How to prepare for your newborn photoshoot

Ramstein (KMC) Germany

Whether you’ve just brought new life into the world and are reading this through the bleary eyes of sleep-deprivation, or you’re excitedly anticipating the arrival of a new tiny family member, I just wanted to say congratulations!

I am beyond honored to be able to capture this incredible time in your lives.

Carving out the time to document and recognize this transition is one of the best things you can do. And, as your photographer, I am here to support you in any way I can. This guide is my way of saying, “I’ve got you.” I’ve crafted it to answer your questions, calm your fears, and address your uncertainty.

I can’t wait to meet your little one.


Week one and two of your baby’s life is magic. Of course all of the weeks are magic, but during these first two weeks, newborns are squishy, flexible, sleep more, and are still adjusting to the world outside of the womb. Often, their skin is still clear, and their bodies are shaped as if they’re still in utero – making it easier to get them into position. In order for us to get organized for a shoot this soon after their birthday, I’ll need your due date. In a lot of cases, babies will arrive whenever they want to and I couldn’t possibly expect them to abide by our schedule. But, once your baby is born, give me a call as soon as you can and we can lock in a time and date.

If you, understandably, have been spinning too many plates on the roller coaster ride of pre- and post- birth to lock in a date before the second week of your baby’s life, don’t worry. We can still make it work. Older babies might be a little more resistant to the swaddle, or naps, or being held by someone they don’t know, but the success of older newborn shoots are completely dependent on the personality of your little individual. However, If your baby is nine weeks or older, I might tell you to come back to me at four months. Nine weeks - four months is a pretty complicated time for a baby's development, as they’re still not able to hold their head or sit up by themself, making it hard to get professional photographs of them in that time frame. I would suggest capturing lots of photographs of them at home with a camera and trying your hand at catching them while they’re not looking. ;)


Expect to snuggle! And, be prepared to be in some of the shots. Now, I know that in your postpartum haze you’re probably not feeling like a supermodel, but sometimes I’ll ask you to pick your baby up to soothe them, and this is the perfect opportunity to get one or two shots of you together.

I understand that your newborn is not potty trained. If we’re shooting in the nude, and your baby poops themselves, please don’t stress. Here’s the protocol: we’ll get them quickly cleaned up, throw them in a new wrap, and just continue on capturing beautiful moments.

Your baby is still trying to figure out where they are and what they’re doing in this big bright world. Sometimes, they’ll get a little upset and need a bit of extra loving. We may have to stop for a little feed, to change a diaper, or to give them a little pep talk before continuing on. But this is all a part of it.


I'd recommend dressing your baby in a front-fastening, cozy, sleep-suit just before the shoot so that when we’re ready to start, it’ll be easy to get them out of it without waking them up.

If you, like me, are a sucker for those little belly rolls, chipmunk cheeks, and tiny toes, it might be fun to get a few shots of baby in the nude. Be mindful of bundling your little one up too tightly before the shoot as tight clothes can leave Photoshop-resistant marks on the skin.

Parents: as I said, come expecting to be in one or two shots. Try to complement, not match the colors baby is wearing. Wear neutrals with texture, like knits, linen, or cotton. If you’d like to learn more, let me know and I can send you my What to Wear Guide.


If you’d like to capture your little one with their proud new bigger siblings, you’ll probably need reinforcements. If your partner or one of your parents is available to come to the shoot, bring them! I like to have as few people as possible on set to try to cultivate a quiet, tranquil space for your newborn. So, I’ll be asking your reinforcements to look after the bigger siblings elsewhere (but close-by) until the end of the shoot, when we’ll bring them into the calm baby zone for the final portion of the session.


For lifestyle newborn photography the easiest location for a newborn photoshoot is in the comfort of your home. It doesn’t need to be Instagrammable, it doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to have a window and some natural light. Come as you are, I will make it work.

For studio newborn photography I work out of my studio space in Ramstein (KMC) Germany which has all the props, backdrops, wraps, lighting, and outfits needed. I even have the option to do lifestyle photography in this space as well.


The actual most important priority for this whole shoot is your baby’s safety. I will never put your newborn in a position that is unsafe, unstable, or uncomfortable. I often do a lot of the posing and positioning, but I always do so with the utmost respect and treat each baby as if they were my own. I know that sometimes a lot of photographers can get caught up in wanting to “get the shot,” but I will never prioritize the shot over your baby.

To help things run smoothly, I would love for you to be an active part of our session. With you sitting right outside the shot, you’ll be able to check in and monitor your baby's comfort level. However, if you are tired or need a break or place to pump or prepare bottles I have space just for this.

I will regularly touch base with you and let you know what’s coming next, discuss how we’ll transition to that pose, and narrate what I’m doing as I do it so you always know what’s going on.


I’ll send you some sneak peeks within a couple days after your session via email or messenger and the full gallery within four weeks via a downloadable web gallery. You’ll be able to create favorites lists, share online, or download your images to use for baby announcements, family newsletters, and cute framed images for your mantel! I also have an online ordering portal for prints, canvas, albums, and more.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read this guide! I imagine you’ll have a few questions bouncing around your head, so give me a call and let’s talk through all the things. These photographs are going to be incredibly sweet.

I can’t wait.

Shannon Reicks BSN-RN

LER Certified Breastfeeding Consultant

Family, Maternity, Newborn Photographer

Guide by Unscripted Posing App for Photographers