Planning Your Newborn Family Photos [5 of the Best Tips!] - Rookie Moms (2024)

Many parents catch plenty of candid newborn photos on their phones, but a milestone like this calls for professional photos, too! So how do you tackle that with a newborn baby? In this article, we cover 5 tips for planning your newborn family photos.

You’re a new parent or maybe not so new but your family (and heart) just got bigger. It’s a busy and exciting time for everyone. Amidst taking in all of the snuggles, baby sounds & smells, and the inevitable lack of sleep, there has to be time cut out to document this momentous occasion. Below you will find some tips for surviving a photo shoot with your newborn and, just as importantly, getting those frame-ready photos.

Tips for Planning Your Newborn Family Photos

Planning Your Newborn Family Photos [5 of the Best Tips!] - Rookie Moms (1)

1. What to Wear

Generally speaking, mom should pick her outfit first. It’s best to go with something comfortable, flowing, neutral, and free of distracting prints or words. You don’t want to wear anything that is hard to match or that takes away from the focus of the photo – the new addition to the family.

Equally, you don’t want to be messing with uncomfortable clothes throughout the photoshoot. Dad can match mom after she picks her outfit. Button-ups are an excellent choice for dad or even a neutral, soft tee for your new little one to lay on. Newborns are usually swaddled in a matching blanket (bring your favorites to the shoot) and laid with props (bring or have a list of those, as well). Let’s sum up below:

  • Comfortable
  • Neutral
  • Matching of each other and/or decor
  • No prints or writing
  • Bring specific blankets and/or props that you want for the baby

Shop My Favorite Looks!

Planning Your Newborn Family Photos [5 of the Best Tips!] - Rookie Moms (2)

2. Where to do it Home or in a Studio?

That’s the question. There are pros and cons to each. It truly depends on preference and your family dynamic. Do you want an unposed, natural feel? Do you want to show off the nursery? Are there siblings to consider? Do you want multiple different props and backgrounds? Are you comfortable with taking the new baby out into public? The best way to decide on this one is to make a list for each.

Home

ProsCons
Calm, comfortable, relaxed environment for everyoneMore expensive, photographers generally charge extra for an in-home set up
You don’t have to take the baby out in publicLess props and backdrops available
Siblings are easier to manage
Highlights the family lifestyle and shows off the baby’s environment
Natural

Studio

ProsCons
An array of props and backdropsManaging the baby and any siblings outside of the home
Professional lightingStaged environment
Controlled, professional environment
Less expensive

As you can see, these are both viable options, and ultimately depend on the preferences of the family.

3. When to book a photoshoot

The general guideline to take newborn photos is between 5-14 days after the baby’s birth. This gives families time to leave the hospital, get home, and learn a little about each other. Additionally, it is still in the window where they’re sleepy, which means easy to pose, and you can catch those brand-new features on camera.

Once you pick the day, it’s important to schedule it at a good time. Close to feeding time is preferable so the baby has a full belly and is less likely to be fussy.

4. Awake or Asleep?

The majority consensus for awake vs. asleep during a newborn photoshoot is asleep. Newborn babies that are fully fed and snoozing are much easier to pose and work with during a 2-3 hour photo shoot.

Babies that are awake tend to fuss or flail their arms around making getting the photo parents want, difficult to capture. However, some parents do have a preference towards one or the other so…you guessed it…let’s make a list.

Awake

Pros Cons
You can see the baby’s eyesBaby may be fussy
You may catch a smile or funny facial expressionMight be hard to get the baby to cooperate
You can catch the baby’s personalityThe photoshoot may take longer due to taking breaks to keep the baby happy

Asleep

ProsCons
Baby is cooperativeYou can’t see the baby’s eyes
The photoshoot takes less timeYou may miss some of the baby’s personality
You can catch cute expressions while baby dreams
Baby won’t be super fussy

5. What to have with you

Whether you’re at home or in the studio there is a checklist of materials you will want to have ready to go. They include props, clothes, snacks, and other supplies. Let’s list them specifically:

  • Props – Anything you want to be included in newborn family photos should come to the studio or be laid out and ready to go at home. Photographers also have props, but many parents have something sentimental they would like the newborn photographed with.
  • Extra Clothes – Babies have accidents. Enough said.
  • Brush – If the baby has hair, bring a brush to style it.
  • Changing and Feeding supplies -Photo sessions take time, bring everything you need to change and feed the baby.
  • Snacks/Drinks – Bring snacks and drinks for yourselves and any siblings.
  • Entertainment – This is for the baby’s siblings if there are any. Two to three hours can feel like a long time for brothers and sisters to wait around.
  • Pacifier – If your baby uses one, bring it. It can be very helpful in calming the baby down during pose changes.

That concludes our 5 tips for planning newborn family photos. Hopefully, it helps you feel fully prepared to document this special time in the life of your family and assists you in getting that perfect, frame-worthy shot.

Newborn Family Photo Ideas

Need a little inspiration? Here are some of my favorite newborn family photos!

Frequently Asked Questions

What should family wear for newborn photos?

Generally speaking, mom should pick her outfit first. It’s best to go with something comfortable, flowing, and neutral. Button-ups are an excellent choice for dad or even a neutral, soft tee for your new little one to lay on. Newborns are usually swaddled in a matching blanket.

When should you do family pictures with a baby?

The general guideline to take newborn photos is between 5-14 days after the baby’s birth.

Is 2 weeks too old for newborn photos?

2 weeks is not too old for newborn photos! This falls right in the typical age range for newborn photos and gives families time to leave the hospital, get home, and learn a little about each other.

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