10 Tips for Priceless, Professional Newborn Photography Posing

Written by Backdrop Express Photography Team on . Posted in Baby & Child Photography, Photography Props, Photography Tips

newborn posing props Newborn photography is in a league all its own; every new parent seeks it out, and the results can create family treasures that delight for generations. The key to the most stellar results is strongly based in your newborn photography posing techniques.

While newborn posing offers a realm of virtually unlimited possibilities (especially with a newborn posing beanbag and digital editing software), there are some newborn posing basics that can work for you in nearly any scenario. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to the realm of infant photography, equip yourself with these infant posing basics:

1. Safety First

Needless to say, the safety of your delicate subject is always priority number one. Posing a baby is a two-person job, with one person creating the pose and the other acting as a safety net or spotter. Whether this person is a hired assistant or one of the parents, it’s crucial that a second set of eyes (and hands) be nearby at all times when setting up an infant pose as well as while you’re shooting. An extraneous hand or arm in the shot can always be edited out later — or left in if it works in the composition.

newborn posing props

2. Newborn Posing Beanbag

Speaking of safety, a large beanbag poser is an essential piece of gear for every newborn photographer. As you work with sleeping or laying babies, this poser allows for easy movement and positioning of your tiny subject while making sure that they are safe, cushioned and comfortable.

newborn beanbag poser

3. Additional Accessory Posing Pillows

Smaller shaped posing pillows can be used to artfully prop up the baby’s head or limbs in the perfect creative ways. You can also use them to curve their body in subtle lines to achieve more attractive posing scenarios than if they were just lying flat. Always have an assortment of accessory pillows to draw from at your newborn shoots.

5. Think Simple and Compact

In most infant posing scenarios, a baby curled up in a little bundle will look better than a child stretched out. Make the most of this sleepy, pliable phase by opting for simple, compact poses. Master the art of the Curl-Up; this is accomplished by laying the baby on her back inside a doughnut poser and gently tucking in the legs and arms until all you have is a snoozing bundle. Babies are also far more likely to be pleasant and comfortable in warm, compact, snuggled poses as opposed to too-complex elongated poses.

newborn posing propsPhoto Courtesy of Simply Photography

5. Pose Uphill (Not Downhill)

Golden newborn posing rule: strive to keep the head as the highest point in the photo, even if only slightly. You can achieve this through posing positions, adjusting your camera angle, or by cropping the photo accordingly later. Padding or pillows placed under your infant poser can help to ensure this result as well. (An exception to this rule would be the classic pose where they are snuggled forward in an oval sleeping position with their behind in the air.)

6. Be Demure

Strive to keep your poses gender-neutral, with no private parts showing. Use posing placement as well as their own limbs and feet to help cover these areas. You can also make use a blanket or wrap draped creatively.

newborn posing propsPhoto Courtesy of Laurie Van Allen Photography

7. Be Selective with Props

Props in infant photography can be incredible; from newborn hats & headbands to diaper covers and wraps, there are endless posing possibilities. However, don’t go overboard with them. Find props that fit the infant in terms of size, style and theme. Props should enhance your infant posing, not take over the stage.

8. Face Tips

Every shot should show at least part of the baby’s face, so pose them accordingly. Keep their face from sinking into the poser by using one of their arms or hands to prop up a cheek. You can also use your posing accessories under a blanket to help make sure that precious face is free of blocks. (Watch your shooting angles and avoid shooting up nostrils just as you would with adults.)

newborn posing props Photo Courtesy of Allyson Carter Digital Creations

9. It’s in the Details

Make a point of showcasing their adorable little fingers and toes in a number of your poses. Remember, they’ll never be this small again! Straighten out balled fists and clenched toes. Zoom in on the details that you know the parents will want to see years from now — a wisp of hair, a toothless grin, a tiny, precious ear.

newborn posing propsPhoto Courtesy of RSI Photography

10. Refine — and Keep Clicking

When you finally create a truly heart-stopping pose, make the most of it. Photograph it from every viable angle and distance marker. After a round of photos, pause to refine; move that arm, leg or foot slightly to change the composition and make the pose even more amazing. Work efficiently, especially if the baby is fussy. You can always delete and edit later.

Lastly, bring a measure of patience to every infant photography shoot. While some babies will be absolute angels from start to finish, others will need coaxing. Connect with the parents and make the session a collaborative effort. With patience, an eye for detail and an awareness of these basic posing tips, you’ll be a master newborn photographer in no time.

What are some of YOUR favorite poses for newborn photography?

 -Backdrop Express Photography Team

Interested in learning more about newborn posing props? Shop our new line of Pillows & Beanbag Posers! Be sure to also check out our blog: Using Posing Beanbags for Newborn Photography!

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Comments (1)

  • Wendy Gilbert


    Awesome techniques!


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