Sleepy newborns are your friend. Unlike professional models, newborns do not take direction from photographers. The only way to make sure they won’t move during the shot is to take photos when they’re asleep. Swaddling them can help with that. “Once you wrap the baby, don’t unwrap them until you’re done with all of those poses,” says Vega. “If you take the wrap off, they’ll wake up.”
Natural light and tiny newborns often look great together, especially early in the day. “If you’re going to be shooting in the home and using natural light, I recommend shooting in the morning,” says Vega. “I usually like to start by 10am. That time allows for nice, bright natural light.”
Keep the little one safe and healthy.
A baby’s well-being is more important than anything else during the shoot. “It’s not just about knowing how to take photos. It’s also about safety,” says Buck. “You’ve got to know how to hold babies and pose them without hurting them.” To facilitate the best sessions, learn how to handle the baby and what to do if they wake up and cry.
Never leave the baby unattended during the shoot. “I always have a spotter. A parent within arm’s reach,” says Vega. A newborn photo might look like the baby is asleep alone on a cushion, but an adult always needs to be close.
Babies that are hungry or need a diaper change are part of the newborn photography game. Be ready when they cry out for their physical needs. After the shoot, launder and sanitize all of the props and outfits you use to make sure they are nice and clean for the next baby.
Costumes, props, and gear for a newborn baby.
When gathering equipment for newborn photoshoots, start with the basics. “Every newborn photographer should have wraps,” says Vega. Skin-toned and neutral-colored wraps are good options to have on hand as they give you options that go well with whatever the parents choose to wear. Once you have a good collection of wraps and other basics like headbands, branch out. Many professional newborn photographers keep tiny costumes on hand to dress up their subjects as bunnies or teddy bears.
Regardless of how you dress the newborn, make sure you have something comfortable for the baby to rest on during the shoot like a bean bag, pillow, or cushion.