3 Tips for Photographing Your Own Newborn

The newborn days are so precious, but they are also so fleeting. Since children grow so quickly, we understand how important it is to capture all their sweet details while they are still young.

While some of us eagerly look forward to taking photos of our baby’s first days, others choose to hire a professional photographer. It was my pleasure to take photos of my 10th child, Gabriel, after he was born on June 24th.

Allow me to share with you some tips for creating beautiful images of your own baby and for making this process less stressful and more enjoyable for both of you.

Pace Yourself

It has the advantage that time is on your side when you photograph your own newborn. When you shoot a newborn for a client, as opposed to having a short window of 3-4 hours within which to create an assortment of images, you have days – even weeks – to work with.

Your baby is just a few days old! Please do not rush and try to do everything in one day, as you need time to recover from the childbirth experience. It has been my experience that this will lead to exhaustion and frustration. Hire someone experienced to help you with this, like I did when I hired an Auckland newborn photographer last year.

It is certainly possible to shoot older babies in the ‘newborn style’ even though the first two weeks are not the best time to photograph newborns. I was still taking his newborn photos when Gabriel was more than a month old.

You still have time! Don’t rush. If you pace yourself, you can take a wide variety of beautiful pictures of your newborn baby.


Pros and amateurs alike make the same mistakes in newborn photography when it comes to lighting. I would be a very rich woman if I had a dollar for every picture of an up-lit baby I saw on the web.

Your lighting can make or break a photo, whether you’re taking it for someone else or for yourself. Take the sun as an example.

We can see it above us. Therefore, seeing someone lit from below looks very strange. Skulls are often portrayed in horror movies and as frightening due to their unnatural appearance. A baby with this look is definitely not desirable!

For this to work, no fancy studio equipment is needed. Gabriel was almost exclusively photographed with natural light in front of my living room window or in the garage.

Angle your baby’s head so that the light flows down their body at about a 45 degree angle to get nice soft shadows and highlights. See if you can find a soft shadow under the baby’s nose to verify you got this right.

Keep Mood Happy

If you want a happy baby and a successful photo session, you can do a few simple things. You should keep the shooting area as warm as possible. In my bedroom in the winter, I have successfully used an infrared quartz space heater, but any small space heater will work.

While you shoot, you might consider raising your home’s temperature. The summertime in Arizona meant that Gabriel was born during the summer, so I only needed to go to the garage. It was scorching hot!

In addition, white noise also plays an important role in keeping babies asleep. Sound Sleeper is an application that allows you to play soothing sounds for your baby while you shoot using your iPhone. The blanket was all Gabriel needed to stay snoozing and happy!

Daniel Lee
the authorDaniel Lee