk to newborn airways. You need to invest time in learning the signs of a baby that is struggling, as all babies are different in what might restrict their airway. Just being a mom, doesn't give you knowledge on what is safe, invest in time learning!
-Now, lets talk gear! You will need a basic DSLR, it doesn't have to be top of the line, I started on a Canon 70D. You definitely need knowledge of whatever camera you use, to use it in Manual mode.
Avoid the kit lenses, and invest in a good 35mm lens, or a 50mm.
-You will need a flash or strobe light. I use AlienB400 by Paul C Bluff.
-Now what do you put your flash or strobe light into? I started with a Westcott soft box, and now I have a Paul C Bluff 86" PLM all white.
-To make off camera flash work, you will need a trigger and receiver that are made for you camera. I use Phottix brand trigger and receiver.
-Memory Card for images to save on your camera. I recommend at least 150MB/S U3, SD HC II. I prefer only using a 16GB card, to avoid wasted money when a card fails, because it does happen!
Now what about the rest??
-Blanket backdrops and wraps. Go to your local fabric store, buy 2 yards of stretch knit fabric for the backdrop, and 1/2 or 1 yard for wraps. Avoid shiny material, it doesn't photograph well. Start off with a few neutrals
-Go to Etsy and find some cute photography props. Avoid buying cheap ones, you will look like an amateur, and will throw them away once you realize they don't photograph well. You want some Angora or knit bonnets, you're better off buying one, than buying 5 cheap crocheted ones.
-Find a good wooden crate that is at least elbow to fist arms length as a newborn prop. I find them at my local Marshals, TJ Maxx, or Home Goods store. You can also shop at Luneberry for amazing props and afterpay options!
_ A newborn photography stand, if you're planning to use a newborn posing beanbag.....now you can find a DIY round newborn posing stand online, or a DIY square newborn stand. There are lots of tutorials online. I built mine for about $20.
_ Newborn Posing beanbag. I bought mine from ShootBaby, but there are lots of companies, or tutorials online for DIY newborn posing bag. Some other options some people use: a dog bed, yep, I switched to a dog bed last year!
-Make some newborn photography prop tieback headbands for baby girls, or go to Etsy and invest in at least 5 neutral ones. There are also facebook groups for the really good vendors!
Now you are ready for your first test session. Get a doll or stuffed animal, and get to work!
Don't forget to follow my me for more Newborn Photography information!
You can also find me on Facebook, and my groups : Newborn Photography Basics, and Brand Rep Photography for Brand Rep Beginners looking to improve.
Don't forget, that once you start charging anything, some states require you to collect and pay state sales tax etc. Here in Texas, if you charge $1, you must collect and pay.