Newborn Family Photography Ideas

Discover newborn family photography ideas and more!

newborn-photography-ideas-parents hands

Congratulations on the arrival of your precious little one! Your baby has finally entered the world, filling your heart with boundless joy and love. Now, as you embark on this incredible journey of parenthood, it’s only natural that you want to capture every precious moment and create timeless memories. What better way to start than with your baby’s first photoshoot?

When it comes to newborn photography, the possibilities are endless. It’s an opportunity to let your creativity soar and freeze those fleeting moments in time. In this article, we will delve into a world of inspiration and provide you with an array of newborn photography ideas and invaluable tips that will transform your baby’s first photoshoot into an unforgettable experience. 

What’s your newborn photography style?

natural newborn photos

Newborn photography is a vast realm, encompassing a wide range of styles and approaches. There’s a rich variety from the meticulously posed compositions reminiscent of Anne Geddes to the candid and authentic captures of documentary birth photography. Understanding the type of photos that resonate with you will refine your vision and guide you toward the perfect style that reflects your preferences and brings your baby’s essence to life. 

What are the different types of Newborn photography?

Highly-posed newborn photography

There are diverse possibilities within this style, including photos of babies swaddled in blankets with flowers in their hair or peacefully snuggled with hands under their chins. However, these charming pictures often involve complex posing, and at times, multiple images are digitally combined to achieve specific results, which while adorable, aren’t always natural.

How are those poses achieved? 

Did you know that babies are really flexible during their first few weeks of life? They tend to sleep for more than 20 hours and are used to being curled up like they were in the womb. To help position them for cute photos, photographers use swaddles, posing pillows, and sometimes even enlist the help of parents.

newborn-photography-ideas-with pompass grassIf you prefer highly posed newborn photos, schedule your session within the first 7-10 days of birth. However, keep in mind that parents may still be recovering both physically and emotionally. Due to the significant hormonal shifts that occur during the first few weeks after birth, many mothers prefer to wait until closer to 10-14 days to schedule their session.

Natural Newborn Photos

natural newborn photosAlthough swaddles and pillows may be used in this style, it’s done so sparingly. Natural newborn photos are a little more “lifestyle” oriented, meaning the baby isn’t staged in a way they wouldn’t be in real life. Often, photographers focus more on creating clean, airy photos that use crops to create artistic compositions and incorporate parents and siblings into the pictures.

Documentary-style newborn photos

Some parents choose documentary-style newborn photography to capture raw emotions and authenticity, with photos taken during or after labor immortalizing the baby’s first breaths of life. This intimate style showcases newborns adorned with fluids from the birth canal or nursing peacefully at their mother’s breasts.

Like Goldilocks, you can find a style in the middle. 

newborn-photography-ideas-parents laughingI absolutely love combining my background in photojournalism and my passion for art and design to create a unique style. When it comes to taking newborn photos, I like to add textures such as tulle and dimension with soft-dried flowers. But what really makes a great photo is capturing those raw emotions in the moment – like the tender touch of a father or the sweet kiss of a mother.

What are some examples of newborn photo ideas to consider?

Below I’ve created a list of different newborn photography ideas broken down into categories:

Below, I’ve created a list of different newborn photography ideas broken down into categories:

Just Baby Photos:

  • Baby swaddled: closeup, overall, on baby’s side, other colored swaddles, hands out, arms out, swaddle in the background, feet out
  • Baby in something: baby in a basket, baby in a bucket, baby in parents’ hands, baby in a posing pillow
  • Fresh-48: Within the first 48 hours of delivery, the baby is just out of the womb 

Baby with Family Photos:

  • Mom with baby: Start with mom holding the baby in arms, mom gazing at baby in her lap, mom on knees having baby, mom gazing at the baby on the bed, mom holding baby against her face, mom kissing the baby, mom in the window with baby, mom in rocking chair with baby, mom laying baby down in the crib, mom holding baby’s hands 
  • Dad with baby: Then move to dad holding the baby in arms, dad looking at the baby in hands, dad holding the baby like a football, dad holding baby with one hand with the baby on their belly, dad’s hands and baby’s head, dad on the edge of the bed with the baby in arms

