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What Is The Best Flow For A Newborn Photography Session

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The perfect newborn photography posing flow for stress-complimentary studio sessions

  • Newborn photography posing flow - Froggy pose

I’ve been photographing newborns for ten years and have been doing posed newborn portraiture for well-nigh nine of those. Over this time, I’ve developed a standard newborn posing menstruum to help proceed my studio sessions moving along while photographing the greatest variety of poses possible. I mostly practice 10 to 11 newborn poses, in addition to family unit portraits, and then having a plan and catamenia is extremely important.

If you’re new to newborn posing, I highly recommend that you create a plan and flow for yourself. Option out the poses you want to do, write them down, and then arrange them in the order that makes the nearly sense. For example, you don’t want to remove a baby’s swaddle only to have to put it dorsum on for a pose subsequently. Having a plan in place makes everything more efficient and allows you to create easy transitions. Write your plan on a sticky annotation that yous can reference during the session to remind yourself of the posing catamenia.

I’m going to share my perfect newborn photography posing menses beneath, along with instructions for how I achieve each pose and how I move from i pose to the next. You’ll see how I create piece of cake transitions and allow for a variety of newborn poses while keeping the session moving forth.

ane. I kickoff with family photos.

Having your photograph taken is ever stressful, and stressed-out parents make for a stressed-out infant. I like to get the family photos washed first so that the parents tin relax. Here are a few other reasons to brainstorm with family photos during a newborn photograph session:

  • Mom’s hair and makeup are fresh.
  • Nobody is sweaty from the hot studio (nonetheless).
  • Dad can depart afterward the family unit photos, if necessary, to go to piece of work or take older siblings to daycare or school.

Here’s a backside-the-scenes look at how I capture family photos during a newborn photo session:

The perfect newborn photo session posing flow
During family photo fourth dimension, I make sure to get a picture of dad with the newborn.
The perfect newborn photo session posing flow
I accept sibling photos at the beginning of the session, while I’m doing family photos.
The perfect newborn photo session posing flow
Swaddling infant makes it easier to pose the newborn with siblings.
The perfect newborn photo session posing flow
I always become a photo of mom while her hair and make-upwards are fresh.

Swaddle the baby for family photos.

For family photos with a newborn, I like to swaddle the baby for efficiency (and less mess). I give parents the choice of swaddling their newborn or having the baby nude in the family photos, and I’grand comfortable posing both. However, I also let the parents know that at that place’s a 50/fifty chance their baby will pee or poop on them if nude, and I always recommend swaddling if there are siblings. Effectually 90 percent of parents choose the swaddle for their family photos. Here are some benefits of a swaddle:

  • Baby is more than comfortable.
  • No need to worry nigh hand/foot placement or private-function coverage, which adds considerably more than time to posing.
  • It’s much easier to laissez passer the baby from person to person without waking or agonizing the baby.
  • No messes to clean upwardly.
A swaddled newborn in a back-lying pose.
A swaddled newborn in a dorsum-lying pose.

2. Next, I do macro photos.

Later on the family unit photos, I capture a quick swaddled-infant photo, then move to a prop where I tin can go shut-up shots of all of baby’s features (hands, feet, mouth, eyelashes). I do a modified swaddle with the babe lying on his or her back (in a diaper) for these photos. The swaddle commonly has a twist in the heart and then that both hands and feet are showing.

A newborn baby in a modified swaddle in a back-lying pose.
Here, the newborn is in a modified swaddle in a back-lying pose.
Macro details of a newborn in a back-lying pose.
I accept macro photos while babe is swaddled in a back-lying pose.

three. Now, I’ll transition to my first three blanket poses.

Once I have my macro images, it’s time to movement on to the outset three blanket poses: side-lying, tushie-up, and elbows-out. I always remove the diaper first, as these are nude newborn poses.


Always change the infant’south hat into any y’all’ll use for your side by side pose before moving them. This mode you don’t accept to jostle the newborn’s caput out of the new pose you desire to photograph while putting on a new chapeau.

Side-lying pose

For my first blanket pose — the side-lying pose — I demand to move the baby from the prop I was using for the macro images onto a blanket backdrop. To do this gently, I tuck baby hands into a prayer position beside the cheek that will exist upward against the blanket and gently curlicue baby to that side, while lifting and supporting the baby with my trunk, neck and cheek so that the baby feels supported and snuggled. Then, I lay the infant downward on the blanket backdrop with his or her caput closest to me (bum closest to the properties) and tuck the hands under the cheek. I adjust the height of the babe’due south caput and feet with posing cloths under the blanket.

