How to do Newborn Photography: Essential Tips for Capturing Precious Moments

Introduction to How to Do Newborn Photography

Discover ‘How to do Newborn Photography’ and learn essential tips to transform newborn photos into timeless baby photos that capture the innocence and wonder of life’s earliest moments. If you’re wondering how to do newborn photography, it’s not just about snapping baby photos. It’s an art that requires patience and a gentle touch.

Whether you are a parent wanting to try this at home or someone thinking about becoming a newborn photographer, you’ll find lots of great tips and ideas as we dive deeper into how to make these adorable photos come to life.

Infant sleeping in a soft knit blanket surrounded by gentle natural light.

Table of Contents

Basics of How to Do Newborn Photography

Newborn asleep in a basket with white linens under natural light.

Choose the Right Time

The ideal time to take newborn photos is when your baby is usually the sleepiest. This is often after a meal and usually in the mid-morning or early afternoon. It’s like planning your playtime when you know you’ll have the most energy, except for a baby, it’s the opposite.

Set Up a Comfortable Space

Create a warm and cozy spot to take your newborn photos. You can use a soft rug or a padded basket. Make sure the room is warm enough for a baby who will be wearing just a little outfit or maybe even just a diaper. Babies like it warm, and a happy, comfortable baby makes for the awesome pictures!

Check the Lighting is One of the Best Steps for Newborn Photography

Natural light is the best for photos, especially for infants. Try to set up your photo space near a big window where lots of natural light comes in, but not directly in the sunlight. It’s like when you’re drawing; you need good light to see what you’re doing, but you don’t want the sun shining right in your eyes.

Have Patience

Remember, taking pictures of a baby can take time. They might cry, need to eat, or need a diaper change. It’s important to be patient and wait for those excellent sleepy, happy moments. Just like when you’re waiting to catch a butterfly, being patient and gentle is key.

How to Photograph Newborns: Essential Equipment

Newborn photography equipment setup with camera on tripod and soft lighting.

The Right Camera

A good picturing device is your best friend when it comes to taking beautiful baby images. While professional cameras are great, you don’t always need one. What’s important is to have a camera that can handle low-light conditions, because you don’t want to use bright lights that might disturb the baby.

Lenses for Close-Ups

Zoom lenses are very useful because they let you take close-up pictures without getting too close to the baby. This way, you can picture tiny toes and eyelashes while the baby sleeps peacefully. It’s like using a magnifying glass to see small details clearly but from a comfortable distance.

Soft Lighting

Soft lighting is essential for creating beautiful baby images. You can use a softbox or an umbrella light to spread the light gently across the room. This helps avoid harsh shadows and bright spots that might startle the baby or look unflattering in photos.

Props and Backdrops

Props like cute hats, small toys, and fluffy blankets can add a lovely touch to your baby images. Backdrops in neutral colors are great for making sure the baby stands out in the photo. Include a backdrop that should support the baby without stealing the spotlight!

Tripod and Remote Shutter

A tripod helps keep your camera steady, especially important for getting a perfect composition. It lets you set up the shot exactly how you want it, and then you can use a remote shutter to take the photo without shaking it.

Newborn Photography Techniques and Tips

Infant photo session setup with softbox lighting and macro lens.

Setting the Scene

Newborn Photography Techniques for Capturing Perfect Shot

Exploring Creative Angles to Know How to Photograph Newborns

The Best Age for Newborn Photos: Timing Your Session

Baby's first year development stages in newborn photography settings.
Age RangeBest ForNotes
0-2 weeksClassic newborn posesMost flexible and sleepy, ideal for traditional newborn poses.
3-4 weeksMore alert interactionsinfants start to have clearer eyesight, capturing open eyes.
1-2 monthsSmiles and early expressionsShow personality and less sleeping.
3-4 monthsStronger neck and head controlCan support their head, allowing for more varied poses.
5-6 monthsSitting poses and more active shotsLikely can sit unassisted, very interactive and playful.
7-9 monthsCrawling and standing with assistanceGreat for dynamic and candid shots with movement.
10-12 monthsFirst birthday and milestone celebrationsIdeal for ‘cake smash’ photos and capturing first-year growth.

Positioning Newborns: Safe and Adorable Ideas

Newborn photo session with baby on back and curled on side.

Guide to Newborn Photo Session

When learning how to do newborn photography, one of the most rewarding aspects is involving the family in the session. It’s a beautiful way to picture the connection between the newborn and their parents. Here are some safe and sweet posing ideas that everyone in the family will love:

Make It Simple

Start with simple poses where the baby is lying on their back on a soft, plush blanket. This pose is not only safe but also perfect for capturing their tiny features and cute expressions in portrait photography.Another adorable pose is having the baby curled up on their side. This is a classic newborn pose because it looks like how they were positioned in their mom’s tummy! It’s an excellent shot for parents for baby images.

