top of page

The Ultimate Guide to Newborn Photography

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

Everything you need to know for your Newborn Photoshoot

Newborn Photoshoot in Bay Area
Newborn Photoshoot

Congratulations on this beautiful bundle of joy! You have waited for so long to carry that gorgeous little baby in your arms and now that they are here you are filled with awe for this tiny human being.

How can someone so small take up so much place in our hearts? It’s such a miracle, isn’t it?

You never want to forget how tiny and beautiful your little baby felt in your arms. And the best way to stop time and preserve these fleeting moments is to go for a Newborn Photo session. But what a daunting task it is, to find the right photographer and to know what exactly is Newborn Photography all about? That’s why I created this guide for you, it answers all Newborn Photography questions you might have and helps you book a Newborn Photoshoot for this tiny human.

What is Newborn Photography?

Usually when people think about Newborn Photography, they think about these tiny little babies wrapped in a gorgeous wrap, peacefully swinging from a tree branch or sleeping propped up on a bean bag. While this is true for some of the Newborn Photography sessions, there is a whole other wide range of Newborn Photography that exists and is equally(or more) favored among parents. Let me guide you through different types of Newborn Photography genre so you can make an informed decision for your photography needs.

Studio Newborn Photography

As the name suggests, Studio Newborn Photography happens at a Studio. You take your baby to the photographer’s Studio and this is where the photographer does their magic. You get to choose from various backdrops and wraps and other props but most of those are pretty standard. This type of photography is for you if you like the simplicity of studio images. You get beautiful, standard images for you and your baby against a neutral backdrop.

Newborn Photoshoot in Bay Area
Newborn Photoshoot in Bay Area

At-home Newborn Photography

These sessions take place at the comfort of your home. If you have a newborn baby in your arms right now, you know how much work it is to get your newborn and your family dressed and out of the house for a newborn photoshoot! And don’t forget, in some cases mom’s are still healing from the birth.

At-home newborn photo shoots take away the stress of preparing for the photoshoot. You stay home, where you and your baby are most comfortable with, your photographer comes home and creates beautiful and personal images of you and your baby. These images are un-posed and very personal. It includes your home, nursery and tells the story of your family at a very intimate level.

These sessions are for you if you want to capture candid, emotive, story telling images of your new family.

Outdoor Newborn Photography

The outdoor newborn photo sessions are, well, outdoors. I personally love outdoor photo sessions the most. After being cooped up inside since birth, it feels so refreshing to be out and about. And just a few hours spent in the Sun can lift up moods for everyone! The baby sleeps better in the night, you sleep better in the night and the pictures, oh my gosh the pictures are such a breath of fresh air too!

Imagine you holding your sweet baby close, drenched in the golden hue of setting sun, wind blown hair, there is nothing more poetic than that image of a new mom with her baby!

Checkout some of my Outdoor Newborn Photo sessions here.

What is posed Newborn Photography?

Imagine a baby wrapped in a lace wrap with her hands and feet sticking out placed on a basket, that's posed newborn photography for you. Usually a lot of props and backdrops are used and babies are posed into sitting positions or propped up on their hand or curled up on their stomach. The baby should be sleeping through the session, hence these sessions take place in the first 2-4 weeks of a newborn baby.

I personally do not offer or prefer posed newborn photoshoots. Partly because these poses are so unnatural and to make sure the baby sleeps through the entire session, they are sometimes overfed which causes so much trouble for the baby and her parents later in the day.

Photoshoots should create happy memories and not stressed babies.

Newborn Photoshoot in Bay Area
Newborn Photoshoot in Bay Area

What is Lifestyle Newborn Photography

This is obviously my preferred photography option and also the only one I offer. I believe babies are beautiful as they are and are happiest in their parents arms. The entire session is centered around the safety and comfort of the baby. I am yet to meet a newborn who did not need a feeding or changing break during their session.

The baby could be sleeping or awake, happy or cranky(I had two newborns, I know they get cranky sometimes), I go with the flow and create real images from your real life.

My hope is, when you look back at these beautiful images, you will be reminded of all the love you felt in your heart when you were tending to your newborn child.

When should I take my baby’s newborn photos?

Now that you know what are different types of Newborn photography, it is so much easier to answer this question.

Posed Newborn Photo sessions take place within the first 4 weeks of the baby’s birth. You need the baby to have the “newborn haze” to sleep through the session.

