A Comprehensive Guide To Newborn Photography


Parenthood is a challenging and complex, yet always memorable journey. It begins long before you bring home your bundle of joy, and continues even after your little ones mature into adults. Full of unforgettable milestones, it’s not surprising that new parents are always eager to preserve every precious memory of their children growing up.

One of the best ways to forever capture the fleeting interval of early parenthood is through newborn photography. Babies only stay in the newborn phase for a few weeks, and very quickly grow and change during this time. Having professional photos taken of your newborn allows parents to document the amazing moment their journey into parenthood officially begins.


What Is Newborn Photography?

Taking photos of infants under two weeks old requires a special set of skills. Unlike other photoshoots, newborn photography in Singapore is very much focused on the safety of the subject, and capturing those adorable poses unique to newborns. To achieve this, newborn photographers undergo specialised training to learn how to handle infants and carefully manoeuvre them into the right positions.

While safety is the main priority during a newborn baby photoshoot, comfort is another important aspect. There is only a short window for newborns to be photographed and it needs to take place when the baby is between five and fourteen days old.

During this time, newborns are sleeping for most of the day and it is easier to move them from pose to pose without causing too much discomfort. Working with an experienced newborn photographer within this window will get you the best photos and ensure that your baby is safe and comfy for the whole session.

Once the two or three week mark has been hit, newborns are generally more alert and spend more time awake. This can make the photoshoot more challenging, but not impossible. There are many instances of newborns older than three weeks being photographed, but doing it within the first two weeks is still the recommended timeline.

Ultimately, newborn photography is all about capturing those stunning pictures of a baby fresh from the womb, and scheduling the photoshoot as early as possible is always good.

Learn More: What to Pack the Hospital Bag for Your Newborn Baby


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Why Should You Consider Newborn Photography?

Anyone who has had children will recall how quickly their physical appearance changes. Within months, your baby will look very different. Just a few years after that, they become unrecognisable as full-fledged toddlers. Newborn photoshoots are a great way of giving you a tangible memory of your baby, and allows you to look back and remember just how small, fragile, and helpless they once were.

As your child grows and matures, these photographs serve as a reminder of how far you’ve come as a family. They provide an opportunity to reminisce with your child when they’re older and strengthen the bond between you and your family.

Photos of your newborn are also a fantastic way to announce the arrival of a new addition to the family. The birth of a new child is a joyous occasion and should be shared with everyone within your circle. Professionally taken pictures of your newborn can be the centrepiece of the celebrations as your family and friends welcome your new child.

Finally, just like diamonds, newborn photographs last forever. They are a meaningful lifetime investment which will bring much joy and happiness anytime you look at them. Even as your children grow older and eventually find their own families, the pictures you have of them as newborns will remain the same.


Professional vs D.I.Y Shoot

Once you have decided on having a newborn photoshoot, the next step is to decide between hiring a photographer and doing it yourself. There are pros and cons to both, and ultimately the decision lies with the parents.


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Opting For A Professional Newborn Photographer

The days after giving birth are difficult for the mother. It is a time that should be reserved for rest and recovery. For both parents, it is a period of change and adjustment. Getting a professional to conduct your newborn photography session means that you get to relax, focus on your baby, and be assured that you will likely get guaranteed results. You can be more present in the moment and trust the photographer to do all the work, while you look after your baby’s needs.

Hiring a professional also means you don’t have to invest your own money or time in purchasing expensive camera equipment or go out and find suitable props for the photoshoot. Newborn photographers generally come with their own equipment and you may even have a chance to discuss the props used beforehand with your photographer.

Newborn photographers are also more likely to produce consistently good photos as many of them are experienced in their craft and are able to adjust to different situations. Trained and certified, they are much more knowledgeable about posing your newborn safely and have the skills needed to get those insta-worthy, angelic photos of your baby.


Going The D.I.Y Route

If you’re confident in your own photography skills, doing the photography session yourself is certainly an option. In some ways they can be more fun and engaging as you are more involved in the process from start to finish. It’s an opportunity to flex your creative muscles and experiment with finding the right style you’re looking for.

D.I.Y shoots also mean more flexibility for parents, as they can be done anytime at your own convenience. You can also do multiple sessions whenever you want, rather than sticking to the predetermined session you will have with a professional newborn photographer.

However the caveat is that it may be more time consuming to do the photography session by yourself as parents will need to do everything on their own. From setting up the camera, to preparing the props, and readying your baby, it can take quite a few hours to conduct the whole shoot. A lack of experience also means parents will likely make a few mistakes along the way and may not be able to finish the whole session as quickly as a professional photographer.

Doing your baby’s photoshoot on your own might seem like a good idea, but it’s also important to note that you are much more likely to get higher quality photos from a professional. When deciding between both, consider your own capabilities and your priorities for the photoshoot.


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Preparing For A Professional Newborn Photoshoot

If you’ve settled on having a professional photoshoot for your newborn, the first step is to choose your photographer. This is an essential part of the process as the photographer plays a critical role in how well the final pictures turn out.

You should always look through a newborn photographer’s portfolio or gallery before making your decision. See if the style of the photos match your preferences. If you have any doubts at all, take the time to view and talk to other photographers.

