Lighting techniques in newborn photography | Daniela Ursache
Light creates magic and helps you produce flattering images. However, it is difficult to have total control over lighting right from the start. Perfect photos take time, patience, and a lot of work, but also some essential newborn photography lighting techniques.
If you are new to lighting or struggling with your results, I have five lighting recommendations for you.
Use a single light source
You may have seen studios with multiple light sources, modifiers, or softboxes pointing in all directions, and cables everywhere. Fortunately, lighting in newborn photography doesn't require all that equipment.
So, keep it simple by using just one light.
Use the right light source
The challenge is not to find a powerful flash but rather one that you can set to very low intensity. Why? Because you will always use a wide aperture.
You can also use continuous lighting. Its advantage is that it stays on constantly, and you can play with it to get the shadows you want. In addition, continuous lighting is a good option for beginner photographers who want to shoot only newborns.
Light must always fall from above
As the sun illuminates us from above, the light source should also come from the direction that the baby’s head is laying. Although this concept is pretty simple, some photographers may find it complicated when babies are lying on the beanbag.
So, remember that the light must always fall from the top of the head to the chin.
The distance between the subject and the light source matters
Another important aspect is distance. The closer you are to the light source, the softer the shadows will be. The farther the light source, the more contrasting the shadows will be. Therefore, you should do as many tests as possible to see what suits you best.
Use light modifiers
Light modifiers help you to highlight the softness of newborns. You can use softboxes, umbrellas, or any other light modifier to obtain more natural photos. They diffuse the light and spread it so you can avoid casting harsh shadows on your little subject.
I hope these five recommendations will help you to improve your lighting. And don’t forget to practice as much as you can. Eventually, you’ll capture that perfect image!
Buff Ambassadeur EU
Hi, I am Daniela Ursache, a professional newborn photographer, and mentor with a dedicated newborn photography studio located in Bucharest, Romania. Photography is my full-time profession, and capturing babies in their first few weeks of life is my absolute passion. Even though I specialize in newborn photography, I also take baby and fine art children portraits.
I fell in love with newborn photography in 2013, when I had my baby boy. Since then, I have spent a lot of time specializing and perfecting myself.
I love natural and simple portraits, soft and neutral colours, allowing babies to be the focus of every image.I love travel, coffee, vegetarian food, babies, beautiful people, and spending time with my son. He is my greatest joy and inspiration. (you can take this part out if it's not ok)
Most of the truly valuable stuff I know, I taught myself through constant research and practice. That’s why I believe hard work, determination, and the desire to keep learning and grow are the key elements of a successful and happy career.
Mentoring has also been a big passion of mine. Over the past seven years, I have mentored over 200 photographers from Romania, Germany, Austria, Spain, Switzerland, India, France, and the U.S.
I have done lots of small group workshops and mentoring sessions, and I’ve recently started to be a speaker at important events in the photography industry.
My passion and work have been rewarded over the years. The most beautiful surprise was the ‘Newborn Photographer of the Year 2018’ award offered by those from AFNS AWARDS.
I am a member of the NPC jury – Newborn Photographer Community and have the opportunity to vow images of photographers from around the world.
I have worked with natural light for many years, but because it is inconsistent and I could only use it in the morning, I had to use a flash. The real challenge was to find a flash with a very soft light,
that would help me to recreate the natural light. After trying several brands, I came up with the Einstein flash. It is ideal for my style and photography of the newborn."
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