Baby and sibling(s): Sibling holding baby propped up against pillows or couch cushion, baby and sibling lying down together on bed or floor, baby and sibling’s heads side-by-side, but opposite, sibling gazing down at baby swaddled on the bed, sibling kissing the baby, siblings all laying together with baby

newborn-photography-ideas-sisters laying down togeter

  • Sibling holding baby propped up against pillows or couch cushion, baby and sibling lying down together on bed or floor, baby and sibling heads side-by-side, but opposite, sibling gazing down at baby swaddled on the bed, sibling kissing the baby, siblings all laying together with baby

Family with baby:

  • Family snuggled on bed or couch together, mom or dad holding the baby looking at the camera, Family snuggled on bed or couch together looking at the baby, Family snuggled on bed or couch together, everyone tickling or kissing each other, family backlit standing against the window holding the baby, family silhouetted against the window, holding the baby

Outside with baby:


  • Mom in white with newborn holding the baby in a beautiful, natural setting, mom nursing the baby in nature, baby in a basket in nature, baby and mom dancing together, siblings holding the baby in a natural setting, parents hugging each other while holding the baby

Details of baby

  • Close-up pictures of babies hands, feet, mouth, ears, swirls of hair, parent and babies fingers, baby rolls, eyelashes

This list provides a wellspring of inspiration for your newborn photography session. If you have any questions about newborn photography or want to book a session, please email me at or call 402-304-4057. 

Check out the below bonus examples and other things to consider for a newborn session!

Newborn pose examples:


  • In nature park.


  • Tight shots of hands and feet.

newborn-photography-ideas-hands and babies head

  • The Dad holding the baby’s head in his hands.

newborn-photography-ideas-dad and girls

  • How about Dad holding both daughters at the same time?

newborn-photography-ideas-dad kissing baby

  • Dad kisses baby on the head.


  • Mom holding the baby and kissing another daughter in Dad’s arms.


  • Tight photo of baby’s profile.


  • Sisters laying next to each other on the bed.
  • newborn-photography-ideasBaby smiling in mom’s arms.


  • Dad snuggles the baby in his arms.

newborn-photography-ideas-baby in bowl

  • The baby laying in a blanket in a bowl.

newborn-photography-ideas-mom kissing baby

  • Mom kisses the baby in Dad’s arms.

newborn-photography-ideas-baby sucking hand

  • Baby suckling hand.

newborn-photography-ideas-baby smiling

  • Dad kisses mom while she gazes onward at the baby.

newborn-photography-ideas-holding feet

  • Dad’s hands and baby’s feet.

newborn-photography-ideas-dad smiling at baby

  • Dad laughs, smiling at the baby.

newborn-photography-ideas-mom kissing baby

  • Mom cuddles the baby and kisses its head.


  • Parents laughing while holding the baby.

newborn-photography-ideas-head swirl

  • Baby’s head swirls.


  • Macro photos of hands and mouth.

newborn-photography-ideas-baby on side

  • Black and white of baby on the side.

newborn-photography-ideas-baby yawning

  • New baby yawning.

newborn family photography ideas

  • Newborn in white on the dark wood floor.

newborn-photography-ideas-baby swaddled

  • Swaddled baby on its back.

newborn-photography-ideas-big sister holding little sister

  • Big sister holding little sister while laughing at parents.

newborn-photography-ideas-dad gazing at baby

  • Dad smiling at the baby.

newborn-photography-ideas-open mouth and hands

  • Baby with mouth open and fingers on the face.

newborn-photography-ideas-mom nursing


newborn-photography-ideas-baby in outfit

  • The baby yawning in Dad’s hands.

newborn-photography-ideas-baby fit

  • Baby’s feet.

  • Overhead photo of the baby.


