A guide for beginners to becoming an amazing newborn photographer.


Photographing delicate newborns is a such a rewarding art from, when you’ve finished a newborn shoot whether it went brilliantly and baby slept like a dream, or you really had to work hard, maybe the new Mum was feeling overwhelmed, baby didn’t sleep or your planned poses didn’t work out. Becoming a safe and succesful newborn photographer is the most important thing – it also takes an extradordinairy amount of hard work, passion and above all patience to learn how to read babies needs, make new parents feel amazing and they’re doing a great job – it’s not just about getting a perfect photo of a baby as you need all the other skills to become a success. 

If you’ve had a baby that is helpful although there are incredible newborn photographers out there that have never had a baby, handling a new baby and knowing maybe when they need a feed, or aren’t feeding properly, maybe they have wind or Mum is breastfeeding and maybe had some really leafy veg or a curry the night before and babies tummy is a bit upset, or there are more serious things going on, training is really important, knowing how to position a baby carefully so you don’t cut off their circulation or block their airways among many other things is why it’s so important to just not start photographing babies and practising on clients babies, it sounds like a cliche but I don’t train photographers, there are various ways of training whether it’s online or booking an in person workshop, you can undertake first aid courses specifically aimed at babies and children, but please do some research, join some specific newborn photography groups, most photographers will never train for free it’s an overly saturated market now. Cameras are easily accessible, and now it’s digital you can see what you’re doing, being in a group means you can get advice from other people and genuine newborn photographers will always push you in the right direction, don’t be surprised though if you do have to pay for training, many of us have spent thousands and thousands of pounds and years to become the photographers we are today.

Don’t! Don’t spend tons of money on props and backdrops and outfits instead of getting training, it’s a mistake lots of people make and as you grow your newborn business your style will likely change, you may find you prefer doing lifestyle newborn shoots so you don’t need anything for that apart from a camera, lens and possibly lighting. 


An example of lifestyle maternity photography – the parents to be are sitting in their bedroom, lit by natural light and the pregnant Mum to be is wearing one of her husbands shirts.

Patience is one of the most key things with newborn photography and recognising the things that are wrong with a baby, in no way should you practice on newborns without at least following online training. You should always ensure you never take risks with a newborn, if you’re photographing from above your camera should have a secure neck strap and it be round your neck so you can’t drop it on the baby, leave posing like frog pose and taco pose until you are more experienced, the best photographer knows when something isn’t working, a pose isn’t suitable for a newborn as they’re not as bendy or comfortable, or are too unsettled, changing what you are planning to do is good if you are following the newborns lead. Don’t rush a shoot, pay attention to safety and the details, things like not shooting up a babies nose, not uplighting babies face, soft gentle feathered light, capturing all the little details, those tiny little hands with oh so tiny fingernails. Don’t attempt the harder stuff at first, nail the simple stuff.

Work out what you need to run to succesful business, working out how much you need to live and pay bills, and then divide it by the amount of sessions you aim to do, there are photographers out there offering free shoots to get people through the door, value yourself, this is a service that will last a families lifetime, long after the latest fad pram or pushchair has been sold on or passed on, these are memories of such a precious fleeting time in a young families life, the skill it takes to become a newborn photographer along with the cost, it is okay to charge properly for a session. 

If you’re looking for online training – Kelly Brown, Julia Kelleher, are fantastic examples. Good luck in your journey to one of the best jobs in the world, it’s very stressful at times and don’t forget the shoot is a little part all the networking, social media and constantly coming up with content can be draining, remember to get a good work/life balance.