The short answer for how I pose newborns during a photo session is: I don’t.
As a Documentary-style Newborn & Family Photographer, I find that:
… lead to getting great photos. Trust that things will progress and change throughout the session and you will end up with a nice variety of newborn photography poses without forcing them.
Having said that… I always go into a session with a rough shot list in mind, while still leaving room for spontaneity and fun surprises.
The most important thing I tell my parents is: be prepared to roll with the punches. Keeping the baby happy throughout our photo session will undoubtedly lead to the best results. This is why I never force a certain pose/situation if the baby isn’t having it.
I know you’ve probably been thinking about holding your baby and capturing those first moments together for a VERY long time. You may even have specific images in mind. But in my experience, it’s best to focus on staying present and connecting with your baby and partner during your session, and the photos will take care of themselves.
Check out my Newborn Sessions page to find out more!
There is no wrong age for newborn photos. The decision will vary from person to person. But here are some things to consider:
During my at-home Newborn Photo Sessions, the baby will typically be in one of three locations:
I don’t use props or any accessories. I do not move or position your baby. But I will give you suggestions about how to move along the session and make sure each parent and sibling have their own moment with the baby.
To me, the most powerful images of your family will be the ones that capture moments of real love and connection. Those are the images that will elicit all the memories and emotions when you look back at them in 10 years.
A happy and comfortable baby will make things run smoothly. Personally, I suggest specific images based on the newborn’s needs.
If the baby needs to feed, let’s take breastfeeding/bottle feeding photos! If the baby needs to sleep, let’s take cuddly photos of them in your arms or swaddled in their crib! If the baby needs a diaper change, let’s take a quick moment to get some down-to-the-diaper shots!
Again, this will all be based on the newborn’s needs. They don’t have many at this stage, so their cycle will probably look like this:
Then rinse and repeat! Each stage presents opportunities for different photos.
For information on What to Wear during your Newborn Photo Session, check on this blog post the subject!
To reiterate what I mentioned above, I don’t actually pose babies, in the sense that I don’t reposition them or use props or accessories to photograph them.
I believe that capturing natural moments with very little direction leads to the most memorable photos in the long run. It creates context for your images – what did your home look like, how did you and your partner like to hold your baby, how did you interact with each other…? Those details are going to attach memories and emotions to your photos.
In terms of structuring a newborn photo session, I like to ensure we end up with a variety of images that represents your family and highlights all the ways in which you connect with each other.
Here is the shot list I have in mind when I walk into a Newborn Photo Session:
Reach out to me through my website and sign up for a free, no-commitment, 10-minute call to see if we’d be a good fit!
©marjorie cohen photography | los angeles photographer