Lifestyle Newborn Photoshoots can take place anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks. I always tell my moms to not rush through the recovery and take all the time they need to feel better. Because these sessions do not require a baby to sleep through the session, the baby can be baby and actually participate in their sessions.

What age is too late for Newborn Photoshoot?

You will find a lot of articles on “too late for newborn photoshoot”, but I have a little different philosophy. We moms carry too much guilt around for every little thing and I sincerely hope this is not one of them! No baby, ever, is too big for a newborn photoshoot. If you missed out on the first few weeks, don’t fret and book a session now. A 3 or 4 month old is just as adorable as your newborn, they still love to snuggle in your arms and you all still look so cute together!

What time of the day is best for Newborn Photo sessions?

I am gonna answer this with the world famous “depends”

Most babies go through witching hours in the evening. But if you are one of the lucky few moms who have a trooper in her arms, by all means, book yourself an outdoor sunset newborn photoshoot. The light is so magical at Sunset, your photographs will come out soaked in love and drenched in beautiful golden light, you will thank me later!

For the rest of us who do have clingy evening babies, the best time to get the newborn photoshoot is in the afternoon.

Babies are usually ready to doze off in the afternoon after their feed and relaxing bath. You will have a beautiful session at home with your sweet baby happy and content, cradling in your arms.

So like I said, depending on the type of photo session you will chose, the Newborn Photo shoots take place either in the afternoon or at Sunset,

How long do Newborn Photo shoots last?

Typically Newborn Photoshoots last about an hour. This usually includes the meet and greet with the photographer and discussing any last minute questions or suggestions. An hour is a good enough time to get some solo pictures of the baby, give the baby a feeding break and get pictures with parents, grandparents or siblings.

For some babies, an hour might start to feel long, especially if they are nearing the end of their wake-window. But the beauty of a lifestyle session is I would photograph you soothing and rocking your baby and I promise you, that will become one of your favorite photographs for years to come!

Newborn Photoshoot in Bay Area
Newborn Photoshoot in Bay Area

What should I look for in a Newborn Photographer?

Your Newborn Photograph will capture some of the most intimate and sacred moments of your and your baby’s life. You will let them in at a very vulnerable time in your life and don’t forget, they will be handling your baby!

So choose someone you can jibe with, someone you can trust. Someone that won’t rush you around your newborn and give the baby all the time and breaks he/she needs.

Of course your photographer should be able to produce amazing pictures( you should check their portfolio to see if you like their work) but most importantly they should be able to provide you with an experience that is stress-free and catered around the comfort and safety of your baby. Check this out to see what working with me looks like.

And how will you make sure your photographer will be able to do all the above things? Well, get on a phone with them, talk to them, share your worries and concerns and excitement and see if this is the person you can let in your home.

You can tell a lot about a person within just a few minutes of talking to them.

How much does a newborn Photoshoot cost?

Long Answer: It depends!

Like everything else in life, you get what you pay for. You might be able to find a photographer as cheap as $100 and as expensive as $5k. You will see an obvious difference in the product and the experience they provide to you. For most people, newborn photoshoot is a once(at most twice) in a lifetime kind of opportunity, you would want to make the most of it and preserve your memories in the most meaningful ways.

Take your time, do your research and do not fall for “sales”. Most likely the photographer you choose now will be your Family Photographer for years to come, they will photograph your newborn child and take their graduation pictures so choose wisely.

Short Answer:

With me, you book your Newborn Photoshoot with a sitting fee of $300. The session fee includes all the post and pre consultation and the actual photoshoot. After the photoshoot preview, you get to choose from one of the collections. Check out my investment page for more info.

Can I include my older child in my newborn’s Photo session?

Yes, yes a million times YES! There is nothing more special than the sweet bond the siblings share. Their cute little heads placed together or the way the older sibling can barely hold the baby, I think these make for the memories your children will be most proud of!

And you know what's the best part? They are so excited to be a part of this new baby and the photoshoot that they almost follow all the directions given to them! So yes, please include them in the Newborn Photo session

Should parents be included in a Newborn's Photo session?

Of course! As I said before, the babies are the happiest cradled in their parents arms. So there will be a lot of holding and caressing and kissing the baby by both parents. The photoshoot will include pictures of your entire family! In a few years, your child would love to see you in the pictures with them, loving on them and just being in the moment!

Should grandparents be included in a Newborn's Photo session?

If grandparents are visiting I will always include them in the photosession. They are so excited for the baby, it's only fair to include them too. The majority of the session though, will be centered around babies, siblings and parents.

