Well let’s start by saying it’s a form of infant portraiture that is a little more challenging than trying to direct adults. Although new born babies are not as opinionated as most adults, they come with their own set of challenges. Everything needs to work around their lifestyle patterns and personality. You cannot just expect them to listen and take direction. The secret is to play to their song and temperament. There are certain aspects that work in your favor, like the assistance and support from the parents who are able to hold, comfort and pose the child. Enquire as to the eating and sleeping habits of the child and, if the child is a wailing one, or just quiet and inquisitive. Either way, this is important in the planning process of the photo shoot. Maybe even some soothing background music is necessary, or, perhaps a nursery rhyme or two.

What Camera Gear do I need to photograph Newborn Babies

As natural light is best for this form of photography because it is soft and less dramatic than a flash, your camera should have a decent ISO range that handles sensitivity and noise quality well in low light. Remember, poor ISO results in noisy images, and noisy images are unprofessional and cannot be edited without evidence.

Make sure that your camera has a silent mode to avoid creating attention. Turn this feature to silent mode in the menu, or invest in a mirrorless camera.

Make sure you are comfortable with the navigation of your camera, as newborn babies tend to smile while dreaming, which only lasts for a split second, you need to catch very moment and opportunity you can with your photographs. A decent camera should have continuous setting feature for high speed capture of around 12FPS.

Props and toys

Make sure you have both props and accessories, as well as a selection of toys to keep the child amused, as their attention span is short and curious, making styling a challenging task. The outfits, the props and the accessories will confirm the look and feel to complete the story for the shoot. A great place to source props is through friends with young children, or on secondhand classified sites.

Fluffy rugs, colorful cushions, and small blankets are a simple start to your “prop collection”, thereafter, look at references online to plan your story to meet the brief of the shoot. There is an abundance of amazing and creative photography options out there to assist you with ideas and in the planning of your shoot.

Once you have your set covered, parents are at ease and confident you will capture those special shots.

Positioning a baby into the correct pose is also something to learn. As these babies are so small and floppy, move them slowly and with care, even ask the parents to assist if necessary. One great thing is they spend a great deal of time sleeping, so you have free reign and control in this department. Just make sure the child is comfortable.

Studio and lighting requirements for photographing babies

The great thing is that you are able to run this type of business from your home. You really only need a small space with good lighting. So, no need to worry about huge rentals, and it would be great if your clients came to you. As far as lighting, diffused light is best, so maybe a speedlight and a diffuser will suffice, so long as it does not affect the baby’s mood or upset the parents. Use this set up with large reflectors to ensure a soft washed out light.

A second option is natural light, always the best in my opinion, just ensure there is no direct or bright sunlight streaming into the room. Often a solution to overcome too much harsh light is to place tracing paper on the windows to soften and diffuse the light. This works really well and takes away all glare and unwanted dappled light.

Lastly, the editing…

Avoid over editing, new born babies do not require much editing if shot correctly and your settings are tested prior to the shoot.

Position and compose the shot with a tight crop in order to avoid recreating angles in post.

Their skins are soft and they are cuddly, so there are no blemishes to edit out, this saves time when editing.

Color correct and perhaps reduce the contrasts if necessary.

Alternatively, attend a short workshop on editing and lighting newborns.


Well, go borrow your friends baby and try some of these tips, I trust you will be good and master in no time.