DIY at home newborn photos

You’re in your first week or two postpartum: muscles you didn’t know you had are sore, your body aches, you’re arranging appointments on appointments and you’re wondering if you’ll ever have a good night’s sleep again. While nothing can replace professional newborn photographs, in those first weeks postpartum it may not be possible to add another appointment to your list. Not to worry - that’s ok; you don’t have to miss out on capturing your little one’s first moments. DIY at home newborn photos are for you!

After scouring Pinterest for newborn photography inspiration, I took Gordon’s newborn photos when he was about one week old in our master bedroom. While I am no expert in photography, here are my best tips for DIY at home newborn photos. 

Tips for the best DIY at home newborn photos

  • Sleepy Baby - Plan to take your photos when your baby has a full belly and is having a nap. A sleeping baby is a peaceful baby and will make it much easier to snap photos. 
  • Indirect Sunlight - You’ll want to take advantage of the natural light from the sun when you take your photos and turn off any artificial lights in the room you are in. However, make sure you choose a time of day when the sun isn’t directly blaring in the window. This can cause photos to be overexposed and create harsh shadows in your photos. 
  • Plan Your Props - Whether it's a special stuffed animal or blanket, have these planned and ready to go before you start. For Gordon’s photos, I wrapped him in a special moose blanket.  I also layered the bed with other throw blankets to give more texture and depth to the space.
  • iPhone Photo Hacks - No camera other than your iPhone? No worries. Here are three ways you can take professional looking photos using your iPhone:
    • Take photos in ‘Most Compatible’ mode instead of ‘High Efficiency’ mode’. High efficiency mode is often the default photo setting on iPhone with the goal of reducing photo file size and saving storage space on your phone. By changing your settings to most compatible mode, your newborn photos will come out in better quality. You can change this setting via Settings>Camera>Formats
    • Use Portrait mode. Portrait mode creates a depth of field effect, capturing the subject with sharp clarity and blurring the background. This effect will help capture your newborn crystal clear. Turn portrait mode on by opening your camera and swiping right until it says ‘Portrait’ above the camera button. 
    • Whatever you do, don’t use the zoom. Using zoom can often make your photos blurry and impact the quality of your image. If you want to get a close up shot of baby, simply move the camera closer.
  • Photo Editing - Once you’ve taken your photos, you can always make any edits using a photo editing app. For example, I use Adobe Lightroom to make edits to photos. You can find a free 7 day trial for Lightroom on the Adobe website

Other considerations - Baby Safety Newborn Photography

It’s easy to want to recreate some of the most picturesque newborn photos you see when scrolling through Pinterest. However, it’s important to remember that the majority of these photos are taken by a professional photographer. For example, when you see photos of a baby holding their head up with their hands under their chin, in actuality a parent is holding up the baby’s head and the photographer has photoshopped the parent’s hands out of the photo. Essentially, we want to make sure that the baby's airways, joints, spine, neck and circulation are not negatively affected by any way we pose the baby for photos. 

I hope you find these tips for DIY at home newborn photos helpful and that you can now take your own newborn photos with confidence knowing you’ll have these special moments to hold on to forever.

Bonus, once you take your newborn photos you can display them with our new baby print and never forget how little your baby once was. Start personalizing your new baby print on our website today!

In one of my ‘ah-ha’ moments, I emptied the jar of blooms on a blank sheet of paper and arranged each piece carefully across the page

Laura Goulding