Can I include my pet in my Newborn’s Photo session?

Pets are family! Aren’t they? For a lot of parents, their pets are like their babies and I totally respect and love that notion.

Pets in Newborn Photoshoots look absolutely adorable! Of course I need to make sure to pick a park or trail which is pet friendly, but other than that, pets are always welcome!

What should parents wear for Newborn Photoshoot?

That's a million dollar question right there!

You will choose your outfits depending upon the location of your photoshoot, time of the day and season.

I share with you my complete Style Guide after booking. But here’s what you need to know in a nutshell:

  • Choose your Color Palette

  • Don’t match, Coordinate

  • Skip the logos

  • Use your style, not a pinterest board

What should a baby wear for Newborn Photoshoot?

If the previous one was a million dollar question, this is definitely a billion dollar question!

I know you have roamed aisles after aisles choosing the most adorable outfits for your baby. How do I know that? Because I did that too.

But do you know babies don’t care about looking cute one bit! All those frills and suspenders and lace look cute but are so uncomfortable.

Dress that little human in the most comfortable, breathable fabric you can find. If they are comfortable they will be happier during the photoshoot.

How do I prepare for the Newborn Photoshoot?

The best way to prepare for your Newborn Photoshoot is to talk to your photographer.

Do you have certain expectations?

Is there a particular picture/pose you are looking for?

Are you worried about the baby's feeding/napping schedule?

The lifestyle newborn photo shoots do not require the baby to be ready! We follow the baby's pace and center the photoshoot around the safety and comfort of the baby.

What are some must have props for Newborn photography?

Less is more and simple is beautiful for Newborn Photography. I do not use elaborate props for newborn photoshoots. My babies don’t swing in the trees or fly on a broomstick. As cute as those props look, they are very uncomfortable and unsafe for the baby.

Of course I would use your grandma’s quilt or your baby’s favorite toy but anything sharp or unsafe is a big no!

What to do on the day of a Newborn Photo session?

The most anticipated day is here! You have your favorite outfit, props, location and time figured out. All that planning is going to pay off now. Today, just try to relax and get some rest. Make sure to not alter your newborn’s routine(if there is any), just try to have a regular day and then get ready!

What to do after the Newborn Photoshoot?

The hard and the most fun part for you is over! It's now my turn to dive headfirst into editing and create magic out of your gorgeous pictures. So just sit back and relax. And while you are awaiting the arrival of your beautiful pictures, it would mean the world to me if you could write me a review. Your review is what gives wind to my sail!

When do I get pictures back from my Newborn Photo session?

Editing is where I get to take your pictures from Aww to OMG!

This is where I infuse my artistry with your emotions and create magic. I hand edited every single image and put my heart into the process.

It takes me about 2-3 weeks to get back all your pictures. I do share a sneak peek a few days after your photoshoot.

When your pictures are ready, I share those with you via a slideshow. At this time you get to purchase your collection and get your digital images and print credits.

Where can I print my Newborn’s Pictures?

It is so important for me that you walk away from our experience together, something tangible to hold on to.

Every collection comes with a print credit that you can use in my store to print your pictures and create family heirlooms.

What good are those memories getting dusty on the digital cloud? Life belongs in print! Isn’t it?

How do I book a Newborn Photography session?

So glad you asked! You can book your Newborn Photoshoot on my Booking Page with a sitting fee of $300. The session fee includes all the post and pre consultation and the actual photoshoot. After the photoshoot preview, you get to choose from one of the collections.

I hope I answered all your questions related to Newborn Photography, please feel to connect if you have any questions.


Hi! I am Heena.
Your very own Family Photographer!

I am a mom and to two little munchkins and just like you I am a memory keeper of mprecious little family.


This is why I created this Memory Keeper's Handbook. My hope is with this Memory Keeper's Handbook you will be able to preserve the beautiful and fleeting moments of everyday life.

I believe the most important legacy that we give our children is happy memories.



DIY your Fall Family Photoshoot

Create memories that will last a lifetime.

Get your guide today!

Thanks for submitting!


Would you like to learn more?

I send weekly tips, fun anecdotes and exclusive deals to my VIP email list

Thanks for submitting!

Maternity photography by Bay Area Family Photographer


Sunset Maternity Sessions in Bay Area



Newborn Sessions in Bay Area



Sunset Family Sessions in Bay Area

Family photography by Bay Area Family Photographer

Are you ready to create happy memories of your family?


Beautiful Stories Photography

Maternity | Newborn | Family

bottom of page