DIY Newborn Photos at Home: Tips, Props and Poses

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If you are a do-it-yourself type of mom, you are going to love this guide to newborn photos at home!

I’ll be sharing with you what I learned when I made my own newborn photoshoot. This included the props I used, the poses and setup.

Incase you were wondering, my DIY newborn photos were all taken with an iPhone 11.

I’ll also be sharing with you how to take newborn photos with an iPhone, you’ll love those tips! 

Tips on DIY Newborn Photography 

Let’s get started with some must-know newborn photography tips for beginners.

While I am not a professionally trained photographer, I do have a lot of experience photographing my family.

Any one can do it! 

Just keep these things in mind when you attempt your own at home newborn photoshoot.

When to Take Newborn Photos

One huge benefit of taking your own newborn photos at home is that time is on your side. 

While most photographers agree the best age to get newborn pics is 7 days or less, you can take days or even weeks to get yours done without any limits!

However, do note that a one week old baby is much easier to photograph because they are (mostly) always sleeping.

A sleeping baby will mean you can get those adorable poses and take your time. 

Sleeping Baby is Best

As we covered above, DIY newborn photos are best captured of a sleeping 7 day old (or less) baby.

Here are some tips on how to keep baby asleep during their photoshoot.

  • Feed baby before you begin your photo session and fill that tummy up!
  • Burp baby so they are as relaxed and as comfortable as possible.
  • Warm up the room and keep it that way so baby stays cozy and safe.
  • Swaddle baby to keep them secure and peaceful.
  • Noise machines may also be helpful in keeping your baby asleep.

Find Natural Light

Newborn baby picture placed in natural lighting

Creating good newborn photos at home DOES NOT mean you need fancy lighting equipment.

In fact, natural light is best! 

You want to find a spot in your house that is brightly lit from the sun, but not where it is beaming in. The angle of the light should gently pour onto your baby from above. 

Feel free to play around with positions to get different shadows and contrast. 

Shooting into the light will create a silhouette effect.

DIY Newborn Photography Setup

Again, creating beautiful newborn photos at home by yourself does not mean you need a professional staging studio. Nope!

As long as you have a vision and a few props (household items) lying around, you can design a picture perfect DIY set.

Newborn Photo Backdrop

You may be surprised to know that most anything can be used as a backdrop for your DIY newborn photos.  

Just remember to remove anything out of the background that could be distracting from you baby. Things like, bright colored objects or random furniture and decor.

If you need to, hang a sheet or blanket in the background to use a backdrop. Or, you can buy an inexpensive backdrop like this one I found at Amazon.

Another detail to pay attention to is the color of your backdrop. White for instance, is always classic and evokes an ethereal feel.

White also allows your baby to stand out better.

On the other hand, using the color black as a backdrop will give you a more dramatic feel.

Just remember to place baby in a contrasting swaddle or outfit to whatever backdrop you go with. You wouldn’t want to end up with the appearance of an adorable little floating head!

Newborn Photography Props

Photo on the left is a basket being used as a diy newborn photography prop and photo on the right is a newborn baby wrapped in a swaddle being held with wedding rings resting on his chest.

The next step in setting up your DIY newborn photoshoot at home is to decide on what props you would like to use.

Personally, I love the way a sweet sleeping newborn looks all tucked into a wicker basket.

Another advantage to using a basket as a prop, is that most of us already have one at home.

Stuff your basket with a pillow or two and a soft muslin blanket on top to give your newborn the ultimate cozy environment.

And if you don’t happen to have an appropriate wicker basket at home, here are a set of three at Amazon that would work perfectly! 

Swaddle blankets for newborn photos are also a must have prop. Truly, they are probably the most important prop to make sure you have on hand.

A classic white muslin swaddle blanket is always a safe way to go.

Shop this link to find a swaddle at Amazon you want to put your baby in for their first at home newborn photos!

You will also want something soft and cozy for baby to rest on during their photoshoot. 

Such as, a fluffy fur rug or carpet and plush blankets. 

Here are a few more prop ideas to use for your DIY newborn photos:

  • Headbands, hats and headdresses for babies.
  • Letter board to write your newborn’s name and birth stats.
  • Wings to turn your babe into a little cherub.
  • Crocheted clothing items.
  • Cuddly stuffed toys.
  • Your wedding rings.

I did a quick search on Etsy and they (of course) have some unique and customizable newborn photo props you’ve got to see!

Newborn Photo Poses Ideas

Safely posing your baby is an important detail to cover in this DIY newborn photos at home guide.

The newborn photography poses ideas you’re about to see are all basic and simple enough that a non-professional photographer can attempt them at home without putting baby in an uncomfortable or unsafe position.

Remember to never leave the room while baby is in a pose and always be very aware that baby’s circulation and breathing is never compromised at any time.

Without further explanation, here are some newborn photography poses for at home with some helpful tips!

