17 must-try newborn photo ideas and expert tips

17 must-try newborn photo ideas, plus tips for getting the best shots

If there ever was a stage of parenthood that’s fleeting, it’s the newborn stage. While having a brand new baby can be a hectic and confusing time, it’s also completely magical — and incredibly short! In other words, you don’t have very long to capture those precious newborn days with beautiful photos. So, if you’re going to do it, you want to do it to the best of your ability.

From super creative newborn photo ideas to expert tips for getting the best pictures possible, here’s everything you need to get utterly amazing newborn photos.  

Newborn photo ideas and inspiration

Want to get snap happy with your little one, but you aren’t sure where to begin? Here are 17 newborn photo ideas to consider when capturing this beautiful moment in time. 

1. Use a color theme

Michael Kormos Photography

Using one color throughout the photos — even in different shades — can make for seriously beautiful photos. How sweet is this white knit set-up?

2. Find a cute position

As long as you’re positioning baby safely (and someone is close by), capturing baby in an un-baby position can be super cute. 

3. Get in the photo — kind of 

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Для меня самые милые фото- это фото доченьки с папой, наверное, это тянется у меня с детства:) я папу очень любила! Была на него очень похожа! Но повзрослев, став мамой, понимаю, что хотелось бы большего присутствия его в моей детской жизни. Поэтому сейчас стараюсь дать своим детям больше внимания, больше совместных прогулок, больше игрушек( хотя тут можно поспорить вообще в их необходимости в таком кол-ве). Потому что, наверное, в детстве мне всего этого не хватало. Все! Все! Все тянется с Детства!!!! Поэтому я так радуюсь, когда на съемку приходят мамы с папами, зацеловывают свою чудо, особенно нравится, когда Папа возится с дочкой:) ??? как на нашем фото:) размеры спины папы не влезали в камкру?, поэтому все же сделали акцент, на доченьке:) ??? а какие у вас отношения с папами?:) #наталияолейник #олейникнаталия #роды #перинатальныйцентр #перинатальныйцентрсимферополь #40недель #39недель #скоростанумамой #newbornphotos #newborn #фотосессияноворожденных #перваясъемка #беременностьсимферополь #подготовкакродамсимферополь #школамамы #newbornschool #съемкадогодика #первыйгодик #6месяцев #7месяцев #8месяцев

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Even if you’re not feeling your best and most well-rested, you can still get in the photo — from the back. 

4. Get in the photo — and match baby

Amber DeHaas Photography

If you’re willing to get in the photos with your teeny tiny baby, all the better. When else will you have this time back? And how adorable is this smiling and matching mama-baby duo?

5. Document the tiny things

One day you’ll wonder how your child’s feet were ever this tiny?

6. Get the siblings involved

And for an extra dose of cuteness, make sure they match.

7. Be twinkly

The fluffy white background. The tiny lights. What a magical photo!

8. Put baby in a basket

A cozy basket, of course. 

9. Crop it

Erin Skurdal

“Cropping was a big part of my newborn photos,” says mom of two Erin Skurdal, of Cranford, New Jersey. “If I got a picture I loved, I used my phone to cut out all the extraneous stuff. There were blankets and diapers in the background of this photo!”

10. Celebrate the season

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Happiness ?

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Why not evoke your baby’s birth season with natural (or store-bought!) beauty? And as a general rule, flowers always make great newborn photography props. 

11. Capture the real moments

No, every moment isn’t a photo op, but when you happen to catch daddy snoozing with baby or the dog cuddling up to the family’s new addition, grab your camera if you can!

12. Don’t make baby — or parent — the focus

Your big hands holding his tiny head? Now that is a picture to remember. 

13. Make a design

Hearts, stars, mandalas — putting a sleeping baby in the center of any design or shape is sure to be sweet. 

14. Make each twin unique

With twin photos, there’s extra pressure, because there’s not just one babe to capture, but two! Of course, this also means the photo can be extra cute — especially when you position the babies together, but give them each their own special thing. 

15. Use a cute hat or headpiece

Because it’s only a matter of time before they’re pulling them off their head. 

16. Use a silly outfit

When all else fails, you can never go wrong with a baby in a mermaid costume. 

17. Keep it light and airy

White bedding with a white onesie always makes for gorgeous, timeless photos. Adorable. 

OK, so now you’ve got the photo ideas, but what about the know-how for ideal execution?   Whether you’re scheduling professional newborn photos or are getting behind the camera yourself, here are a few expert tips that will help you get the most out of your little one’s pictures. Your future self will thank you.  

Schedule newborn photos early

Newborns aren’t newborns for very long (technically-speaking, for about only two months), and the longer they’re earthside, the more alert — and wiggly! — they get. So, the best time to book a newborn photography session is within the first few weeks. 

“Newborn portraits are ideally captured within the first two weeks, while baby is sleeping deeply and curling up naturally into those sweet womb-like poses,” says Michael Kormos, a New York City photographer, who specializes in newborn, children and family photos. “That said, other factors are taken into consideration when determining the best time, such as birth weight, overall health, jaundice and circumcision.” 

Kormos also notes that if a baby is born prematurely, the timing is usually adjusted. 

“Generally, you want to wait until baby reaches a healthy weight of 7 pounds,” he says. “But when babies are born past their due date, they develop quickly, so scheduling as early as possible is best for capturing this tiny, adorable phase.”

Book newborn photos even earlier 

If you know you want to have professional newborn photos taken, start researching photographers — and book one — while you’re still pregnant. Remember, the window is small for getting the best shots, so make sure you’ve got your photographer lined up. 

“I would suggest booking your newborn photo session at least two months before your due date, but even sooner is better,” says Utah-based photographer Amber DeHaas. “Depending on the photographer, schedules can fill up quickly. So once you hit your second trimester, it’s a good idea to start reaching out to people you’re interested in working with.”     

How to get the most out of newborn photos

Whether you’re taking your own photos or hiring a professional, a few things are key for getting the most out of your newborn photo session:

When using a professional photographer, DeHaas also stresses the importance of client-photographer communication. 

“Good communication between the client and photographer from the very beginning is key, as is being informed on how the session will run and what to expect after,” she says. “Going in knowing what to expect makes things less stressful. And if you have specific shots in mind, be sure to express this to your photographer!”

Tips for a DIY newborn photoshoot

In addition to the tips above, here are a few things to keep in mind when trying your hand at newborn photography: 

Winding up with newborn photos you love is great, but ultimately, it’s important to keep things in perspective. Because even if you don’t get the exact shots you want, the photos are sure to become special memories nonetheless. 

“Remember what you are really there for, to have this precious time in your life documented for you to always remember and treasure,” says DeHaas. “Instead of thinking of being posed perfectly, enjoy being present in that moment with your little one.”

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