Newborn Pictures, 5 Helpful Tips When Taking Them

Photography… Nothing is sweeter than taking the picture of a newborn. However, in saying that, there’s also no greater difficulty than taking this type of photograph. It’s not enough to have the latest equipment, familiarity and skills. When it comes to taking these kinds of pictures and having them come out just right, the most important skill you should have is the human touch.

So, if you’ve been hired to take photos of a newborn, how can you be sure the session will go smoother?

5 Tips That Will Ensure a Smoother Newborn Photography Session

1 – Have Mom and Dad’s Permission

Before you do anything, have a plan of attack and always get the parents’ approval. Ask them what they’re looking for from the pictures. Do they want natural or flash light? What area of the home do they want the shoot done in? Do they want blankets or towels? Ask how they feel about nude pictures – do they want these or not?

If you engage the parents, they’re going to want to help you out while you take the pictures. If you keep them informed and ask them questions, the shoot is going much smoother.

2 – Stay Patient and In A Good Mood

Although you have a plan, be ready to deviate from it. When it comes to newborn photography, a two-hour window is ideal. After all, the baby may become fussy, hungry, tired or need to be cleaned up.

Since you’re the photographer, you control the mood of the parents and baby. If you’re not flexible in your plan, your subject won’t feel relaxed. Put yourself in the shoes of your clients, understand their feelings.  Do that, and you keep the session calm.

3 – Learn About The Subject

Babies reach milestones in every stage of their life – gems for their history. Newborns have unique features about them – dimples, small skin flakes, wrinkles on legs and arms and their canny ability to sleep through nearly everything.

Learn about each baby age milestone and learn the background information of their story. As they get older, they’ll sit up, crawl on their belly, crawl on their knees and hands, take their first step, get their first teeth, put things in their mouth and talk.

4 – Growth

Newborns are tiny little humans, and they grow every single day.  Make sure to highlight their “smallness”, using things around the home as a point of reference – measuring tape, bowl, teddy bear, mommy or daddy’s hands, etc. Make it as fun as possible.

5 – Put Attention On Relationships

Everybody is excited about the baby. After all, it’s a continuation of the family.  Therefore, everybody should take a picture with the baby.  If there are siblings, add them to the shoot, with the older brother or sister holding their younger brother or sister.

When it comes to managing more than one child, you must have patience. While one child could be cooperative, the other may feel fussy.  Make the session feel like a game, not a chore. Take pictures in burst mode, and wait for that moment when they connect.

6 – Ask Permission To Play With Props, Wardrobe and Sets

If you’ve got some props you really want to try, make sure you get the parents’ approval first. Ask them if there are some sentimental items they may want to include in the pictures. Again, you’re engaging with the parents and it makes for a far more meaningful photo shoot for the parents and fun for you.

What is newborn photography? It’s the celebration of a tiny human life that can bring families closer together. And yes, newborn photography can be a challenge. However, with the above tips, it doesn’t have to be an insurmountable one. And, if for some reason, things don’t work out the way you plan, remember to put yourself into the parents’ place and use your soft side.


New family member on the way?

Check out our “Belly to Baby” package which includes one “Maternity” and one “Newborn” photography session (At a reduced price)! Don’t miss out to capture this amazing time of your life! Document it!



Mary is a Vancouver based Maternity and Newborn photographer, with over 31 years of photography experience. Years ago, she started out in photography as a photojournalist and then became a photography teacher. While she has always loved the journalistic magic that she could create with her camera, she really enjoyed capturing the beauty of people & families. This then sparked a desire to further her passion for capturing and creating these cherished memories, and joining her talents for capturing & retelling stories with her camera.

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About Me

“I’m a mother of two beautiful children and have vast experience in photographing newborns and expecting mothers. I know the joys a child can bring in the world, and through my experience as a newborn photographer, we will aim to showcase the love you have for your newborn. ”

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