By on 2014-02-21

This article on newborn lighting techniques is courtesy of renowned newborn portrait photographer Amber Scruggs of Little Moon Photography in Virginia.

I always aim to feather my light so that I get nice light going down the baby’s body, the shadows help define their tiny little features. My light is always placed about 90 degrees shining down the head/face. Here is the correct way to place the softbox to get ideal shadows/even lighting for newborns:

correctnewbornlightingsoftbox Newborn Lighting Dos and Donts

pullbackgoodlighting Newborn Lighting Dos and Dontspullbackgoodlighting2 Newborn Lighting Dos and DontsThe resulting correctly lit image SOOC (straight out of the camera):

correctnewbornlighting Newborn Lighting Dos and Donts

One mistake I see often is people place the edge of the box or light source (window/sliding glass door) BEHIND the babies head. Doing this gives deeper shadows and “black holes” for eyes since the light is not feathering/skimming down the front of the baby, instead baby is being lit from the front and the back.

badlightingsoftboxplacement Newborn Lighting Dos and Donts

Here’s the resulting image from that “bad” placement, the differences are not huge, but definitely noticeable, especially in the eye sockets as they are dark and unlit.

badlighting Newborn Lighting Dos and Donts

One of my BIGGEST pet peeves is flatly lit newborn images. I find that lighting a newborn flatly is not flattering to their little features, here you can see the placement of a light for this situation:

flatlightpullback Newborn Lighting Dos and Donts

Too much light coming in FRONT of the baby and not cascading DOWN the baby gives you very little shadowing as seen in the resulting image here:

flatlight Newborn Lighting Dos and Donts

The flatly lit image converted to black and light will look horrible & muddy.

flatlightbw Newborn Lighting Dos and Donts

The image with the softbox placed so that the light is perfectly feathered, the black and white conversion has much more depth and contrast.

correctnewbornlightingbw Newborn Lighting Dos and Donts

IMG 5037 Newborn Lighting Dos and DontsTo see more over Amber’s stunning newborn portraiture, please visit littlemoonphotography.com or her Facebook page at facebook.com/LittleMoonPhotography.

Westcott Lighting Gear in Action

 

 

 

 

pinit fg en rect gray 20 Newborn Lighting Dos and Donts
Amber Scruggs Newborn Lighting Dos and Donts
Amber Scruggs of Little Moon Photography has become one of the most sought after newborn & baby photographers on the East Coast. Her clean and classic style along with her extreme patience allows her to create beautiful art for her clients.
Amber Scruggs Newborn Lighting Dos and Donts

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