How to Pick Props for Your Newborn Photoshoot [Full Guide]

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

newborn photoshoot

How to Pick Props for Your Newborn Photoshoot [Full Guide]

Whether you’re a new mom, an experienced family photographer, or simply interested in capturing the precious early days of a newborn, understanding how to pick the right props can transform your photographs into timeless treasures. As a professional photographer specializing in newborn sessions, I’ve had the joy of helping countless families capture the essence of their newborn days in soft, comfy settings that tell a story of new beginnings. 

Choosing the right props is both about aesthetics and about creating a safe, soothing environment that reflects the sweetness of a new baby. Whether it’s selecting the perfect white onesie for a baby boy or coordinating outfit ideas for the rest of the family, every detail contributes to crafting photos that are as beautiful as they are meaningful. Let’s dive into the magical world of newborn photography and discover how you can capture those fleeting moments with grace and artistry.

The Basics of Newborn Photography Props

When it comes to newborn photography, number one is safety. When choosing props, it’s essential to consider not just how adorable something might look, but how safe it is for your tiny, delicate subject. I always recommend props that support the baby in a natural, comfortable position. For example, soft, padded baskets and well-supported mini beds are excellent choices. These props should have a stable base and soft lining to ensure that the newborn is cozy and secure. See my guide on picking clothes for newborn sessions here.

Another aspect to consider is the material of the props. Always opt for materials that are hypoallergenic and free from harsh chemicals or smells. Babies have very sensitive skin, so choosing soft, natural fabrics for blankets and swaddles is crucial. I use a lot of cotton and bamboo fabrics in my studio because they’re gentle on the baby’s skin and offer the comfort of breathability.

It’s also important to ensure that every prop is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before use. At my Los Angeles photography studio, cleanliness is a top priority. I make sure that everything from blankets to baskets is sanitized between sessions.

Prop Ideas for Timeless Newborn Photos

Choosing the right props can turn a simple newborn session into a gallery of timeless memories. Here’s a closer look at some of the classic and creative prop ideas that have become favorites in my studio.

Little Baskets 

Baskets are a staple in newborn photography due to their versatility and the rustic, natural feel they bring to the photos. When selecting a basket, I always ensure it’s sturdy and has no sharp edges. Padding the basket with several layers of soft blankets not only makes it comfier but also safer for the baby. For a touch of elegance, I often drape a flowy, textured blanket over the sides, allowing it to pool softly at the base.

Mini Beds

For newborn photoshoots, mini beds serve as a charming prop that can instantly elevate the scene into something enchanting. By draping a gentle canopy of soft, flowing fabrics over the mini bed, or adorning it with a basket filled with seasonal flowers or delicate greenery, photographers can create a fairy-tale-like setting that’s perfect for capturing the innocence and wonder of a newborn.

Swaddle Blankets and Neutral Colors for a Simple Look

Swaddle blankets are perfect for creating a snug, secure environment that newborns love. Opting for swaddle blankets in neutral colors like ivory, taupe, or soft pastels adds a soothing element to the photos. These colors reflect natural light beautifully, enhancing the baby’s delicate features without overwhelming them. Swaddling the baby in a soft white or cream blanket can also highlight their tiny features and give the photo a timeless feel.

Surrounded by Cute Mini Plush Toys and Mini Hearts

Incorporating mini plush toys can add a playful and endearing quality to your newborn photos. Arranging small, soft plush toys around the baby can create a sense of scale, emphasizing how tiny and precious the newborn is. I often use mini plush hearts or tiny stuffed animals that match the color palette of the session. These toys should be free of any small, detachable parts and made of baby-safe materials.

Seasonal and Holiday Themes

Seasonal themes can add a unique and personal touch to newborn photos, making them extra special for families. For Christmas, a small, soft Santa hat or a cocoon-like red and white swaddle can be adorable. Easter sessions might include a nest-like basket filled with soft, faux pastel eggs, while New Year’s photos could feature delicate, golden numbers representing the year of birth. These props help celebrate the season while keeping the newborn as the star of the show.

Vintage Carriages and Sibling Interactions

Using a vintage carriage as a prop can transport your photo session back in time, adding a layer of nostalgia and charm. This works wonderfully if an older sibling is involved, as they can gently push the carriage, creating a loving and interactive scene. It’s important to ensure the carriage is stable and has been modified to be completely safe for a newborn. Soft padding and a secure setup are mandatory to protect the baby during the shoot.

See what the siblings should wear for best newborn photos.

