Last Updated on March 21, 2021
Are you looking for the complete list of equipment for getting started with newborn photography?
Whether you are a new mom or day or an aspiring professional newborn photographer there are essential items you need in order to capture those precious baby moments.
In this article you will learn exactly what you need to get started taking awesome baby photographs.
Essential Newborn Photography Supplies and Equipment
Newborn Photography Camera
It all starts with the camera. To capture high quality baby and infant pictures a high quality camera is a must. There are great options from numerous makers such as Canon, Nikon, Sony and Pentax but the key is to get a DSLR or mirrorless camera that is at least of mid range quality. With baby photography it is important to have a camera that can capture great image quality without the need for an external flash. There are tons of digital camera options available but for my recommendations read my article on the best camera for newborn photography.
Baby Photography Lenses
A lens is one of the biggest factors in the quality of your baby photos. Many cameras come with a kit lens but they are not best suited for newborn photography. Instead you should get a lens that offers the right specs for baby shots. There are a number of lenses out there ideal for newborns from all the major camera brands. And getting one of the top quality models will ensure you get the best results possible. Having a lens capable of taking closeups and portrait style images will be key. For more detail of the specific lenses I recommend read these articles.
Most newborn photographers do not opt to use a flash for their photography as there is the chance it will disturb or stress the baby. If no flash is used you will need a reflector to achieve good lighting and exposure. There are a number of reflector styles available, read here for my tips on how to use a reflector for great photography lighting.
If you do decide to go with flash lighting then you will need to invest in light modifiers and a softbox is my recommendation. This will allow you to take harsh flash lighting and soften it. This is not only going to create more flattering lighting but it may help reduce the risk of the flash disturbing the baby. Softboxes are the cheapest and simplest way to achieve natural looking lighting when natural lighting isn’t available.
Photography Backdrops and Backdrop Stands
While some mom’s and dad’s may want to invest in a backdrop and stand, this recommendation is particularly aimed at the pro newborn photographer. A backdrop will allow you to use soft blankets for more interesting and creative image backdrops. There are also reasonably priced options available.
Keeping baby safe and comfortable during the photo session is the most important aspect of doing newborn photography. To pose the baby in the best way possible you will need newborn photography pillows, bean bags, and other safe furniture. For my favorite models read the best newborn photography bean bag recommendations.
If you want to make your baby and infant photographs tell an adorable story then props are a must. Because babies don’t tend to move much or show a lot of expression, props can help you bring the baby’s personality out. The best baby props include blankets, clothing, hats, stuffed animals, baskets, and pillows. Use your imagination, just always keep safety in mind.
Use A White Noise Machine
The more relaxed the baby is the easier your photo session will be. One of the best ways you can ensure your baby is not disturbed by all the equipment and posing is by using a white noise machine. This will help your baby sleep and avoid fussing during the session. There are a ton of options out there including phone apps. When I do baby pictures I like to play soft classical music, but at the end of the day it’s all about calming vibes.
It is common for babies to wear nothing more than a diaper during a photo session and because of that they will get cold easy. To keep baby warm you will want to keep the session room temp up with a space heater. Sometimes a heating pad can do the trick too. Just be sure that the pad doesn’t get too hot for baby.
There are three truths we can rely on. Death, taxes and babies have accidents. Over the course of the session you will have to deal with dirty diapers and even vomit. Keeping baby wipes and other cleaning items handy is a must. These are items you will need to keep stocked up as long as you are into baby photography.
For more newborn photography tips and guides read these articles