Baby photography tips: The ultimate guide for new parents

August 11, 2021

Taking photos of your newborn should be something that fills you with excitement and joy. But for new parents, sometimes it can feel overwhelming trying to create beautiful photographs of your little one. After all, the best moments happen in the blink of an eye; and soon enough, they’ll be in high school or even asking to borrow the car. To help you capture the moments that matter – and take photos worthy of sharing on your Momatu timeline – we’ve curated our very best baby photography tips for new parents.

Whether you’re a photography pro with all the gear or a complete beginner, we’ve got you covered.

Small baby yawning with a grey beanie and a stuffed teddy tucked in bed next to it
Photo by Minnie Zhou/Unsplash.

Set the scene

Make the most of natural light

This is where the fun starts in our guide to the best baby photography tips. Forget worrying about high-tech gear and expensive equipment. All you need is some natural light, a window, and the rest is a piece of cake.  

A simple, yet beautiful shot can be captured by placing your little one on a blanket, rocker or bassinet by the window with the sunlight seeping in and away you go; snapping away to achieve a natural shot.

For the best effect, you’ll want the sun to wash over your baby’s face at a 45-degree angle and be mindful to avoid direct sunlight.

Create your own set

Remember: the focus of your shot should be your little human, and for beginner photographers or new parents, the best approach is to keep it simple.

An easy way to put a professional spin on your photos at home is to grab a neutral coloured cloth or sheet and drape it over two chairs (near a window, preferably). Keep in mind that baby photography is all about putting your bub in focus, so there’s no need to go overboard with a colourful background and a million props. Unless that’s what you’re after – then go for it! All you’ll need from here are a few pillows, cushions, your baby’s favourite toys and your camera or phone to start capturing the moments.

If it’s a DSLR that you’re using, feel free to push the ISO up if the natural light isn’t bright enough.

Up close photo of baby feed on a fluffy white rug with their face hidden
Photo by Irina Murza/Unsplash.

Use props

Adding a few props in the mix when snapping away can take your shots from good to great within seconds. To get started, all you need are a handful of everyday items including toys, rattles, cosy knitwear, a hat or beanie, stuffed animals or a blanket for added texture to create beautiful photos you’ll cherish forever.

Just make sure you don’t go overboard by using all the props at the same time, as you don’t want the photos to be cluttered or distract from your bub.

The trick is to keep it natural, and the setting of your photos should reflect an environment where your baby is comfortable, happy and relaxed.

Small child playing with toys on a white mat
Photo by Shitota Yuri/Unsplash.

Invite friends and family to get involved

If you’re feeling uninspired by using static props, why not grab your loved ones and get them involved? Family and friends of all ages can add extra interest to your photos and allow for candid moments to be captured. And when you finish snapping your baby with your friends and family, they can instead take pictures of you and your bub – so it’s a win-win for everyone.

For the best results, if you’re using a camera instead of a smartphone, start by using the auto setting to make sure your images are nice and sharp, and let the camera choose flash if needed.

Capture the moments that matter

Focus on their eyes

Eyes, eyes, eyes! Always highlight the sparkle in your baby’s eyes. Try taking shots from above and make your little one look up and for newborns, in particular, up-close photos of their eyelashes when sleeping is the secret to adorable images you’ll hold onto forever.

To make your photos pop, if you’re using a phone for your snaps, tap on your baby’s eyes before taking the photo to make sure it’s nice and sharp.

Make lots of silly faces

A happy baby makes for happy-looking photos that are candid and full of life. Whether it’s by making silly faces or funny noises, shaking a rattle or playing peek-a-boo, this is where you can have some fun and take a more relaxed approach as you snap away.

Keep your little one happy, and the end result will be photos you’ll love.

Lay them down

When it comes to taking photos of your newborn, one of our best tips is to lay them down facing up to the camera, with their arms out to the side. Once they’re safe and comfortable, you can start snapping away from above, looking down into their eyes to get the perfect shot.

Bonus tip: if possible, try to open up your baby’s little fists, as relaxed hands will add a peaceful and relaxed touch to your photos.

Photo of a baby lying on their back on a fluffy white rug
Photo by Irina Murza/Unsplash.

Add some sounds

Conditions are everything; from the right setting, making use of natural light and making sure the area you’re shooting in is nice and warm. But one thing most beginner photographers forget about: background noise.

When you’re trying to get the shot, soothing background sounds can do wonders to keep your baby relaxed, happy and entertained.

Capture the ordinary

We’re all for creating a set or using props for your photos. But sometimes, the best photos are often the candid shots. The best way to go about this? Just snap away at every moment you can and capture the daily moments that you’ll want to hold onto forever.

Especially when they are young, babies change every day, which can be amazing to watch unfold, which is why it’s important to take shots regularly.

Remove the pressure to get the perfect shot

Up close photo of baby feed on a fluffy white rug with their face hidden
Photo by Irina Murza/Unsplash.

We mentioned earlier about the pressure of taking the perfect shot. Instead of letting frustration and exhaustion take over remember that you just had a baby. Take time for yourself to enjoy this time. If you want to ease into taking memorable moments of your baby, start by setting aside a small window of time a few days a week to get creative. Or, go for the more natural approach and snap away during the everyday moments.

Not only will this take the pressure off, but it will help you capture the subtle development changes that happen over this time.

You might hear or read that the first two weeks are the best time to capture newborn photos. But, don’t let that pressure overwhelm you. Even if your baby is a month old before you set aside some time to capture your creative images; that’s fine! Take it easy, don’t over-do it and if you pace yourself, you’ll find the DIY photoshoot experience much more rewarding.

Keep your baby safe

We shouldn’t have to include this, but we will anyway. Safety should always come first when it comes to newborn and baby photography.

If you are using props, make sure you’re doing so safely. Alternatively, make sure someone is there to help you spot your baby and keep them safe from any hazards. Use your common sense, and never use any props with a hard surface or sharp corners.

Capture the tiny details

Those little tiny toes and fingers, button nose and eyelashes. These are the moments in time that you’ll want to hold onto as your baby grows.

Up close photo of baby feed on a fluffy white rug with their face hidden
Photo by Luma Pimentel/Unsplash.

After you’ve captured the perfect shot

Play around with editing

This is the fun part – looking back on your hard work and memorable moments. If you’re using your phone, Lightroom is a good option. There’s also VSCO and Snapseed to add some professional touches to your photos. Play around with brightening photos, cropping, making them black and white or adding shadows or highlights to your images.

Be careful not to over-edit your photos; as the small touches will have the most significant impact.

Share the moments with the people you love

Congrautlations! You have now mastered the basics of our best baby photography tips. Now that you’ve successfully captured the moments that matter, it’s time to share them. With Momatu, you can easily upload up to 50 photos at a time. Then, just add them to your timeline where loved ones can view your special moments.

Now that we have shared our best baby photography tips. So, why not set yourself a 30- photo challenge. Then you can share the photos on your Momatu timeline. Your family will love you for it.

Momatu here.