Newborn Photography: Get some Photos Full of Tenderness

The Photography newborn either newborn photography It is that photograph that is based on the very first days after birth. Although it may seem and be confused with baby photography, the truth is that newborn photography has unique characteristics that make it different from any other type of photography.

It is common for parents to find themselves saturated in the first days of a baby’s life with so much change, uncertainty and lack of sleep, but it is highly recommended to take a breath, stop and reserve a morning to generate an absolutely unique and unrepeatable memory such as having beautiful images of this short stage.

So, whether you are the future father or mother photographer of the offspring, or if you are going to carry out a newborn photography session for some friends or acquaintances and even want to enter this world professionally, this complete guide is for you. With it I intend to resolve any questions you have about it and guide you throughout the process. I really hope that it helps you in this photographic discipline.

Now, if you are late for the newborn session and what you need is a guide for the next stage, here is the complete guide to baby photography and for when they are a little older, this other one dedicated to photographing children full of tricks and tips.


What is newborn photography?

The newborn photography It is a photographic genre consisting of portraying newborn babies during their first days of life, that is, between 6 and 10 days, maximum 15 days.

Only 10 days margin? You will surely wonder why newborn photography is so limited in time, if a one-month-old baby, and even two, we see practically as a newborn.

But the truth is that no, because a baby newborn it has some special characteristics that last very few days and that is why you have to “hurry up” when taking photos in the first days of life. Next, I explain the reason for this limitation in time.

Characteristics of the newborn

During the newborn phase, the baby is characterized by:

  • be highly elastic, it still preserves the natural postures it adopted inside the mother’s womb.
  • The nails are extremely thin and brittle, also very characteristic of this stage.
  • Still retains in many cases the hair on the ears and back (lanugo) so characteristic of newborns.
  • sleep a lot and deeply, which is very useful to carry out the session. At 3 weeks, the “infant crisis” can occur, which makes them more uncomfortable and irritable.
  • After a few weeks, baby acne can also appear.
  • After a few days they change the skin with which they are born, they flake slightly, especially on the hands, feet, etc. It is also a typical (and photographable) detail of this phase.
  • The hair is silky and the skin is very fine, if you have had a newborn baby close by you will know what I mean.

These characteristics are exclusive to the first days, then it is another stage that is highly photographable and equally beautiful, but different.

Photographic equipment for newborn photography

To photograph a newborn, the first thing to keep in mind is that, with some grace and a few tricks, you can do it with any type of camera. You can even achieve impressive results simply with your mobile phone’s camera. Now, it is clear that if you are accompanied by a good photographic team, then better. That said, this is the team I recommend:

  • Camera with interchangeable lenses. Here are some good options for different levels and budgets.
  • Tripod. It is not essential since you will surely make most of the images freehand. However, if you have one, it can help you in low light situations, etc. If you are looking for one here we guide you in the purchase of your next tripod.
  • Objective: Here you have detailed the best lenses for newborn photography.
  • Continuous light. If you have a room with good natural lighting, take advantage of it. If not, you can resort to some type of continuous lighting such as umbrellas or light windows.
  • white noise machine. It is not strictly photographic but if you want to calm the baby, it is an artifact that can be very useful. These types of noises mimic those that the baby feels in its mother’s belly and relaxes them. Trick: at home you can take advantage of the noise of the washing machine or a hair dryer, for example.

Props for newborn photography

The props in newborn photography It is essential to obtain a good result in your images. Even if you are looking for a very natural result, investing in a couple or three of accessories will help you finish beautifying your images.

  • Flower, fabric, wool or crochet headbands…
  • Soft and tasty blankets of angora, cotton…
  • cotton swaddling
  • Wraps: ideal for wrapping the newborn.
  • tulle fabrics
  • Wool, crochet or cotton hats
  • Little baskets (beware of splinters or similar, always put a cloth lining the inside)
  • bowls
  • Hammocks. Keep in mind that security is above everything. Those photos that you see of babies suspended in hammocks, they are really held with their hands, underneath, only they are removed in Photoshop.
  • Puff for newborn photography: try to make it comfortable, but at the same time rigid enough so that the baby does not sink. If not, there will be parts of the baby’s body that will not be seen correctly. Also take into account the size, and regarding the color, since you will surely put some fabric on it, it is not something very important from my point of view. Here is an option for you.

