Newborn Baby Photography Tips for Perfect Photos

By Ramina Magid – Newborn Photography Studio in Los Angeles, CA

baby photography tips

Newborn Baby Photography Tips for Perfect Photos

Starting with a newborn photoshoot can feel like a big task, but don’t worry! With a few simple tips and some preparation, you’ll be snapping adorable baby photos in no time. From finding the best time for your baby session to mastering the use of natural light and picking the perfect props, this guide has got you covered. 

We’ll explore how to position your baby for the cutest shots, share fun ideas for themes, and offer insider tricks to make your photos shine. Let’s dive in and get ready to capture those special moments with your new baby!

Preparing for the Newborn Photography Session

When to Schedule the Session

Timing is everything when it comes to newborn photography. The ideal time to schedule your newborn session is when your baby is between 5 and 21 days old. This is when they are at their sleepiest, making it easier to capture those adorable, peaceful poses. Newborns at this age are more likely to stay curled up, reminiscent of their position in the womb, and they typically sleep through most of the session, allowing for a smoother photoshoot experience.

Booking your session during your second trimester is highly recommended. This gives you plenty of time to secure your spot in my calendar and ensures that everything is in place well before your baby arrives. When you book with me, I will mark your due date on my calendar. After your baby is born, please notify me within three days so we can schedule the actual session. This approach helps in planning and guarantees that we capture your newborn at the perfect time.

What to Bring to the Session

Preparation is key to a successful newborn photography session. Here’s a handy list of what you should bring:

Essentials:

Diapers and Wipes: Always come prepared with plenty of diapers and wipes. Newborns go through these quickly, and having extras ensures we can keep your baby clean and comfortable throughout the session.

Feeding Supplies: Whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, make sure to bring enough milk for the entire session. A well-fed baby is a happy baby, and feeding breaks are a normal part of the session.

Personal Items:

Special Blankets or Toys: Bringing a special blanket or a toy can add a personal touch to the photos. These items can be incorporated into the shots, making the photos even more meaningful.

Dress Code for Parents and Baby: For the parents, simple, neutral-colored clothing works best. Avoid bold patterns and logos as they can be distracting. For the baby, I can provide all the wraps, outfits, and accessories needed, but if you have a special outfit in mind, feel free to bring it along.

My studio is equipped with a wide variety of props and outfits, all of which are sanitized and safe for your newborn. I meticulously plan each session to include different setups customized to your preferences. This ensures that every photo is unique and special.

Remember, the goal is to create a calm and comfortable environment for both the baby and the parents. Only the parents and the newborn should attend the session to keep the environment peaceful and focused. All newborn sessions take place at 10 am or 11 am, the times when natural light is at its best, enhancing the quality of your photos.

If you are in the Los Angeles area and looking to capture the precious moments of your newborn’s early days, I invite you to book a session at my Beverly Hills studio!

Setting Up the Perfect Studio Environment

Natural Light and Studio Setup

Natural light is a game-changer in newborn photography. It provides a soft, beautiful glow that studio lights often can’t replicate, making your baby’s skin look flawless and their tiny features stand out. In my Beverly Hills studio, I’ve designed the space to make the most of this natural light. Large windows flood the room with sunlight, creating an ideal environment for capturing those precious moments. The light is diffused gently through sheer curtains, softening any harsh rays and ensuring a gentle, even illumination on your newborn’s delicate skin.

See my guide on mastering newborn photography lighting here

Temperature control is another crucial aspect of my studio setup. Newborns are most comfortable in a warm environment, so I use a space heater to ensure the room is cozy and toasty. This not only keeps the baby comfortable but also helps them stay sleepy and relaxed throughout the session. A warm baby is a happy baby, and a happy baby makes for the best photos.

Safety and Cleanliness

When it comes to posing and handling newborns, my training and experience are key. I am fully trained in newborn safety, including proper posing techniques that ensure your baby is comfortable and supported at all times. Newborns are incredibly delicate, and their safety is paramount during every session. Whether it’s a classic newborn pose or a more creative setup, I handle each baby with the utmost care, ensuring they are always in a safe and secure position.

