How To Take Beautiful Newborn Portraits


KA Families

My goodness! 2020 has been quite the change for us all this year! One of those changes that I’ve sadly noticed is the disappearance of professional photographers in a hospital’s mom & baby recovery room. But don’t worry too much! I am here to give you some tips on how to take some adorable pictures of your newborn baby! 🙂

First, you want as much natural light as possible! Cut those hospital lights off and bring your baby towards the window. If you keep the lights on, you may have your baby appear very yellow on just one side. You want the light to be at the top of their head or at their side. We don’t want it to start near their bottom! Here’s an example of a picture where the light it to the side:

Shoot straight on or position yourself towards their head and shoot downwards. You don’t want to shoot upwards toward the nose. Taking pictures angled from the top of their head will capture more of their adorable baby features and will help show how accurately small they are. That’s one of the reasons we love newborn photos! They only stay that little once!

Don’t worry about those fancy baby wrapping techniques! There are special classes you can take to learn how to safely do this and not disrupt their air flow and blood circulation. I would recommend just taking it easy though and keeping them in a simple hospital or muslin wrap. It will appear more natural to have these types of wraps loose than if you attempt a very complicated wrap that they wiggle their way out of. Also, you can get those fancier newborn photos with a photographer after you leave the hospital 🙂

Feed your baby AS SOON as you are ready to start shooting. And expect lots of interruptions from nurses, your baby needing a feed, etc. That is all completely normal! Take your time and don’t stress. You’ve got this!

Get those detailed shots! The little feet. The fingers. The bracelet. The certificate with his handprints.

Jump in the frame. Mama, you may not be feeling it but get in a picture. I regret not having any with my son. I was bloated, stitched up and feeling so exhausted, but I wish I had that photo. I wish I had that physical memory. Do your makeup and hair(or not) and TAKE THAT PICTURE.

Can’t have your family and friends visit but want to have them a part of the experience? Ask them to take pictures of themselves, print them off and pack them in your hospital bag. Place them next to your baby in the hospital and take a picture of them “together”. It’s not what you were originally wanting but what a way to document their first couple of days here! Or Facetime Grandma and have the other person take a picture of her reaction 🙂 It’ll be a sweet moment!

Camera advice for DLSR users: If shooting in manual, try not to shoot below 1/250 shutter speed. Keep aperture as low as possible(2.8 if you feel uncomfortable shooting lower or have a picture with 2+ people). Adjust ISO as needed. When using natural light, make sure you don’t make your images too bright! It is very difficult to recover an image if it is “blown out”. You want your images to be perfectly exposed or just SLIGHTLY underexposed.

Thank you for reading through all of this! I hope it proves to be helpful 🙂 If you are interested in having me take some pictures via Facetime for you, I’d love to be considered! Looking for a lifestyle newborn photographer?  Yes, please!! I have a studio I can use and am available to travel to homes. Have any questions? Feel free to reach me via my contact page and I’m happy to help!

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