Choosing the color of the accessories is very important, I would always bet on raw, neutral and smooth tones, which will serve you for most occasions. Think that any complement should be aimed at embellishing the image but never stealing the spotlight (although that’s difficult 😉 ).

If you want to go deeper into this type of accessories, do not miss our article with the best accessories for baby portraits. And if you are looking for a place to buy them, you can take a look at this websiteor search on Amazon where you also have a lot of options.

Lighting in newborn photography

Although creativity is an added value, the truth is that, basically, to photograph a newborn, the ideal is a soft and diffused natural lighting.

  • The soft light It is the one that transmits harmony, softness, balance and tenderness and, therefore, the one that best adapts to this type of photography. Now, I recommend that you also encourage yourself to try different lighting techniques, such as high or low key.
  • The angle at which the light strikes in the newborn it is also decisive when it comes to having good results, in this case, a light at an angle of 45º or lateral.
  • If you photograph in natural light, Hold the baby close to a window. If the light is too harsh, place a light shade in front or a semi-sheer fabric.
  • Experiment with other lighting schemes, they can also give you good results. Take for example this backlight:

If you need to go deeper into this topic, take a look at this complete guide on lighting that I wrote for you.

How to plan a newborn photography session

The first thing you should try, as I told you at the beginning of this guide, is to carry out the session during approximately the first 15 days of the baby’s life.

  • The mornings offer more possibilities in terms of natural lighting. Also, babies at this time are calmer.
  • Find a warm, well-lit place. If it’s not summer, you probably should have the heating on full blast, it should be very warm.
  • Reserve at least 3 hours to do the session. Think that during this process the baby will eat, get dirty, cry… and thousands of unforeseen events for which you have to have enough time.
  • A comfortable place for the mother. Whether she breastfeeds or bottles, the mother will have given birth a few days, so she will also need her space, her privacy and to feel comfortable. If the mother is calm and comfortable, the baby will be too.
  • Have all the equipment prepared and at hand, no losing the thread because you forgot to charge the batteries or empty the memory card ;).
  • Also the props that you plan to use. This point is decisive in the final result of your photographs. If it’s not your baby, you should agree with the family what kind of photos they find funny (offer them only what you think will work well and choose what best suits their style and yours, of course).
  • be prepared too spare fabrics, surely you will have more than one “escape” during the session.

Newborn photography in studio

Newborn photography in the studio allows us to control all the important aspects of the shot to focus more on the specific ones. In this sense, the final result is more “professional” and “neutral” (the painting of the great-grandfather will not appear in the background 😉 ), which has its advantages.

  • Decide on the type of lighting. I recommend that you opt for natural, soft and diffused light to start with.
    • It has many advantages, but one clear disadvantage to be aware of is that natural light changes quickly, so keep that in mind when updating your settings.
  • Never use the flash if you want artificial light, make it a continuous light.
  • Remember aspects such as a good temperature for the newborn.
  • control the white balance.
  • RAW photography.
  • Use a preferably plain and clear background. Or a dark one if you want a spectacular low-key photo.
  • Try to photograph in manual mode, but if you do not master it, it is preferable that you opt for a aperture priority mode.
  • Always have water on hand for you and especially for the mother. Whether you breastfeed the baby or you need to prepare the bottle, since in the first case you need to hydrate well and in the second, prepare the milk.
  • Have the studio well organized, everything in its place. It will prevent you from panicking, breaking the rhythm of the session, etc., when you are looking for something essential and do not remember where you left it.
  • A recommendation if you have cold hands is to use cloth gloves to place the baby, also more hygienic.

newborn photography at home

A baby born a few days ago who has left the comfortable world of his mother’s tummy in which he is protected and isolated from noise, light or cold. For the baby to be comfortable, you must create an environment in which both mother and baby feel perfectly comfortable.

  • The room temperature that you have chosen must be quite high, think that surely the baby you will represent with little or no clothes and also regulates the temperature much worse than us, has less fat, muscle, etc.
  • Find a room with good natural light.
  • Pay attention to the background, the more minimalist it is, the better.
  • Find a place where…