5 must-have newborn photos at every lifestyle shoot

If you’re looking to hire a photographer, you may be wondering what the must-have newborn photos are. And while that’s a fair question, I have to say I don’t know that I have just one!

For one thing, every family is different and even if I’ve photographed you 100 times, things are unpredictable (and kids are quirky!) and there is no cookie cutter way to photograph a family. 

So as a lifestyle photographer I try to come as prepared as possible, but mostly my game plan is to play each situation by ear and let the family dictate how the shoot goes.

With that being said, I do think there are a few go-to poses and photos that are important to have in my back pocket at every session – read on to see some of my favorites!

1. The itty bitty details

If you didn’t already know, I am the biggest fan of the smallest details. And there’s just something about teeny tiny hands and feet that absolutely melt my heart. Especially when their baby hands wrap around your finger?? Get outta here! They’re never going to be this small and delicate again, so we have to capture those moments in time before they’re gone.

Some of my favorite photos at every newborn shoot are the details of the tiny baby hands and feet. Here are three close up detail photos.

2. Mom time

More often than not, as a mom, you are the one taking the photo and are very rarely in them. You definitely want to remember the connection you have with your little one – they were inside you for 9 months, after all! I know it can be hard for some women to want their postpartum bodies photographed, but trust me, when you look back on these photos year after year you won’t be looking at your body but the sweet little baby you created and how, for a brief moment, you could just scoop them up in your hands and snuggle them close and all was right in the world.

Three photos of mothers holding their newborn babies. Moms should always be in the photos at lifestyle newborn shoots!

3. The group “granny shot”

Yes, I will absolutely get photos of your whole family smiling and looking at the camera! I call this one the granny shot because it’s the photo that the grandmother’s all want to see and hang on their fridge. “Where’s the one of you all smiling?” Can’t you hear it? I tend to be heavier on the candid photos but the granny shot is a crowd pleaser, so you can expect to see at least one or two in your gallery!

A group family photo where everyone looks nice and is smiling at the camera?? An absolute must-have at every photo shoot, and a newborn session is no exception. Here are three photos of three families all smiling and looking at the camera.

4. Sibling love

I will always, always, always photograph an older sibling at my newborn sessions. (And yes, this includes fur babies too!) Sure, it’s a *newborn* session, but really these are for the full family, and it’s important to let the older kids know that they still deserve individual attention! I will spend a good chunk of time letting a sibling show me around the house, introducing me to their baby brother or sister, and demonstrating how they can hold, kiss, and count all their toes.

You can't forget about the older sibling at a newborn photo shoot! Here are three photos of big brothers and big sisters having their shining moment at a lifestyle newborn session.

5. The iconic overhead shot

This is the must-have newborn photo we’re all here for! Whether you’re interested in a studio shoot or lifestyle work, a newborn session isn’t complete without at least one perfect portrait of your baby.

My number one must-have newborn photo is the classic overhead pose. Whether the baby is sleeping or awake, a portrait of a swaddled baby is definitely a necessity at every photo shoot. These are likely the photos you'll use on birth announcements!

So there you have it: those are my top five must-have photos at every lifestyle newborn photo session. And this isn’t to say that we won’t get others! Every photographer is different, so I can really only speak to my own experience, but I will strive to get a variety of photos with different locations, outfits, poses, and combinations of people – your gallery will be so broad and so beautiful it’ll have you wondering if you should audition your family for GAP ads. At the very least our goal will be to have you print a gallery wall’s worth of favorite photos. Sound good? Let’s get you on the books!

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5 must-have newborn photos at every lifestyle shoot

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