DIY Newborn Photography Tips

I just love the newborn stage! They are so snugly and sleepy. We've definitely enjoyed this time with Bennett. It's typically around 4-6 weeks when they really start 'waking up' and become more aware of their surroundings. It's definitely key to get good photos of newborns in the first few weeks of life or else it can start to be a bit more tricky when they get a bit older. 

Let me start by saying, I am NOT a professional photographer by any means. I had taken a few photos of Camden on my Nikon dslr camera when he was a newborn, but wished that I could have gotten more. I didn't want to fork out extra money for professional newborn photos (and we had already paid for photos taken in the hospital) so that was the main reason I wanted to take them myself.

This time around, I decided to invest in an extra lens and watched a few YouTube tutorials on newborn photography, shooting in manual and editing photos in Adobe Lightroom. After a few practice rounds with my new lens and editing skills, I was ready and excited to take photos of baby Bennett!

Here are my tips for taking newborn photos yourself:

1. Use a DSLR camera and a 50 mm lens. First, if you're hoping to get great, quality photos of your newborn on your iPhone or point and shoot camera you will be very disappointed. I have had my Nikon camera for a few years and was fairly comfortable using it to take photos. I recently purchased this 50 mm lens from a friend and am so glad I did! This lens is a total game changer and really takes your photos to the next level. It helps with those close up details and gives photos that blurry background that makes them look so professional.

2. Know how to shoot in manual and edit photos. If you know how to shoot in manual and you have the correct lighting, you may not even need to do much editing. I found this YouTube channel to be very helpful when it came to learning how to shoot in manual. There are 3 main aspects of shooting in manual that you need to understand which are: ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed. Once you have these mastered, you will be able to take great photos!

When it comes to editing, I have use Adobe Lightroom (I pay the monthly package which is $9.99/mo). The best way to get that 'newborn' glow and creaminess to the photos is to bump up the exposure and bump down the contrast and clarity a bit. I didn't go in and remove any of Bennett's flaky or blotchy skin. In my opinion, I don't like to edit a baby too much. They are perfect the way they are, flaky skin and all! But, if you wanted to go more in depth with the editing and filters there are actual presets you can buy online like this one for example. 

I also use the app Afterlight on my iPhone to edit photos from my FlashAir SD memory card. This memory card is linked to wifi, so I can download photos from my Nikon camera directly to my phone wirelessly. It is a great investment and really comes in handy!

3. Set Up and Lighting. You want to make sure you are taking photos in the best possible light in your home. This will most likely be near a big open window in the middle of the day when the sunlight is at it's maximum. You do not want to turn on any lamps or overhead lighting because this will cause the photos to have a yellow tint and will not look natural.

Decide what type of props you want to involve in the photos. For the top photo in this post I set up a Boppy Lounger pillow underneath a fuzzy blanket and positioned Bennett on top of it with his personalized beanie. For the other photos in this post I simply had him on our bed with a blanket and thought it was an optimal time to snap some detail shots while the lighting was optimal. Sometimes the most natural, unplanned shots are the best!

4. Last, but not least... Be Prepared! Newborns can be a bit unpredictable at times... And by that I mean, their digestive systems can be unpredictable! Just check out these newborn photo shoots gone wrong! It's definitely important to be prepared for the worst. Have wipes, diapers, stain remover, etc on hand just in case. I will have you know right after I took that angelic photo at the top of this post, Bennett immediately pooped all over that white fuzzy blanket! Ha!

Those are my tips for taking your own newborn photos! Of course, if they don't end up they way you like you can always hire a professional. However, it is so much more convenient (and cost effective) to take them yourself if you have the time, equipment and energy! :)


  1. great tips and these are BEAUTIFUL photos!! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

  2. This is so inspiring! I love the post:)

  3. I'm so impressed that you took these yourself, they're amazing! The last one is my favorite :)


I love hearing your thoughts! It makes my day!