  • Mom and baby in warm tones.

newborn family photography ideas family together

  • Family playing with a newborn on the bed.

newborn family photography ideas


  • Baby swaddled in pink with pampas grass.

newborn family photography ideas details of mouth

  • Macro photo of baby’s mouth.
  • Baby with both parents’ hands.


  • Parents in the nursery with baby.

newborn family photography ideas-on couch

  • Parents on the couch with the baby.

newborn-photography-ideas-dog on bed forgotten

  • Dog on the bed is in the foreground with parents holding the baby in the background.

newborn family photography ideas

  • Baby tucked under mom’s chin.

2. newborn prop ideas

Swaddles, headbands, gloves, onesies, pillows, building blocks, flowers, and grasses.

3. DIY newborn photography

DIY Newborn Photography: How to Take Newborn Photos at Home

DIY Newborn Photography: How to take newborn photos at home

Hey new mommas, it’s hard to understate how much I wish I could be there in person to capture your little ones’ first days. I wish I could wave a wand and make this time be a thing of the past. But since I can’t be, I wanted to offer a DIY newborn photography lesson on how to take your newborn photos at home with your cell phone.

Steps on how to take newborn photos at home

  1. Find a window.  Almost any will do, but a larger window, facing north will offer a nice diffused light. It’s also nice to choose a window where there is an opposite wall nearby that can bounce the window light around, further softening the shadows in your newborn’s picture. (note, I did not have a second wall to bounce, but I will address this below).diy-newborn-photos-_0001
  2. Supplies needed: A couch cushion or something similar. A white sheet. A nursing pillow (a.k.a. boppy) or soft-ish pillow, up to four chairs.
  3. Set up your background.  If you are setting up on the floor, grab a couch cushion for a soft, but supportive surface, which you can also easily rotate. Lay your “background” so that the window is positioned to the side of your baby’s head.  Next, set your nursing pillow.  I like the full boppy lounger, which offers the most support for the baby’s body. I only had this one, so I adapted it for support with a rolled-up towel. If you don’t have a boppy, a pillow will do in a pinch, you’ll just have to be on heightened alert to make sure there’s no rolling.  diy-newborn-photos-_0006
  4. Cover your “staging area.” You may need to first cover your pillow or boppy with a white towel if your sheet is thin like mine. Then cover that with your sheet.  I prefer white because it will reflect light back onto your little baby, softening shadows for that dreamy effect. 
  5. Create a clean background. If you want to create a very clean background, set up the backs of the chairs facing toward your support, then drape your sheet over the chairs. Bonus, if you have older kids at home, the setup of chairs and blanket is a great activity for them since it’s much like building a fort.
  6. Position your baby. Keep this simple! I know those posed pictures with a baby resting their head on their arms are sweet, but it takes some skill and your little one might lose it before you get them molded into position. When you’re already stressed from “these times,” this is a straight ticket to complete meltdown. Instead, go with the classic side or tummy sleeper. If you’re still having trouble, swaddle them up, which is very calming for most babies and makes them easier to manage for
  7. The position. Lay the baby so that the window is directly to the side of their head, but slightly forward. This is called “feather” the light. This effect creates dimension to your little ones’
  8. Next, if you have portrait mode, use it. If not, don’t fret. Just come close enough to your baby so there’s not a lot of distracting things in your background. A good photography rule of thumb is holding your lens just above the baby’s eye level, which is a flattering angle.
  9. Rotating is key. Once you’ve nailed one newbie photo, keep rotating your little one or rotating around them, for as long as they last. Don’t forget to look for little details like their toes, hands, shoulder dimples, and tushes. Also, you might not appreciate it now, but it can be fun to have the “outtakes” like yawns or cries Mode
    diy-newborn-photosPortrait Mode
  10. Make your images pop with filters. I love Lightroom Mobile because it gives me the most editing power. I can adjust brightness, color tones, blur backgrounds, and even do minor retouching. Before

diy-newborn-photos diy-newborn-photos

Good luck!  Direct message (D/M) me if you need any other newborn photo tips and tricks.  Also, check out my Instagram account for the original post and leave a comment sharing your own experience with DIY newborn photos. 


