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Newborn Photography Tips

Photograph tiny baby toes and other newborn photography tips

Capturing newborns is one of my favorite kinds of photography. Here are a few of my favorite newborn photography tips.

Newborn Photography Tips

Capture details.

Tiny fingers and toes grow alarmingly quickly! I love the newness of tiny newborn fingers and toes, and you can snap photos of them easily. This is also a fun way to get creative! I used a black cloth (an extra shirt the mom handed me, actually) to capture this photo of baby toes with mom’s hands forming a heart. So fun! Unposed detail pictures like my niece’s tiny toes above are equally precious.

Fun photo tips for newborn photography

Let them sleep.

Sleeping newborns are happy newborns. Let them sleep, and take photos. Sleeping is how most newborns spend the majority of their time, anyhow!

Photographing sleepy newborns gives the most flexibility. Newborn photography tips

Capture their personality

I knew when this little girl pursed her lips that it had to be some sort of a signature move – and it was – see it in the photo below this, as well?

simple baby photography tips

Photograph newborn wisdom

Newborn babies always look delightfully wise and thoughtful to me. Capture this on film!

capturing newborn wisdom


Baby yawns are so cute – and, while some people like a crying baby photo and some don’t, I have yet to meet anyone who didn’t like yawning. Being a baby is exhausting!

newborn photography tips

Capture the family.

Welcoming a new baby into a family is an incredible experience. Record that feeling on film.

Capturing newborns - photoshoot tips

Get the parent’s perspective.

I love photos that mimic the perspective of a parent looking down at their child. You can’t get the exact angle unless you ARE the mom (or dad), of course, but you can come close. Help parents remember the feeling of down at their child for the very first time.

Newborn photography - capturing the mothers perspective

Have fun!

There are a lot of cute baby shoot ideas on the internet! Many involve props, which I haven’t really gotten into so far, but I love this idea of photographing a baby’s toes with the parents’ rings. So sweet!

Newborn photography - don't forget to capture details

Don’t wait for the perfect moment.

If you wait, that perfect moment may never appear – that’s actually the reason I don’t have many maternity photos of myself, and I regret that (check out these tips from Crayon Freckles for taking your own maternity photos – you don’t even need a photographer to get some great pictures!) Don’t be afraid to get creative to make a photo shoot happen. Over half the photos in this post were taken with my little “helper” either wandering around or on my back. Of course, it is easier to get the pictures without her there, but she is happy to be there (even if she was a little suspicious of my friend borrowing my camera to take this picture – I’m learning to get creative if I want pictures of myself to exist, in addition to the many I have of my family members). And, luckily, I have friends who are happy to get the pictures, even if we have to get creative to make it happen!

Newborn photography tips from maryanne at mama smiles

Do you have photography tips to share with me? How about a trick for getting diamond rings in focus? I’m really struggling with that!

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

22 thoughts on “Newborn Photography Tips”

  1. Such great tips, MaryAnne! I’ve only done one newborn photo shoot. I put the baby on their white bedspread and used the natural light from the windows. I love how they turned out!

  2. Natalie PlanetSmartyPants

    You are such a master in capturing the moment. These photos are precious and your new niece is adorable!

  3. jeannine: waddleeahchaa

    So sweet! Love all of the tiny hands and feet. We have a photo we snapped of Baby Miss Enigma with her tight fist up in the air. This is sooooo her personality.

    My niece is a Nanny for two little twin girls. My sister caught a picture of them sleeping holding hands. Oh my gosh what a moment. That photo made my heart smile!

  4. I actually spent 25 years as a portrait photographer pre digital…so my advice to you ..is… Don’t forget to print out the photos…everyone leaves them in their cameras.great shots

  5. These are really nice MaryAnne. I’m not a photographer so I don’t have advice other than those compositions are appealing. None of my kids’ newborn pics look that professional lol.

  6. Kristi@Creative Connections for Kids

    Beautiful photos and great tips! Our grandbaby, Ruby, is arriving in July and I can’t wait to take photos of her. :)

  7. These are really great tips. I am going to keep them in mind since my little sister is expecting. I one thing I remember is to take lots!

  8. Elisa | blissfulE

    Oh I’ve been pinning newborn photo ideas, and yours are great! I haven’t tried a true newborn photo session before but I think I’m better prepared than ever this time (though I think I am forgetting just how intense those early weeks are…). I’m taking a photography class subsidised by my city, and this past weekend I had my first maternity photo shoot ever – the rest of the class took pictures of me at the window for the natural light photography session. Some of them were quite good. Everyone was laughing about how the other kids will be jealous of this fifth baby. ;)

    1. How fun to have a maternity photo shoot with so many photographers! I never did a maternity photo shoot, and I wish I had – it’s a nice point in life to have visual memories of. I’m so glad you got some good photos!

  9. Super cute pics!! Two of my fave pics are the heart toes and the family one. I like a yawning baby too and a sad face one (but not screaming). Thanks for sharing your tips. We’re still learning and having fun with our camera. For me the problem is weeding through the photos to find the best ones.

    That pic of you and Anna turned out fairly well for an impromptu shot. She is adorable!

    1. I was impressed with how that photo turned out – thanks for the memory!

      The heart toes and family one are some of my favorites also. So sweet! I know what you mean about wading through photos. I try to set aside time to do that every week, but sometimes a few weeks go by…

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