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How to photograph newborns

Updated on March 14, 2015

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Photographing Babies

One of the most special memories there is to save is the birth of a baby, be it your child or grandchild. A baby changes so fast that even a period of one week can make a huge difference in the way they look. The things you miss will never happen again, they are going to do things for the first time, and it’s nice to have a memory of that time.

There are 5 key things that you need to consider when photographing newborns. How to pose them, how to dress them, how often to photograph them, what types of look are you going for, and who should be in the photos.


As for posing newborns, you're limited because they can’t do much on their own. You must lay them in the position for the photos. The best way to go about this is to find props to use in the photos. Use things that are somewhat plain but will add to the look of the photo. A good example of a prop is a wicker basket that you can put a blanket in and lay the baby in the basket. You can then lay them on their sides, front or back and photograph from different angles for the best pictures.

Try to shoot the photos in natural light. If possible find a north-facing window with good light and get something bleached to use a reflector. Use a large piece of construction paper or a bleached foam core piece from a craft store. To use the reflector, put the baby between the widow and the reflector.

Newborn babies creative commons
Newborn babies creative commons

How to dress babies

Clothing is another big consideration for the photos. Make sure you are in a place that is warm enough for the baby to be comfortable. This is especially the key if you are going to photograph some adorable naked pics, if they are cold, they will cry. Furthermore, take some shots in adorable clothes that you got at showers that they may only be able to wear for a couple of weeks.

How often to photograph

How often you should take photos is up to the individual. I would recommend that during the first year you try to take a shot or 2 every week or more often than that. My Grandson and his parents lived with us for the first year of his life. I took over 1000 pictures of him during that time. That may have been overkill but I made a slide show of the pictures and put it together as a memory of his first year. He is 9 now and his mom still likes to watch it once in a while. It’s a nice way to remember them because they grow up so fast, and it’s gone.

Newborn Tutorial

Black and white

Another thing to do to have some great shots is to look through your photos and experiment with black and white. Some shots are good in color but can become great shots if you take the color out of them. You can also shoot for black and white, but I always like to have all photos in color. It is time-consuming and tedious work to color a black-and-white photo.

Shots to make sure you get

One thing you want to be sure you to do is get the rest of the family members in shots with the newborn. Shots with mom are important for fond memories. Don't forget shots with dad and other siblings are also wonderful memories that like said before, you can’t ever take them again.

My favorite way to take shots of kids is to get candid shots. Lay them in a good spot and let them move around and watch facial expressions and watch for cute shots you can get of feet and hands as they move. I also do this as they get older, you will get some of your best shots of kids if they don’t know that you are taking their picture.

Remember that everyone wants to have pictures of their baby, and you can only get them once so shoot a lot and shoot often.

To keep up with good photography news and tips check out my blog.


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    • markneil profile image

      markneil 7 years ago

    • markneil profile image

      markneil 7 years ago

      A baby has a special way of adding joy in every single day. For me, baby photography gives the baby looking its best. While the baby is always cute and doubtless even beautiful, getting a photograph or two of them are the expertly can make them seem even cuter. At the same time, you can look back in a few years and smile knowing that you got a high quality photo of the child while they were still so small.