“For this shoot I wanted to utilize as much of the natural surroundings as possible. I incorporated earth tones to give a rustic feel to the images and continue the natural theme.”
Cassandra’s Photography Tip:
Photographing newborns outdoors can be tricky. Successful newborn shoots require a warm, safe, and comfortable environment, and a sleepy baby.
This can be a tall order with varying weather conditions and temperatures, bugs, and an uncontrolled environment.
I typically will not shoot outdoors unless it is 27 degrees Celsius (about 81 degrees F) or warmer.
If it is less than 32 degrees C (about 90 degrees F) outdoors, I bring a portable heater with me to make sure that baby is nice and warm at all times. Newborns are much more likely to sleep if they are warm.
Aside from shooting when it is warm outside, the ideal shooting environment should be dry, as this reduces the likelihood of being swarmed by mosquitos!
If you end up shooting the day after heavy rainfall or in a marsh-like, damp environment, you run the risk of having the baby being nibbled on by bugs and mosquitos and that is not a risk that is ever worth taking.
I always have a spotter/helper that is on bug watch as well, to keep the baby safe and comfortable.
I also like to shoot on a cloudy day or in covered shade. I do this to keep baby safe from the sun, but I also much prefer the even exposure of skin tones and depth of the environment that comes with shooting in covered shade or cloud.
Ideally, I like to shoot at the end of the day when the sun is reliably low. That being said, sometimes the end of the day gets very cool and it is best to find covered shade in the afternoon when it is warmer.
Another thing to keep an eye out for are little rays of sun poking through the leaves – if they land on the baby they will blow out and overexpose patches of the baby’s skin.
If this is an issue, I hang a sheet or blanket from a nearby tree to block the sun or have an additional set of hands to hold one in place while I shoot.
Newborns are fabulous subjects to shoot outdoors as they are so tiny they only require a little piece of protected environment to make a beautiful portrait.
One can get away with photographing a newborn in places that would never work for a family session, or even an older child.
My favorite outdoor newborn portraits are those that do not require bulky props, and instead I am always on the lookout for little nooks, pretty foliage, mossy logs, enchanting tree roots.
Cassandra Jones is a Grande Prairie, Alberta Baby and Children’s photographer.
Click here to see more tips on Location.
If you’re shooting on location and away from your studio, it’s important to make sure you have everything you need with you.
Bags designed specifically for photographers (affiliate link) are a great way to pack your gear for on-the-go shoots, and can even be very stylish!