We received an overwhelming response to the DIY Newborn Baby Photography Ideas featured on our Instagram account @myinvitelady. So much so, that we wanted to share even more tips and ideas to help you capture beautiful photos of your newborn - right at home. To help out, we’ve asked Jenna, a photographer and blogger at sipbitego.com, to share her favorite newborn baby photo shoot tips. Enjoy!
The majority of new moms want to send cute baby photos to family, friends and coworkers. But, it’s not so easy to photograph a newborn baby. They squirm. They get hungry. They don’t sit up themselves. Most of the time they are sleeping. If you’re like most moms, the majority of your photography experience has involved people who voluntarily posed for a photo. Working with an unpredictable newborn baby can pose quite a challenge.
Why attempt DIY newborn baby photo shoots at home?
The good news? You don't need to hire a newborn baby photographer to capture the day-to-day life of your infant. Shoot shareable photos that will make even strangers "ooh" and "ahh" with these newborn baby photo shoot tips.
Try a variety of newborn photography posesYou’re best photo shoot opportunity is with a well fed, burped and blissfully sleeping baby. But instead of putting your newborn down for a nap, set them up for a photoshoot. The first thing you’ll want to do is learn what poses your baby is comfortable sleeping in. After you find your comfort zone with a handful of go-to newborn poses, it will be easy to introduce props.
Ideas for poses include:
- Laying on the belly, back or side
- Propped on a pillow, stuffed animal or blanket
- Swaddled in a blanket
- Resting their face on their hands
- Folding their hands on their tummy
And before I forget: don’t be afraid to show a little baby butt. As a mom, you know every inch of your baby is cute. What’s not-so-cute is taking photos you’ll want to delete, “bleep” out or crop later. If you want to capture your baby’s bootie in a cute and professional way, lay the little one on their stomach or back with legs folded together. You’ll be happy to have a few of these photos when your baby becomes an adult. Maybe you’ll even share a bare-butt photo with their significant other one day.
Capture their facial expressionsAfter months of feeling your little peanut squirm in your belly, they’re out in the real world - where they keep on moving. Although a well fed and napping baby can help make a photoshoot easier, don't be afraid if their eyes pop open in the middle of the shoot!
Any facial expression from an infant will make for a cute photo. When they’re rowdy teenagers you will miss those cute newborn smiles and yawns. The trick here is to be ready at a moment's notice. Don’t be afraid to stop what you’re doing. Capture your baby blowing bubbles. Grab a close-up of their scrunched nose. Snag a shot of their soft eyelashes.
Take photos using natural window light
Any photographer will tell you that lighting is the #1 thing that can improve a photo. Working without any indoor lighting produces higher quality shots. Natural shadows are beautiful and help capture the contour of your baby. Working with an overhead light or lamp almost always causes the photo to have a yellow-hue. You don't want any lamps on at all. Just natural light.
To create an atmosphere with gorgeous natural lighting, turn off all the lights. You don’t need to have bright light shining from the window, but you do want a steady hand while you take the photo. Otherwise, your photo may end up blurry.
If you have a spot with natural light but you don’t like the background, I have a trick. Put a few dollars towards purchasing black or white poster board. Then you can take photos that concentrate on your baby and not any distractions going on in the background.
Add creativity to the scene with propsOnce you have pretty, natural lighting + a well fed baby + a few go-to poses, it’s time to add in imagination! Here are fun ways to get creative with your newborn baby photo shoot:
- Buckets. Put the baby in a bucket. Make sure your baby is safe, doesn't have the ability to tip over, etc. Then fold their arms under their chin and let them sleep away while you snap shots.
- Hobbies. Pick a theme that represents interests of the parents or family. Is it your cowboy boots? Love for tennis? Fishing? Another hobby? Think of a way to get some (safe) props to the scene.
- Wedding bands. Take a close-up of your baby’s toes with a wedding band on each foot.
- Soft things. Pho-fur blankets. Snuggly stuffed teddy bears. A sleeping puppy.
- Wooden blocks. It's become a growing trend to capture baby photos on the first of each month to track their growth. Find or make blocks / signs so you can practice your newborn photography over time.
- Accessorize. Style your baby with popular items like sunglasses, tutus and floral headbands.
Join them - involve the rest of the family
There are plenty of ways to involve other family members in your newborn baby photo shoots. Big sisters and brothers can help hold the baby or give them kisses for a memorable photo. Adults can get in on the photoshoot, too. Little newborn cheeks fit perfectly in the palm of an adult hand, while their body can extend the length of an adult arm. Take a photo that draws a contrast between the size of adults and babies, and you are set up for success!
We hope you've enjoyed these newborn photography tips! Special thanks to Jenna from Sip Bite Go for the ideas in this guide. For more ideas, visit our new Instagram account @myinvitelady. We hope you make the most of your newborn memories and enjoy being a new mom. Lots of love!