Precious Moments: How to Photograph a Newborn

Posted by on Jun 13, 2014 in Photography |


Have you ever wondered how to photograph a newborn? While it may seem daunting at first, with a few tips and know-how, you can capture all the innocence and beauty that is a newborn baby!

Here are the “dos” and “don’ts” to keep in mind when photographing a newborn.

newborn baby in blanket

Photos via Red Shoes Photography

DO prepare the parents in advance.

One of the most important things you can do to ensure a successful newborn portrait session is to communicate with the parents prior to the session. Let the parents know that they should keep the room where you’ll be doing the photographing warm. Give suggestions on what to wear. I usually recommend that parents wear a dark solid color to keep the focus on the baby. Newborns are often so small that they’re swimming in clothes, so I suggest keeping it simple, With the baby in a diaper or a onesie.

Mother and newborn baby

DO have the session within 2 weeks of birth.

Babies tend to be sleepier during this time, allowing for the calm, sleepy portraits most parents want. Also, if babies are going to develop skin issues like baby acne or uncomfortable issues like colic, it usually happens after 2 weeks of age.

photographer taking photo of newborn

DON’T shoot up the nose.

Think about your angles and what is flattering for photos. You may need to get down to the baby’s level or get up really high to get the best angle for photographs.

mother nursing

DO be patient.

Sometimes it takes a little longer to photograph a newborn, as they often have their own agenda. If you need to take time for the baby to calm down and eat, allow time for that. Also, when subjects (that means both parents and baby) don’t feel rushed, they tend to photograph better.

newborn and parents

DON’T be afraid to use the environment to your advantage.

When you arrive at the client’s home, have a look around and see what you can use to your advantage. If there is an amazing staircase, use it! If life is just really chaotic for the family, maybe incorporate that into part of the story. I also sometimes rearrange the furniture, so that I can take advantage of window light for the best pictures.

Remember to have fun and that this is an exciting time in these new parents’ life! For more tips, check out Craftsy’s course on Family Photography: Candid Moments and Storytelling.

Have you ever photographed a fussy baby? How do you deal with an uncomfortable little one?