Newborn Photo Session Guidelines



Photographing newborns is my absolute favorite thing to do. I love cuddling with them, and capturing their sweet little faces and bodies, which grow and change so fast.


Decide which one of my backdrops you want to use, and let me know (see below).
Think about coordinating clothing (baby/mom/dad) for the look you want (see below).
Keep me updated on your expected delivery date, if things look like they might be happening early or late. Contact me in the day or two after you have the baby so that we can confirm our appointment (ideally newborns should be photographed between about 5 and 14 days of age).
Optional–Find newborn poses that you like on my blog, on pinterest, or on other photographers’ blogs, and email me links to the poses you like.


  • If you are bringing toddler/preschool-aged siblings to the shoot, plan on bringing a grandparent or other helper that can play with them in my playroom and bring them in when we are ready for them. I know that cooperation of young siblings is limited, so I wait until the baby is fully asleep before bringing siblings in, and then I get the shots as quickly as I can. I can’t always judge when this will happen, so I need them there for the whole session, and I need them kept happy and occupied.


I have a wood floor that I can set up with a white, pink, blue, or black/white damask backdrop, or I have solid grey, black, or white backdrops that cover the floor and background. Let me know ahead of time which one of these backdrops you would like, so I can have it set up when you get here. Here are some examples of my backdrops:



In addition to one of those backdrops, I will also do some shots with a cream-colored fuzzy blanket as the backdrop.

And I can use a colored/patterned blanket as a backdrop, especially if you bring a favorite.


Baby doesn’t need a lot of clothes–they look best in their skin. We can use a diaper cover if you want to keep their diaper on (I have this one). If you have one favorite outfit or onesie, go ahead and bring it. Also feel free to bring a favorite blanket or two, a favorite headband or two, any bloomers or diaper covers you have, and any other props you would like to use (make yourself a list ahead of time, so you won’t be rushing around the morning of the shoot).


Mom and Dad (and siblings) should dress in coordinating solid colors. Consider how the backdrop you chose will work with your clothing. Dark colors or even black clothes work great with a black backdrop, if you want to do something like this.



  • If your baby has flaky skin or cradle cap, you can gently rub some fragrance-free baby lotion into their skin, or massage a flaky scalp with olive oil. Don’t rub too hard, as you might actually make it worse. I can (and will) clean up flaky skin in the editing process, but a little gentle care will save me a number of hours, and you will get your photos back much sooner.
  • Put lotion on mom’s and dad’s hands as well, since they will inevitably be photographed close-up while holding baby. Bring chapstick for dry lips.
  • Dress the baby in loose, comfortable clothes so their skin won’t be too marked up by tight socks or ruffles. If you want to do diaper-free poses, loosen the diaper as much as possible in the hour before the shoot, and plan on removing it as soon as you arrive (we will use a cloth to catch messes).
  • Try to feed your baby 2-3 hours before the session so that they will be hungry when you arrive.
  • It may also be helpful to keep your baby awake for the 2 hours before the session, so they will be nice and sleepy. Some babies just get cranky and overtired, though, so use your best judgment concerning your own baby.
  • Plan ahead for the inevitable stress of getting everyone ready and in the car on time, and especially if you are bringing siblings, do your best to have a happy, relaxed few hours before the shoot.


Plan on 2-3 hours for the shoot (more for multiples). Expect to feed the baby once or twice and change multiple diapers during the session. If you can time it so that you feed the baby right when you arrive, that often helps with getting baby to sleep during the session. If not, don’t worry. No matter what, know that the first half hour (or longer) of the session will be spent wondering if we are going to get any photographs at all. 🙂 Most of the time, I will do the soothing and posing of the baby, but I may occasionally ask for your help. My number one priority is the safety and comfort of your baby, so please feel free to let me know if you have any concerns. I use a hair dryer to create white noise and extra warmth for the baby. I will start the session with easy, comfortable poses, and once we feel we have a solid set of good photos, we can move on to more unique poses (baby on a stack of books, baby in a flowerpot, baby in a sling, etc.), which may be a little more unsettling to the baby (but always safe). If at any point we are attempting something that makes the baby unduly uncomfortable or causes you concern, we still stop and move on to something different. Usually I only expect to get one or two of these more unique poses photographed before we are done.


If we are doing poses with siblings, please let me work with all of the children without your input, unless I ask for it (which I may). Please plan on bribing your children if necessary (candy? ice cream after the shoot?) to enlist their cooperation, even if it goes against everything you believe in as a parent. Also, please ignore any bad behavior you see, and let me deal with it (again, unless I ask for your help). Do not discipline or speak harshly to your children when I am trying to get them to sit still and smile. If you have particular tricks you know will work with your child, then let’s use them, but above all, let’s just keep everyone smiling.


Please bring full payment (cash or check) to the shoot. Click here for pricing information.


Please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery of your edited digital photos. I will email you a link to download the files. I can provide you with a copyright release if necessary (most of the time it’s not), so that you can have the photos printed. I can also provide high quality professional printing; please contact me for print prices. My photos are printable with good quality up to about 24×36.