Communication is another important aspect of choosing a photographer. You need to have someone you are comfortable working with. After all, they will be working with your baby so you need someone you can trust. Let them know if there are any poses or accessories you want included in the shoot.

Keep in mind that choosing a photographer for your photoshoot should be done months in advance. Popular newborn photographers have numerous clients and you should always try and book a session early to avoid the risk of losing out to someone else. Booking a date early also gives the photographer more flexibility to work around your schedule and make adjustments if necessary.

Keep in mind that babies are unpredictable, and their arrival may not align with your expected due date, so it’s wise to contact your chosen photographer in advance to discuss a tentative date.

Learn More: The Best Time for a Newborn Photography Session

In the days leading up to the shoot, you can also start planning what you, your partner, and your children will be wearing for the shoot. Many newborn photographs feature all members of the family so getting your colour coordination on point is a must to ensure a cohesive look. Avoid wearing any bold patterns or logos that may distract from your baby. Remember that the focus of the photoshoot is your newborn, so keep the clothing simple and elegant to highlight your baby’s beauty


The Day Of The Shoot

How exciting! After months and weeks of anticipation, the day of your baby’s photoshoot has finally arrived. If you’ve done your prep work, the whole process should go smoothly once your newborn photographer arrives.

When it comes to your baby, you don’t need to do much. At this stage, babies are not fussy and generally sleep most of the time. As much as possible keep to your baby’s established schedule in the lead up to the photoshoot to minimise fussiness during the session.

Keep essential items like pacifiers, diapers, and blankets on standby and you should also look to feed your baby 20-30 minutes before the session to keep them comfortable and full.

Before the photoshoot starts, your baby will be soothed to sleep by the photographer. They will then proceed to put your baby in the right poses. Trust the photographer and let them work, but be on hand to comfort your baby if required. There might be a number of different setups and poses involved, so be sure to pace yourself.

Most importantly, remember to have fun and sink yourself in this very special and precious moment. The photoshoot itself is as much a cherished memory as the photos so make it a memorable day for all involved.


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What To Expect After?

After the photoshoot, there is still a lot of work to be done. Thankfully, if you’ve chosen to get a professional newborn photographer, they will do all of the heavy lifting on the post-production side. Even the best photos need to be touched up and recoloured to look their best and pop out of the frame.

Details of the rate and chosen package should have been ironed out in the pre-photoshoot phase. Most photographers offer both digital copies and a certain number of physical framed photos. Even though digital photos are more popular these days, it may be worth investing in high-quality print products as digital files are easily lost.

More importantly, high quality print products last a lifetime and can be shared with family and friends for generations. They can be proudly displayed in your home and allow you to reminisce with your children and even your grandchildren

Once you have your photos there’s still one last step left in the process. And that’s to share your photos with everyone close to you. After all, your friends and family are probably just as excited to see the photos and it can be a great opportunity to get everyone together to celebrate the birth of your new healthy, adorable baby.


Preparing For A D.I.Y Newborn Photoshoot

While engaging the services of a professional photographer means the process is generally straightforward and smooth, doing a D.I.Y newborn photoshoot means you might have to take a few extra steps. Before you start, it can be useful if you already have some photography experience so you know the basics of taking good photos.

When it comes to planning your own photoshoot, the rules are a bit more relaxed as you can work around your schedule. However bear in mind what we’ve mentioned earlier about babies getting fussy after the first two weeks, so try to have your photoshoot done within this time. This might involve some planning in the last few weeks or months of your pregnancy.

Some of the key things to note would be props and poses. Feel free to research online for some ideas. Don’t attempt anything overly complicated or unsafe. Stick to easy poses and keep the process simple. Make a list of all the different poses you’re planning to capture before the photoshoot so you have a checklist for the day itself.

If you can, enlist the help of someone you trust for the newborn photoshoot. It’s always good to have an extra pair of hands to help with moving equipment around or fetching props. As a last note, remember that your biggest priority should always be safety and you shouldn’t try anything you don’t feel confident about or comfortable with.


What Do You Need?

As mentioned, when it comes to doing your own photoshoot, keep things simple. A smartphone camera can be more than sufficient to take high-resolution photos of your baby and some applications even have simple photo edits you can make on the spot.

Another important tip is to focus on lighting. Good lighting makes a dramatic difference when it comes to photos, so try and choose a location with abundant natural light. Make sure to do a test run and choose a timing where the room is filled with soft natural light. Usually the best time for a photoshoot is during the “golden hour” which is the time just before sunset where sunlight is in a beautiful golden hue, ideal for newborn photography.

Even though your baby is and should be at the centre of attention, don’t forget to involve yourself and the rest of your family in the photos. Be sure to snap a few solo shots of your baby, before involving yourself, your partner, and your other children. A newborn photoshoot should be a shared experience and the more the merrier.

Following on the theme of keeping things simple, you can even use a solid coloured bed sheet as a backdrop. Backdrops are important as they provide a clean, consistent, and attractive background. They add depth, texture, and colour contrast and elevate D.I.Y photos just by that little bit.