Use Safe Supports

If you want to try a pose where the baby is propped up, always use soft supports like small pillows or rolled-up towels. These supports should be under the blanket where you can’t see them but will ensure safety and security. For props like baskets or small furniture, make sure they are stable and lined with soft padding to protect the baby. Always have a helper, like one of the parents, nearby.

Capture Tiny Movements

Babies might wiggle or stretch, and that’s okay! These natural movements can make for really cute photos. Use a fast shutter speed to picture these quick little movements without any hassle. This means your pictures will be clear and sharp, even if the baby decides to wiggle their toes or flash a quick smile during all the sessions.

Newborn Photo Shoot: Outfits and Themes

Newborn photo shoot with soft knit romper and explorer theme props.

Choosing the right outfits and themes can turn simple baby images into magical memories. When planning how to do newborn photography, think about the colors and styles that will make your photos look soft and dreamy, while keeping the comfort of the baby in mind.

Pick Soft, Comfortable Outfits

Soft fabrics are perfect for newborns because they are gentle on the baby’s sensitive skin. Choose outfits like little knit rompers or cute, fluffy dresses. These not only look adorable but also ensure your baby is comfortable throughout the photo record.

Photographers often suggest colors like pastels or light shades because they don’t overpower the natural cuteness of the baby. Think about soft pinks, mellow yellows, or baby blues. These colors reflect a calm and peaceful style in all baby images, which is why many photographers recommend them.

Choose a Theme That Tells a Story

Themes can range from simple setups like a ‘sleeping on a cloud’ with fluffy white cotton and soft blue backdrops to something—more adventurous like a tiny explorer with miniature globes and maps.

Smoke bomb photography is popular for its dramatic effects in many types of photos, it’s usually chosen by parents for maternity shoots just before the newborn’s delivery, rather than during newborn sessions.

Include Meaningful Props

Adding a few props can enhance the theme and make the photos even more special. Consider items like a small, soft toy that was a gift or handmade socks from a family member. These props add personal touches that make the baby images meaningful and can help create a connection between the newborn and their family in the photos.

Ideal Cameras for Newborn Shoot

Collection of cameras suited for newborn photography in a studio setting.
ModelLens RecommendedFeatures
Canon EOS R8Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USMIdeal for detailed shots with minimal lens flare
Nikon Z fNikon Z 50mm f/1.8 SA short telephoto lens with a shallow depth of field.
Nikon Z8Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 S35mm lens offers a natural perspective
Fujifilm X-S20Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 RProvides an ideal aperture for newborn portraits.
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IIIOlympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.8Compact and efficient

Including Family: Tips for Incorporating Parents in Newborn Photos

Newborn in white outfit on lace blanket, showcasing soft patterns.

Including mom and dad in newborn photos adds a layer of warmth and emotion to the memories you capture. When you learn how to do newborn photography, it’s also important to know how to make everyone in the family feel comfortable and connected during the photo session.

Tips on How to Capture Newborn Photos with Parents

Dress Comfortably and Coordinating

Parents should wear comfortable clothes that don’t distract from the baby. Soft, neutral colors work great because they create a calm and harmonious look. This way, everyone looks good without overshadowing the little star of the show.

Use Natural Poses

Encourage parents to hold their baby naturally, perhaps cradling in their arms or gently holding the baby’s hand. These poses show the genuine connection and love parents have for their little ones, making the photos more meaningful and touching.

Creating a Relaxed Environment

It’s helpful to play soft music or maintain a comfortably warm room to make the baby content. When the baby is calm, parents will relax too, which helps you picture beautiful, natural-looking photos.

Ask parents to talk or sing to their baby during the record. This interaction can lead to beautiful, spontaneous moments where smiles and tender looks naturally occur, excellent for capturing photos.

Style Newborn Baby for a Photoshoot

Newborn in white outfit on lace blanket, showcasing soft patterns.

Highlighting Newborn Features

Newborns often have adorable chubby arms and legs, which are delightful to picture in photos. Consider outfits that leave arms or legs exposed to show off those cute baby rolls. This approach not only adds charm but also captures the delightful details that parents will love to remember.

When choosing colors for the outfits, opt for lighter, softer shades like white color. These colors don’t overpower the delicate features of newborns and look stunning in photography. They help to create a gentle, soothing atmosphere in the pictures.

Selecting Patterns and Textures

If you’re drawn to patterns, soft florals or stripes are excellent for newborn photography. These patterns add a subtle interest to the photos without becoming too distracting. They complement the natural cuteness of the baby and work well in both photography settings, whether at home or in a studio.

Textured fabrics can also enhance the look of your photography. Fabrics like lace, linen, or soft knitted materials add depth to your pictures and are comfortable for the baby to wear. These textures catch the light beautifully and can elevate the overall aesthetic of your photos.

Swaddle Wrap Techniques For Newborn Photography

Three swaddle poses for newborns: Basic Bun, Hands-on-Heart, and Side Sleeper.

