How to take newborn family photos at home | tips from a pro - (2024)

8 tips on how to take newborn family photos at home.. using your cell phone!

My first newborn photoshoot was in 2005, right after the birth of my little nephew. I’ve been a professional newborn family photographer in Boston since 2012. With over a decade of experience with newborn and baby photography, I’ve learned a lot of tricks along the way to help you take beautiful baby photos at home. These are the tips that I use on a daily basis as a professional in-home newborn photographer. You don’t need to be a professional.. these tips will help you capture your little baby at home, even if you’re using your cell phone.

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It’s best to photograph a newborn baby within the first few days of life. The “magic” timing for photos is specifically within the first two weeks of life for several reasons. First, babies are at their sleepiest state, often sleeping 16-17 hours a day. After the first couple of weeks, newborns start becoming more alert and awake with each day that passes. Secondly, the two-week mark is right before the onset of baby acne, which is more likely to occur in the 3rd or 4th week. Even with the best editing programs, it’s tough to edit a baby with acne, so you have a better set of photos if you catch them before any acne or skin bumps start forming. Lastly, a newborn doesn’t usually develop colic during their first few days. If your baby is older than 2 weeks, don’t worry! It’s never too late to photograph your baby. With an older baby, you can look forward to capturing different aspects such as their wide-awake eyes and their big gooey smiles.

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The daytime is a perfect time to photograph newborns because they often sleep during the day (they’re up all night!) Also, the best perk is using beautiful natural light! Photographing too late in the evening may force you to rely on flash or indoor lighting. The flash can be disruptive and wake the baby up. In addition, flash can cause unflattering harsh shadows and indoor lighting can give your images an offsetting orange or blue tint. As a pro tip, try to photograph your baby near a window, while avoiding harsh light. As an in-home newborn photographer, I always try to photograph families and babies right next to a window.. the bigger the opening, the better. If it’s nice out, don’t be afraid to go outside! Just find a nice shady area. 😉

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Make sure the baby is sleepy and comfortable. When I photograph newborn families at home, I set a nice and calm mood. My main goal is to ensure the newborn is comfy by “recreating” what it felt like in their mom’s tummy. You can do this by keeping the room warm (especially during our cold Boston winters!), using a white noise app (I use a free one), and, most importantly, keeping them in a tight swaddled. I usually start my photo sessions with a wrapped baby and once I have lots of beautiful photos, I test the waters and I start slllowwwwlllyyyy unwrapping them. Using a pacifier can be a game-changer as well… even if you use it just for your photo session.

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Did you know that what a breastfeeding mother eats affects the baby? And yes, this is the most unexpected tip but it truly matters. I never fully understood this until I learned the hard way with my own babies. So, moms should plan what they eat around the photoshoot. Start the evening prior and stay away from foods that produce colic. They include garlic, onions, broccoli, spicy foods, and.. brace yourself.. caffeine. Mom’s morning cup of Joe can keep the baby up. So, for extra calm & sleepy photos, moms should drink their coffee after photographing the little model. 😉 For a more detailed list of the foods that cause colic, check out this link.

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After you capture the photos of the newborn, don’t forget to take photos of the baby with parents and siblings. Even if you’re the mom taking photos, prop your phone on a shelf or tripod, put it on “selfie mode,” and use the 3-10 second delay before pressing the “shoot” button. Here is a link to an inexpensive phone tripod that I purchased on Amazon.. definitely worth it! Even though you may not feel like being in the photos, your little one will love seeing mommy & baby photos when they’re older. Get your partner to join as well. As far as sibling photos, safety is the top priority. You want to take into account how mature the siblings are and if they can safely hold the newborn. There are poses you can use that are very safe, even if the sibling is an energetic toddler.

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This is my most frequently asked question.. what to wear for baby family photos. Above all, moms must feel comfortable and beautiful. I recommend wearing light and coordinating colors.. though if parents love strong colors, show it off! My best recommendations and tips are listed on this blog post: what to wear for your newborn portraits.

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The beauty in newborn photography is the simplicity and the little details. These photos are timeless and special The main focus is on capturing the newborn baby at their tiniest. As a mom, that’s what I miss the most, the little hands, toes, and faces.

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These tips are helpful for taking your own photos, which are sure to render you unforgettable images. But if you can afford a photographer, I highly recommend it! It’s worth pampering yourself especially because babies are only this small one. Added bonuses to hiring a photographer include professional editing and posing. As a professional newborn photographer, I have years of editing experience. Also, I have attended many training classes that emphasize newborn safety. I am highly skilled at safely posing little newborns into those curly, adorable poses.

