How to Take Newborn Baby Photos for Beginners

by Alli

This post, How to Take Newborn Baby Photos for the Beginner, contains affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I’ll make a little extra coffee money at no extra cost to you. 

My newest grandbaby was born on Thanksgiving Day. He wasn’t due until December 10th, but surprised us all and threw more than a few kinks in my carefully planned out Thanksgiving Day timeline. As soon as I saw his beautiful face, I knew I wanted to take some newborn baby photos. I now have 5 grandsons – not a girl in sight!

Newborn Baby Photos - Closeup

First of all, I’m not a newborn baby photographer. I’m mostly a food photographer who takes photos of the grandkids whenever they stand still long enough.

And, yes, newborn photography is a thing and I’m highly impressed with photographers who shine in this area. The experts in this field are not who this post is for. I’m talking to those of you who want to take some decent photos of a newborn.

Newborn Baby Photos of Fin

When I googled newborn baby photos, every article I read said to take the (posed) photos within two weeks of the baby’s birth. I say take those photos as soon as the baby pops out. Just kidding, but seriously, I took photos when Fin was one week and one day old. I’m happy with the photos but the one photo that remains elusive is the baby’s face propped on his hands. Little Finley would not cooperate with that photo, even while he was sleeping.  He kept moving his hands.

Newborn Baby Photos of my Grandson

Newborn Baby Photos for the Beginner

Keep the baby safe at all times

Some photos I saw online looked kinda dangerous to me. Of course, a lot of them are photoshopped. I just want simple photos of my grandson, so I took most of them in a basket on the floor with me standing over him. The basket is not very high and full of soft blankets.

Keep Baby Comfortable

Usually, at two weeks of age or under, the baby will sleep right through the session. Be sure the baby is fed, has a fresh diaper and is comfortable. Don’t ever try to bend babies into unnatural positions to get a shot. Always be gentle with baby!

Use Your Camera Strap

Sometimes when I’m taking food photos, I don’t bother with my camera strap. When I’m standing over a baby, I use the strap and keep one hand under my camera at all times.

Posed Vs. Lifestyle

Trust me, I have plenty of lifestyle photos of Fin on the day he was born. I wanted posed photos for this shoot.

Bring Food

For the mom! Not only did I have my camera and equipment, I came bearing Festive White Cake with Raspberry Sauce.


Thankfully, there was natural light streaming in from the window, so I used one of my lights and a reflector. You can find the softbox lights I use here and the reflector here.  I’ve had these forever and use them often.

Newborn Baby Photos

I’ve had my camera for a while (upgraded over a year ago), but in case you’re interested, this is the camera I use (Nikon D-750 FX-Format). I have to say I’m in love with this baby, but you don’t need this camera to take great photos!  And, remember, it’s not the camera, it’s the person behind the camera knowing how to work the camera that gets awesome photos. I used a 50mm lens for these photos.

camera I use to take newborn baby photos

Helpful Hint: When I first started blogging, I used my phone (Yikes – the camera phones were not as good then as they are now!) Later, I used my daughter’s old Nikon 80. It’s OK to upgrade little by little.

Baby Props

I’m not planning on becoming a newborn baby photographer. I won’t lie, it’s hard work! But I did purchase a few props for this photo shoot. I tried to keep it to a minimum.

Christmas Newborn Baby Snowman Outfit

Newborn Baby Photos

Butterfly Posing Pillow

Posing Pillow - Newborn Baby Photos

Camera Settings

For this photo shoot, I used a normal lens (50 mm) large apertures (small numbers) and fast shutter speed (in case the baby moves).

This was my first time taking posed newborn baby photos. I learned a lot and had fun. Plus, I made memories with my daughter-in-law and new grandson. And that, my friend, is priceless!

Newborn Baby Photos of newest grandchild

I had to take a non-posed parting shot of Fin in his swing before I left. He looks relieved that the photo shoot is over.

Newborn Baby Photos of grandchild




Amber Myers February 9, 2018 - 8:15 am

These are some great tips! I was never great at taking photos. I wish we could have afforded to hire a newborn photographer. Your grandson is precious!

candy February 9, 2018 - 8:18 am

All these photos are adorable. I will share with many women I know who are having babies or have little ones at home. They will love knowing how to take photos of their babies.

