Newborn photography has become a place for photographers to get creative and make memorable images for families to cherish for a lifetime to come. We wanted to give you some inspiration for newborn baby photoshoot ideas from the basics to the unforgettable. We wanted to provide options for natural light and flash photography to give you possibilities of what you could create! For more of an in-depth course on newborn photography make sure you join SLR Lounge Premium to see our full library!

Article was last updated March 10, 2023

Newborn Photoshoot Ideas & Inspiration

The following article will cover the following newborn photoshoot ideas:

  1. Photographing Birth Pictures: Fresh 48
  2. Use Props with Meaning
  3. Create an Elaborate Set Design
  4. Choose a Color Scheme
  5. Include Parents, Siblings & Furry Friends
  6. Get in Close
  7. Perfect Your Swaddle
  8. Try Using a Basket or a Bench
  9. Find the Moments In Between
  10. Invest in a Backdrop

Idea 1 – Photograph Birth Pictures

This one is for all the mom’s and dad’s out there that want to get unforgettable birth photos of your child. This session is often referred to as the “Fresh 48” and usually happens 24-48 hours within labor. It’s an incredibly powerful set of images that tell the story of life entering this world and the strength of women during the delivery process. Follow the tips in the video to learn about gear, settings, lighting, and editing these images!

Idea 2 – Add Props with Meaning

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Using props for baby photos isn’t anything novel and is one of the easiest ways to jazz up any newborn photoshoot. This has become a very popular trend because of the rise of social media and baby announcements.

Although props are a classic newborn photoshoot idea, try incorporating props that have some meaning to the family. It’s worth spending a few minutes discussing with the baby’s parents what is important to them and coming up with a game plan on what props would work best.  Here are some ideas to incorporate in your newborn props:

  • Props that represent the parents’ universities
  • Props that represent the parents’ hobbies
  • Props that represent the parents’ careers
  • Props that represent the parents’ core values
  • Props that symbolize family
  • Props that honor relatives

Idea 3. Create an Elaborate or Fun Set Design

This is heavily inspired by Caroline Tran’s incredible baby photoshoots she did with her kids when they were younger. This is your chance to get those creative gears running to use what you’ve got to set the scene. In the video above video, I used a towel, blanket, and some cotton balls to create little clouds around our newborn, Josie. I love how this came out and the best part is… it was all shot at home in our living room! Super easy to achieve and an inexpensive newborn baby photoshoot idea.  See this article for more Photoshoot at Home Ideas.

Idea 4. Choose a Color Scheme

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Using complementary colors or choosing a monochromatic look can make for an outstanding newborn baby photoshoot idea. Take a look at the color wheel for more inspiration on what colors work well together and then discuss with your clients to make sure they’re on board!

Idea 5. Include Parents, Siblings & Furry Friends

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Other than the fact that this is absolutely adorable,  it’s often an overlooked aspect of newborn photoshoot ideas. We do such a detailed job to make sure we get all types of portraits of newborns but sometimes we forget to include the VIPs of the family! Take a moment to capture the new bundle of joy with furry family members (and non-furry ones too).

Idea 6. Get in Close

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Often when I glance through catalogs of newborn sessions I find that the most commonly missed shots are the close-up photos of the baby. I’m not talking about just their face, but of their little toes and fingers too! Remember, parents never get to see their baby this small ever again, and capturing every bit of their cute mannerisms and attributes is something they will cherish forever.

Idea 7. Perfect Your Swaddle

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Swaddling is Newborn Photography 101. From the origination of the newborn photography niche, taking photos of babies in a swaddle blanket has been a popular newborn pose and photo. It’s actually one of the most important concepts in our list of Newborn Photography Tips because of how common of a request it is for a newborn baby photoshoot idea.

Idea 8. Try Using a Basket or a Bench

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Now that you’ve perfected the swaddle, time to start styling! One of the first accessories newborn photographers purchase is an object to place the baby in or on. The key to nailing this newborn baby photoshoot idea is having an assistant or a parent help hold and mold the baby into the desired pose and position on the object. Once you’ve got the shot set up have your assistant quickly remove their hand and then quickly capture the moment and have them replace their hand.

Idea 9. Find the Moments In Between

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Coming from a background of photographing weddings and looking for candid moments throughout the day has prepared me well for anticipating when a moment is about to happen. However, nothing can prepare you for the random spurts of laughter or smiles of a newborn. After all, they’re just figuring out life and they’ve only been here for a few days… that’s a lot of pressure. Always have your trigger finger ready to capture the moments in between all the posing to make sure you get shots like the one above.

Idea 10. Invest in a Backdrop

Along with getting some props to create a scene, another necessary accessory is purchasing a backdrop. You can find them online for a low cost and the one I am using in this tutorial is by Backdrops by Ethan Alex. This is a small detail that will take your newborn baby photos to the next level. The best part is that since your subject is so small, you don’t need a huge backdrop.

I hope these newborn baby photoshoot ideas spark some inspiration and hopefully, you’ll be able to try out a few on your next shoot! If you’re looking for more tips on settings, gear, and safety tips for photographing newborns make sure you check out our Premium membership to gain access to our full course!