A Helpful Guide tо Newborn Photography Studіо Lighting

photography studio lighting tips

Bringing a new life into the world is one of the most life-changing moments. It throws you into a state of happiness but also a state of panic. You are in a frenzy as you try to cater to the baby's most basic needs. It seems almost like an endless series of chores and decisions. Yet, these moments are only fleeting. In no time, the little bundle of joy is no longer an infant.

Many parents want to capture these precious moments for posterity. After all, life is all about memories, and these beautiful fleeting moments create a part of your life’s kaleidoscope of memories and experiences. A professional newborn baby photographer can capture these moments and do it with such detail and nuance that all the sweet details of the newborn baby are meticulously brought out in the photos.

Many parents want to capture these precious moments for posterity. After all, life is all about memories, and these beautiful fleeting moments create a part of your life’s kaleidoscope of memories and experiences. A professional newborn baby photographer can capture these moments and do it with such detail and nuance that all the sweet details of the newborn baby are meticulously brought out in the photos.

The best photo studios for newborns go out of their way to equip their setups with the right equipment for the perfect shot. There is a method to newborn photography in the studio. Newborns are a force and a law unto themselves. You have to delicately pose them in the studio lighting and get them to stay calm for the shot. Some prefer posing them while they are asleep.

The secret to getting the best shots in the baby photo studio is the lighting. There are a number of tips that you can follow for optimal lighting that will give you clear and beautiful shots.

The secret to getting the best shots in the baby photo studio is the lighting. There are a number of tips that you can follow for optimal lighting that will give you clear and beautiful shots.

These include the following:

Pose the baby the right way

Pose the baby the right way

Every newborn photographer has a unique style when it comes to posing the baby correctly. Posing the baby has its advantages from a lighting standpoint- the baby is perfectly lit. Posing also generates a curve in the photo. The human eye likes to see a C-shape or curve, and it's able to see the photo as perfectly in harmony with the other details in the picture. A C-shaped or a curved baby pose is pleasing to both the eye and the brain.

The C pose entails posing the baby's little body in a natural position utilizing his or her natural curves. Both the head and the body should be curved with the baby's elbows placed beneath its knees. Ensuring the baby's face should also be visible.

The most critical detail, obviously in the baby's photo, is their face. You can only achieve this with a professional posing technique at a newborn photography studio.

Creating the visual layers

You can use a combination of lighting and posing to create visual layers in the picture.

One baby photography technique that gives excellent results in the studio involves creating visual layers in the photography by using a combination of lighting and posing.

It might sound strange trying to creating layers in a two-dimensional image, but it's possible. You can designate the features in the studio setup that are closest to the camera as the first layer. These will be the key aspects or primary focus of the photograph. The features which are farther from the camera can form the second layer. The second layer can have unimportant details, but overall, it helps in creating a more dynamic image that’s beautiful to look at. You can use everything from fabrics to décor to delineate the layers in the photograph.

The Lighting Setup

The Lighting Setup

The studio lighting setup is undoubtedly the most important part of the newborn baby photography. Based on the studio lighting fixtures that you purchase for newborn baby photos, it is possible to manipulate the lighting to get the desired look in the photograph.

The common lighting techniques used in newborn baby photography include the following:

  • Rembrandt Lighting
  • Broad Light and Short Light
  • Backlighting
  • Soft Lighting
  • Rembrandt Lighting

Rembrandt lighting refers to a lighting technique where the newborn is lit from above from a 90-degree angle. This creates a mildly dramatic photo where one side of the face is well lit with the other side of the face being lit partially. The end result is a “triangle of light” on the newborn’s cheek, with light falling on the cheek that is partially lit.

Broad Light and Short Light

It is a common technique when it comes to newborn studio photography. In full lighting, most of the newborn baby will be illuminated by the light source. In short lighting, most of the newborn’s body will be in the shadows. For example, if you want to focus on the newborn's face and turns it toward the light source, most of it will be well lit in the broad lighting technique. If most of the newborn's face is in the shadows; however, then this is a short lighting technique.

Backlighting

Backlighting

In backlighting, both the camera and the cameraman are opposite the light source. The direction where the newborn photo is being taken from has shadows while facing the light source. The end product is a photo with smooth, creamy lighting.

Soft Lighting

Soft Ligthing

To create a soft lighting illumination effect, you have to use a light source and an umbrella. You can use either a shoot-through or a reflective umbrella for this purpose.

There is almost some art involved in a baby photoshoot in the studio, and the studio lighting technique is a huge part of that.

The Technicalities of a Newborn Baby Studio Lighting

Technicalities of a Newborn Baby Studio Lighting

To make this work, you will, of course, need some first-class lighting fixtures and setup.

This typically involves:

  • The light source
  • Light modifier
  • Umbrellas or Softboxes
  • Camera
  • Lens

Light Source

Light Source

As far as the light source goes, there are plenty of great options that have multiple power settings to help you create optimal lighting for the baby photoshoot. We’ll take a look at some of the best studio lighting kits that you can use for your newborn studio photoshoot.

Light Modifier

Light Modifier

The most commonly used light modifiers for studio photography are either in the form of umbrellas or softboxes. Some photographers prefer working with umbrellas while others opt for softboxes. Each has its own merits and demerits.