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Follow me on Instagram!

If you LOVE newborns and want your baby fix, follow me on Instagram! I look forward to seeing you there.

In-home Boston Ma newborn family photographer, Isabel Sweet

I am a baby and newborn photographer in the Boston area. I am happy to provide boutique photography services to the South End, Back Bay, Fenway, Brookline, Cambridge, South Boston, Belmont, Arlington, Lexington, Needham, Beacon Hill, Newton, and beyond! All sessions take place in the comfort of your own home or favorite location. This in-home photo session took place in Boston, Massachusetts. Interested in a newborn baby session?Contact me now!

How to take newborn family photos at home | tips from a pro - (2024)


How much do you tip a photographer for newborn photos? ›

While there is no set standard for tipping a newborn photographer, a general guideline is to tip between 15% to 20% of the total session cost. However, it's important to remember that tipping is not expected or required in the newborn photography industry.

How to take family pictures with a newborn? ›

Pose #1: Baby on Shoulder

This is one of my favorite images to capture with new babies. I have mom or dad hold the little one high on their shoulder while having the baby snuggled up on their belly. This usually works well while mom or dad are standing.

How do photographers take newborn photos? ›

We will alway swaddle baby nice and snug in a wrap first.

Then, we place baby gently in a prop and little posing pillows are used to support their head. Next, photograph baby from a variety of different angles. Aerial, side view, straight on, close up, etc.

How much should I charge for baby photos? ›

So, How Much Should a Newborn Photo Session Cost? A simple newborn photo session that is conducted by your average photographer will typically cost between $400 and $800. On the other hand, you can expect to pay over $1000 when working with a photographer who has decades of experience.

Do you tip photographers for family photos? ›

Worthy of a tip? Most definitely! Apply the practice of honoring and appreciating skilled, hard-working professionals and tip your photographer.

Do you tip photographers for a family shoot? ›

Tipping may be most appropriate if the photographer goes above and beyond your expectations during the photo session. If, for example, they display exceptional skills coaxing an unwilling child or pet to cooperate for a shot, you might consider rewarding them with a tip.

Should I tip for family photos? ›

Family photos often require the photographer to go the extra mile. Especially when there are large groups or there are children involved. That's why it's common to tip family portrait photographers.

What is the best color for newborn photos? ›

Let's tackle color palette next, my go to suggestion is always to stick with neutral and pastel colors. We want the focus to be on baby and not the brightest color in the photos. I recommend light pinks, blues, aqua, white, cream and gray.

What should a mom wear for newborn photos? ›

Light-colored wardrobe in creams, light grays, and light pastels helps in keeping the focus on expressions and the moment. Tip #3: Moms, say yes to the dress! Dresses look stunning and flatter every body type. I recommend dresses from Baltic Born, Pink Blush, and even Amazon.

How long after birth should you do newborn photos? ›

When to take newborn photos? There's no exact age but the general rule of thumb if looking to achieve those curly, snuggly, sleepy newborn poses, is to hold your newborn session within those first two weeks of life. I always suggest aiming to hold our newborn session around days 8-10.

What are the best settings for newborn photography? ›

Shutter speed around 1/200. Aperture of f/4 or lower for individual newborn shots and f/8 for group shots.

Do you tip a photographer for newborn photos? ›

Again, newborn photographers never expect tips and we are always grateful for anything we receive as a tip. Even a $10 tip is a kind gesture to show your appreciation to you photographer. You should never feel pressured to tip any set amount, or anything at all.

How to do a newborn photo session? ›

5 Tips to Prepare for your Newborn Photo Session
  1. SCHEDULE YOUR SESSION AHEAD OF TIME. Most photographers will only do newborn sessions when infants are between 5 to 14 days old. ...

What is the app that makes baby pictures? ›

Baby Maker takes two photos, analyzes their faces, and generates a custom baby for you in seconds. Try it with your boyfriend, girlfriend, friends, and more. You select the parents, and make a baby! This wacky new filter will put a baby face on any person's body.

When should I take professional baby pictures? ›

So which age should you choose? If you're only ever going to have one family portrait session, I'd recommend choosing between a newborn session, nine or 12 months old when your little one is mastering some adorable skills and his / her personality will be really shining through.

How can I take my newborn pictures with my phone at home? ›

Smartphones work best with “front” light or “side” light. *Practical tip: Have Dad hold baby, or find a “model” (like an older child), place them next to the window, and have them slowly rotate towards and away from the window and see what the light and shadows do. Pick your favorite and take a photo!


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