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9 Things to Consider for Your DIY Newborn Photoshoot

Your newborn baby is finally here! Is there a better way to celebrate the arrival of your bundle of joy than with a newborn photoshoot? 

Newborn babies are an absolute delight to photograph. They look precious, adorable, and just gorgeous with those tiny toes and crinkly skin. And they won’t look like this for long, which is why it’s very important to capture those early moments of their life!

However, newborn babies are also one of the most challenging subjects out there. They cannot follow instructions and have not mastered controlling their bodies yet. The success of the photoshoot is your responsibility alone.

The good news is that with the right preparation, you can easily set up a newborn photoshoot in the comfort of your home. 

When is the best time for newborn photos?

Many people recommend having a photoshoot during the first week of your newborn baby’s life. During this time, your baby will spend most of the day sleeping, and you will have better control of the photograph with a sleeping baby. This also accounts for sweeter-looking newborn photos.

The Beauty of DIY Newborn Photography 

While there is nothing wrong with booking an appointment with a professional photographer for a session of newborn photography, home or DIY photoshoots have a certain charm of their own that studios cannot capture.

A DIY newborn photoshoot will feel more authentic, capturing not just the appearance of your newborn baby but also the dynamics of your home. Beyond making a beautiful picture, a newborn photoshoot done at home tells a better story than one set in a studio. 

Another good thing about choosing to do the newborn photoshoot at home is that you are not restricted to a particular time frame. If your baby wakes up or gets hungry, then you can simply re-schedule and try again later. There is no pressure to complete a shoot; instead, you can take your sweet time bonding with your baby.

So how do you proceed with your DIY newborn photoshoot?

9 Things to Consider to Succeed in DIY Newborn Photography

1.    Lighting

The first thing you need to consider is your lighting. Before you turn on your flash or some fancy equipment, the best kind of lighting for any photo – especially for a newborn photoshoot – is natural, flowing light. And the best source of natural light is the sun!

For a well-lit photo, you may want to move your photoshoot to the outdoors. However, if there are plenty of windows inside your house where sunlight naturally flows in, you can take advantage of those, too. Make sure that the light is soft rather than harsh.  

2.    Pose

It is quite challenging to photograph a newborn baby because they do not have full control of their limbs yet. Left to their own devices, your newborn baby might look award with their floppy arms and legs. This is why it is very important to learn how to pose your baby.

Fortunately, posing your newborn baby is quite easy as they are flexible. Of course, it is still essential to choose poses that feel natural and comfortable. Some basic poses include letting your baby lie on their tummy with their knees tucked under their chests and a side-lying position with crossed legs.

3.    Angle

After finding a comfortable pose that works for your baby, it’s now up to you to experiment with angles. Don’t limit yourself to one perspective. Instead of repositioning your baby for another photo, look for another angle by walking and moving around and photographing.

Taking several angles of a single pose is also beneficial because you just might end up with an entirely different-looking photo that looks better than the first one you took. Before dismissing a pose that doesn’t seem to look good, get up and find another angle. 

4. Close-Up

Next, while experimenting with angles, don’t forget one of the most basic things you can do with your camera: shoot close-up photos! There are so many intricate little details that make your newborn baby truly special, so don’t forget to capture them.

If you have a macro lens, then it will be great to use them to shoot tiny details like your baby’s lips, fingers, and eyelashes. However, if you don’t have the lens, you can simply go as near as you can to your baby. Shoot your close-ups while staying as quiet as possible.

5.    Swaddle

One simple trick to get your newborn baby cooperative for their photoshoot is to swaddle them! Using a soft muslin swaddle, wrap your baby securely and then lay them down on a firm surface. If you swaddle your baby, you no longer need to manually position them for the photo.

Another benefit of swaddling is that it keeps your newborn baby comfortable and contented. They will stay sleepy, if not asleep, which you can take advantage of to maximize your photoshoot. Even if they have already woken up, they will still stay pretty calm while swaddled.

6.    Colors

Another thing that you should not forget about when setting up your DIY newborn photoshoot is the colors. Basically, to remove the guesswork from choosing a good color scheme, you need to remember to use simple colors. Do away with busy prints and backdrops that can take away the focus from your baby. 

From this point, you can decide what kind of color scheme to get. Many opt for a bright color scheme with pastels and light colors. Darker color schemes, on the other hand, are just as equally stunning. Just don’t forget to use natural lighting to keep your subject – your baby – bright.

7.    Accessories

Now let’s go to the fun part – accessories! Again, just like the colors, it’s best to not overwhelm the shoot with an abundance of props and accessories. Go for one or two accessories to add interesting details to your story. It’s also best to use props and accessories that you already have.

You don’t have to buy accessories for your photoshoot. One of the best props you can use is your baby’s lightweight cotton blanket or swaddle. You may also use, instead of a blanket, your baby’s hooded towel. Using things that are already familiar to your baby will make them feel comfortable, too.

8.    Family Members

Because a home photoshoot is supposed to capture your home life more organically, it’s also a good idea to include your family members in the shoot. If your newborn baby has older siblings, then include them in the picture. This will create a sweeter photograph that portrays the bond between the siblings. 

Don’t forget about your husband! A dad-and-baby photoshoot is very endearing and lovable. Finally, don’t forget about yourself, too! It’s normal to feel self-conscious days after giving birth, but you will definitely not regret taking time to capture some of your first moments with your newborn baby.

9.    A Happy Baby

Finally, the most important thing to consider when taking your newborn baby’s photographs is their overall disposition. For a successful DIY photoshoot, it is always best to keep your baby as happy and contented as possible. It is also a good idea to keep them full and sleepy.

To do this, you can do some basic tricks like swaddling. You can also go to the next level and use a heater to keep the space warm. Other than that, you may also play a white noise machine or a white noise app to keep your baby sound asleep. And don’t forget to feed them before starting the shoot!


A DIY newborn photoshoot can be quite challenging and certainly takes a serious level of commitment. But it has a lot of advantages over studio shoots. It is a good bonding experience, and you will be able to create photographs that tell your story as a family.


Featured image by Tawny van Breda from Pixabay 
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