Also, if there are any other tutorials you’re interested in reading or seeing, let me know below. I’ll give this whole IG/TV a shot. Now’s the time, right?


Want to see more from the blog? Check out these posts below:

Interested in scheduling a baby or family session when social distancing loosens up? Contact me today here, call 402-304-4057 or email I’d love to hear from you!


Smash Cake Photos

Smash cake photos for Norah’s First birthday!

To honor little Norah turning one, her parents planned an afternoon of delight. Gold balloons, party favors, and smash cake photos. Was I jealous?   Uh, yeah, a little bit.

Do you have a little one with a milestone coming up? Contact me today to book a family photo shoot or check out more pictures here and here.








Wanna see more? Visit my family portfolio page or click the links below for other sessions.  Interested in scheduling your own session?  Drop me a line at my contact page.  Learn more about pricing here.

Happy Birthday Michael!

Michael Jr.’s One Year Photos

A year ago, dear friends Kimi and Michael Ponzio welcomed home their first son, Michael Jr.  This August, they not only celebrate his 12 months of life, but also their new son or daughter, who is now 12 weeks.

Michael Jr. charmed the socks off me.  I can only imagine how wonderful their newest addition will be. Please come soon, February. Congrats Kimi and Mike!
one year photos

one year photosone year photos


Gentle Newborn Photography Session // Sweet Madison

When Andreea was still pregnant, I had the chance to take some pictures of her adorable bump and can’t-stop-smiling face.  It was a joy to capture this experience for Drea. I hope she’ll be able to look back at the pictures in 10, 20, and 30 years at what was to come.

Less than a month ago, Madison was born. A perfect little girl with a rosy mouth and her mother’s delicate features. Andreea and her darling husband Joe came by the studio for her newborn photo session. She was a delight to meet and I couldn’t get enough of her cuteness!









Fall Family Pictures at Winnemac Park

Chicago family photos at Winnemac Park 

Fall is the perfect time of year for family pictures.  The cool, dry weather makes the fall colors even more vibrant!  If you’re thinking of a holiday card, this is a great time to come in to capture timeless keepsakes of your family. Before the shoot, I like to chat a bit on the phone to brainstorm ideas and go over details for the shoot. I love location scouting, so whether you’d like an urban or nature setting, we’ll find just the place for you!


winnemac-park-photos-dad and son



winnemac-park-photos-boy in overalls



winnemac-park-photos winnemac-park-photos winnemac-park-photos-brothers winnemac-park-photos-family walking winnemac-park-photos-family playing winnemac-park-photos-playful winnemac-park-photos-boys running winnemac-park-photos-boy laughing winnemac-park-photos-dad with son

Literary inspired newborn photo session with baby Derby

Looking for inspiration for newborn photo ideas?  Look no further than this literary themed newborn photo shoot! Derby is the newborn son of friends and past clients, Jaclin and Danny. Jaclin is one of the biggest book lovers I know (her wedding was at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago). It’s only fitting that she introduce Derby to books early. He’ll start with Goodnight Moon and before they know it, be on to Jaclin’s very favorite, The Great Gatsby.









Charlie and Reed

If only teleporters existed in real life, instead of only in science fiction films and books. If they did, I’d be one of the first to invest in their magical power so I could visit these two little ones as often as possible.

Last month my sister gave birth to her second child, Charlotte Thompson, named for our late mother. I was lucky enough to have a wedding booked back in Nebraska the same week Charlotte, aka “Charlie,” was born.  What perfect timing!  I stayed in town after the wedding to get some quality time in with the family.  Of course, I couldn’t keep my camera down.  There’s no way I could resist my nephew Reed’s big blue eyes, or Charlie’s perfect button nose. I can’t wait to see them again this weekend!