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Plan a Newborn Photoshoot With These Tips

baby in elephant pjs

Your baby only stays little for such a short amount of time! A newborn photo shoot is one of the best ways to capture those special moments with your new arrival. Of course, newborn photo shoots can be difficult and stressful. But they don't have to be. 

To help you plan a newborn photoshoot without the stress, we interviewed professional family and lifestyle photographer Emily Young. She gave us her best tips on documenting those early days with your new baby.

What are the pros and cons of hiring a professional for a newborn shoot?

The biggest benefit of hiring a professional is knowing that for at least an hour, someone will get some great shots of your baby and you. Even in your worst, most sleep-deprived moments, you are beautiful, and this time of your life with your baby won't happen again. 

On top of the feedings, diaper changes, and bounce walking around the house, adding "take beautiful pictures" to a parents' to-do list can feel a little much. Of course, the cons are that the last thing you want in those first exhausting days is to have someone come into your home and put a camera in your face. But I genuinely believe that you will appreciate the images one day, and in the end, it's worth it. 

How should parents prepare their infant for a photoshoot?

Schedule a time that works for your baby and your family. It's hard to know a newborn's schedule as it changes daily, but do your best to watch their cues when they are the calmest. I always suggest turning up the heat, so the baby is warm and cozy through wardrobe changes or clothesless shots. And if possible, feed them right before the photographer arrives so they are full and happy.

What should parents wear? What should they dress their baby in?

I always suggest that babies wear either nothing, a swaddle, or soft, cozy, fitted pajamas. Outfits with structured clothing cover up the baby too much and don't allow them to move or cuddle as quickly. The same goes for parents. 

Wear something that makes you feel comfortable and snuggle your baby easily. I don't have any rules about neutrals or colors as I think doing what feels natural and personal for you is best! 

If you have an extra moment, take the time to scrub or paint your nails, photographers often use parents' hands in close-up shots. You might even consider getting your hair or makeup done if that makes you feel your best, but it's not a necessity!

What's the best place to shoot?

I love a newborn shoot at home if it's financially feasible. It's easier for parents to have everything they might need at an arm's reach, and it's lovely to capture the space you call home. Of course, if a studio is more affordable and seems less of a hassle for you, I also fully support that option! 

How old should your baby be for a photoshoot?

This is tricky, and I think I differ from many newborn photographers on this. If you are looking for a perfectly angelic sleeping baby hanging in a hammock or draped naked over a fluffy pillow, most photographers recommend shooting in the first 7-10 days. 

That's when most babies sleep soundly for the longest period of time, so with a warm temperature (sometimes space heaters are involved), a full belly, and a noise machine, the baby can be propped into almost any pose and just snooze away. Adorable? Of course! Feasible to all new parents? Not always! So again, if you are recovering from a more complicated birth or the idea of a photoshoot during that time seems out of reach, then don't stress. Any time during that first month (or two) is fine. You might not have a sleeping baby, but you will have a beautiful baby that you can cuddle with, and those are some adorable photos. 

What is the best time of day for a photo shoot with your baby?

If you are shooting outside in the sun, aim for early morning or late afternoon/early evening. But if you are doing primarily indoor shots, then look for the best light in your home. Babies are often calmer in the morning, but that can be unpredictable. Every family is different so do what works best for you!

Any other tips for shooting a brand new baby?

Look for a photographer that understands what it's like to be a new parent. It's a very trying time in your life, and having someone that can bring a sense of calm to your shoot will be a gift. 

We are so grateful for Emily's advice and expertise! If you're looking for a photographer in Los Angeles, check out website. We can't wait to see your newborn photos and hope these tips were helpful! 


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