The studio environment is carefully controlled to minimize any risks. For example, I always use a spotter when posing babies in more complex setups and never leave them unattended. My extensive experience allows me to anticipate and prevent potential issues, creating a smooth and stress-free session for both the baby and the parents.

In addition to safety measures, cleanliness protocols are strictly followed. This includes regular cleaning and disinfecting of all studio surfaces, props, and equipment. Each session is prepared with fresh, clean items, ensuring a pristine environment for your baby. The studio is a place where you can feel confident that every measure has been taken to protect your newborn’s health and well-being.

Read more on how to take newborn photos here and on newborn photography setups and arranging the perfect shot here. 

Essential Props and Accessories

Creating beautiful and unique newborn photos is all about the right props and clothes for your newborn photo shoot. Here are some tips on choosing the best props to make your baby’s photos truly special.

Wraps

Wraps are a must-have for newborn photography. They’re perfect for swaddling your baby gently, helping them feel snug and secure, which usually keeps them calm and sleepy. Think about using a variety of colors and textures. Soft, stretchy wraps are ideal. Neutral tones like beige, ivory, and soft grays are fantastic because they highlight your baby’s natural beauty and work with any skin tone. For a bit of flair, try muted pastels or rich colors like teal and burgundy. These can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your photos.

Bonnets and Hats

Bonnets and hats are not just for keeping your baby warm—they add an adorable touch to their photos. You can choose from classic knit bonnets in neutral shades or go for whimsical hats with little ears or floral details. When picking a bonnet or hat, think about how it complements the overall color scheme and your baby’s features. Light colors can reflect natural light beautifully, creating a soft glow, while darker shades can add depth and bring more focus to your baby’s face.

See more on newborn photography styling here.   

Backdrops

Backdrops set the scene for your newborn photos. Whether you prefer simple, textured fabrics or more elaborate printed backgrounds, the right backdrop can make all the difference. A plain, neutral backdrop keeps the focus on your baby, letting their features and expressions shine. If you want to add a bit of interest, a softly patterned backdrop can do the trick without overwhelming the subject. Consider how the backdrop color interacts with the lighting. Lighter backdrops reflect light, creating a bright and airy feel, while darker ones absorb light, adding a cozy and intimate atmosphere.

Incorporating Personal Touches

Incorporating personal touches into your newborn photography session can make the photos even more special and meaningful. Family heirlooms or special items can add a unique element to the session and help tell your family’s story. For example, a handmade quilt from a grandparent or a tiny pair of booties that were once worn by an older sibling can be included in the setup, adding layers of emotion and history to the images.

Styling each session to be unique is one of my favorite parts of newborn photography. It’s all about creating a personalized experience that reflects your family’s style and preferences. For instance, if you have a favorite color or theme, we can incorporate that into the session. Imagine a soft lavender wrap paired with a matching bonnet and set against a cream-colored backdrop with hints of lavender flowers—this creates a cohesive and beautiful look that is both simple and elegant.

Here are my top 10 cutest newborn photoshoot ideas to try. 

For a more vibrant and fun setup, you can use bolder colors and playful props. A teal wrap with a matching hat and a colorful, patterned backdrop can create a lively and cheerful image. Incorporating props like a tiny stuffed animal or a colorful blanket can add personality and charm. Remember, the key is to keep the props and accessories proportional to the baby’s size to maintain a harmonious and balanced composition.

Another pro tip is to use layers to add richness to the photos. Start with a solid-colored blanket as the base, then add a textured layer like a knit throw or a fur rug. Place the baby on top, wrapped in a complementary color. This not only adds visual interest but also enhances the tactile quality of the image, making it more engaging and dynamic.

Incorporating personal items doesn’t have to be elaborate. Simple touches, like a parent’s hand gently cradling the baby or a family wedding ring placed delicately on the baby’s toe, can add a profound sense of connection and love. These small details can transform a beautiful photo into a cherished memory.

See how to pick props for your newborn photoshoot here. 