Swaddled

Newborn swaddled in a muslin white blanket.

Posing your newborn wrapped in a swaddle has many benefits for both of you.

First of all, your baby will most likely stay sound asleep for as long as you keep them bundled up and warm. This means, you get to take your time getting every angle and shot you had hoped for.

However, achieving that “picture perfect” swaddle on baby can be a tough task!

Luckily, Etsy comes to the rescue!

You can actually buy a fool-proof swaddle sack in almost any color and design you can imagine. Use this link to check them out!

Below, you will find a cute little graphic on how to swaddle newborn for photos, save it to Pinterest for later!

How to swaddle newborn for photos infographic with 4 step visuals.

Womb Pose

Newborn curled up in womb pose lying on a white fluffy rug prop.

Baby will feel most comfortable in this pose, coined “womb pose” because they are placed in a similar position they just spent 9 months in!

Your little bundle will look adorable curled up like this and you can take advantage of it by focusing on any details you just can’t get enough of.

Tushy Up

Newborn baby posing with tushy up on a white blanket.

Here is a newborn pose for your DIY photoshoot that is just too cute, but so simple to achieve. Just place your sleepy babe on their tummy with their knees tucked high and capture the sweetness.

This is a pose that also works well when shooting baby naked.

On the Back

Newborn posing on the back, wrapped in a swaddle and lying asleep in a basket.

This “on the back” pose goes without much explanation. As you can see, I used this newborn pose to gently place my little guy in this basket and waited until I got a good yawn or smile.

Close Up

A DIY newborn photo of close up baby feet.

Close up shots are great because they look professional and have an editorial feel when hung in your home.

Imagine having a feature wall with close up photos of your newborn’s toes, lips and hands, so sweet!

Head on Arms

Newborn posing for photo in a basket with her head resting on her arms.

This head on arms or hands position is the last newborn pose idea I have to share with you today. As you can see, this pose is absolutely precious! 

It does require a very sleepy and comfortable baby to pull it off, but it’s a must-try!

As with any DIY newborn photo pose, please be careful of your baby’s fragile frame when placing them into more “complicated” poses such as this.

Newborn Photo Poses Cheat Sheet

newborn photo poses cheat sheet that says "free to download"

Do you want to check out some more DIY baby photography ideas?

I have you covered, see these next!

DIY Newborn Photos with iPhone

If you’re still here and ready to learn more about how to accomplish the easiest DIY newborn photos as home, you will love these iphoneography tips!

I did all of my newborn’s photos with an iPhone 11 and I love how they turned out! 

Coming up are some helpful tips I recommend using for how to take newborn pictures with an iPhone.

Use Portrait Mode

If you aren’t familiar with portrait mode on your iPhone, it essentially creates a bokeh effect. Which means, it softly blurs what you do not want in focus, this is usually the background.

I always use portrait mode when doing my own newborn photos at home.

If you have an iPhone that has this mode, you must try it during your DIY newborn photoshoot!

Experiment with Wide Angle Shots

Your iPhone 11 also has the ability to do a wide angle shot when you apply .5 setting in camera mode.

This zoomed-out effect is great for when you are taking photos in a cramped space.

Or, when you want an overhead shot without having to stand on anything.

You can do a lot with this iPhone photography tip, so don’t forget it’s an option!

As we’ve pointed out, a big advantage to DIY-ing your own newborn photography – is that you can take your time and try many different things.

As long as you baby is cooperating, you have the green light to get as creative as you want!

How to Edit DIY Newborn Photos

Before and after of a newborn photo edited with photoshop.

Once you have completed your at home newborn photoshoot, it’s time to edit! 

This is my favorite part of the process because it always amazes me the difference a little editing can do to a picture.

A good edit can take a mediocre photo and make it look stunning!

Best Apps for Editing Newborn Photos

There are a couple of apps I like to use to edit my DIY baby photos. Lightroom is one of them and it’s free!

You can even download Lightroom (the smartphone version) right on to your phone.

There are some advanced editing techniques in Lightroom. However, if the intimates you, check out these free newborn Lightroom presets.

The other editing software I have learned to love is Photoshop!

I have filmed a short newborn photo editing tutorial in photoshop for you watch below if you’re interested to learn how!

Frame and Hang

framed diy newborn picture.

If you follow all of these DIY newborn photography tips, you are sure to capture some cherished and timeless photos of your baby at home.

The hardest thing left to do is choose which photos you want to hang and frame to display in your home.

A collage wall is always a great way to showcase family photos.

You can buy simple gallery frames, like these at Amazon and stack them on a wall in your dining room or bedroom.

I hope you loved this DIY newborn photos at home guide and tutorial. 

Thanks for stopping by and don’t leave without grabbing your newborn poses cheat sheet!

P.S. If you are currently pregnant or plan to be, head over to this DIY Maternity Photos post next! Read it now!

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