When it comes to props, you don’t have to break the bank and go out and buy expensive items. Use simple items that you may already have lying around the house. Have a think about what you want to capture alongside your baby. Sentimental or cute items tend to work the best, so keep an eye out for those. Remember that the props you choose should subtly enhance the photo, not take attention away from your baby.


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Tips For Best Results From D.I.Y Photoshoots

When choosing to do your newborn baby photoshoot on your own, be sure to pace yourself and plan breaks in your session. It can be a surprisingly exhausting experience to set up each picture perfectly. and to get the cute poses you want. If you or your baby is getting tired, take a break and carry on once you’ve gotten your energy back.

For each pose, you should also try and get as many different angles and closeups. The more options you have to choose from, the easier it will be later when you’re editing the photos. This is the time for you to experiment and see what works.

Our final tip is just to have fun! D.I.Y newborn photoshoots are as much about the experience as they are about the final product. Do your prep work, plan a schedule, have everything on standby but when the day comes, just have fun and enjoy yourself. Keeping things simple and easy also allows you to focus on the most important tasks of the day and ensures that there is less pressure on you to get everything done right.


Frequently Asked Questions

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1) If my baby is older than 2 weeks, can I still have newborn photoshoots?

Yes you can. Pregnancy places a lot of stress on the body and sometimes mums or babies need a bit more recovery time before they can have a newborn photoshoot. This is perfectly fine and you can still get some gorgeous baby pictures even after 3 weeks or more.

The 14 day window exists because during this time, babies sleep a lot in very relaxed poses reminiscent of when they were in the womb. After this time, babies might be more prone to uncurling and stretching. They also grow bigger, sleep less, and may not be as flexible to move into the classic newborn poses.

However this doesn’t mean that you still can’t take some beautiful photos of your newborn baby. The poses might not be quite the same and the process might take longer as your baby might be more fussy at this time. Speak to your newborn photographer to see what adjustments can be made.


2) Are newborn photoshoots safe?

If you are getting a professional newborn photographer, you can always ask them about their practices and check what safety precautions they will be taking. A good photographer will always be happy to let you into the process and outline the steps they will be taking to ensure a safe and comfortable photoshoot.

Many newborn photos you see online have been edited to remove hands and supports that keep the baby in safe and in position. Do not attempt to replicate any of these poses if they can potentially be unsafe. Again, the watchwords for amateur newborn photographers is to keep it simple, safe, and fun.

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3) How can I include siblings into newborn photoshoots?

Getting their older brother or sister involved in a newborn photoshoot is a great way to capture a prized family moment, and create an opportunity for siblings to bond. For many children, a new addition to their family can be a difficult adjustment, and having a photoshoot with them involved can help to ease the transition.

Including siblings into newborn photoshoots does mean more preparation ahead of time. You have to plan outfits, poses, and additional props. It’s best to run all this through with your photographer ahead of time to make sure everyone is on the same page.


4) How do photographers capture unique poses in newborn photoshoots?

The best newborn photo poses are the classic ones that come very naturally to babies. At two weeks old, babies tend to curl up in foetal positions while asleep. A lot of the popular newborn baby photoshoots are done utilising these classic few poses.

The artistry behind the photos come from the special attention paid to detail, and newborn photographers are experts at bringing out the magical and innocent quality found in these pictures. The use of backdrops, props, and lighting can all elevate a simple newborn pose into something more.

There are also more advanced poses where the baby is propped up on their hands. These should not be attempted by anyone not trained in newborn photography. Many such impossible-looking poses are done with the help of assistants and some clever post-production techniques.

For D.I.Y shoots, stick to classic sleeping baby poses that are safe. Instead focus on the little things like your baby’s tiny fingers and toes and try to get them right. Good lighting and elegant props can also go a long way in making your photos better.


5) How long will a newborn photoshoot session take?

The amount of time taken for a newborn photoshoot can vary depending on the package you’ve signed up for and the number of poses involved. But generally it should take anywhere between 3 – 4 hours.

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The Final Word

Giving birth and bringing home a newborn is a thrilling experience for parents. As the culmination and conclusion of 9 months of waiting, it is almost impossible to describe the thoughts and emotions that go through a parent as they hold their baby in their arms for the very first time.

Every moment, every milestone at this stage is special and memorable. Newborn photos take parents back to that wonderfully nostalgic time. It reminds them of a special phase of their life and lets them reflect on the grand journey they have undertaken. Newborn photography is an endlessly rewarding investment into creating an heirloom that holds very real value for you and your family.

Professional newborn photographers understand the significance of newborn photos. They have the training and expertise required to capture stunningly aesthetic images in a safe and consistent manner. They also allow tired mothers and anxious fathers to rest, and focus on the baby, while they handle the photoshoot.

When considering the costs involved in hiring a professional photographer, always remember that the value gained from having a lifetime memento of your newborn can often outweigh the costs involved. Years later when you look back at the photos of your baby boy or girl, you can experience the joy of bringing home a bundle of cuteness all over again.

As an award-winning professional photographer specialising in both maternity and newborn photography, Xiaoyun has a deep appreciation for the unforgettable moments that define a family. Contact us today to learn more about our services and feel free to send us your questions.

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