Emails based on baby’s birth date Track baby’s development Discover safe & natural remedies Access free tools & resources
I like to include siblings as often as I can, no matter the age. This gets tricky because the very definition of tricky is a two year old holding a newborn while exhausted parents watch the situation go down. Enough pillows and promises of lollipops though will get you a shot or two and a little variation in the final images. Interaction is the name of the game here—look for whatever the emotion is that’s happening and play on it. If it’s pride, comment on it to instill confidence and document a sweet moment in sibling history. If it’s indifference, engage the older child so they forget there is even a new addition in the photograph and are happy to be your star for a moment.
Sign up to the weekly DPS NEWSLETTER Subscribe All our best articles for the week Fun photographic challenges Special offers and discounts Your email is safe with us. We won’t share it with anyone
When I first started doing professional photography, newborn babies were the coveted prize. An adorable sleeping creature that would look cute no matter what? Sign me up! Let’s put that baby in a stockpot! In a basket! Wait! –A headband that looks like a flower! In a field of flowers! With butterflies! And maybe a big gift box bow!
2. Bring a space heater. Even if it’s summertime, newborns get the chillies something fierce when they’re changing clothes or in their birthday suit. A space heater on the spot will help make things comfy for your munchkin model.
10. Seek inspiration from the pros. Do a Google image search for newborn photography. Browse some of the most popular photographer’s blogs. Or hit up Flickr for some inspirado for your newborn shoot.
7 Tips for Photographing Newborns without Becoming Clichéd, Derivative or Boring
Having everything ready to go before shooting a single shot is taken will serve you well: various blankets for background and warmth, cloth diapers for when someone pees on you (let’s hope it’s the baby), any clothing you plan to use and back-ups of every possible thing. I prefer minimal clothing on newborns, but this is just personal preference. Amble natural light is important because even if you do usually shoot flash, it’s often disruptive enough to wake a newborn and rule number one in photography, parenting, and life is: Never wake a sleeping baby. If there is anything I’ve learned, it’s that.
Be prepared to work fast because babies can be ticking time bombs, but slowly because they are delicate ticking time bombs. You are methodical. You are confident. You are patient. You are the baby whisperer. Because we are speaking in ideals. And if you’re me and we are still speaking in ideals, you also have on your cute jeans and are having a great hair day. Because, why not?
Landscape Photography Tips Portrait Photography Tips Photo Composition Tips Beginner Photography Tips Photo Post Processing Tips Get Started with Cameras and Gear
9. Sink to their level. Great photography’s all about perspective. Experiment with photos down at your baby’s level. Your shots will feel like you’ve entered the baby’s world rather than looking down on them.
Want More Photography Clients?Click Below To Get Our FREE Class – The 5 Step Framework for Booking More Clients! Get the Free Class!
Most PopularDue Date CalculatorSh*t Crunchy Mamas SayDiscover Essential OilsRead Natural Birth StoriesBaby Registry ChecklistNatural Gift GuideOur Meal PlansNatural Products I ♥Pregnancy Week-by-WeekThe Mama Natural Birth Course
Another thing to think about is the ratio of images of the baby alone and the baby with parents or siblings; there is no right or wrong answer here but knowing what you or your client is wanting in advance is key. Newborn shoots are not (usually) guided by a free-spirited toddler and therefore require more of a plan from you than shoots with older children. And you never know when a baby will decide that pictures are just not what he wants to do today and let’s you know this in a very unsubtle and loud way.
Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook Subscribe Guaranteed for 2 full months Pay by PayPal or Credit Card Instant Digital Download GET DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS Feed Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook Subscribe Guaranteed for 2 full months Pay by PayPal or Credit Card Instant Digital Download GET DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS Feed Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook Subscribe Guaranteed for 2 full months Pay by PayPal or Credit Card Instant Digital Download GET DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS Feed Sign up to the free DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE Subscribe Guaranteed for 2 full months Pay by PayPal or Credit Card Instant Digital Download GET DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS Feed Sign up to the free DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE Subscribe Guaranteed for 2 full months Pay by PayPal or Credit Card Instant Digital Download GET DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS Feed Sign up to the free DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE Subscribe Guaranteed for 2 full months Pay by PayPal or Credit Card Instant Digital Download GET DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS Feed
Sign up to the weekly DPS NEWSLETTER Subscribe Guaranteed for 2 full months Pay by PayPal or Credit Card Instant Digital Download
Please add to our list! Any tips you can share with us on having a great newborn shoot?
The only thing I always bring to a newborn shoot is a large piece of black cloth. I have had it for nearly a decade and more babies have peed on it than I wish to think about. I have hung it on walls and used it on floors and beds as a back-drop. I use it every single time because it simplifies everything and allows the focus to be completely on the baby. Lots of photographers do a version of a black background of some sort and I’ve found that there is no need to get fancy.
© 2006 – 2018 Digital Photography School, All Rights Reserved / Disclaimer
4. Be sure baby’s recently fed and changed. If you want to prevent a mid-photo-mishap, change your baby right before the newborn shoot. You’ll also want to be sure he’s well-fed, relaxed and content.
And why shouldn’t it be? Baby details are sorta amazing. I mean have you seen a baby toe recently? Talk about something I’d like to dip in butter and call a snack. We have all seen baby parts photographed in the same boring ways: wedding rings on toes, close-ups of belly buttons and umbilical cords (ew), tops of bald heads in big grown-up hands. I am guilty of doing every one of these, multiple times over. I now see that the shots that will stand the test of time will be very simple close-ups that highlight just how small newborns are: tiny hands holding a parent’s finger, brand new feet that have yet to see wear, yawns and other adorable expressions that only look adorable on a baby.