Using Books, Makeup, or even a Computer Props for a Chic Baby Look

Introducing high-end brands like Chanel or Mac in a newborn photoshoot can create a sophisticated and modern vibe. Similarly, placing Mac makeup gently around the baby, like a blush brush or a tastefully displayed palette, can add a playful yet chic element to the scene. Even using a sleek, closed laptop as a prop next to the baby can hint at a modern, tech-savvy family lifestyle.

How to Make the Shoot Meaningful with Personalization

Incorporating personal items such as family heirlooms or gifts can significantly enhance the emotional depth of a newborn photoshoot. Including meaningful objects like a blanket knitted by the grandmother or a vintage silver rattle can add a layer of sentimentality to the images and tell a story that is deeply personal and meaningful. Dressing the baby in a onesie that has been passed down through generations or featuring a soft toy given by a close family member not only personalizes the session but also connects the newborn with their family history and loved ones right from the beginning. See more cute newborn photoshoot ideas here

To personalize a newborn session effectively, it’s crucial to understand and capture the essence of the family’s story. Engaging with the parents to learn about these significant items or stories prior to the session can help in planning how to incorporate them seamlessly and thoughtfully. This thoughtful inclusion of personal artifacts makes the shoot incredibly special, creating a narrative that not only captures the moment but also resonates with the family’s unique history.

Lifestyle Newborn Photography Ideas at Home

Lifestyle newborn photography captures the natural essence of the baby and their first environment,  let’s explore how to bring this style to life within the comfort of your home.

Using Parts of the Home like the Master Bedroom or Nursery

The beauty of at home lifestyle photography lies in its ability to showcase the newborn within the context of their new home. When using the master bedroom, consider shots where the baby is cozily nestled on the bed, surrounded by soft pillows that suggest warmth and protection. Ensure the bedding has neutral colors and minimal patterns to keep the focus on the baby.

In the nursery, incorporate elements like the crib or a rocking chair. These settings naturally evoke feelings of nurture and care. Lighting is key here, make sure there is plenty of natural light streaming in. If the room’s natural light is low, strategically placing a lamp can add the soft glow needed to enhance the warmth of the scene.

See 10 tips for setting up a newborn photoshoot

How to Use Everyday Items as Props for a Natural Look

Everyday items can transform into charming props that contribute to a story-like setting. A favorite family blanket draped over the side of the crib or a soft stuffed animal placed next to the baby can add layers of interest. Books stacked gently beside the baby suggest a future full of stories and learning. Remember, the simplicity of these items often complements the natural beauty of the newborn, so keeping these setups minimalistic helps maintain the focus on the baby. For more creative newborn photoshoot ideas see my full article here

Detailed Look at Textures and Colors

Mastering the use of textures and colors can profoundly impact the quality and emotional tone of newborn photography. As a professional newborn photographer, I’ve found that these elements are not just background details; they are integral parts of the storytelling process in each session.

Choosing the Right Textures

Texture adds depth and interest to newborn photos, creating a tactile element that can evoke emotions and enhance the overall aesthetic of the image. When used thoughtfully, textures can create a soft background that makes the delicate features of a newborn stand out or provide a contrast that highlights the baby’s smooth skin.

Examples of Background Textures That Work Well with Newborn Skin

Soft, knitted blankets are a favorite for their gentle appearance and comforting feel, which echo the baby’s softness. Similarly, faux furs can add a layer of luxury and coziness, making the baby appear even more snuggled and secure. When using rougher textures, such as a wicker basket, it’s crucial to add a layer of soft fabric between the texture and the baby’s skin to maintain comfort and also get the visual impact of the texture.

Velvet is another excellent texture for newborn photography. It catches the light in a way that can create a rich backdrop, giving the image a warm and inviting feel. When placing a baby on a velvet surface, the material naturally conforms to their shape, adding to the sense of envelopment and care, which is so poignant in newborn photography.

Color Palettes 

Neutral vs. Vibrant Colors

Neutral colors, such as soft whites, ivories, and pastels, are traditionally favored in newborn photography sessions because they lend a timeless, serene look to the photos. They reflect natural light beautifully, enhancing the baby’s delicate features without overpowering them. 

Vibrant colors, when used correctly, can be equally captivating. They should be chosen with care, ensuring they do not overwhelm the scene but rather complement the baby’s skin tone. A touch of a vibrant color can serve as an excellent focal point, especially when used in a prop or accessory like a small blanket or hat.

Tips for Setting Up the Perfect Newborn Photoshoot

Select the Right Space: Choose a room with ample natural light and enough space to move around comfortably. Ensure the room is warm enough for the baby, typically around 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepare Your Props: Lay out all the props you plan to use, including blankets, baskets, and any special items like family heirlooms. Each prop should be inspected for sharp edges, loose parts, or any other potential hazards.

