Lifestyle Newborn Photography – A Complete Guide

Type of session: Newborn

Capturing the fleeting moments of a newborn is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful kinds of photography. To ensure that your little bundle has those timeless images, it's important to take advantage of their photogenic window between 6 and 10 days after birth - a maximum of 15 days!

This type of session involves capturing those special moments like skin-to-skin cuddles, bed snuggles, and sleepy yawns - all in a relaxed and natural atmosphere. Lifestyle newborn photography can be used to capture the unique and special bond between a new family, with mom, dad, and siblings all involved in creating beautiful memories.

Newborn sleeping on a cute blanket

Newborns Distinct Characteristics

During the initial stages of life, newborns have several distinct characteristics that can be observed. These qualities include:

At three weeks old, babies are highly elastic and still retain the same postures they adopted in their mother's womb. Their nails are thin and fragile - a typical trait of this stage. You may also see hair on the ears or back, which is common among newborns. They usually sleep deeply during these sessions. However, it is important to note that 3-week-olds can have an "infant crisis" where they become more upset easily than usual.

Shortly after being born, newborns undergo a remarkable transformation that is nothing short of extraordinary. Their skin becomes slightly scaly and thin, with visible scaling on the hands and feet. This is a remarkable detail that can be captured through photographs! Additionally, infants’ hair is notably silky to the touch - if you've ever been around a baby in this stage of life, then you understand what I mean!

Letting a professional photographer take your family's photo is one of the best ways to ensure it looks perfect, as they understand all the tricks to get those babies in just the right position and to make sure everyone looks their best! The results are priceless.

Props for Newborn Photography

For newborn photography, props can be a great addition to creating beautiful and imaginative shots. From ruffles and bonnets to blankets and buckets, there are plenty of items that you can use for inspired images that capture your baby's unique personality. To achieve the perfect portrait look, consider adding fun accessories like banners or balloons—you'll be amazed at the creative ideas you come up with!

Choosing the right colors for the accessories is essential to creating a stylish ensemble. I prefer natural, neutral tones that fit any situation and never overshadow other parts of my look—which can be tricky! Props should serve as a complementary element to the overall image, not its main focus.

Newborn Studio Photography

With newborn studio photography, we gain complete control over every photo element to create the desired outcome. The final product looks more sophisticated and consistent than outdoor photos, with no risk of awkward or embarrassing background images. This is especially beneficial for photographers who want a polished and timeless look in their work.

Newborn Photo Session at Home

Stepping into the world from its mother's warm and secure womb, your baby needs to feel safe and at ease. To ensure tranquility for both parents and newborns, creating an atmosphere that mimics the environment in the womb can be highly beneficial.

When selecting a room temperature, it's important to remember that babies may require more warmth than us. They have less body mass and are less capable of regulating their own temperatures-- often wearing little clothing. Therefore, the environment should be quite warm for them.

Find a room that has an abundance of natural light to ensure the best lighting for your shoot. Ensure there is minimal decor in the background so it doesn't distract from your newborn's adorable features! Find a cozy place for them - perhaps a pouf, bed, or armchair - and be sure to add some blankets and neutral-toned textures around the baby; this will help embellish any unremarkable surfaces while still showcasing your little one as they should be showcased: front and center!

Capturing a newborn's photos in their home allows you to capture priceless, personal images of them and the family. Get close-up shots of their furniture pieces that have been around for years, or document all those unique little nooks and crannies that make your house special — this is part of a baby's life, too, so don't miss out on having it included!

Make sure you’re taking photos in comfortable and secure locations - don't be fooled by creative images you may have seen on social media, as common sense should always come first. Capture memories of your little one interacting with different members of the family, too, because those moments are irreplaceable!

Tips and Tricks for Photographing Newborns

To ensure a productive and successful session with babies, I have compiled some helpful tips and tricks.

Avoid rushing. Hurrying will only end in failure - both mother and baby become anxious, which leads to an unsuccessful session. Allow them the time they need and offer plenty of support for extra comfort.