Swaddle wraps help keep the baby cozy and make them look like little burritos. Photographers use different swaddle techniques to make infants comfortable and make the photo sessions smooth. Here are popular swaddle techniques and tips on how to use them:

The Basic Bun

This wrap looks just like a bun, with the baby’s arms and legs tucked inside the swaddle. It’s a simple but sweet way to show off the baby’s peaceful face. The family loves this pose because it makes the baby look so calm and snug. It’s excellent for a photo that wants to capture how tiny and adorable newborns are.

The Hands-on-Heart

In this technique, babies have their hands placed gently on their chest over a soft wrap. It looks like they are hugging themselves! This is a great tip for showing the baby’s face and tiny hands. Parents often choose this pose for shots that capture the sweetness of their baby’s early days.

The Side Sleeper

Here, the baby lies on their side, wrapped snugly, with their hands peeking out near their cheeks. Photographers like to give this posing guide. This style because it creates a natural, sleeping pose, and it’s easy to add a small pillow for support, making the shots look super comfortable.

Additional Swaddle Poses For Newborn Photos

Newborns in unique swaddle styles: Tucked-In Turtle, Peekaboo Pod, Royal Bundle.

The Tucked-In Turtle

The wrap goes around the baby, leaving only the head and neck exposed, mimicking a turtle peeking out from its shell. Babies love wraps are popular because they keep the baby warm and secure, just like how they were in their mom’s belly.

The Peekaboo Pod

This swaddle allows one arm or both to peek out from the wrap, giving a cute peekaboo effect. It’s a playful wrap that adds a bit of fun to the photo. It’s the perfect tip for a photographer to capture the baby shoot when infants start to wiggle their arms and look more alert.

The Royal Bundle

A more elaborate wrap that covers the baby beautifully but leaves the head like a little royal wearing a robe. It’s a hit for family photo sessions aimed at creating a majestic or regal image, showcasing the baby as the newest treasure of the family.

Headbands Tips and Guide to Newborn Photo Sessions

A serene scene with a sleeping infant, surrounded by softbox lights and camera equipment.

Choosing the Best Headbands

When picking out headbands for your newborn baby girl, look for ones that are soft and light. Light headbands are more comfortable for the baby, and they won’t press too hard on her little head. The ideal headbands are those that don’t have any sharp edges or heavy decorations.

Matching Headbands with Outfits

To style your baby girl’s photoshoot, try matching the color of the headband with her outfit. If she’s wearing a pink dress, a soft pink headband can be very cute! This helps to create a harmonious look in the photos and shows off her adorable style in the most suitable way.

Keep it Simple

Newborn photos are all about capturing the innocence and delicate features of the baby. Using headbands that are too large or overly decorated can distract from the natural beauty of the newborn. Instead, opting for a headband with a simple design, perhaps with a small bow or a single flower, maintains focus on the baby. This approach ensures that the accessory complements rather than dominates the photograph.

Home newborn photography setup with natural light and soft props.

FAQs on How to do Newborn Photography

How to take photos of a newborn?

Hold the baby securely in a natural, comfortable pose, ensuring good light falls on the baby’s face, and snap your pictures gently without startling them. Patience is key, so wait for the right moment when the baby looks most peaceful. Always have a helper nearby to assist with adjusting the baby or the props, ensuring the session goes smoothly.

How to practice newborn photography?

Set up a warm, quiet room with plenty of natural light. Use soft blankets and pillows for comfort and safety. Make sure the room temperature is comfortable for the baby, as newborns are sensitive to cold. Additionally, gather all necessary items beforehand to avoid any disruptions.

Where to start with newborn photography?

Starting with newborn photography involves mastering a gentle approach and a safe environment for the baby. Invest in essential gear like a good photoing device, a soft blanket for backdrops, and natural or soft artificial lighting to create soothing photos. It’s also beneficial to learn from experienced newborn photographers through workshops or online tutorials to understand posing, safety, and the subtleties of capturing these precious early moments.

How do photographers pose newborns?

Photographers pose newborns with utmost care, focusing on safety and comfort. They often use soft, padded props like bean bags, wraps, and pillows to support the baby in gentle, natural positions, such as curled up as if in the womb or lying on their stomach with hands tucked under their chin. Timing is also crucial; photographers usually schedule sessions when the newborn is sleepy and more pliable, usually within the first two weeks of birth, to ensure the baby remains calm and serene during the shoot.


Reflecting on the journey of how to do newborn photography from the basics of setting up a gentle, light-filled environment to mastering various swaddle wrap techniques, it’s clear that each step is vital in capturing those fleeting, precious first days of a baby’s life. I recall the first newborn session I conducted in my own studio; applying each of these steps with care, from choosing the softest wraps to positioning the baby comfortably, culminated in a series of tender and beautiful photographs that the family cherished immensely. This experience reinforced my belief in the power of photography to preserve life’s most delicate moments.

For anyone passionate about enhancing their newborn photography skills or starting on this rewarding path, I highly recommend our specialized courses. Explore our Lightroom course and Photoshop course to discover more techniques and tools that can elevate your ability to do newborn photography.

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