Jeanettte February 9, 2018 - 9:00 am

I wish I knew about some of these tips back when my kiddo was little! I would have loved to get cute pictures like this.

Tomi C February 9, 2018 - 11:36 am

Congrats on the new addition to the family. I remember you shared the baby shower pics a few months ago. I’m still learning to use my softbox lights and thinking of purchasing more equipment. My pics suck. Seriously, I am the worst BUT I’m getting better and I know your tips will come in handy for sure.

Sue Davidosn February 9, 2018 - 12:09 pm

You captured the very precious time after the birth of Fin to get some amazing shots. I think the best advice you gave was to take photos right away a baby is born up to two weeks. After two weeks babies aren’t as still as your pictures. Great tips and beautiful photos of your newest grandson! Keep praying I have 4 grandaughters and we finally have a new grandson next month!! Hang in there and keep taking your beautiful memorable pictures.

Alison Rost February 9, 2018 - 12:12 pm

It’s so nice to work around newborns! They’re so adorable and they make everything so calm. I think these are great tips for beginners. It may seem intimidating but it’s something that they can learn easily.

Food and Footprints February 9, 2018 - 1:50 pm

Wow you did a great job with those photos! Clean and crisp and will make for great memories!

Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh February 9, 2018 - 2:33 pm

These are great tips! I’m not around any newborns, and don’t really take photos of people all that often, so I learned a lot of things.

Emily February 9, 2018 - 3:00 pm

I have noticed that having a good camera makes all of the difference! Our oldest is 10 and when we had her we had a pretty bad camera, so her first few months have such dark and grainy pictures. When she was 3 months old we purchased a good camera and since then have been able to have beautiful family pictures! My other two children have much better baby pictures because of the camera upgrade.

Saidah Washington February 9, 2018 - 5:32 pm

I love taking photos, especially of babies. It is always good to have good lighting and a good quality camera.

Quincy Smith February 9, 2018 - 5:40 pm

Great post! Thanks for sharing your tips on the newborn photos. I will share this with my friends and ask them to share this post as well. Great work again!

Pam February 9, 2018 - 6:02 pm

I would not have guessed that these weren’t taken by a newborn photographer. They turned out really great.

Lisa Favre February 9, 2018 - 9:03 pm

My best friend is expecting and I actually wanted to offer a newborn photoshoot as a gift! That snowman costume is so adorable.

Heather February 9, 2018 - 9:52 pm

It’s definitely one of those things that just anyone shouldn’t do. There are so many safety precautions involved.

Heather February 9, 2018 - 10:14 pm

I think most of the time, they are sleeping so it’s easy. However if you want one awake, naked or anything with family involved, be prepared for poop and crying. Yep, poop and crying that’s what happened to us! LOL!

Ruth I. February 10, 2018 - 9:04 am

I love taking photos, whether it’s food, nature, my pets etc. However, the hardest thing I’ve found to photograph are people! This guide has helped me tremendously, thank you! It’s perfect!

Our Family World February 10, 2018 - 2:22 pm

Great tips! I still have a lot of learning to do when it comes to taking photos. I am thinking of taking photography lessons soon. I love the photos you took of your grandson. The lighting is perfect and he is so adorable!

Sara Welch February 10, 2018 - 11:50 pm

I would have loved to know this a few years ago. These are some amazing tips.

Kita Bryant February 10, 2018 - 11:52 pm

You make it look and sound so easy! I wish I knew this 10 years ago!

Anosa February 11, 2018 - 3:09 am

Awww huge congrats on your newest addition and he’s so cute. I am not good with photography but I know I would love to take pictures of my new born. Lovely tips shared

Kylie West March 11, 2019 - 8:55 am

These all pics are amazing, I love this post. All parents who have a newborn baby have to need to know these tips that how to take their newborn baby pics. I will share this post with my knowns.

Amisha verma April 25, 2019 - 7:45 am

Must say amazing and helpful post as to how we can take photos of the newly born baby. We at Voila Studio is also perfect in performing photo shoots on newly born babies, motherhood, baby shower, and many more creative shoots.


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