1. Pick The Best Location
It is best to photography your baby in your home. This will make your baby the most comfortable for the shoot possible as they are already familiar with their surroundings. You will also have all the items you will need for your photo shoot in the home.
If you are having a professional photographer come to your home to do a session don’t stress about making your home spotless. Newborn photographers understand how busy you are and won’t be judging a few dirty dishes or clothes laying about.
When picking the room for the shoot, it is best to pick one with a large window for lots of natural lighting. This will allow you to skip using a flash as they can be harsh on a baby’s eyes.
2. Keep The Temperature Warm
Babies get cold easy and you may be taking some poses with light or little baby clothing. So it is very important to keep the area warm. It should be close to 80 degrees during the photo session to ensure your baby does not get too cold.
Warm the house up to the right temperature at least a half an hour before you begin taking pictures. You can also use space heaters if all shots will be taken in the same room. It is hard to keep a baby happy when they’re cold!
3. Loosen Their Diaper
About a half hour before taking photos you should loosen your baby’s diaper if you intend to take any shots without baby clothes. This will allow diaper lines to disappear before taking any photos.
4. Plan For Feeding Time and Breaks
Newborn babies require frequent rests during a photo session or they will become very fussy. Prepare a meal ahead of time if possible and plan plenty of breaks for rest and cuddle time. This will allow your baby to stay happy and alert for the entire session.
This is also great if you plan to take any nursing or mommy and daddy time pictures with your baby.
5. Keep Supplies Handy
Always keep wipes and diapers handy as they will be used frequently throughout the session. Be prepared for diaper changes and don’t worry, if you are using a pro they understand that time is needed to keep baby happy.
6. Prepare Props and Baby Wardrobe Ahead of Time
Brainstorm for great props and what your baby will wear ahead of time. In this area it is better to have more than you think you will use than find out during the session you wished you had more. There are tons of ways to get creative and you can also prepare for more day to day life poses. No matter which way you go, be sure to have everything ready before the session begins. Don’t forget to use the items already in the home, couches, family portraits, cribs.
When choosing outfits for your newborn or baby, you will likely want to have at least three wardrobe changes ready to go. If you have a shorter photo session then be sure not to plan on more than three outfits as changing can take up a lot of your time.
Some great classic outfits unclude onsies, diaper shots, and a diaper covers.
7. Include Pets and Family Photographs
There is no question who the star of the show is! But don’t let that stop you from adding mom, dad, or fido to the fun.
You can get some lovely candid moments between the baby and the rest of the family if you plan ahead. Maybe have grandma oohing and ahhing over the baby or mom tickling their tummy. The possibilities are truly endless and may produce some of your most cherished baby photos.
Always keep safety in mind when photographing pets with a baby.
8. Everyone Remain Calm
If there will be other children in or around the baby photo session it is important to have a talk with them before the session that they want to remain calm around the baby. Tell them how excited everyone is for the baby pictures and that they can help make the pictures great by acting calm while pictures are taken.
If you have pets don’t be afraid to include them in some shots too. But be conscious of their behavior and whether they can also stay calm during the session.
9. Get Your Wardrobe Ready
So many parents spend a ton of time getting baby ready for the shoot but completely forget to get themselves prepped and ready. This leads to unnecessary stress on session day. This can be alleviated by thinking about your wardrobe while getting your baby’s wardrobe in order.
Parents should wear simple styles and avoid loud patterns and logos on their clothing. These rules are not hard and fast but they help create a timeless scene that will never look out of style.
10. Think About the Details
Babies get fussy and your baby probably will too during the session. When they are fussy and you already made sure they have everything they need you can still get some precious shots. Focus on toes or fingers and you can still get some adorable shots when baby is not happy.
11. Think About Hats
If your baby had a forceps birth and has a slightly misshapen head, find some cute matching hats and get some super cute photos.
12. Relax Those Little Fists
Babies love making fists with their little hands but in a photo this can make the baby appear to be upset even when they are as happy as can be. So try and unclench their fists gently for your pics. This tends to be easiest when the baby is sleeping.
12. Don’t Rush
Babies grow up fast so no need to rush the joyous time of getting your precious baby pictures. Also, newborns don’t move that much which means you can take your time to make sure each shot is setup exactly how you want it. Slow down and enjoy the session.
13. Let Your Baby’s Personality Shine
Think about what is included in your shot and how it represents your family’s personality. If you go too traditional in all your shots you risk having pictures that look like all the other baby pics out there. Grab your baby’s favorite blanket or toy. Get creative but make sure it’s with a purpose.
14. Think About Each Shot’s Perspective
Make sure you get down at the baby’s perspective when shooting. Don’t shoot from above. You will get a great and natural looking picture.
15. But Don’t Forget the Overhead Shot
The acceptation to the tip above is the classic overhead shot. When baby is laying down be directly above and take an overhead picture.
16. Show Off How Tiny Your Baby Is
Nothing is more precious than a tiny baby. And you can make sure that comes through on your pictures by showing how tiny they are relative to your hands and fingers. Show your hands in the shot and you will get a lovely picture.
17. Keep an Eye on Baby’s Legs
When a newborn’s legs are extended they can sometimes give off an overly lanky look. To take care of that just gently tuck your baby’s legs up for an adorable pose.
18. Use a Beanbag
Beanbags are a great tool for newborn photography. They make it simple to lay your baby in multiple adorable poses. The beanbags are also soft and perfect for newborns staying comfortable during the photo session. Don’t forget to use a blanket over the beanbag for a more cozy look.
With a little preparation you can be certain to have a great baby photography session. Some or all of these tips can be used for a parent who is taking the photos themselves or having them done by a professional. Just remember to take your time and enjoy it!
For more newborn photography tips and guides check out these articles