Others include the following:

  • Bowl reflectors
  • Stribox
  • Ring flash
  • Beauty dish

For professional baby photography, the umbrella and the softboxes would suffice. These will typically be sold as one studio lighting kit with all the pieces included therein.

Umbrellas as Light Modifiers in Newborn Baby Studio Photography

Umbrellas as Light Modifiers in Newborn Baby Studio Photography

There are several advantages of using an umbrella as a light modifier for your newborn baby studio shoot. These include:

  • Umbrellas are more portable
  • They are easy to set up.
  • They are affordable

On the flipside, umbrellas do not give you as much control as softboxes when it comes to light control in a newborn baby studio photo.

When shopping for umbrellas for use as light modifiers in a photography studio, you can choose between reflective umbrellas and shoot-through umbrellas.

The reflective umbrellas have an opaque covering. They work by expanding the light source to create a broader and softer light quality. They reflect and then bounce off the light to the object being photographed.

As the name suggests, the shoot-through umbrellas are made from a translucent white fabric where the flash of light passes through to generate a very soft and seamless light. The eventual light quality is broader, smoother, and very pleasing to look at.

Some of the best umbrellas for a newborn photography studio include the following:

  • Emart 600W Photography Light Umbrella:
  • Neewer Photography Translucent White Soft Umbrella:
  • LimoStudio 660W Photography Light Umbrella:
  • Emart Photography Umbrella Lighting Kit:

When shopping for light modifier umbrellas, you would never go wrong with to brands such as Neewer, Emart, and LimoStudio. Any of these will guarantee you reasonably good quality. You can purchase the studio photo umbrellas separately, but they will generally be sold as part of a single studio lighting kit.

Softboxes as Light Modifiers in Newborn Baby Studio Photography

Softboxes as Light Modifiers in Newborn Baby Studio Photography

Umbrellas are great as light modifiers, but the main drawback is that they spill out a lot of light. As a result, they don't give you very good contrast when you want to capture high-quality newborn baby photos in the studio.

This is where the softboxes come in handy. Like the umbrellas used as studio light modifiers, softboxes will diffuse and soften the light sources and even increase the size of smaller light sources. However, unlike umbrellas, softboxes can more effectively control the direction and shape of the light more than the umbrellas. The softboxes are more effective at controlling the light-spill. Due to the rectangular shapes of the softboxes, they can mimic the shape of a window in order to create natural-looking light.  

You can find the softboxes in various sizes and shapes, and they can be tailored to suit any subject matter. Using a larger softbox gives a softer light, but it also requires a more significant light output that will be enough to fill a whole softbox. A smaller softbox works best when you want to diffuse light at a close range on single subjects. The smaller softboxes are excellent for newborn baby photography as they quickly diffuse light at a closer range to the baby. Larger softboxes work better for larger groups.

For a newborn photo studio, the following softboxes would be ideal:-

  • Flash Diffuser Light Softbox 6x5 by Altura Photo
  • EMART Softbox Photography Video Studio Equipment
  • ESDDI Softbox Photography Lighting Kit
  • Neewer 700W Professional Photography softbox
  • Neewer LED Softbox Lighting Kit
  • MOUNTDOG Softbox Lighting Kit Photography Studio Light

At the end of the day, what each photographer opts to use is generally a question of personal preferences. It is even possible to use a combination of an umbrella and a softbox to suit your various needs. This also gives the photographer some versatility.

The Best Newborn Photography Studio Lighting Kits to Buy in 2020

The Best Newborn Photography Studio Lighting Kits to Buy in 2020

There is a great variety of studio lighting kits that you can purchase for your newborn baby photo studio. Here is a look at some of the best products that you can go for in 2020:

Fovitec StudioPRO

This is one of the best quality newborn studio photo lighting kits. It's versatile, has a high-quality build, and delivers powerful lighting. It utilizes excellent quality softbox lighting. The whole setup includes three softboxes, two stands, a single socket head as well as two five-socket heads. It also comes with a single boom stand that has a stand bag as well as 11 45-watt light bulbs. There is a single transportation bag to carry all this equipment.

LimoStudio 600-Watt

This is a simpler kit available at an affordable price. It’s a three-point kit with dual 86-inch shoot-through translucent umbrellas which serve as light modifiers. It also comes with one set of 3 fluorescent lights, a 28-inch light holder as well as an accent light. The LimoStudio 600-watt also features an included bag and 45-watt bulbs, which you can also replace with more powerful options to achieve better lighting performance.

StudioFX 2400-Watt

The StudioFX 2400 watt is a great beginner lighting kit that comes packed with three light heads; three light stands as well as three main softbox units. The softboxes can use a total of 5 bulbs with each of the bulbs having its own on/off controls. This studio lighting kit is perfect for portrait photos.

Neewer Photography Studio Lighting Kit

Neewer is one of the top trusted photography studio equipment providers. Its studio lighting kit features two softboxes; 4 light stands, 3 backdrops, four light stands as well as 2 light holders. The lighting kit also includes a backdrop support system as well as a carry bag. There are light umbrellas in the setup. Neewer products are very durable.

EMART Photography Studio Lighting Kit

The EMART Photography Studio Lighting Kit includes several elements, including two softboxes, three backdrops, two umbrellas, and two light holders. There is also a backdrop stand support system along with two light holders, four bulbs, and six backdrop clamps. There is an included carry bag that you can use to transport the entire setup.

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