Insider Secrets for Beautiful Newborn Photos

Insider Secrets for Beautiful Newborn Photos :: Andover MA Photographer

insider secrets for beautiful newborn photos

I have been a family photographer for over 15 years. This means when it comes to insider secrets for beautiful newborn photos, I’m your gal! Welcoming a new baby into the world is a special and exciting time for any family. As a photographer, capturing those precious moments is a privilege and a responsibility. Newborn photography can be a unique and challenging genre. However with the right tips and techniques, you can create stunning images that will be treasured for a lifetime. This post isn’t just for other photographers. I personally believe that it’s important for parents to go into their newborn session knowing what they can expect. Plus, it’s so important for parents and their photographer to be on the same page.

beautiful newborn portraits

For more info about beautiful newborn photos check out my recent Newborn Photography Round Up for Boys and for Girls. And check out my Newborn Photo Ideas Pinterest board, too.

Step 1: Preparing for the Session

Scheduling a Session and Ideal Timing

The first step to beautiful newborn photos takes place before a single photograph is taken. Timing is really important when it comes to newborn portraits. The ideal time to photograph a new baby is within the first 6-16 days of their life. Every baby is different, but I have found the sweet spot to be 10 – 16 days old. During this time, babies are still very sleepy and I can easily pose them without waking or startling them. They are just out of the womb and able to get into curled-up poses comfortably. This doesn’t mean that I can’t photograph a baby after this time. It just means that we will need to be a little more flexible with expectations. If a parent’s number one priority is the iconic sleeping newborn photos, this age range can be a huge factor.

newborn photo ideas

Communicating Before A Session

Before any session, whether it’s for newborn photos or any other milestone, I always send parents a questionnaire and detailed followup “What to Expect” information. Before the session, I ask for preferred color schemes, props, and more. It’s important to communicate with parents to understand their expectations and preferences. I ask about any specific poses or props they would like to incorporate so that I’m capturing the portraits they most want. We can incorporate any cultural or religious traditions they would like to include in the photos. I want these portraits to be keepsakes and special mementos for families.

It’s also important to discuss any allergies or sensitivities the baby may have. This definitely doesn’t happen often, but it’s very important that I know about these things ahead of time.

I also want to communicate to parents before their session, what they can expect. I keep the studio toasty warm to make sure that baby is super comfortable. Plus cleaning and sterilizing is a top priority. Keeping babies, and their families, safe and comfortable is always important to me.

neutral newborn photos
pink newborn photos
purple newborn photos

Step 2: During the Session

Preparing and Using Props and Accessories

heart newborn photos

In the pre-session questionnaire, I’ve already asked families about their preferred use of props and accessories and any followup questions I may have. This means I am able to pull the necessary items ahead of time for parents to look over when they arrive. All of my props and accessories (cute hats, headbands, pillows, floral) are easily accessible, sterilized, and ready to go. I have an entire wall full of soft swaddles, fuzzy furs, and warm blankets that my assistant or I can easily grab and swap out during a session. These add a great pop of color and variety to photos.

ideas for newborn pics

My props and accessory collection is pretty massive, if I do say so myself. This means there are plenty of options for every family’s style and tastes. A lot of these props are out in the open so that if a family sees something they hadn’t thought of, we can incorporate it.

sweet newborn photos
adorable newborn pics

Posing the Newborn

The most important aspect of newborn photography is the safety and comfort of the baby during the session. Which is why I always make sure the baby is in a safe and secure position when posed, and never leave them unattended or unsupported. I always have an assistant to help with posing and to keep a hand within a few inches of the baby at all times. There are certain poses that are about 50% actual pose, and 50% clever editing believe it or not. Keeping the baby safe is way more important than getting a cute picture. There are many different poses that are possible during newborn sessions. And I definitely have some favorites that I try and get during every newborn session. You can see some of them in this post for inspiration: My Top 6 Must Have Newborn Photos.

simple newborn photos
poses for newborn photos
great poses for newborn photos

Including Parents, Siblings, and Pets

Many parents choose to include themselves and older siblings in their newborn photo sessions. If this is the case, we typically start off with family photos before moving onto the newborn on their own. If there are any older siblings, I always encourage parents to bring them along. My tip is to have someone (dad, grandparents, a nanny, etc.) come along. This way the older siblings can leave with them once the family and sibling portion is done. This is not always possible and I do have toys in the studio and a nice comfy couch for the sibling to relax. Families are more than welcome to include pets in their portraits at my studio.

mother daughter newborn photos
father daughter newborn photos
parents and newborn photos
family newborn photos

When it comes to photographing siblings with a newborn, one of my go-to poses is to have big sibling(s) lay down on a fur and I gently prop the new baby next to them. This can be helpful to keep any big siblings in place for long enough to get a photo. Another option is having baby on a prop with big sibling sitting behind them. This one also works with any pets. If the older sibling is a little bit older, they can even hold their baby sibling which is always adorable. What you don’t see is that there is always an assistant just out of frame, or sometimes edited out of the photo, with helping hands ready.

newborn photos with siblings
newborn pics with toddler
newborn photos with older sister

Step 3: After the Session

After the session, it’s go time for me. And by that, I mean time to edit! Editing is a huge part of my job. Nearly almost every newborn has skin that parents want correcting. Color wise, dry skin wise, or acne wise. Editing is the final touch of the photo and really does make a huge difference.

There are many different options when it comes to how families can enjoy their new portraits. There are many options for wall art, different album types, digital collections and more. It can be a dizzying amount of options and I completely understand this. I make myself available to walk parents through all of the options in detail. I make sure I can do this in person or through a virtual meeting. My goal is to be there for parents before a session, during a session, and after the session to make sure I deliver a top to bottom experience for them.

awake newborn photos
awake newborn pics
sweet awake newborn pics

And there you have it, my insider secrets for beautiful newborn photos from a 15 year veteran of newborn photography! If you have any questions, or if you’re looking to book your own newborn session, contact me now!

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    Welcome to Crabapple Photography! I'm Kate and I've been a family portrait photographer since 2009. My specialty is newborns, babies and children. We have fun! My style is clean and whimsical and I am a detail person.

    My studio is located in Andover, MA and I proudly photograph families in the North Shore of MA, Greater Boston and Southern NH areas. I also offer on location outdoor sessions as well.

    Contact me today!

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