Techniques for Capturing Perfect Newborn Photos

Capturing perfect newborn photos starts with understanding your baby’s behavior. Newborns have their own rhythms and cues, and recognizing these can make a big difference in your photography session. One of the key things to watch for are sleep cues. Newborns are typically sleepy and relaxed, especially in the first few weeks of life, which is the best time for those adorable, peaceful poses. Look for signs like yawning, rubbing eyes, or a calm, dazed look—these are all indicators that your baby is ready for a nap and, consequently, ready for some great photos.

Fussy periods are another important aspect to understand. Babies can become fussy for various reasons, such as hunger, discomfort, or simply needing a change of scenery. It’s essential to be patient and flexible. If your baby starts to fuss, take a break. Often, a quick feeding or a gentle rocking can soothe them right back into that serene state. Having some white noise or a soft lullaby playing in the background can also work wonders in calming a fussy baby.

Here’s a little pro tip: Swaddling can be incredibly soothing for newborns. Wrapping your baby snugly in a soft blanket mimics the comfort of the womb and can help them feel secure and calm. This can be especially useful if your baby is having trouble settling down. Just be sure the swaddle is snug but not too tight, leaving enough room for the baby to move their hips and legs freely.

See my beginners guide to newborn photoshoots.

Posing and Positioning

Posing and positioning newborns safely and comfortably is an art. The goal is to create beautiful, natural-looking photos without causing any discomfort to the baby. One of the safest and most comfortable poses is the classic “taco” pose, where the baby’s legs are gently tucked under their bottom and their arms are placed under their head. This pose is not only adorable but also very natural for a newborn.

Using props can enhance these poses, adding depth and interest to your photos. For example, placing the baby in a soft, cushioned basket or a wooden bowl can create a cozy, nest-like feel. Always ensure that the props are stable and padded adequately to support the baby’s delicate body. Never leave the baby unattended on a prop, and always have a spotter close by to ensure their safety.

See what to avoid for the best newborn photography session.

When it comes to posed vs. lifestyle newborn photography, both styles have their charm. Posed newborn photography involves carefully crafted setups and poses, often using props and accessories. This style is great for creating timeless, studio-quality images. For instance, you might use a fluffy rug, a knit hat, and a soft blanket to create a serene, dreamy scene. Avoid forcing the baby into unnatural poses or using props that could be unstable or unsafe.

Lifestyle newborn photography, on the other hand, focuses on capturing the baby in their natural environment, often at home with their family. This style is more candid and spontaneous, showcasing everyday moments and interactions. A great example is photographing the baby in their crib, with parents looking on lovingly, or capturing a quiet moment of a sibling gently holding the baby. The key here is to let the moments unfold naturally without too much interference. Avoid overly staged setups, as the beauty of lifestyle photography lies in its authenticity.

Each style has its own set of techniques and best practices. For posed photography, it’s all about careful preparation and attention to detail. Ensure that all props and accessories are ready beforehand, and the studio environment is warm and comfortable. For lifestyle photography, focus on capturing genuine interactions and emotions, using natural light to create a soft, inviting look. Always be patient and ready to adapt to the baby’s mood and needs.

See how to pick the best newborn photographer here

Camera Settings and Equipment

Choosing the right camera and lenses is crucial for capturing those perfect newborn photos. Over the years, I’ve found that certain camera models and lenses consistently deliver the best results. For anyone serious about newborn photography, I recommend investing in a high-quality DSLR or mirrorless camera. The Canon EOS R5 is an excellent choice, offering superior image quality, fast autofocus, and high-resolution capabilities that allow you to capture every delicate detail of your newborn’s features.

When it comes to lenses, those with fixed focal lengths, often known as prime lenses, are invaluable in newborn photography. Prime lenses, such as the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L or the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G, offer sharper images and wider apertures, which are perfect for creating that beautiful, soft background blur (bokeh) that makes your newborn the star of the photo. These lenses are also fantastic for working in natural light, as their wide apertures allow more light to hit the sensor, resulting in brighter, clearer images even in lower light conditions.

Using a prime lens can also help you build a deeper understanding of composition and framing. With a fixed focal length, you need to physically move closer or farther away from your subject, which encourages you to think more critically about each shot. 

