How to Keep a Baby Cool and Joyful During a Photoshoot

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Newborn photography is the latest craze among new parents who want to frame each and every memorable moment of their little ones, right from their birth. If you are also planning a photoshoot with your child to create an album of cute baby pics of your precious one, then read on.

Given below are some tips and tricks about keeping the baby happy throughout the photo shoot. Because nothing is prettier than a happy baby. 😊

What is Newborn photography and when to go for it?

Newborn photography involves baby photoshoot sessions of infants who are less than 2 weeks of age. Though some photographers extend this time frame and include photo sessions of babies who are even a month or two old.


When these sessions are conducted by professional photographers then you will need to pre book a tentative date depending upon the mother’s delivery date.

The advantages of having a newborn photography session within 2 weeks of delivery are:

  • You can capture the various curled up positions of the baby.
  • Since the baby sleeps more during the first few weeks, it becomes easier to take newborn photographs with different props.

keep a baby calm during a photoshoot

But, even if your baby has different sleeping patterns and might remain wide awake during the photoshoot, do not worry. There are many tricks to keep a baby calm during a photoshoot that will be discussed in detail below.

Tips on Keeping a Baby Calm During a Photoshoot

  1. Baby Should Be Contended and In No Pain

One of the basic tips to keep a baby calm during a photoshoot is to make sure that the baby is not hungry just before the photoshoot. Provide clear instructions to the mother regarding the same. A baby whose stomach is full is also more likely to fall asleep quickly giving you ample opportunity to take photographs in peace.

The day of the photoshoot should also not coincide with the immunization schedule of the baby. A baby who has just been vaccinated might not be in a good mood and will not like to be moved about a lot.

Also ensure that the baby is not wet or dirty.

The baby should also not be in any discomfort, for example if the baby is having gases then he/she will definitely be cranky. The baby will have to be kept in an upright position just after feeding and should be burped well.

Any physical discomfort of the baby will upset him/her and prevent you from taking photos.

  1. Make the Atmosphere of the Photoshoot Warm and Cozy

A newborn feels comforted when they are wrapped in a warm towel or sheet/blanket. Because the baby was ensconced in their mother’s womb for such a long time, the tightly wrapped blanket creates the same effect, calming the baby instantly. Some babies even fall asleep during the wrapping process.

keep a baby happy during a photoshoot

Another way to keep a baby calm during a photoshoot is to provide them with a warm surrounding. The photoshoot room should not be cold. Use a heater to warm up the room if required.

Put a hot water bottle under the bedding where the baby is sleeping. This will give a warm and cozy environment to the baby. Just make sure that the water bottle is not too hot.

When inside the womb, the babies are used to hearing white noise. The heartbeat of their mother, people talking outside are some of the sounds that the baby is used to hearing. You can download few such sounds and play them during the photoshoot. It will calm the baby and will make them fall asleep quickly.

  1. Your Touch Should be Comforting

Comforting, warm hands can keep a baby calm during a photoshoot.

Touching a baby with cold hands can startle them and make them cry. Warm your hands before you touch the baby. You can even wear cotton gloves if your hands are cold most of the times.

Do not wear jewelry that might hurt the baby. Rings, bangles and bracelets should all be taken off before you handle the baby. The baby’s skin is super soft and sensitive. Your clothes should also be of soft fabric so that they do not hurt the baby’s skin.

Make sure your nails do not have any sharp edges that might hurt the baby.

  1. Use Natural Light

Most of the newborn photos with props and poses are taken when the baby is sleeping. This is simply because it is easier to handle a sleeping baby than an awake one.

If you want the baby to sleep calmly while you are taking photos then do not use too many lights. Use natural light as much as possible. Flash from the camera can even wake up the baby and upset them ruining the photography session.

  1. Use Toys, Rattles for Newborn Photography Session

In order to keep a baby happy during a photoshoot use toys, rattles, music and so on. You will be surprised to see how simple games like peekaboo can make the baby gurgle with laughter. Don’t forget to capture these precious moments.

  1. Involve Parents and Siblings

The comforting and magic touch of a mother’s hands can easily help to keep a baby happy during a photoshoot. Do not hesitate to hand over the baby to the mother if the baby is crying. Let the mother comfort the baby through her voice. You can use these moments to capture some beautiful family pics.

baby photography tips for beginners

If there are siblings then take help from them too during the photoshoot. Kids generally enjoy such stuff and can turn out to be great assistants.

  1. Keep a Calm Demeanor During a Baby Photoshoot

You will not be able to keep a baby happy during a photoshoot if you are stressed out yourself.

You will not get a fruitful photo session if the baby is not cooperative. If you think that the baby is too cranky then do not hesitate to postpone the session.

As any parent will tell, each day of the baby is different. A baby might be upset one day but can be in a good mood the next. Do not get disheartened and keep the option of an extra photoshoot session always open.

Use a gentle and soft tone while talking to the baby. You can coo to the baby while rocking them. It generally has a calming effect on babies and lulls them back to sleep.

  1. Keep Safety as the Number One Priority

One of the most important baby photography tips for beginners is to try NOT to copy poses/props that you are not used to working with. Always try easy, sleeping poses first before you move on to more difficult ones. This is important for the baby’s safety.

Also, never hesitate to take help from parents. Make sure someone is watching over the baby while you are preparing the shot.

Though babies like warm environment, remember not to overdo it. Too much heating can make the baby extremely uncomfortable. Also, be very careful while handling the arms and legs of the babies. The limbs of the babies are not only very flexible but they are also fragile. Be watchful of any signs that show that the baby is uncomfortable.

Tips on How to Do Baby Photoshoot Successfully

Here are some tips that will help you make your baby photoshoot a success:

  • Learn how to keep baby calm and happy during the photoshoot.
  • Make the parents aware about the do’s and don’ts of the session. Give them a checklist if possible.
  • You also get a checklist from the parents. Ask them what makes the baby happy. What kind of sounds startles the baby? Knowing such things in advance will help you plan your photography session better.
  • Capture maximum photos when the baby is sleeping. Use the wakeful moments of the baby to capture activities like, yawning, staring, cuddling and smiling and so on.

newborn photography

  • Be flexible with your poses and props. If you think a particular prop is not safe then don’t use it even if the parents expect it. Instead, explain the safety hazards to them.
  • Instead of changing the baby’s position again and again, try to take shots from different angles of the same pose. You might get very different looking photos without disturbing the baby’s position an inch.

Wrap Up – How to Keep a Baby Happy During a Photoshoot

It is not difficult to learn newborn photography as long as you take care of the baby’s safety and comfort. If you are lucky the baby might sleep through most of the session giving you ample opportunity to take as many shots as you want.

In case the baby gets upset and starts crying during the photoshoot, do not give up. Give the baby time to settle down. Include feeding and changing time in your session. While the mother comforts or feeds the baby, you can use that time to get some natural shots.

Just follow the baby’s cues and use the tips given here and you will be able to sail through your newborn photography session smoothly!

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