How To Take Your Own Newborn Photos At Home

Prefer to read? You’ll find a written tutorial below.

How To Take Your Own Newborn Photos At Home

Almost everyone’s life has been turned upside down by current events, and if you’re pregnant or have just had a baby you might be feeling this even more than others.

All of those things you thought you would be doing – introducing your new baby to family and friends for the first time, meeting your antenatal class friends for coffees on maternity leave, and having a newborn photo shoot are suddenly not possible.

It breaks my heart that so many families will miss out on having professional photographs of their baby taken in those early days, so I’ve created this tutorial to help you take your own newborn photographs at home.

In this article I’ll explain:

  • the best time of day to take newborn photos
  • what equipment you’ll need
  • how to take 3 different photographs of your baby

You can take these newborn photos with any camera

These tips can be used by anybody. You don’t need to have a fancy camera, you can just use the camera on your phone or a point-and-shoot if you have one.

Choose The Right Time Of Day To Take Your Photographs

Typically brand new babies spend most of their time asleep. But what you will find is that often they’re more dozy and sleepy in the morning, and become more restless as the day goes on.

I recommend planning to take your photos in the morning, right after a feed when your baby is likely to be more calm and sleepy. It will be much easier to photograph your baby when they are settled and asleep than when they are awake.

Use a blanket and wrap in complementary colours

Using coordinating colours is something that lots of newborn photographers do, because it gives the photos an edge; it brings everything together, it’s more pleasing to the eye, and it means that we can focus on your baby and not lots of different things that are going on in the photo.

You’ll  need a soft blanket to lay your baby on. And then something to wrap them up in that complements that blanket; that could be a stretchy blanket, a swaddle blanket or a scarf in a complementary colour.

A newborn photo shoot at home in surrey

Take The Photographs In A Room With Plenty Of Window Light

To take beautiful photographs, you’ll need plenty of window light.

Have a look around your home, and look for a window where there’s plenty of light coming in, but not direct sunlight. Then find the spot where the light starts to fall onto the floor from the window. It’ll probably be a few steps away from the window, unless your window goes all the way down to the floor. That point is where you will photograph your baby; the top of your baby’s head will be pointing towards the window, and their feet will be pointing away from the window. The photograph below shows you what this would look like.

DIY newborn photography

Now, Take Your Photographs

Now that you have everything ready, it’s time to take the photographs! There are three different photographs you can take from this position without having to move your baby.

First, take a full length photograph of your baby

Make sure your baby is in the middle of the frame, with equal amounts of space on each side.

Guildford Newborn Photographer, Clare Murthy

Second, Photograph Your Baby’s Head and Shoulders

Turn your camera to landscape, and come in closer to capture their head and shoulders. You’ll be able to see much more of the detail on your baby’s face in this photograph.

newborn baby yawning

Third, take a photograph from the side

Finally, step to the side of your baby and crouch down. Look at the side of their face and you’ll see all of their little details; their cheeks, ears, eyelashes and more. From this angle, you can take a really nice profile photo, which means that you’ve got a memory of all of those little details to keep forever.

diy newborn photo shoot at home

Over To You

I really hope this article has been helpful to you if you’re not able to get to your newborn photo shoot because of the pandemic, but you would like to take some photos of your baby, in those early days, before they change and grow too much.

If you have any questions about photographing your baby please do ask.  Just let me know in the comments below or send me a private message using this form and I will get back to you.

Picture of Clare Murthy

Clare Murthy

I’m a newborn, baby and family photographer working with families from South West London and Surrey. I specialise in timeless, natural photography with no props or unnatural posing. I photograph babies at my studio, and families in beautiful outdoor locations. I'm based on the Surrey / London border, close to Hampton Court.
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