Mastering Camera Settings

Understanding and mastering your camera settings is essential for creating stunning newborn photos. One of the key settings to focus on is the aperture, which controls the depth of field in your images. A wide aperture (a low f-number like f/1.4 or f/2.0) creates a shallow depth of field, making the baby sharp while beautifully blurring the background. This technique is particularly effective in newborn photography, as it draws all the attention to the baby’s face and details like those tiny fingers and little feet.

Depth of field can significantly affect the mood and focus of your photos. For close-up shots of the baby’s face, a very shallow depth of field can create a dreamy, intimate feel, with just the eyes and nose in sharp focus and everything else softly blurred. For example, using an 85mm lens at f/1.4 will make the baby’s eyelashes and facial features pop, while the rest of the image melts into a soft, creamy background.

Different focal lengths can drastically change the composition and perspective of your photos. A shorter focal length, like 35mm, is great for wider shots that include more of the surroundings, which is perfect for lifestyle newborn photography where you might want to capture the baby’s nursery or interactions with family members. On the other hand, a longer focal length, such as 85mm or even 135mm, is ideal for close-up portraits and details, giving you that lovely compressed look that makes the baby stand out against the background.

ISO settings are also crucial in newborn photography. Since you often rely on natural light, which can be variable, you need to balance your ISO to ensure bright, clear images without introducing too much noise. Keeping your ISO as low as possible (ideally below 800) will help maintain image quality. However, don’t be afraid to increase it if the lighting conditions require it—modern cameras handle higher ISO levels quite well, and it’s better to have a slightly noisy image than a blurry one due to a slow shutter speed.

See my guide for newborn photographers here, as well as my masterclass with tips for beautiful photography in Los Angeles here

For those looking to refine their skills further, I offer one-on-one mentoring classes for photographers at my Beverly Hills studio. These sessions are tailored to your needs, covering everything from camera settings and lens choices to advanced posing techniques and post-processing tips. Whether you’re a new photographer or just looking to enhance your existing skills and expend your portfolio, these classes provide valuable, personalized guidance to help you capture beautiful newborn photos.

Post-Processing and Editing

Editing is an essential part of the newborn photography process. The right software can make a huge difference in enhancing your images. I highly recommend using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for editing newborn photos. Lightroom is excellent for organizing and making global adjustments, such as exposure, contrast, and color balance. Photoshop, on the other hand, allows for more detailed retouching and fine-tuning.

Basic Editing Tips

When editing newborn photos, start by adjusting the exposure and white balance in Lightroom. Newborn skin tones can be tricky, so it’s important to get them right. If the image is too cool or warm, adjust the temperature slider until the skin tones look natural. Increasing the contrast slightly can help to define the baby’s features, while a touch of clarity can bring out the texture in the skin and props.

In Photoshop, you can perform more detailed retouching. Use the spot healing brush to remove any blemishes or flaky skin, and the dodge and burn tools to enhance highlights and shadows subtly. Be careful not to overdo it—newborn skin should look soft and natural, not overly retouched.

Final Touches

The final touches can make a big difference in the overall feel of your photos. Adjust the colors and brightness to ensure the image looks balanced and harmonious. If needed, use the hue and saturation sliders to fine-tune specific colors. A slight vignette can also help to draw the viewer’s eye towards the baby, creating a more intimate and focused composition.

Unique Session Ideas and Themes

Seasonal and Holiday Themes

Seasonal themes provide an opportunity to get creative and make each session special. For instance, during the fall, you can use warm, earthy tones like deep oranges, browns, and mustard yellows. Props such as small pumpkins, cozy knitted blankets, and rustic baskets can create a charming autumnal scene. Imagine your newborn swaddled in a soft orange wrap, lying in a wicker basket surrounded by mini pumpkins and fall leaves—it’s an adorable setup that celebrates the season.

For winter sessions, think about incorporating elements like faux snow, tiny Christmas trees, and cozy, fuzzy blankets. A baby wrapped in a soft white swaddle, lying on a fluffy white blanket with a backdrop of delicate snowflakes, can create a serene and festive image. You can even add a little Santa hat or a reindeer bonnet to add a whimsical holiday touch.

