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  • Writer's pictureErin Nagy

Take Better Photographs of Your New Baby is 5 Easy Steps: Newborn Photographer in Guilderland, NY

Updated: Sep 9, 2021

Everyone wants gorgeous portraits of their family. Sometimes it's not as easy as hiring a photographer and scheduling a photo session. Maybe you're saving up and don't want to spend $600+ on photos. Maybe you have older children and you don't want to deal with the hassle of getting everyone ready for a photoshoot. Maybe you're nervous with the recent Covid spike and prefer to wait on taking photos with someone outside of "your circle". Or maybe baby spent some time in the NICU and isn't ready to meet people other than the family yet. There are a million reasons why you might not book a photographer for your newborn's first photoshoot. But there's no reason why YOU shouldn't be able to take great photos of your baby that you'll love to look back at 5, 10, or even 50 years from now!

Step 1:

Look for the Light

What's the #1 thing I've learned over the past 7 years as a a professional photographer? Lighting is EVERYTHING!

Do you want to highlight your baby's features while creating soft and beautiful shadows? Look for the largest window in your home. Bonus points if the sun comes through and you have sheer curtains to block some of that harsh sun! Next, set up your photo spot in a safe area within 4 feet of the window. You want baby to be perpendicular to the window, so one side of the face is lit up and the other is in a slight shadow.

Step 2:

Keep it Simple

There's no need to look on Amazon for posers or knitted hats - less is more! As your baby grows, you'll want to look back at photos of your sweet baby's little face, not photos of stuffed animals and clothes that are two sizes too big with baby as an accessory to his/her closet. Aim for clothing options like a simple one piece with little to no designs that bring all the attention straight to baby!

Step 3:

Babies Like it HOT!

"Baby is fully fed and burped and should be ready to sleep. But instead I have a wide-awake newborn who's screaming their head off. What gives?!"

Babies love to feel warm and secure. If you can’t get your little gal/guy to relax, try bumping up the thermostat or wrapping them up in a tight swaddle! Chances are good that baby will settle down in no time. Wondering if baby is TOO HOT? Feel the back of their neck. If it's sweaty or feels hot, pull that swaddle off!

Step 4:

Angles are Everything

  • Photograph baby from slightly above his/her head

  • If you see up baby's nostrils, you're taking the photo from too low of an angle

  • Try to photograph from at least 4 different angles with every pose. You never know when baby will be done for the day and sick of their photoshoot!

Step 5:

Don't Forget About the Teeny Features!

By around 5 months, your baby will DOUBLE their birth weight. You'll want to remember just how small they really were when you first got to hold them. You'll want to screenshot these moments in more than just memories - don't forget to photograph those fingers and toes, teeny lips and eyelashes, flakey skin and rosey cheeks. These features will only grow bigger and bigger over time!

What You'll Need:

  • Sound Machine: Calms baby during the photo session - you can also use your phone, but keep its distance from baby when photographing.

  • Bottle (or the boob!): Emergency baby soother.

  • Blankets: For backgrounds, comfort, and texture!

  • Wash Cloths / Small Towels: For posing baby. I like to use a small wash cloth rolled up under baby's neck to help support the head and angle the face up towards the ceiling.

  • Simple Outfit: For styling baby!


  • Hot Water Bottle: See "Babies Like it Hot!" above. Use the hot water bottle under a few layers of blankets so it's not too hot for baby's delicate skin.

  • Basket / Bowl: For placing baby inside. Use wider and shorter baskets to ensure stability. Always utilize another person to spot baby when posing in a prop baby wouldn't normally be put in. *Don't forget the wash cloth tip! Roll up a small towel and place behind baby's neck for head support and to angle the face up towards the ceiling.

  • Swaddles: For wrapping baby, covering the diaper, and for extra texture in the background. If you don’t have a swaddle you love, try out a scarf!

Additional Tips

  • DO NOT leave baby unattended while in any props.

  • Don't attempt any poses you are not comfortable with. Many newborn photos you see online are "composite images", meaning the picture consists of multiple photographs fused together to make it appear as though the image was taken in one shot. Please leave those tricky poses to the professionals!

  • If you're not sure - don't do it. It isn't time to learn an entire new profession in 2 weeks! Keep it simple and focus on baby, not the posing!

  • Are you dying for those adorable awake photos? Take out your camera in the morning once baby wakes up! Would you prefer those peaceful sleepy photos? Start snapping the pictures after baby's morning feeding instead.

  • Not sure if you're ready to take your own baby's photos? Are you local to Guilderland, NY? Book a session with Erin Nagy Photography LLC and let her do that work instead!

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