I wanted to share some tips for you to take your own newborn photos at home. Your family and baby feel most comfortable at home so it's a perfect place to take photos. Also, you can be flexible with when you want to take photos. Ideally, you can take photos of the baby asleep and then add the rest of your family to the photos. Here are some of my ideas.
When to take baby photos
You can document your baby at the hospital, first day at home, the first bath, and the moments you want to remember. Know that your photos might not look the same as professional photos, but you can capture fun memories of your baby, and that matters most!
Have a warm room
Turn the heat to 73 degrees or have a space heater to keep your baby warm and sleepy. White noise will help during the photo shoot also. You can use a hair dryer in the room (not blowing on the baby) or there are apps that can sound like mom’s heartbeat to help the baby relax.
If you have a DSLR or mirrorless camera, use it. If not your cell phone will work. If the phone has a portrait mode use that. Clean your lens and have a 35mm lens to get the wide shots and a 50-100mm to take close up shots. Even a macro lens is great to show details of tiny toes, fingers, and noses.
How to Wrap your baby
Here's a video for you to see how to do a simple wrap.
I’d say to keep it simple and not use fancy baskets, newborn outfits, and props. But if you want to include a special blanket or heirloom in the photo it’s up to you. Babies are perfect as they are and are the focus of the photograph.
What to wear
Wear comfortable, simple, neutral colored clothes. The family can blend colors and not have to match. Avoid logos, words, and big prints on your shirts. Also stay away from really bright and neon colors. You don’t need to wear socks either!
Your baby will like to be swaddled tightly. You can use a neutral colored blanket or find a stretchy wrap in a neutral color (white, grey, beige, pink, pale blue).
You can take photos of the baby without any clothes at all or in a simple diaper or white onesie. I like to show the baby’s tummy and show the umbilical cord. Less is more.
In your home turn off overhead lights and lamps. Choose a room with large windows with enough natural light or you can bounce a flash (if you know artificial lighting). Find a north window or a window without direct sunlight. Usually light in the morning is great. When you pose the baby make sure the light coming from the side or top of the baby’s head.
The most important thing is to keep your baby safe. Don’t try to make your baby into a taco or frog pose. These are unnatural and can be unsafe for your baby.
Pets and siblings need another adult there to keep an eye and a close hand on the baby. When you take photos above the baby, wear the camera strap around your neck.
You can bathe, feed, and change the baby before you try to take photos. Sleepy photos are the easiest to take of your baby. Let the baby lead the session. If she’s had enough try more another time.
Overhead baby photographs
Use a neutral colored blanket for the background of the baby.
Place the baby on your bed or couch by the window.
Take the photo looking straight down. Don’t look up the baby’s nose.
You can move the baby to its side and prop the head under the blanket.
Another variation is to place the baby on her stomach with the head turned to the side. (Some babies do not like this, so don’t force it.)
Always have someone spot the baby while you take photos.
Take photos at baby’s eye-level then try other angles.
In the Nursery
Photograph your baby In the crib. You can lay the baby in the crib, head towards the window. It's best to use just natural light in the room.
- Take a photo looking straight down
- Through crib slats
- With a parent’s hand on the baby
In Parents arms
You can stand by the window and look at the baby, give the baby a kiss on the head, and snuggle close. Get a photo of mom or dad smiling at the camera too.
Set up the tripod with a 10 second timer to take a photo all together.
You can be in the nursery standing, sitting, or by the window.
You can include your pets on the bed and sit all together. Look at the camera for a shot, then look and smile at the baby.
I hope these tips help you photograph your baby at home. Honestly, it can be hard to get the shots you want with a tripod and trying to be in the photos. I would recommend hiring a professional to have wall art and large prints that you’ll love. I'd love to help you capture all the tiny moments. Let me know if you'd like to book a session with me.