10 Tips for Setting Up a Newborn Photo Shoot in Los Angeles

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

setting up a newborn photo shoot

10 Tips for Setting Up a Newborn Photo Shoot in Los Angeles

Welcoming a newborn baby into the world is a time of joy, wonder, and countless moments waiting to be captured. As someone who has had the privilege of photographing over 700 newborns, I understand the importance of properly setting up a newborn photo shoot session to be sure you are preserving these amazing moments through beautiful newborn photography. 

With the right amount of preparation, your newborn’s photo shoot will become a joyous occasion to look forward to. From choosing the perfect photo studio to selecting the right newborn photography props, every detail should be meticulously planned to ensure a smooth, comfortable experience for both the baby and parents.

As your baby grows, these newborn photoshoots become priceless memories, reminders of how small they once were. And that’s where professional newborn photography transcend from just photos taken at home to heartwarming portraits crafted in a photo studio. With a variety of newborn photo ideas, from DIY newborn photography to professionally styled sessions, there’s no limit to capturing the magic of your new born baby.

Today, I want to share some of the wisdom I’ve gathered through the years, focusing on the tiny details that make a big difference. Whether you’re a parent in Los Angeles looking to document your newborn’s early days or a newborn photographer aiming to refine your craft, this guide is for you. 

Basics of Newborn Photography in Los Angeles

The Best Time for Newborn Photos

When it comes to photographing a newborn the optimal age is between 5 to 14 days old. During this magical window, newborns retain much of the natural curl from when they were in the womb, making those adorable posed newborn photography shots easier to achieve. They’re also more likely to be “sleepy,” which allows for a smoother photo session with minimal fuss.

Booking a professional newborn photographer in Los Angeles before your baby is born ensures that you have someone ready to capture those beautiful newborn portraits when the moment arrives. As someone who’s navigated countless newborn sessions, I can’t stress enough how precious these early days are, and how swiftly they pass. 

Choosing the Right Location for Your Newborn Photoshoot

A home session offers a personal touch, integrating familiar backdrops and the cozy comfort of your own space. This setting is particularly conducive to lifestyle newborn photography, where the aim is to capture more natural, candid moments with your baby and family members.

On the other hand, a professional photography studio in Los Angeles is equipped with all the props, backdrops, and controlled lighting you could need to create beautiful newborn portraits. Studios are designed with photography in mind, ensuring that every shot is lit to perfection with natural light or professional lighting setups. See the benefits of scheduling a studio newborn photography session here. 

Keeping Your Baby Comfortable and Safe

Whether you choose your home or a studio, preparing the space is key to ensuring a successful session. A comfortable baby is a happy baby, and a happy baby makes for incredible photos. Ensure the room is adequately warmed, especially if you plan on capturing those adorable naked baby poses. The environment should be warm—not just in temperature, but in ambiance as well—to keep your tiny newborn comfortable and sleepy. For example, a portable heater can help maintain a cozy warmth in the shooting area.

Safety is paramount. Every prop, from pillows to baskets, should be checked for stability and softness. I always have an assistant or a parent within arm’s reach of the baby during the shoot to ensure they are safe at all times. See what to avoid for perfect Los Angeles newborn photography. 

Moreover, the calmness of the space is crucial. I’ve found that a white noise machine or a gentle background soundtrack can soothe a restless newborn, making the photo session smoother for everyone involved. Preparing your space also means having everything you might need—extra swaddles, diapers, wipes, and a feeding area—readily available. This preparation minimizes disruptions, keeping the focus on capturing those beautiful newborn moments.

Essential Gear and Props for Your Newborn Photo Shoot

Selecting the Right Camera and Lens

Choosing the right camera and lens for newborn photography isn’t about having the most expensive equipment, it’s about understanding what will best capture the newborn. A camera that allows for manual control over settings like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO is crucial. This flexibility lets you adjust to the varying lighting conditions of a home or studio, ensuring you can capture the soft, dreamy quality that makes newborn photos so enchanting.

When it comes to lenses, a prime lens with a wide aperture (like an 85mm f/1.8 or a 50mm f/1.4) is a treasure in your photography toolkit. These lenses are fantastic for getting those beautiful, soft backgrounds that make your subject stand out, drawing all the attention to the baby’s tiny features. They also perform wonderfully in lower light conditions, which is often the case in more intimate, indoor settings.

A quick tip: Always take a moment to ensure your camera settings are optimized for the environment you’re shooting in. A softer, natural light calls for different settings than what you might use in a studio with artificial lighting setups. See my Los Angeles newborn photographer article for more tips. 

Props and Backdrops

Props and backdrops are the spices in the recipe of newborn photography. They add flavor and personality, transforming a simple photo into a story. When selecting props, think comfort and safety first, but also consider textures and colors that complement the baby’s natural beauty without overpowering it. Soft, neutral-toned blankets, delicate wraps, and gentle headbands can add just the right touch of character to your newborn photos.