Here, baby is in a side-lying pose with hands tucked under the cheek.

Tushie-up pose

For the tushie-upwardly pose, I cross the baby’s feet and so that the dorsum foot rests on top of the leg closest to me, and and so I turn the babe’south lesser upwardly into the air with the knees tucked upwardly under the belly. Knee joint placement is super important to keeping baby from getting fussy here. You want to keep the baby’s body tucked in a ball. Next, I move the newborn’s face and top manus closer to me, while moving the bottom hand (which is farther from me) out from under the baby and placing it on the blanket beside the infant so it is out of sight. Lastly, I conform the cushioning to raise the caput and bum, which creates ambrosial back wrinkles.
The perfect newborn photo session posing flow
This is the tushie-upwardly pose with adorable dorsum wrinkles.

Elbows-out pose

This is one of the toughest transitions for babies, so don’t be surprised if it takes you a while to chief the elbows-out pose. I recommend taking the baby’south back paw and moving their arm all the manner effectually until it’s in front of their face. So, lift the head and front end hand together to move the infant upward onto that back manus. The elbows should exist pointed out with the artillery making a triangle shape. Adjacent, position the baby’due south chin over the hands so that you don’t get squished cheeks or lose the lips. Adjust the foot closest to you lot and so that it points outward (bonus if y’all tin also go on the back toes showing every bit well) and adapt the cushioning and so that the hands and head are lifted and the foot is perpendicular to the babe’s body.

The perfect newborn photo session posing flow
This is the elbows-out pose where baby’southward arms make triangles.

4. Next, I motion the newborn to a prop.

For the easiest transition, employ a prop where the baby will be in the aforementioned elbows-out position. To lift the babe while keeping the pose, use one of your hands to concur the baby’s easily and caput and the other mitt to hold the baby’due south bum and feet. Simply pick up the baby and place him or her down onto the prop in the aforementioned position. Sometimes a baby won’t do the elbows-out position on the blanket only will like it in a prop just fine.

If yous want to spice things upward, try a different prop here where you can do another pose, like tushie-up on a bed or sitting in a posing pod. Simply imagine where baby’due south head and bum need to stop upwardly so yous can pick her upward and back up her in a way that you can easily lay her down into the right pose without much adjustment.

The newborn is all the same in elbows-out pose in this prop.

My fave places to shop for props

Await for scarves at H&Yard, TJ Maxx/Marshalls, Target, etc. to use as wraps and other added textures.

5. Now, I change backdrops for a second round of blanket poses.

The offset coating backdrop I use is always fair. It’s timeless, goes with every color scheme, and looks great with every baby. Only for the second blanket, I let the parents choose the colour. Virtually stick with another neutral, like gray or taupe, but some go for colors. The almost popular colors for my clients are blush, pale blue and navy blue.

On this 2d blanket, I exercise taco pose, froggy pose and fallen froggy pose. Now that we’re over halfway through the session, the babe is much more than used to being handled while sleeping and has often drifted into a deeper slumber. When this happens, it’s usually easier to do these “hard” poses (which volition be simply as easy for you as the other poses with practice!).

Taco pose

Identify the baby onto the blanket facing you in a seated position with his or her legs direct out in front of them. Cantankerous the foot that is closest to the direction the caput will go over the other foot. Do a forrad fold, bringing the infant’due south head downward to the side with the front hand under the cheek and the back hand resting on the blanket behind them, out of sight. I similar to do taco pose with the anxiety stacked behind the arm and elbow of the front manus, others practise this with the feet under the wrist. Endeavour both and choose your favorite. Lastly, move your cushioning to raise the baby’s head and support whatsoever floating knees.

The perfect newborn photo session posing flow
This is the taco pose, where babe is bent frontwards.

Froggy pose

Utilise an assistant for the froggy pose and plan on compositing two images together. This is the condom style to do this pose, which I demonstrate fully in the video below.

Before moving the baby from taco pose, add together the cushioning where you want it to exist for froggy pose, with a lot of support in the front and center and smaller ledges to either side for the anxiety. From taco pose, take the infant’due south hand that is under his or her cheek, motion it out and tuck it so that the hand is cupping the jaw with the infant’south fingertips on their cheek. Concord that position with 1 hand, while gently lifting the baby upward and placing their other hand under the other side of their jaw. Y’all should then exist able to hold both wrists and the babe’s head with one hand, while y’all use your other mitt to gently pull the baby past their ankles up onto the little hill you created with the cushion.

