Everyone wants incredible pictures of their new baby. This post will help you pull together a great collection of inexpensive props so you can rock any newborn photography session!
Photos via Boost Your Photography
Newborn photography props
An assortment of props will help take your newborn photographs from so-so to wow! The basic props that you want to assemble include a selection of baskets or boxes, a cheesecloth wrap, a few cute hats, and some headbands.
Baskets or vintage boxes are great for posing sleeping newborns. Your local fabric or hobby store will likely have a wide range of baskets to choose from. You can also keep an eye out at garage sales or thrift stores for interesting boxes.
Shallow containers often work better than deeper ones, as you want to be able to easily see the infant. (Safety tip: put a heavy book, like a cookbook, inside the box before adding blankets or stuffing to prevent it from tipping over while shooting.)
Cheesecloth wraps are hugely popular with newborn photography for their simple texture. You can buy dyed wraps in many colors and sizes, or you can easily buy a length of white cheesecloth from the fabric store. Consider buying a few different lengths for different types of shots – whether you want the baby fully trussed up or only wrapped around their middle, for example.
Baby hats and headbands can be found at any baby or department store. Check the clearance section during off-peak times for great deals. You can easily make your own headbands from a length of stretch elastic: nine or ten inches works well for the circumference of tiny newborn heads. Add a ready-made flower or create your own using felt and buttons. This five-minute project yields great results!
Painted letters are another great accessory for newborn shoots. Once you know the baby’s name, bring along a set of letters for his/her initials. Letters can be posed with the baby or leaned up against a basket or box. They also make a great, quick gift for the new parents after the shoot. Consider bringing letters to spell out words too. Spelling out love using a newborn’s feet is an image guaranteed to please. The image below uses 3″ wood letters, painted white.
Finally, purchase your own waterproof crib pad if you are planning to attempt any naked newborn photographs. A naked baby is a wildly unpredictable creature. Sliding a waterproof pad under your backdrop or blanket will ensure that any baby accidents are contained and do not ruin the bed, couch, or posing pillow you are using underneath.
Additional accessories for newborn photography
As for toys, posing blankets, or other accessories, ask the parents to provide those. A baby photograph will be much more meaningful if s/he is wrapped up in grandmother’s hand-knit blanket or great-grandmother’s quilt than in some random blanket provided by the photographer.
Talk with the parents ahead of time and find out about important blankets or toys. Maybe they have a favorite hobby or other interest that they want to feature as well. The more you can personalize the shoot, the better-received your photographs will be.
A few basic props can make a huge impact in your baby photographs. Start with a basket and some cheesecloth, and add props as you go along. Get the parents involved, and you will find all kinds of great ideas from their suggestions too!
Looking for more information about newborn photography? Check out Craftsy’s Ultimate Baby Photography Tips and Tricks.