For those of you in Los Angeles, this city is a gold mine for finding unique props and backdrops. Local craft fairs and artisan shops offer one-of-a-kind items that can give your photos a personal touch.

See 21 creative newborn photo shoot ideas to get inspired!

Working with Awake and Sleeping Babies

The mood of a baby can dramatically shape a newborn photo session. A sleepy baby offers the opportunity for those serene, posed shots, while an awake baby invites candid, lively photographs that capture their emerging personality.

When working with a sleeping newborn, take advantage of this tranquil state to gently guide them into those classic newborn poses. It’s essential, however, to continuously monitor the baby’s comfort and safety, making slight adjustments as needed without disturbing their slumber.

On the other hand, an awake baby doesn’t mean the session comes to a halt. This is where lifestyle newborn photography shines, focusing on interaction and connection. Photos of a baby gazing curiously at the camera, or a parent soothing their little one, are just as precious and tell a beautiful story of love and family life. Lifestyle photography embraces the natural, unposed moments, showcasing the baby and their family in a more relaxed, authentic setting.

Whether the baby is asleep or awake, the key is to remain adaptable, letting the baby’s mood guide the session. This approach not only ensures the baby’s comfort but also allows you to capture a variety of shots, from the peacefully posed to the beautifully candid.

Soothing Tricks Every Newborn Photographer Should Know

Creating a serene atmosphere is not just about the environment; it’s also about how we interact with the newborn. Gentle rocking, soft shushing sounds, and the use of white noise can mimic the comfort of the womb, helping the baby relax. Swaddling is another trick. A snug wrap not only makes the baby feel secure but also helps them stay asleep or calm during the session.

Techniques for Staying Zen During Challenging Shoots

Not every photo shoot goes as planned, and that’s perfectly okay. The key is to stay calm and collected, a state of mind that often, miraculously, transfers to the baby and everyone else in the room. I recall a session where, no matter what we tried, the baby just wouldn’t settle. Instead of letting frustration take over, we took a break, allowing the baby to feed and the parents to cuddle him until he was ready. That moment of patience paid off beautifully, with the rest of the session flowing smoothly.

Maintaining a Zen-like calmness during shoots comes from experience and the understanding that flexibility and patience are your best friends. It’s about trusting the process and knowing that sometimes, the unplanned moments lead to the most memorable shots.

I offer private mentoring for photographers that want to perfect their newborn photography and cake smash photography skills. See my Beginners Guide to Newborn Photoshoots as well as my Newborn Photography LA guide and contact me here

Building Trust with Parents and Siblings

The relationship between a newborn photographer and the family is built on trust. From the moment they step into your studio or you into their home, establishing a connection with the parents and any siblings is crucial. It’s important to communicate openly, ensuring everyone feels comfortable and included in the process.

Engaging siblings in the shoot by asking for their help or making them laugh can result in genuine smiles and a more relaxed atmosphere. Sharing a few tips with parents on how they can assist during the shoot not only makes them feel valuable but also eases any anxieties they might have.

The trust you build lays the foundation for a photo session that’s enjoyable for everyone involved. It transforms a simple photo shoot into a shared experience, filled with laughter, tender moments, and the creation of beautiful, lasting memories. As photographers, we’re not just capturing images, we’re capturing hearts. And that, in essence, is the true beauty of newborn photography.

Composing Beautiful Newborn Photos

When it comes to composition in newborn photography, the guiding principle should always be simplicity. The aim is to draw the viewer’s eye directly to the baby, without unnecessary distractions. This doesn’t mean the background or props can’t be creative or meaningful, but they should never overshadow the subject.

One technique that elevates the composition is the use of negative space. This involves intentionally leaving a portion of the frame open or unoccupied, which can add a profound sense of calm and focus to the image. It’s a powerful way to highlight the tiny scale of the newborn, creating a sense of vulnerability and innocence that’s deeply moving.

Another key compositional element is the rule of thirds, where the image is divided into nine equal segments by two vertical and two horizontal lines. Placing the newborn along these lines or at their intersections can create a more balanced, visually appealing photo. For example, positioning a baby’s eyes at one of the intersections can make the portrait more engaging and lively.

Texture also plays a subtle yet significant role in composition. Using a knit blanket or a textured swaddle can add depth and interest to your photos without detracting from the baby. The interplay of textures can evoke a tactile sense, inviting viewers to imagine the softness of the baby’s skin or the coziness of the wrap.

Creativity in composition often comes from seeing the ordinary in extraordinary ways. It could be capturing the contrast of a baby’s tiny hand against a parent’s, or how a ray of sunlight casts a halo around the sleeping newborn. These moments, when seen through a thoughtful compositional lens, turn into timeless portraits that tell a story far beyond the frame.

See 10 cutest newborn photoshoot ideas to try! 

