Newborn wrapping is one of the core learning areas for newborn photographers. While wraps are a fantastic way to add colour and detail to a newborn’s photos, they are also helpful in settling babies for their session. Kelly Brown says, “Wrapping newborn babies is the best way to make them feel safe, secure and comfortable. It’s a good way to reduce the startle reflex babies often have.”
In this article, we’ll cover some of the basic needs to help you get started, discuss what materials to look for, and show you some creative wrapping styles you can use to add creative flair and variety to your images.
Choosing Newborn Wraps
Wraps are simply lengths of stretchy fabric. You can purchase from a vendor, or buy lengths of fabric from a fabric store. When purchasing wraps, be aware that their stretch properties and texture will determine their best use.
WRAP SIZE & FABRIC TYPE
The average wrap is around 1 to 1.5 meters in length, and around 40cm wide. (40 to 60 inches long / 16 inches wide).
Look for super-soft stretchy fabrics which won’t irritate baby’s skin. For most wrapping styles, you’ll want something which offers maximum flexibility. This will help hold baby securely, and make the wrapping process easier. A 4-way stretch, if available, is ideal as it will allow you to stretch the fabric across its width and length. T-shirting and jersey fabrics are commonly used and should be easily accessible for most.
Kelly Brown likes Freebird Prop Shoppe for their quality and range.
Avoid wrapping too tightly as this can restrict airways and put too much pressure on bones and joints. Pay attention to baby’s responses to look to them for cues. You should be able to fit your fingers between the wrap and baby without too much effort.
ARTICLE & VIDEO
See Kelly’s post and video on Choosing the Best Wraps for Newborn Photography for more on this topic.
Where to Start
If you’re new to newborn photography and wrapping, you can start out with a single wrap or two. Choose neutral colours like cream, brown, or any earthy tone, for maximum versatility rather than breaking the bank on a massive range! You can practice wrapping on any toy store doll.
WRAPPING STYLES FOR BEGGINERS
Kelly Brown’s Comfort Wrap is her go-to wrapping style. It’s suitable for portraits on a posing bag or in a prop. This newborn wrapping style is particularly useful for babies who aren’t yet in a deep sleep. It allows baby to feel supported and secure, while showing off their little hands and feet.
Kelly will often use her Full Body Wrap when working with a baby who is extremely sensitive to touch, or a little unsettled. It helps them to calm and settle off to sleep. She uses 2 wraps for this style. You can use a long stretchy cheesecloth / rayon for the base wrap, and a jersey / t-shirting for the outer layer for styling. This style is ideal for posing bag or props, as well as sibling and parent portraits.
Kelly Brown’s WRAPPING TUTORIALS will show you, step by step, how to achieve 9 different wrapping styles. She demonstrates each wrap on both her doll and a baby, with a focus on baby’s safety and comfort.
Wrapping isn’t a race. Every baby is different – some settle easily and others take a bit more time. Patience and practice are essential, as is Understanding Newborn Behaviour and being “baby-led” by paying attention to their responses.
Get Creative with Newborn Wrapping
Creative newborn wrapping styles are a fabulous way to add variety and flair to your clients’ galleries.
Kelly Brown has recently added tutorials for some of her favourite creative wrapping styles to NewbornPosing.com Along with the step-by-step wrapping demonstrations, Kelly also teaches you ideal composition, direction of light, and camera angles for portraits using these wrapping styles.
Play with colour combinations with Multicolour Wrapping.
Add detail with knotting techniques with the Knot Wrap or Bow Tie Wrap.
Or get really creative with Kelly Brown’s Flower Wrap. You can choose your own colour scheme, and add your own details and accessories to reflect your brand’s style or suit your client’s brief.
Whether you are new or experienced in the newborn photography genre, understanding how to safely achieve a range of newborn wrapping styles will help you to settle your little subject, and move through a session smoothly. Adding some creative wrapping techniques to your skillset will help you expand your folio and add variety to your client galleries.
As always, baby’s safety is the first priority. Being baby-led”, understanding their cue, is imperative. You’ll find a selection of articles from Kelly Brown on NEWBORN BEHAVIOUR as well as her FREE SAFETY TIPS VIDEOS, for more information.