A photo of a newborn baby lying in a basket.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Newborn photography props for maximum cuteness overload.

Put the joy in bundle of joy with the right photoshoot props.

Newborn photo prop must haves

  • All props should be made of child-safe materials and be structurally sound enough to keep from tipping over.
  • Look for props that are natural-looking and align to a desired theme or help add the family’s personality into the photo.
  • To get started, seek out a photography prop set from a trusted newborn supplies vendor.

How to pick the right newborn baby photography props.

You might argue that any photo of a newborn is precious. However, the right props can take a newborn photoshoot from precious to absolutely adorable. According to newborn photographer Alina Ricco, owner of Babybare Long Island Photography, “The quality of the props is very important because it can make or break the image.”

   

Read on for tips on how to compile the best items to enhance your newborn photos.

A photo studio designed for newborn baby photoshoots.
Newborn baby photography props.

Images by Babybare Long Island Photography

1. Put the baby’s safety and comfort first.

According to Ricco, keeping the baby safe and comfortable during a shoot should always be the first priority. This comes into play not only when working with babies but also when picking out props. Beginners should take a workshop with a known newborn photographer before getting started as well as enrolling in a first aid and CPR course that covers infant care.

           

2. Look for experienced vendors.

Once you’re ready to start looking for props, go with a vendor that’s already been vetted by other customers. “Choosing the right vendor is very important. I’ve chosen a few vendors that I work with, so I know the quality that I’m going to receive is outstanding,” says Ricco. “Mainly because I’ve seen the images and I can see the quality of the props in those images.”

           

A good vendor not only offers materials that look high quality in photos but they should also provide materials that are free from unsafe chemicals and sturdy enough to support a newborn. “A good vendor will know what is safe and what is not safe — they should know how to choose secure baby baskets that won’t tip over,” says Ricco.

           

3. Pick your theme and color palette.

See if there are ways to show some family personality within your photoshoot, from a favorite color to an heirloom toy. You may want to work in upcoming holidays in subtle ways as well. You can check out Adobe Color to put together color palette swatches for inspiration. Lighter pastel colors or earth tones tend to look best with newborns.

           

Ricco likes to go the monochromatic route, choosing multiple shades of the same natural-looking hue. “I try to focus more on the organic, rustic look without too many objects in there, just to accentuate the baby,” says Ricco. “If the parents had requested blue, I would use a blue backdrop with a blue wrap with the blue headband.”

Common types of baby photo props.

“I choose four to six different setups per photoshoot,” says Ricco. “It’s usually something like four different backdrops, a newborn bed, a basket, and a crate with differently coordinated colors that will appeal to the client.”

   

Here are some commonly used types of objects for newborn photos:

A photo of a newborn baby with fabric shapes used as props.

Image by Babybare Long Island Photography

Bean bags, basket filler, and cushions.

Posing pillows, posing fabrics, and blankets can help fill out beds and baskets and can keep the baby propped up and comfortable during the shoot.

Baskets, bowls, or beds.

Wooden containers like these that can hold the baby should always be properly weighted underneath so they don’t tip over.

A photo of a newborn baby sleeping in a basket bed.

Image by Babybare Long Island Photography

A photo of a newborn baby wrapped in a fabric.

Image by Babybare Long Island Photography

Newborn wraps and swaddles.

Swaddles or knit wraps made of natural fabrics or crochet will look great and also keep the baby still and encourage them to sleep during your shoot — your best chance at getting a good shot is while they nap.

Stuffed animals.

A soft toy can add personality to your shot as well as become a sentimental item. Photograph your child with the same stuffed animal over the course of their life for a fun series.

A photo of a newborn baby holding a stuffed animal.

Image by Babybare Long Island Photography

A photo of a sleeping newborn baby with a headband on their head.

Image by Babybare Long Island Photography

Headbands and baby hats.

A little adornment on a newborn’s head helps dress them for the occasion. Nothing is cuter than a baby in a little cap with a tassel. 

Newborn outfits.

Keep the outfit on the baby simple and in matching colors to the other props when possible. Basic rompers in neutral colors work well and can be hidden by stretch wraps to match different backgrounds.

A photo of a sleeping newborn baby wearing a monochromatic outfit.

Image by Babybare Long Island Photography

Tips for beginners.

If you’re just getting started or you’re going DIY with your own baby photos, be careful about which props you use. You might be tempted to stick the baby in something quirky like a basket or wagon, but newborns don’t sit still, so it could be dangerous.

   

“As a newbie, I would not use props like baskets or bowls, because babies have jerk reactions. They’ll throw their heads back and could tip over.”

Start with soft props and matching sets.

Instead of hard wooden or metal objects look for softer props like pillows, blankets, baby accessories, and wraps. If you don’t have anything around the house, try buying some matching items from a vendor. “Look through Etsy and stick to sets,” recommends Ricco. “A lot of newborn vendors sell sets: a piece of background fabric, a stretchy baby wrap, and then a sleeping hat or something similar. I think that would be the best bet.”

Prep your photography backdrops ahead of time.

Set everything up ahead of time and prepare a few different color and style variations. If you’re shooting someone else’s newborn, ask them their favorite colors and see what you can gather in those hues. “I usually ask them for their two favorite colors, and I do about three or four setups,” says Ricco. “For example, I might do a beige setup, a brown setup, and then two of their favorite colors.”   

A photo of a newborn baby lying on a bed with a stuffed animal in the background.
A photo of a newborn baby lying on a bed. The stuffed animal has been removed from the background.

Editing your newborn baby photos.

Start in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

Lightroom can be a great application to start with once you have a batch of newborn photos to edit. Here are some helpful features:

 

  • Lightroom presets function like filters that instantly enhance the look of your photos. Try presets made by professional photographers, customize them for your own perfect look, and even create your own presets to preserve a set of edits that worked well for you.
  • The Spot Healing Brush tool can help you quickly remove little imperfections, like a spot on a baby’s face or an unwanted blanket tag.
  • Batch editing tools mean you can take a set of edits made to one image and instantly apply them to other images from the same shoot, saving you hours of editing time.
A photo of a newborn baby lying next to a blue stuffed animal.
A photo of a newborn baby lying next to a pink stuffed animal.

Move into Adobe Photoshop.

After perfecting the overall look of your images in Lightroom, move into Photoshop to fine-tune the details.

 

  • Change colors of objects to help keep your props in line with a specific theme or palette, no matter what color they are in real life.
  • Smooth out skin with the Smooth Skin Neural Filter to hide the appearance of the temporary blemishes and patches of dry skin that newborns often have. Find it under Quick Actions in the Discover panel or go to Filter › Neural Filter › Smooth Skin.
  • Paint on light and shadow manually with the Dodge and Burn tools, which lighten and darken wherever you drag them. “Taking an overall image at the end and thinking, ‘I should add a shadow here, or dodge here, burn there,’” says Ricco. “Those are the last steps of my image before I say, ‘Okay, that’s great.’”

You don’t have to run a professional photo studio to create beautiful newborn baby photos. Simply follow some steps to ensure the baby is safe, comfortable, and surrounded by baby photography props that bring out their natural cuteness.

Share this article

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Do more with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

Adobe Photoshop

Do more with Adobe Photoshop.

You may also like

Please make sure that the "dexter.base.react.umd" and "dexter.base.consonantcardcollection" clientlibs have been added to the template's Page Policy