7 Tips for a Newborn Photography Session Gone Wrong

February 24, 2011

in Amy Locurto, Angie Arthur, Newborn Photography, Photography Tips, Photography Tutorials

7 Tips for a Newborn Photography Session Gone Wrong

If you’ve photographed a newborn baby, you know there is going to be a lot of pee, poop and crying on the babies part and probably a lot of sweating on your part. Here are a few tips we’ve learned to utilize when things go wrong at your newborn photography session.

Written by: Amy Locurto and Angie Arthur (co-founders of I Heart Faces)

1. Stay calm & use a soothing voice.

Newborn babies are happiest when their environment is calm, quiet and soothing.  Make sure your voice and body language reflect that throughout the session.

7 Tips for a Newborn Photography Session Gone Wrong


2. Ask mom to sit far across the room or go to the next room for a few minutes while dad takes over.

If the baby is really fussy, we typically ask our moms if they will wait in the next room or sit far across the room as fussy babies will smell mom and want her… even if they have full bellies. Most moms are happy to relax for a few moments and let us or dad take over to try to calm baby and get a few photos. Usually this works great and gives dad a job to help.

To go along with this, we also work plenty of extra time into our Newborn Sessions so that mom will be able to soothe a crying baby either with a little one-on-one cuddling time, changing their diaper or by feeding them. This many times, will calm the baby right back to sleep.
I Heart Faces - Newborn Photography Tips


3. Use a white noise to calm the baby.

  • We both own iPhones that we have downloaded white noise apps onto. Angie prefers QuietNoise (99 cents) while Amy likes to play White Noise by TM Soft ($1.99).  There are also many free white noise apps available as well. You can find small speakers to plug into your phone, so it’s not right next to baby.
  • Bring a white noise machine to the session with you.
  • We’ve worked with babies who don’t like white noise but will calm immediately when a familiar song is playing (like the lullaby on their swing).  In that case, we’ve pushed the play button over and over again so their favorite music can play and they remain calm.

I Heart Faces - Newborn Photography Tips


4. Warm up the room.

If you are so warm that you are perspiring profusely, then the newborn baby that you are working with is probably going to be very happy. Even in winter, we dress in light tops and are prepared to sweat our way through a session to keep the baby happy and calm.
I Heart Faces - Newborn Photography Tips


5. Have extra props and blankets for accidents.

There are many beanbags that are made just for the newborn photographer.  We’ve also found that the Boppy Nursing Pillow can be your best friend during a newborn session.

I Heart Faces - Newborn Photography Tips


6. Keep wipes handy.

No explanation needed on this one…they are very much needed! 🙂

I Heart Faces - Twin Babies - Newborn Photography Tips


7. Try something else.

If the baby will not hold still or stay in that cute position… think of another pose. Maybe mom holds the baby and you get some close-ups. Sometimes those candid moments end up being precious even when the baby is crying.


Don’t worry, we all have sessions like this…

Crying Baby - Newborn Photography Tips on I Heart Faces


No matter how stressful it may seem at the time, the mother of that newborn will no doubt be thrilled by what you capture of her precious little bundle of joy!


What are some newborn photography tips that have worked for you?


Don’t Miss Our Ultimate Newborn Photography Guide. An amazing FREE resource for all photographers!

Newborn Photography Tutorials | Baby Photography Guide

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

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Home designs December 17, 2014

Excellent website. Lots of helpful info here. I’m sending it to a few buddies ans also sharing in delicious.
And certainly, thank you to your effort!


Kristin June 8, 2013

Thanks! Great ideas!!


Dana February 8, 2013

Great tips! I heard that two space heaters is necessary and I will be doing that from now on instead of just the one!


Sarah February 4, 2013



susan peoples November 11, 2012

Where is a good place to get dyed Cheese cloth?


Ally September 27, 2012

I photograph newborns a lot and never thought about having mom hold the dryer a good distance away… that would not be insulting and still separate her from baby.



Dave C July 25, 2012

The wattage on a cell phone is so low you get more radiation standing in your back yard, and a phone is not emitting radiation when it’s not on a call, except for connecting with your wifi network, unless of course you don’t allow that in your house either. Ten years ago, you may have had a point. The new digital phones emit a fraction of what they used to.


Danielle Rayoum June 18, 2012

Good tips except the white noise part. I photographed a newborn recently in the mothers/newborns home. I forgot to bring my noise machine and asked if she had one. She had an iphone with the soothing ocean sounds and put it right next to the baby and she said that she (the baby) loved it. I cringed at the thought of the radiation going straight to the poor baby’s thin fragile skull to her brain. They will get enough cell phone to their head as a teenager. Keep it as far as possible when they are young especially if you are streaming music. If this is your only option, either put it on airplane mode or do without it completely. As a photographer and a mother, I would rather spend 3 hours more with a newborn without music than put a cell phone within 5 feet of one.


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