To get the best out of your session, it is important to adapt to the baby and mother's cycle. As many babies become sleepy after breastfeeding, this provides a perfect opportunity for you to begin photographing them; have their clothes off before they start eating so that once they doze back off again, you can quickly jump into action! Make sure both mum and baby are well covered with a blanket as an extra precaution against any chilliness.

Simplicity is often the key to success. The beauty of a newborn baby needs no additional adornment; they are captivating all on their own.

Appreciate every nuance of a newborn baby: their tiny fingers, toes, ears, and eyelashes. If you happen to have one of your own already, marvel at the beauty up close; if not, get as near as possible to someone else's so that you can revel in those wonderful details!

Capture the precious moments of your little ones — while they are awake or sound asleep. To ensure optimum results, shoot in manual mode, and if that is not possible, use aperture priority mode. Create a beautiful background blur effect by employing large apertures to bring out striking details!

To achieve optimal sharpness, select the lowest ISO value you can. Shoot in RAW for the optimal processing of your images.

Don't be afraid to explore different angles and perspectives – get up close, back away, and switch your direction. Take risks with your shots; you never know what kind of artwork could emerge from this creative exploration!

To keep it interesting and unique, switch up the positions in your photos by transitioning subtly without being too drastic. After you have captured all of them from one angle, move on to another!

Securely place under pads beneath the initial decorative blanket to protect your couch, loveseat, or chosen spot for setting up a newborn's bedding. This will also safeguard any of the additional fillings that may be included in the setup.

Transform your photos into physical memories and print them out. Don't let those special moments disappear on a hard drive!

Learn how to swaddle babies not only for stylish pictures but also because it helps soothe them and encourages sleep.

Editing Newborn Photography

When editing a newborn photograph, my top tip is to avoid going overboard with the retouching. It can be tempting to do too much without realizing it and ultimately result in an artificial-looking image.

When editing a newborn photograph, my top tip is to avoid going overboard with the retouching. It can be tempting to do too much without realizing it and ultimately result in an artificial-looking image.

When capturing the pristine beauty of a newborn baby, it is important to toe the line between saturated and overly desaturated colors. Aim for true-to-life tones as much as possible - you don't want to overdo it! This will help ensure that your photos reflect their perfect embodiment of innocence, beauty, and joy.

When working on exposure, make sure to focus on highlights and shadows for the most natural look. Additionally, be cognizant of skin tones – it's easy to end up with an unnatural hue that leans towards orange or red if you're not careful.

Mastering the white balance is essential for stunning newborn photography. Do not alter any of the baby's natural features, such as lanugo or wrinkles--they are all a part of their unique charm and should be preserved in your photographs! Capturing these precious moments right after birth will allow you to treasure them forever.

Opting for black and white photography gives an elegant, serene aesthetic that will never go out of style. Capture timeless images with this classic technique!

Overcoming Disappointment

If you’ve seen viral videos of expectation versus reality on social media, newborn photography could be an endless source for lighthearted clips.

Don't let social media images fool you - it can take a lot of time and experience to achieve those results. So don’t be disheartened if what you produce isn’t the same level as what is captured on social media. Keep striving for excellence but remember to stay realistic!

Begin with relatively easy tasks, paying attention to the details and ensuring that focus is maintained and exposure values are accurate. In other words, start by taking basic photos, but make sure they're done correctly. You can add complexity as you grow more comfortable; take things slowly, one step at a time - soon enough, each image will be better than the last!

Now, above all else, pause to appreciate the extraordinary luck of being able to make something that outlives us. It's a rare chance you've been given, and there is no denying it--you are one fortunate individual!

I sincerely hope this guide to newborn photography serves as your key to success in capturing these precious moments. I have poured my knowledge and experience into each word of the article, so it is my wish that you find it useful! Until we meet again in our upcoming posts, I wish you much success with your lifestyle newborn photography!

Thank you for reading,



Written by

Hello! I’m Janel Kilnisan, living and breathing photography in the vibrant city of Miami. My camera is an extension of my heart, capturing life’s whimsical moments with a magical touch. My photography is a dance of wild, feminine grace, celebrating each unique story I encounter.

Want to capture your own extraordinary moments? Connect with me on my socials or book a session and let’s create memories together.