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Sleepy Days and First Smiles: Newborn Photoshoot Ideas

Newborn photoshoot ideas with CEWE Photoworld
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Welcoming a new baby into your family is one of the most amazing moments in life. As parents, you’ll want to get beautiful photos of your little one early, as they have a habit of growing up too quickly! Take a look at our newborn photography tips, to help you capture stunning baby photos at home.

How to Photograph Babies: Getting the Best Shot

Sort out your lighting first…

When it comes to taking baby photos, it’s all about making sure your lighting is spot on. Lighting can be tricky to get right – if you can, try getting as much natural light in the shot as possible. Quite often, baby photos are taken low to the ground, with the model on a blanket on the floor or in a basket. If possible, try taking photos close to French windows, to take advantage of the light shining through. This is a great set-up for capturing photographs of your baby with their eyes open, as the brightness of the natural light will really bring out the colour of their eyes. Take the photograph from above with your baby looking up to really make the most of it!

newborn photoshoot tips: get natural light

Natural light is always a winner, but not always possible. If you’re using artificial lighting, make sure that it’s shining down from above, creating soft shadows around your baby’s small features.

…but make sure it’s perfect!

Setting up for a baby photoshoot at home can take time. So remember not to try to get your baby ready to pose before you’re completely finished setting up. A lot can go wrong – they could fall asleep, start crying or have a little accident! All of this could set your photoshoot back by a few hours. Make sure you’ve got the lighting and set-up just right before putting your baby in the shot. If you have to make a few tweaks you can, but chances are they’ll only be minor.

Keep things warm and cosy

It’s widely agreed by professional photographers that keeping a baby warm is crucial to a successful baby photo shoot. Ensure the whole room is warm, but it can also be incredibly helpful to warm up the spot where you’re going to lay your baby down too. A heating pad or hot water bottle both work great.

Use sound to calm your baby

If your little one starts to become agitated, the trusty “ssshhhh!” noise will help you out. Shush into their ear as you’re laying them down and posing them, to help keep them calm. If you’re taking sleeping photographs, it can be helpful to play white noise throughout your photoshoot to help keep your baby sound asleep. The easiest way to do this is through your smartphone via an app or streaming service. There are plenty to choose from and many of them are free to use.

Catch your baby’s eye

Struggling to get your baby to look exactly where you want them to? Chances are they will stare at your camera – it’s bound to look a bit strange to them! Whether you want to catch their eye or completely distract them, try holding up one of their favourite toys. Alternatively, a helium-filled balloon is usually a successful way of attracting a baby’s attention, and easy to position out of your shot in the direction you’d like the baby to look. It should draw them away from the camera, which is perfect if you want to capture them looking away, in a more natural pose.

how to photograph babies- attract their attention

Newborn Photoshoot Ideas: Poses to Capture


Try catching them off guard. A fun photo of them mid yawn will be a great reminder of their very sleepy early weeks! This is a great photo to take when you’ve got a bed or soft rug as your backdrop. Gently put your baby down or lie down next to them when they’re starting to get sleepy, and keep the camera at the ready so you don’t miss your shot! 

newborn photoshoot tips: capture the yawn!


There’s nothing more beautiful than the sight of a baby sleeping, so why not capture the moment and enjoy it for life? Plan your photoshoot around their sleeping times – just after a feed tends to be a good time. Plus, when they’re asleep, they’re far less likely to move about, making it much less difficult for you to get that picture-perfect shot.

Posed Sleeping

You may want to capture your sleeping baby curled up in a ball, rather than flat on their back. A cushion posed under a blanket is a great way to give you a soft surface to lean your baby against. When posing the baby, first make sure your hands are warm, before gently moving your baby’s arms and legs into your desired position. Then keep your hands on the baby, shushing and holding them, until you feel them relax into position. Gently move your hands away, very slowly.

tips for your baby photoshoot at home

Close-up shots

Capture your little one’s tiniest details for a photo you’ll treasure forever. Close-up shots are a wonderful way to complement the rest of your pictures in a baby photo book. For best results, use a macro lens and a tripod. This is another photo you might want to take when your baby is sleeping – because of the lens’ sensitivity, you’ll want as little movement as possible. Tiny hands and feet are top of the list, but don’t forget those chubby arm rolls and long eyelashes too!

how to take baby photos with macro lens

Welcome them to the family

Baby photos aren’t just limited to the littlest one. Get more of the family involved! Some of the most heart-warming pictures have older siblings too. Depending on their age, older children may be able to hold their baby sibling, but photos of all of them lying down work just as well. Photos can involve Mum and Dad too, to create priceless memories you’ll all treasure forever.

How to photograph babies with siblings

How to Take Baby Photos

Baby photography can be a challenge, but it’s so rewarding when you get it right. When your photoshoot is finished, what you do with those photos is up to you! Why not get your favourite photos printed onto canvas, displaying them around your home for the world to see? Too many photos to choose from? Making your own photo book is a wonderful way to preserve precious memories. It’ll also make a great gift for grandparents too.

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