Many photographers use a velvet, but mine is about 2 yards of a stretchy thick cloth that I bought at a fabric store for ten dollars. It washes well (luckily) and the light sheen of it makes editing out any wrinkles in post extremely easy. I carry thumbtacks and painters tape to hang it with if I need to and it’s thick enough to hang over about anything and not have backlight shine through. I cannot stress having a way to simplify a newborn shoot enough. If a black background isn’t your style, find what is that will clean-up everything and let the newborn to be the focus, and allow it to become your key piece for baby photography.
A Guide to Newborn Photography – Preparation, … 3 years ago
BrowsePregnancyBabyParentingFor YouShopAboutContactPrivacyTerms of Service
They may just lay there, but the beauty in this is that they often let you adjust them however you want. Tuck legs up under bodies, pull flailing arms into blankets, curl them up into someone’s hands. The baby is the star of this show and is plenty cute to pull off this role without a big supporting cast of props. A key to getting the position you want and having it stay that way long enough to get the shot you want is to keep your hands on the baby longer than needed after positioning them.
1. Do it early! The first few days is ideal. Anything before 10 days works. After that babies don’t sleep as deeply, so you can’t pose them as easily. Also, after 10 days newborns start to get baby acne and God forbid your little one has a blemish for his first photo!
Professional newborn photos are wonderful, but if cash is tight you can hit up Target and Sears photo studios for a newborn shoot for less than $100.
Then I realized that Anne Geddes is the landlord of that entire market. And that it’s rare for a portrait client to actually want a picture of their baby in a stockpot. What people do want is a picture of their baby, that looks like their baby. Because in about 5 minutes their baby isn’t going to look like this anymore.
Better yet, if you’ve got a decent camera, some flair, and a bit of time, you do your own newborn shoot.
Sign up to the weekly DPS NEWSLETTER Subscribe All our best articles for the week Fun photographic challenges Special offers and discounts
In an ideal situation, you are photographing a newborn that is less than two weeks old (when they tend to be more “mold-able”), in the morning (when they tend to be a more willing participant), just after being fed (when they tend to be a little more tolerant), and in a warm room (where they tend to be a little more comfortable).
7. Think texture. If you want something more interesting than the black backdrop, think textures. Shoot baby against a thickly woven blanket, fuzzy fleece, or a corduroy cloth. These patterns pick up nicely in photographs and create an organic feel.
I love a good worry and consider myself to be quite good at it. But as jobs go, photographing newborns is about as close to shooting fish in a barrel as you are likely to get. It’s easy to feel the pressure given that babies are so fragile and grow every single second. The truth is any picture you take of a newborn is a gift. Just as any time spent getting to photograph a newborn. I don’t get sappy often, but newborn babies are pretty special. Enjoy it.
5. Pose baby on a beanbag or a bunch of pillows. This soft perch will enable you to set her into various positions in a safe and comfortable manner. Of course you never want to leave baby unattended in such a setting!
They’re more important than senior class pictures, get more exposure than a drivers license photo, and serve as a visual debut to the world… The birth announcement photo! If you’re like me, newborn photo announcements are a standard parent operating procedure. I have a huge collection of my friends’ and families’ newborn announcements, most of which are still stuck to my fridge.
6. Get a black backdrop. Want those classic black and white photos of baby isolated against a black background? Grab a large piece of black fabric, blanket, or anything similar, drape it over your beanbag, perhaps pin it to your wall behind you, and, voilà, instant home studio.
Think of it as long hug—you don’t need that extra ten seconds at the end, but it feels nice. Get the baby settled and then stay there for a bit longer. The warmth of your hands and the consistency and reassurance is often exactly what the baby needs to “hold” the position you are seeking.
8. Experiment with settings. We’re used to seeing photos of babies in cribs, in beds, the bath, etc. But how about asleep on dad’s chest, nestled inside of a box, or positioned atop a decorative rug? Unexpected settings can add visual interest to your shots. Of course, you want to be extra careful with creative settings too! Most of the amazing pro photos have a spotter’s hand in the shot to keep baby safe, and then is later photoshopped out of the photo. Don’t ever pose baby in a precarious position and then step back to take a photo.
3. Wait until baby is good and sleepy before you start your newborn shoot. This way you can pose her however you like. If you catch your baby in the first few days of her life, this won’t be a problem. But if, like us, you try to do the photos around day seven or beyond, be prepared to twiddle your thumbs for an hour or so until the newborn is snoozing steadily.
DPS offers a free weekly newsletter with: 1. new photography tutorials and tips 2. latest photography assignments 3. photo competitions and prizes Enter your email below to subscribe.
Especially if the newborn belongs to someone else and you get to walk out of there without a crying baby and go home to a bed where you’re permitted to sleep through the night.
Oh sure, we all know they are adorable, but what are you supposed to do with them? They are flimsy and tiny and often naked. This is where I think we get into trouble and put them in baskets and stockpots. Because we can. Instead of creating scenes, it’s better to just think of “positions”. Babies can only do about two positions unassisted—laying down this way or that way. Work with that.
Photographing newborns is one of the few times I make a point of asking clients what they are planning on doing with the end result. Often it’s for use in a baby announcement or just as “baby pictures” documenting this time. But if it’s going to end-up as a 24″x36″ canvas above a fireplace, I want to know beforehand. Or if I’m going to need negative space to create an announcement card, I’d rather shoot with that in mind then trying to backtrack later in post.