Your baby is only a baby for so long. That newborn look and feel of a new baby last just a few weeks before sudden changes take place and your baby begins to look older and more like a little person. This is the reason so many people choose to have newborn photography taken in the first two weeks of their little one’s life. Newborn photography captures your baby in that brand-new phase you won’t get back and cannot recreate. If you miss the opportunity to take newborn photos, you cannot retake them.

Newborn photography is an art, but it’s not one you have to pay for. You can take your own pictures of your newborn that capture them in sweet poses that you will keep forever. There are several tips you can use at home to capture newborn photography that looks professional whether you are a parent looking to take your own photos or a photographer looking to expand your services into the newborn genre. You only have a few days to capture these photographs, however, so you want to become familiar with these tips right now.


Newborn photography should be scheduled anywhere from five to 10 days following the birth of a child. Any earlier and you risk the baby not being released from the hospital. Any later and you risk the baby no longer be as easy to pose, and you might miss some of that newborn baby look. The biggest reason for taking photos of babies younger than two weeks is that they are more likely to continue to lie down in the womb-like pose you see in so many newborn photographs. After this age, they are more likely to stretch out and lose the newborn curl.

Advance Scheduling

calendar for scheduling

If you’re a photographer or even a mother looking to take newborn photography of your new baby by scheduling a photo shoot ahead of time, you must understand you cannot predict birth. If you’re taking your own photos at home, you need not worry about scheduling. If you’re scheduling with a photographer or you are the photographer looking to schedule newborn photography sessions with moms-to-be, do not schedule anything prior to one week after the mother’s due date.

It’s helpful to leave a few hours a week open so that you can accommodate your new mom and her baby in the weeks leading up to and following her due date. It’s frustrating for some photographers to have no idea when their actual session will take place, but babies are born when they want to be born. Unless a mother has a scheduled induction or C-Section date, you just don’t know when your actual session might take place.

The Five to Ten Day Timeframe

newborn baby girl

You should understand why it’s recommended you wait to take newborn photos until after a baby reaches five days old but before 10 days. You already know that a baby loses a touch of that newborn look by not curling up after the two-week mark. The ten-day mark allows you to ensure the baby doesn’t reach that milestone early. The five-day mark ensures the baby doesn’t need to spend as much time nursing. Babies who are older than five days tend to eat a little less than babies younger because their mother’s milk has come in fully, and they get more in one meal than babies who are a bit younger.

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Newborn photography need not be difficult. Props are not required, even though you might want or need a few little things lying around that help you enhance your photos. However, there is nothing that says you must have an expansive collection of props for small babies. In fact, sometimes it’s the scenery and the impromptu items that make for the best photos.

Find Something To Lay The Baby On

baby yawning

Newborns don’t roll over or move, but you don’t want to go too far from them when they are on top of a prop. The best prop here is a few couch cushions or even a small ottoman that’s slightly raised off the floor but isn’t too big. Laying a baby on top of something like this rather than on the floor allows you to have a little dimension in the photos. However, you want to cover the props with a white cloth. Sheets or blankets work just fine to lay the baby on top of. This allows your photos to look brighter and lighter.

Find A Light Background

new born baby sleeping

Newborns don’t roll over or move, but you don’t want to go too far from them when they are on top of a prop. The best prop here is a few couch cushions or even a small ottoman that’s slightly raised off the floor but isn’t too big. Laying a baby on top of something like this rather than on the floor allows you to have a little dimension in the photos. However, you want to cover the props with a white cloth. Sheets or blankets work just fine to lay the baby on top of. This allows your photos to look brighter and lighter.


baby feet and a blanket

Newborn photography often depicts new babies lying on top of a pile of soft blankets to help them sink a bit when they are curled up. This is a sweeter look, so you should have a pile of soft blankets to place your baby on top of. These should be white, too, and they should always be the same material so you don’t add too much texture to the photo. The baby is the focus, so you don’t want to add too much of anything that detracts from them.


baby portrait and a sunflower props

The simplest accessories are often the best accessories. When newborn photography is in question, it’s always a good idea to remember the old adage that less is more. The best accessories are a small, neutral newborn headband in a soft pink or neutral white or cream for a little girl, and a few small sports items for little boys. A small football, a baseball and bat, and any other sports items are helpful. Maybe a small hat with the logo of the family’s favorite team is helpful to have on hand.

One thing to remember with accessories is to ask the parents in advance what they want. You’ll find many parents have no preference as you are the professional and they trust your judgment. Others might suggest their favorite team, sport, hobby, or another idea for you to use.

If you are the parent looking to take your own newborn photography, do not worry about accessories as much as about studying the angles and styles of other photographs of newborns. Babies are often naked in their newborn photos, with their private areas hidden by strategic posing.

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Your style is personal as a photographer or a parent, or as both, if that’s where you are. What you want from your newborn photography session is very personal to you and your family, but there are two very distinct styles you should be aware of.

Posed Newborn Photography

newborn in his father's hand

Posed photography is distinct. Your job is to take the baby and move the baby into positions you want to see him or her in, and then you snap photos. Many babies who are posed in photography have their hands under their chin, their legs curled, and they are posed on your props. This is not a candid shot of the baby doing what babies do. This is a shot you take after carefully curating how the baby is posed and looks. You might capture a candid moment when the baby yawns or opens his or her mouth, or even a moment when the baby clenches his or her fists. It’s a sweet moment, but it’s still a posed shot.

Candid Lifestyle Photography

newborn baby wearing costume

This is a different form of newborn photography some photographers use to take photos of their babies. The difference is you are capturing photos of a newborn in real life rather than as they are posed. You might capture a photo of the baby while his or her parents are holding them. You might lay the baby on their favorite blanket and capture the baby wiggling around and just lying still without posing them.

Another popular lifestyle photo shoot idea is to capture the baby with big siblings and parents as they hold the baby’s hand, kiss the baby’s cheek, or hold the baby in their arms. The point here is to take photos of the baby in real life without posing the baby at all. These shots are artistic in their own way. They capture the baby in a real-life situation with his or her family, which is something many families might want to see.

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baby sleeping

Whether you are a parent looking to take your own newborn photos or a photographer entering the realm of newborn photos, these tips can help you capture the best photos. Babies are sweet, but they might not be as simple to work with as you believe. You have limited time, ample interruption, and no two families are the same. Talk to new parents about what they want in their photos, and then work with them on an individual basis.

Last update on 2021-10-15 at 20:53 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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