Newborn Portrait Tips

Newborn Portrait Session Tips

I LOVE photographing newborns!
Newborn photography is incredibly challenging, but it’s so amazing to be a part of baby’s life when they are just days old.

There’s a bit of prep and planning that needs to go into these sessions to make them more successful though. I have compiled a few tips below to help us get the very best out of your upcoming newborn session.


I recommend that you schedule your newborn session PRIOR to your baby’s birth to ensure I am ready for the baby when they come.  Contact us during your second trimester and I’ll pencil you in.  Then, shoot us an email soon after you deliver so I can arrange a time for the session.

(And I always feel super special when dad’s put us on the official “baby is here!” cNewborn Photoall list!  Just sayin’…) 

Newborns are best photographed within their first 2 weeks of birth when the baby is very sleepy and “mold-able”. Ideally, 1-10 days, in this time period it is easier to get womb like poses, all sleepy, squishy and curled up.  I like to pose them with wrapped in blankets or with cute little head bands.  I have a good variety of props but if you wish to bring items that are special or that you like and want pictures with please free free to do so.

It typically take 2 to 3 hours for these sessions or longer so please be prepared.  Typically you should bring with you your diaper bag with change of clothes for the baby and extra diapers.  I also suggest if you are going to have some pictures taken with the baby to make sure you are not wearing strips or patterns.  I usually suggest either a white shirt or black shirt.  The same goes for daddy.  Also you should bring a drink and a snack for yourselves as well.

Have baby fully fed for 6 hours leading up to the session.  Dress your baby in loose fit pyjama, (zip up or button down) so that if your baby is still sleeping upon arrival, there will be less of a fuss getting him/her prepped for pictures. If the session is taking place in your home, you can even just wrap baby in a blanket with just a diaper underneath.

Keep baby awake and alert for an hour before if you can, this will make sure they are ready to sleep and better your chances of getting the sleepy poses.  I understand if you can’t do this, so this may take a little longer.  No problem, I usually do not book another session for that day allowing us the time, if needed, you should do the same.  As soon as you arrive, feed baby until they are full, if you are breast feeding offer both breast to insure baby gets fore and hind milk so they are nice and “milk drunk”.

A mother’s smell is so recognizable to a baby, and it may be necessary for the mum to leave the room for portions of the session. This is not meant to hurt your feelings, but only to allow me to get the baby thinking sweet sleepy dreams, instead of hungry “Where’s my milk?” dreams.

Relax! Babies can pick up on stress and anxiety, especially from their mums. Chances are high that there are going to be moments where your baby cries during the session, maybe even a lot. I plan for about 50% of the session time for cuddles, feeding and just getting baby into a pose.  So don’t panic if your baby is having a tough time, keeping a calm environment is key to getting the photos we’re looking for.  Patience is the key to a successful shoot.

If you have any questions feel free to ask and if you have some ideas of what you want for your pictures please feel free to talk to me about them.  I have 8 grandchildren and I have worked with countless number of newborns and parents over the years so you can trust in my experience to care for your new precious jewel.