Newborn Photography: Safety, Tips, and What to Expect

When you are a new parent, choosing to hire a newborn photographer to capture your tiny little bundle of joy is essential; however, It can seem daunting. You may have questions about whether it's safe, you may fear the baby won't sleep through the session, you may feel a little stressed out from lack of sleep and don't want to invite someone into your home, which seems to have already filled up with dirty onesies.


Safety during newborn portraits is my number one focus. It is essential for parents to know a little bit about how each image is created so that the session goes smoothly and without any worry. A composite is two images taken and combined in Photoshop to make a final image. This is better explained in the example below. As you can see, Dad always has a hand on the baby to insure that she is stable and safe. A third and fourth shot were used for her legs and her feet and they were all composited together to create the final image.

You have probably seen images of newborn babies sitting with their heads propped up on their hands in a cute little pose, but in reality that was created by taking two images of mom actually holding the baby's head up and combining them together to eliminate her hands. This is done because your new baby doesn't really have the muscles to stay in a position like that. Composites and Photoshop are used frequently in newborn photography to allow for a very safe newborn photography session.


Your newborn should be comfortable at all times, and if they aren't, then they will let you know. I have a number of things I use for the comfort of the baby, which allows them to fall into a deep sleep. I like to use a heating pad on light heat with a donut pillow over it so the baby won't roll. I always bring a space heater to newborn sessions as well. They seem to like the warm air and soothing white noise sound. The rule is, if you're not sweating lightly, then it's not warm enough for baby.


Patience is a huge factor in newborn photography. here are a few tips to get your baby in a deep sleep before his/her newborn portraits.

  • Make sure the newborn portraits are scheduled within 12 days of birth. Your baby will sleep the deepest during this time.
  • Babies are more malleable in the morning hours for some reason. Try to schedule your shoot for the morning.
  • Feed baby in his/her diaper only and wrapped in a blanket 15 minutes before the photo session. Feed until the baby is sleeping.
  • Turn on nature or white noises to eliminate startling noises.
  • Get up and walk around with baby. If the baby wakes up, try to feed again.

Sometimes the baby just won't have it and won't stop fussing even after you pull out all the tricks in the book. This will happen occasionally and it's no one's fault. Everyone has a bad day and it can't be helped. It's best to reschedule for the next day..don't worry there is absolutely no charge for rescheduling and no judgement whatsoever.