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How to Prepare for a Newborn Photography Shoot

How to Prepare for a Newborn Photography Shoot

Tips and Tricks from the Experts

Newborn photography sessions present many challenges for the unprepared new parent or guardian. As we all know, babies can be fussy.  Whether in a professional photography studio or in the comfort of our own homes, it can be a huge mess.  In this post, we’ll discuss a few tips that have helped us out throughout our years of creating newborn portraits so that you can prepare and know what to expect for your photo session.  Sometimes we, as photographers, are so conditioned to these things that we forget they might not be as obvious to everyone!

  • Schedule the appointment during the baby’s normal sleeping hours, whenever that may be. Plan for the session to last at least two hours, since these sessions normally work on the baby’s schedule. If you are bringing other small children or older folks for a family group shot (which we totally encourage you to do), you might want to consider coming in two cars.  If the baby is fussy, we don’t want to hold up everyone else while we pull out every trick in the book to get that perfect photograph!
  • Though we all enjoy cheerful babies, newborns typically photograph best while they are sleeping. This is when we can move and mold them into those adorable poses and can get exactly what we want from the session! And let’s not forget, he or she will wake up eventually for us to photograph their sweet little eyes.
  • Try to keep the baby awake until right before the session begins. Most studios, including our own have plenty of room to change, feed, and put the baby to sleep in private. So it works best to come early with a baby that is tired and ready to sleep.
  • We like to photograph the babies with their parents, so plan your clothing in accordance with theirs. We know you’re tired and you feel like taking pictures is the last thing you want to do, however, you’ll never regret having these photos to look back on when the baby is grown. Darker colors and long sleeves are the most flattering. Plus, retouching is always available if you don’t feel like you look picture perfect.
  • Come prepared with extra clothes for Mommy, Daddy, and the baby, in case of an accident.


  • Our photography studios are often kept at very warm temperatures, to help the baby sleep. Consider bringing some lighter clothing options to change into incase you feel too hot.
  • Though we offer countless props and hats, it’s always fun to include your own family heirlooms. We encourage you to bring any special items or props, costumes, or important hand-me-downs to the shoot. Common items include knitted blankets, family bibles, baby bracelets, etc.
  • Do your research. If there are any styles, props or backdrops that you love on social media or elsewhere, we encourage you to send them to us prior to the session, so we can better prepare for and personalize your session.
  • Don’t forget to let us know any information that might help us get to know your family or to help the session run smoother (i.e. ‘new big sister loves sesame street and applesauce’ or ‘Grandma has a walker’)

We all know that the first few weeks after bringing baby home is one of the most tiring times for a new parent, and we hope you find these tips helpful as you prepare for your future newborn photography shoots. Contact us for any information regarding your photography needs. Tumbleston Photography Studios has specialized in newborn photography for over 30 years.  Visit either of our two Charleston locations in West Ashley and Moncks Corner.  We love photographing newborn babies and even though it’s a ton of work, we would happily do it every day.  I mean, just check out all of these sweet faces!  We hope that you learned something and will consider letting us professionally capture these first days that slip by all too quickly.