The infant’s legs should have a slight curve and open up feet. Bring the elbows of the baby downwards to rest on the meridian of the cusion hill. The farther out the elbows, the more supported the baby will exist. When the baby pulls his or her elbows back, he or she is more likely to topple. But if the elbows are likewise far out, the babe will be looking up (which can exist beautiful, as well). Play around and see what you like. Do a set of photos with the newborn’s head supported by the assistant first, then a set with the assistant supporting the infant’s wrists/hands.  The offset photo will exist your main photograph. From the second photograph, yous only demand the top of the baby’s caput.

The newborn froggy pose should always be done as a composite.
The newborn froggy pose should always be done as a blended for safety.

Lookout man my froggy pose video demonstration

In this froggy pose demo video, I’ll show you footstep-by-step how to safely practise the froggy pose with a newborn. I created this video during a session to evidence you the posing transitions, little adjustments that make all the difference, and how I have a parent assist me in creating the composite image.

Fallen froggy pose

This is by far the easiest pose you lot will exercise! It’due south not hard to move the baby from froggy pose into fallen froggy pose. With one hand, elevator the babe’southward wrists, easily and caput, and tuck the foot that’s in the direction you lot desire to lay the baby down. Later the human foot is tucked, use both hands to lay the baby down in the same froggy pose with their other foot peeking out behind their elbow. Parents love this pose in close-ups.

The perfect newborn photo session posing flow
Hither, baby is in the fallen froggy pose.

six. Lastly, I movement the newborn to a dorsum-lying prop.

Both the first and terminal prop photos I do are with the baby on their back. If the infant decides to be awake at whatsoever point during their session, as long equally they’re total and happy, I tin can quickly swaddle the baby and put them in this prop to get photos while they’re awake. And, the swaddle has the added benefit of helping the baby fall back comatose. So, this prop is my back-up insurance for the entire session, which is why information technology’due south last.

For this one, if I’one thousand not swaddling the babe, I use a wrap in a different way to go a different expect. Sometimes I have the baby hold a small felt animal. If it fits in the color scheme, I’ll likewise do these on a dark forest backdrop to change upwardly the await.

Rebecca’southward tools & gear

Edible bean bag:
I got my Professional Traveller Poser bean pocketbook from Studio Babe 10 years ago. Though it’s not very tall, information technology works well since my studio has about an eight-inch tall step where I have my backdrops and pose the baby, so my beanbag sits eight inches college than I do.

Posing beans:
I apply Aissimio posing beans.

Backdrop stand:
I made my ain backdrop stand out of PVC pipe, since you couldn’t buy backdrop stands that would hold up the sides of the blankets when I started my studio. Now there are tutorials on how to do this all over the cyberspace.

White racket:
I utilize the Deep Slumber Sound Auto by Homedics. I keep it on the At-home setting for a constant, deep-static sound.

My Holmes infinite heater is astonishing. I’ve had it a long time, so they don’t sell the exact model anymore. What I love is that it’s but 10 inches tall, it’southward cool to the touch on and auto-shuts off if tipped over (pretty much standard features). I keep the room around 80 degrees. If I first sweating, I know information technology’south too hot. The room should be warm, merely not overbearing. Lots of parents fall comatose during the sessions, likewise.

For lighting in the newborn studio, I use the Westcott Solix LED Light Compact Kit forth with the Westcott v′ Octabank. For the family unit photos, I use either a Spiderlite (constant light) with a four×half-dozen Westcott soft box and white V-flat (if at that place are toddlers involved, I tin shoot more quickly without waiting for flash to recycle), or a monolight strobe with an Elinchrome umbrella soft box.

Photographic camera:
Canon EOS 5D Marker Iv

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM, Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM, Canon EF 100mm f/2.0 USM Macro

That’southward it! These are the poses I practise during my typical newborn sessions. My newborn session period helps keep things moving along, while leaving me time to try new things.

Have y’all found the perfect newborn photography posing menses? I’d dear to read it in the comments!

Photos by Rebecca Danzenbaker.

Backside-the-scenes photos courtesy of Susie Hadeed.

Rebecca Danzenbaker is an accolade-winning newborn, family and motherhood photographer located in Northern Virginia. Her piece of work has been featured on NAPCP, Macaroni Child, Skip Cohen Academy, and more than!  She was thrilled to become a ClickPro member in November 2022.

Visit Rebecca Danzenbaker online.


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