There’s nothing sweeter than photos of a newborn baby—and few moments as tender as those you capture of new parents with their little one. Whether you’re an experienced newborn photographer or just getting started, you can work with families on a newborn photoshoot to stage and snap priceless moments they’ll treasure for a lifetime.
If you’re new to baby photography, you may want to pick a handful of the newborn photography poses presented here and practice them—a lot—before moving on to additional poses over time. When it comes to newborn photography, quality is more important than quantity, so you’ll want focus on curating reliable poses that showcase the innocence and sheer cuteness of the subject.
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Newborn portraits can be some of the most tender, joyful, and simply adorable photos a family will ever have. You want to do everything you can to capture the innocence and cuteness of the baby while also doing justice to the intense love and devotion of the parents. And, of course, you’ll want to accomplish all of this while also keeping the baby’s comfort and safety in mind at all times.
Make sure you’re familiar with how to position a newborn in the poses presented here, and also make sure you have an assistant who can act as spotter to ensure the newborn baby stays safe and stable, no matter the pose.
It’s also a good idea to meet with parents ahead of the photoshoot so you can show them possible newborn photography poses and find out which ones they like and feel comfortable having their new little one photographed in.
There’s no one ideal time to for newborn photography. The first few days after a baby’s birth are stressful and hard for everyone—baby included, so sometimes photos aren’t top-of-mind.
Most photographers will recommend that a newborn baby be at least five to seven days old before coming in for a newborn session. However, if you’re going to capture the true newborn look, you probably don’t want to have babies older than a couple weeks sit for a newborn photo session.
Keep in mind that newborns sleep. A lot. This quality makes them easier to pose and generally more comfortable and content during your photo session. Many times, they’ll sleep right through it. Some photographers swear that 10 days old is the sweet spot for the best newborn photography, but it all depends on the baby and family.
Some photographers book newborn photoshoots for babies up to six weeks old. It’s up to you, based on the knowledge and expertise you develop as you practice getting the ideal newborn photos.
Pinterest is filled with all sorts of squishy and adorable newborn photography poses. Here are 13 of the most popular:
This is a fun newborn photography pose that lets you bring several different types of wraps and fabrics into the photoshoot. To snap this pose, wrap the baby snugly and carefully within a blanket or piece of fabric and place them on another blanket or piece of fabric, ideally of a different color and texture for contrast.
This pose is typically comfortable for most babies because they generally respond well to swaddling. So, you’re likely to catch some adorable, peaceful facial expressions. This pose can be as casual or formal as you and the parents would like, depending on the fabrics and wraps you choose to feature. This pose works equally well for babies who are wide awake and babies who are sleeping.
The froggy pose is one of the most popular newborn photography poses, and it’s one you should certainly try. Position the baby so that the hands are cupping the chin and the legs are out by their side. Be gentle and careful with the little one—many photographers end up executing this pose as a composite. When you get it right, you can really highlight the newborn’s precious facial features.
With the classic taco pose, also known as the womb pose, you get to highlight the newborn’s sweet little face, along with their hands and feet.
If you’re uncomfortable trying the froggy pose, this may be a more comfortable option for both you and the newborn baby.
This newborn pose perfectly captures the way many babies naturally feel comfortable while sleeping, so it’s a fairly easy pose to capture. With the baby lying on their tummy and little tushy in the air, you can highlight the baby’s sweet face and maybe even catch a few rolls of baby fat, depending on what baby is wearing.
Don’t worry about trying to position the tushy too high. This pose works in many different modifications, but the most important thing is for the baby to be comfortable. Try shooting this pose from different angles to see what offers the best effect.
A side pose is always a cute option. With baby lying on their side, tuck the hands underneath the chin. The hands can be clasped together or loose, depending on your preference. You may try it both ways to see what turns out better.
You’ll probably find that this newborn pose only works with sleeping babies. It’s pretty tough to get a wide-awake baby to stop wiggling around in this pose. If baby is wide awake, try a few other poses (like the wrapped pose) to see if you can get baby comfortable enough to fall asleep, and then attempt side and tummy poses.
This pose generally turns out best when combined with some sort of prop so you can elevate the head and hands. With their little hands tucked under their chins, newborns are at their cutest, and this pose allows you to capture the baby’s full face.
As always, newborn safety comes first, so make sure that any prop you’re using is sturdy and stable. It also helps to have an assistant who can reach out and grab the baby if they start to wobble.
Keep in mind that chin in hands is a fairly challenging pose, and you may encounter some babies it just won’t work with. That’s OK! Simply move on to a different pose that works better.
The Huck Finn pose is an adorable one. You’ll need to lie the baby on their back, ideally propped up a bit. Make sure the legs are crossed in front of the newborn, with one hand at the baby’s side and the other crossed over the chest.
This pose is a fairly simple one, but it is oh so cute! With baby lying on their back under a blanket, position the arms over the top of the blanket so that the sleeping newborn looks comfy, cozy, and all tucked in. This is another fun pose that lets you add in props, like snuggly lambs, teddy bears, or other sentimental family items.
Babies are simply adorable when you place them in props. Depending on how whimsical you want to get, you can use props to create an elaborate scene as part of your newborn photoshoot. Or you can simply wrap the new baby and use a basket or nest.
When it comes to props, the choices are nearly endless—‚wagons, wreaths, bowls, crates, sleighs, and countless other baby photography props offer visual interest and can be thematically arranged.
You’ll go a long way toward creating lasting family memories by getting shots of the parents with their newborns. One great option is to have parents and baby lying down together, or have one parent hold the baby while the other wraps them both in a hug.
Some parents are less comfortable appearing in photos and want to focus on the newborn, which is entirely understandable. In these cases, you may be able to include the parents without showing their faces. One popular option is to feature both parents holding the newborn in between their hands. One parent can hold the baby’s head and shoulders, while the other holds their feet and bottom. With this shot, you’ll get a full body shot of the newborn while also including the loving hands of the parents.
If parents are willing to be more involved in the baby photo, you can do some sweet close-up shots of parents holding the new baby and gazing lovingly down at them. Kissing the little one also makes for a tender moment.
Some of the sweetest and most heartfelt family photo poses you can capture with a newborn is interaction with older siblings. There are many ways to shoot this—a few popular poses include the newborn lying on a blanket with an older sibling looking down on them, the older sibling and the newborn lying side by side, or even the older sibling holding the newborn in their lap.
Experiment with several different options and looks. Just make sure that the baby is always in a safe and stable position, with an adult nearby just in case.
Part of what we love about babies are the teeny, tiny details, so be sure to capture them in closeup shots.
The tiny feet. The perfect skin. The little fingernails. The delicate eyelashes and eyebrows. The perfect little lips. A good way to show perspective here is to show baby details compared to parent details—show a parent holding the baby’s hand or cupping the baby’s little feet to emphasize how tiny the baby truly is.
In most newborn photography poses, babies are asleep—which is adorable, but certainly not the only option. If the newborn is awake for part of your newborn photography session, another effective option is simply to snap photos of the baby from various angles that capture their natural facial expressions. You may be surprised at some of the precocious and adorable looks you end up with!
Newborn photos can be some of the most delightful snapshots you’ll ever take. Capturing pictures of a family as they welcome their precious new member creates memories they will treasure for a lifetime.
No matter your experience level with photographing newborns, the baby poses recommended in this article will give you a great start when it comes to newborn photography that creates precious and priceless memories. And when you reach the photo editing stage, make sure to download the Sleeklens Newborn Lightroom Presets, which can help you achieve the soft, warm look you’re going for.