Capturing the Family: Including Parents and Siblings

Integrating parents and siblings into the newborn session requires a blend of preparation and spontaneity. For natural and relaxed poses, start with the simplest and most universal expression of connection: holding the baby. A parent cradling the baby in their arms, with the other parent wrapping them both in an embrace, creates a powerful image of unity and protection. Siblings can be encouraged to gently hold the baby’s hand or to lie down next to them, creating a sense of closeness and curiosity.

Another idea is to capture the family engaging in a quiet activity, such as reading a book together or simply sitting and admiring the new baby. These candid moments often lead to the most genuine expressions of love and wonder, as the family naturally interacts without the pressure of posing for the camera.

Creating Emotional Connections in Photos

The key to capturing genuine emotions and connections lies in creating an environment where the family feels comfortable and relaxed enough to express their true selves. This often means giving them space to interact naturally, with gentle guidance rather than rigid instructions.

One technique that can help elicit authentic emotions is to engage in conversation with the family during the shoot, asking parents about their hopes for their new baby or what their siblings are most excited about. These discussions can lead to natural smiles, tender glances, and heartfelt moments that shine through in the photos.

Storytelling plays a crucial role in creating emotional connections. Encourage families to share their journey to parenthood, the challenges they’ve faced, or the joys they’ve discovered. Capturing the family as they reflect on these stories can lead to deeply moving and meaningful images.

Editing Tips for Newborn Photography

The goal of editing newborn photos is to highlight the subject’s innocence and purity while preserving the authenticity of the moment. Here are a few insider tips to achieve that perfect balance:

Skin Tones: Newborn skin can be unpredictable, showing blotchiness or jaundice. Use the HSL (Hue, Saturation, Luminance) panel in your editing software to gently even out skin tones without overdoing it. Adjusting the red and orange channels can work wonders for smoothing skin tone while keeping the edit natural.


Spot Healing: Minor skin issues like baby acne or scratches can be distracting. A soft touch with theSpot Healing Brush can clean these up. Remember, the goal is to keep the baby looking real, so avoid over-smoothing the skin.


Eyes and Sharpness: If the baby happens to open their eyes during the shoot, a slight enhancement to the eyes can make the photo pop. Be subtle—increasing the exposure and sharpness just a tad in the eyes can make them more expressive. However, ensure the eyes still look natural to the baby’s age and demeanor.


Simplifying the Scene: Sometimes, distractions sneak into the frame. Use cropping or the Clone Stamp tool to remove any elements that don’t contribute to the story you’re telling. Keeping the focus on the newborn and their connection with family members is key.


Preserving the Mood with Lighting Adjustments: Whether you’re going for a soft, airy feel or a more dramatic tone, adjusting the exposure and contrast can significantly impact the mood of the photo. Play with these settings to enhance the natural lighting without altering the scene’s integrity.


Growing Your Newborn Photography Business

Marketing Tips for Newborn Photographers

Building a portfolio that showcases your best work is your first step. This portfolio should not only highlight your skills but also tell a story—the story of your unique approach to capturing the newborn phase. Utilize social media platforms to share your work, engage with potential clients, and connect with other newborn photographers. Instagram and Pinterest are particularly effective for visual-centric businesses like photography. Don’t shy away from showcasing behind-the-scenes content or sharing your insights on newborn photography, as this can build trust and establish you as an expert in your field.

Networking with other professionals who work with newborns, such as maternity nurses, obstetricians, and parenting groups, can also open doors to new clients. Word-of-mouth is powerful, and a recommendation from a trusted professional is invaluable.

Ramina Magid - Newborn Photographer Los Angeles

Ready to capture the magical first moments of your newborn’s life with the care, expertise, and creativity they deserve? With over 700 newborns photographed, my Los Angeles photography studio is a haven of creativity, fully equipped with a vast array of props, accessories, blankets, wraps, hats, and bonnets, all customized to create unique set-ups and capture beautiful newborn portraits.

If you’re in the Los Angeles area, my newborn photography studio also specializes in family photography, cake smash photography, 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

Remember that newborn photography is an art form filled with love and patience, and setting up the perfect newborn photo shoot in Los Angeles requires a deep understanding of what makes these moments so precious. But the journey doesn’t end here. As your little one embarks on the exciting milestones ahead, from baby photography to cake smash celebrations, capturing each phase becomes just as important.

At Ramina Magid Newborn Photography in Los Angeles, we celebrate every stage of your baby’s journey, providing tips and ideas to help you prepare for each session. Our extensive range of newborn and baby photography props ensures that we’re always ready to take the perfect shot.

As your baby grows, these baby photos become a cherished collection, a visual diary of their journey from a sleepy newborn to a lively toddler diving into their first cake. The art of photography takes us on a beautiful journey, one where each photo of your baby adds a chapter to your family’s story. So, whether you’re looking to capture the tender moments of newbornhood or celebrate the milestones of babyhood, my studio is here to create timeless images that you and your family will cherish for a lifetime.

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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.