Spring and summer offer bright and vibrant possibilities. Use pastel colors, fresh flowers, and light, airy fabrics. A newborn nestled in a bed of flowers, with soft sunlight streaming in, can make for a breathtakingly beautiful photo. Incorporating seasonal and holiday themes not only adds variety to your portfolio but also provides parents with treasured keepsakes that celebrate special times of the year.

See my article on creative newborn photo shoot ideas for more inspiration!

Family and Sibling Shots

Including family members in your newborn photos can create some of the most heartwarming images. Family and sibling shots capture the love and bond within the family, making the photos even more special. When planning these shots, it’s important to consider the composition and poses that will highlight these relationships.

For family shots, positioning is key. A classic pose involves the parents sitting close together, holding the baby between them. This pose not only looks natural but also creates a sense of closeness and intimacy. You can also have one parent hold the baby while the other gently touches the baby’s head or feet, creating a tender and connected feel.

When posing siblings with the newborn, safety and comfort are paramount. For young siblings, it’s often best to have them lying down next to the baby. This not only ensures that the baby is safe but also creates a sweet and natural interaction. For instance, having the older sibling gently kiss the baby’s forehead or hold their tiny hand can create a touching moment. Always keep a spotter close by to ensure the baby’s safety.

Storytelling Through Photography

Creating a story with your photos can make them truly special. Start with a wide shot to capture the whole scene, including the family and surroundings. Then, move in for close-ups, the baby’s peaceful face, a parent’s gentle kiss, or a sibling’s curious touch. This approach shows both the big picture and the sweet details.

Focus on the moments and feelings. A series showing a parent calming a fussy baby, followed by the baby sleeping peacefully in their arms, tells a touching story of love and comfort. Adding special items like a handmade outfit or a family quilt makes the photos more personal. These meaningful details make the story more layered and memorable

Ramina Magid - Newborn Baby Photography Los Angeles

If you’re looking for a Los Angeles photographer who can provide a complete range of family photography services, I invite you to consider booking with me. From newborn photography to cake smash photography sessions and beyond, I specialize in creating beautiful, timeless images that celebrate every stage of your child’s journey. 

See my reviews here and contact me to plan a session. My Los Angeles photography studio is located at 1010 S Robertson Blvd Suite E, Los Angeles, CA 90035.

Conclusion

As a professional newborn photographer and baby photographer, I know first hand that taking photos of newborns is more just about getting cute pictures—it’s about capturing all the love, joy, and little details that make these early days so special. As you get ready for your baby’s photoshoot, remember to stay patient and go with the flow. Babies have their own schedules and moods, and often, the best shots come when you just let them be themselves. Embrace the unpredictability and enjoy every moment—it’s all part of the fun! 

Creating a comfortable environment is crucial, whether you’re in a professional newborn photography studio or at home. Make sure the space is warm and cozy—newborns love to be snug and secure. Using natural light will give your photos a beautiful, soft glow. And don’t be afraid to experiment with different props and settings. Each photo session is an opportunity to capture your baby’s unique personality and the special bond you share.

Enjoy every moment of this experience. Taking newborn photos is a wonderful way to connect with your baby and create lasting memories. With the tips and tricks from this guide, you’ll be able to take stunning photos that you and your family will treasure for years to come.

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ramina magid newborn photography los angeles

Studio Address

1010 S Robertson Blvd Suite E, Los Angeles, CA 90035, United States

HOURS

Monday – Friday
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday & Sunday – Closed

Ramina Magid Photography is a family, maternity, and newborn photography studio located in Los Angeles, CA, minutes away from Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and West LA. Ramina is a Los Angeles newborn photographer, baby photographer, and family photographer. Serving Los Angeles and surrounding cities including Burbank, Brentwood, Pasadena, La Canada, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Pacific Palisades, Santa Clarita, Van Nuys, West Hollywood, San Marino, Calabasas, San Bernardino, Malibu, Altadena, Covina, Alhambra, Granada Hills, Marina Del Rey, Manhattan Beach, Rancho Palos Verdes, and all other communities in Southern California.