How to Take Your Own Newborn Photos

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Search for newborn photos online and you’ll likely find a selection of adorable images of brand new babies swaddled, tucked, and sleeping like little angels. While newborn photos are usually gorgeous, a session with a photographer is often really expensive. If a formal newborn shoot isn’t in your budget, but you’d like to capture some images of your brand new baby, check out the tips below for holding your own photo shoot. 

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1. Choose a time when your baby is sleepy

Most newborn photographers hold their photo shoots when your baby is 5-10 days old. Doing so in this timeframe ensures that they’ve had time for their features to “settle” after birth, but are still sleepy and easily posed. Plan to hold your photo shoot when your baby is in this age range and pick a time of day when you know they're likely to be asleep.

2. Keep them comfortable

The last thing you want during your photo shoot is an unhappy baby. Keep your little one comfortable by turning up the heat if you plan to have them in just a diaper and making sure that you’re not posing them on any hard, cold, or uncomfortable surfaces.

3. Choose natural light 

When photographing your baby, aim to settle them in the part of your home with the most natural light. Placing them near a sliding glass door or a large window ensures that you’ll be able to see their skin tone and features as they truly are, not as artificial light may disguise them. 

4. Keep it simple

If you look online for ideas, you’ll probably see all kinds of creative poses and backgrounds in newborn photos. While seasoned photographers can pull these off (usually with the help of an assistant) you’ll likely end up with better images by sticking to the basics. Choose a simple, solid-colored blanket or rug to place them on or to use as a background and pose them only as they’ll lay naturally.

5. Take lots of shots

While professional newborn photo shoots usually yield 10-20 edited images, most photographers take hundreds of pictures. While it may seem silly to snap multiple pictures of the same pose, doing so allows you to make sure that you get the perfect shot. As you go through images after the shoot your favorites will likely stand out immediately and you’ll be glad you took the time to take extra shots! 

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Did you take your own newborn photos or did you hire a photographer?

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How to Take Your Own Newborn Photos

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. She is writing a memoir on pregnancy, motherhood, and sisterhood and lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. ... More

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