Soft round baby cheeks, tiny fingers and tiny toes, those first windy smiles, cute yawns and the adorable serenity of a sleeping newborn will have you snapping away within hours of their birth. But, ‘Oh baby!’ most of us soon realise how tricky it is to capture photos of your little one in their best light, so let us help you with our top tips…
One of the key things that can make or break a photo is the lighting. Don’t worry though, you do not need any fancy studio equipment to get this right – just think about the most natural source of lighting we have – the sun! Morning light is best, so find the room in the house with the best natural light and let the light flow from the top of baby’s head down their body! Voila!
2. Be prepared
Preparation is key to a stress-free and successful newborn photo shoot. A top tip is to keep to hand a light coloured plain sheet that can be used as a backdrop. This not only helps to reflect light, but gives a lovely plain, mess-free background.
Having a few props can also help give your image a splash of styling;
- A comfortable setting – a beanbag, cushions or pillows are ideal for this. Note: if you use these, do not pose your baby for long periods of time (especially when they are asleep) and never leave them unattended. Make sure you transfer them to a safe sleeping position as soon as you have finished photographing them (i.e. flat on their back with their crib/cot clear of any items like bumpers, toys and loose bedding).
- A blanket – a soft cuddly blanket makes the perfect setting for those first photos
- A favourite outfit, or quirky accessories like hairbands, bonnets or a cap. Making sure the colours work in harmony with your blanket
- A soft toy – a furry friend to accompany your little one is bound to make everyone’s heart melt
- A prop – a little chalkboard sign or milestone card can be added to personalise your photos, or else you could try creating a theme. This could be a fairytale or superhero story, or even Mum or Dad’s favourite sports team or hobby!
3. Keep baby happy
Make sure baby is content - well fed, sleepy, and warm.
- Keep the room cosy and free from cold draughts
- Try feeding baby wrapped in a swaddle blanket wearing only a nappy - that way you don’t have to worry about undressing them
- Play soothing background music (such as a musical mobile) to help keep them settled.
In addition to these 3 things, babies are often much more cooperative and ‘lazy’ in the morning hours, so try doing your shoot between breakfast and lunch!
4. Keep baby safe
This goes without saying, but please make sure your baby’s safety is the number 1 priority while you are taking his or her photos. If you are trying a more difficult pose or working with props, have someone there to help you and to watch baby while you shoot!
DO NOT attempt the raised ‘chin on wrists’ pose that professional photographers use.
They are trained to make sure that that baby’s head is properly supported, and it is absolutely essential that you work with a professional photographer for these types of pictures.
5. Pace yourself
One of the benefits of photographing your newborn yourself, is that time is on your side. There is no need to rush – just take it easy and pace yourself. Taking great photos can be a slow process, so don’t stress if your photo session isn’t going to plan – we all know that babies follow their own schedule! Remember - there’s always another time or day… Just take whatever photos you can, safe in the knowledge you will cherish them all!
6. The pose
Some of the best newborn photos occur when baby is asleep, not least because a sleeping baby is much easier to pose than an awake one!
The natural poses your baby adopts while sleeping on their back can create adorable photos, especially if you can position their relaxed hands to rest delicately on their chest.
And noting says ‘cherished’ like a swaddled baby, so simply swaddling your baby in a soft cosy blanket also presents a perfect photo opportunity.
7. The tiny details
It’s important to capture all those sweet little details that make your baby unique.
That little upturned nose, her rosebud lips, his crinkly little chin, those tiny toes and fingers – these are all things that you will not want to forget as your baby grows.
Focusing in on these details will remind you how delicate they once were, and help you to capture photos that highlight the beauty of your baby
Don’t forget to take also take pictures of baby’s toes. Let their feet pose naturally while they’re sleeping, or cradle them with your hands. You can also photograph them alongside their sibling’s feet – or the whole family’s!
Hands shots are magical too, and there’s so many options - from simply getting baby to grasp your finger to cupping their clasped hands in yours and making a heart shape with your hands. This shot works beautifully when baby is lying down on their back and you can get their face in the photo too!
8. Include family & siblings
Some of the sweetest and most endearing photos you can take of your new baby will be the ones you capture with their siblings.
Older siblings may be able to hold their new brother or sister, or for younger children, simply laying them down together creates perfect poses.
Get them involved at the start, while they are curious and excited about what you are doing. This will make your older children feel special and involved, which is always important when a new baby in the house is getting lots of attention!
9. Get in the picture
Whilst you might want to resist the urge of having photos taken of yourself, please hand your camera to someone else and make sure to get a few pictures of yourself with your new baby. They are precious once-in-a-lifetime moments, and though you may not feel your best, you and your baby will treasure those captured memories a lifetime. Trust us.
10. Get printing
These days, instead of displaying and enjoying our precious moments, so many of our photo memories are hidden in mobile phones and hard drives, or scattered over social media feeds.
Whether it’s a candid photo of you and your newborn’s first meet, them snuggled asleep in their crib, or the moment those big eyes opened wide for the first time, celebrate your new arrival and welcome them into the world in style, with our range of baby photo gifts, prints and frames.
Easy to create
- Choose your favourite baby photo products from our popular range - from Photobooks, Print Collections and Wall Art - we have it all!
- Upload your own favourite photos
- Start creating beautiful personalised keepsakes to cherish forever
If you have previously enjoyed our in-hospital professional photography service, our exciting new website means you can also include those photos when creating your keepsakes!
Check out our adorable collection of personalised baby photo keepsakes by clicking the link below.
Those first few weeks after your baby is born are an amazing, life changing, and magical time - so make sure to capture those precious memories, and let us help you create unique keepsakes for you and your family to cherish forever!
We promise you the very best in customised newborn portrait products - guaranteed to bring oodles of Oohs and Aahs for the little person in your life, for years to come.
Bestselling products chosen by parents
A new addition to your family deserves that best, so take a look at our Photobook, Print Collections and Wall Art, and you’ll see why thousands of families love receiving these!