Set the Foundation: Start by placing a thick, soft blanket on the floor to create a cushioned area for props like baskets or beds. This not only makes the surface softer for the baby but also helps stabilize props.

Position Your Props: Place the main prop, such as a basket or bed, in a position where it will be bathed in natural light. Avoid direct sunlight which can be harsh and cause hotspots in your photos.

Safety Check: Double-check that every setup is stable and secure. Test the prop with a gentle push to ensure it won’t tip or roll. Nestle the baby into the prop with additional soft padding around them to prevent any slips or shifts.

Final Adjustments: Add the final touches, such as draping a light swaddle over the baby or placing a soft hat on their head. Make sure everything looks balanced and harmonious.

See what to avoid for the best Los Angeles newborn photography

Where to Find the Best Newborn Photo Props 

While local shops offer the advantage of seeing and feeling the props firsthand, online resources can be a treasure chest of unique and beautiful items that are perfect for newborn photography. Here are some fantastic online stores where you can find just the right props for your next session.

Etsy: Etsy is a global marketplace for handmade and vintage items, where you can find one-of-a-kind props crafted by artisans around the world. Look for hand-knitted blankets, custom-made newborn outfits, and unique vintage props that can add a personal touch to any photoshoot.

Amazon: Amazon offers a vast selection and quick shipping options, which is great for last-minute prop needs. You can find a wide range of props from swaddle blankets to decorative baskets and even photography-specific items like backdrops and lighting.

Adorama: As a trusted name in photography equipment, Adorama also offers a range of photography props. They offer professional-grade lighting setups and backdrops that are ideal for creating the perfect studio environment.

Michaels: Perfect for DIY prop hunters, Michaels offers craft supplies that can be transformed into unique props. They have many materials for building custom backdrops, seasonal decorations for thematic shoots, and craft tools for creating your props.

BuyBuy BabyKnown for baby products, they offer a range of items that can be used as photography props. They offer soft toys, baby furniture, and cute accessories that can enhance any newborn shoot.

Antique Farm House: For that rustic, vintage feel, this site offers authentic antique items. You can find old wooden crates, vintage lace materials, and antique trinkets that can add a touch of history and charm to your photos.

Tips on How to Select Props That Photograph Well

Scale and Proportion: Ensure the size of the props is appropriate for a newborn. Props should be small enough to make the baby look snug and secure but not so large that they overpower the scene.

Quality and Aesthetics: Opt for high-quality props that will photograph well. Items made from natural materials typically look best on camera, adding an element of authenticity and warmth to your photos.

Theme Consistency: If you’re aiming for a specific theme, make sure all props align with this theme to create a cohesive look throughout the shoot.

See tips for beautiful newborn photography in Los Angeles. 

Ensuring Quality and Safety When Buying Online

When purchasing props online, it’s crucial to ensure the items are safe and of high quality. Here are some tips to help you shop wisely:

Read Reviews: Always read customer reviews to gauge the quality and safety of the product. Reviews can also give you insight into how the props look in real life compared to promotional photos.

Check Materials: Look for items made from non-toxic, hypoallergenic materials to ensure they are safe for newborns. Avoid items with small, detachable parts that could pose a choking hazard.

Verify Vendor Credentials: Purchase from reputable sellers or websites that guarantee their products’ safety standards.

Return Policy: Make sure there’s a return policy in place, so you can return items that do not meet your expectations or safety standards.

Ramina Magid - Newborn Photographer Los Angeles

If you’re in the Los Angeles area, my newborn photography studio also specializes in family photography, cake smash photography and baby photographyI am fully licensed, insured, trained on newborn safety and would be honored to be considered for capturing your family’s special moments. 

See my reviews here and contact me today to schedule your shoot and begin the journey of capturing your family’s precious story in the most beautiful way possible. My Los Angeles photography studio is located in Beverly Hills at 1010 S Robertson Blvd Suite E, Los Angeles, CA 90035.

Conclusion

In the enchanting journey of newborn photography, every prop, every angle, and every light shade plays a crucial role in bringing out the unique beauty of your baby’s first days. From the cozy corners of your home nursery to the skilled hands of artisans crafting the perfect photography props, each element helps to tell a story that is deeply personal and utterly captivating.

As you prepare for your photo session, remember to take your time to select props that not only look beautiful but also create a safe and comfortable environment for your newborn. Whether you are shopping online or exploring local stores in Los Angeles, the right props will make your baby’s photos stand out in both simplicity and style. And on the day of the shoot, give yourself an extra hour, relax, and enjoy the process. These photos will become cherished memories of your family’s earliest days together.

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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.