Picture Mama: Photographing Newborns


Note from the mamas: We want to say thanks to our sponsor, Melinda Worthington of MJW Photography, for writing down these tips on how to photograph your newborn. We know you’ll enjoy seeing Melinda’s incredible newborn shots scattered throughout this post. (They’re so good it makes our ovaries cramp up just looking at them!) In case you haven’t heard, Melinda is sponsoring our current snapshot contest, and the winner will get a free session with her and a huge wall print. Click here to see the details on that contest.

By Melinda Worthington, MJW Photography owner and mama of 3

There is nothing better than a newborn. Of course I’m sure we could all do without the side effects.  Ladies, you know what I’m talking about. Somehow seeing that fresh baby for the first time and holding nbsize1.jpgher makes all that other stuff worth it. I remember when each of my children were born. I remember being fascinated by just how small they were, afraid I’d break them. Their tiny little fingers were simply unbelievable.

The knowledge that her entire hand wrapped around just one of my fingers was amazing. Just knowing that their entire head can rest in the palm of a hand makes me quickly understand how much we have been entrusted with. What is sometimes forgotten is that, even though it feels like ages because of how sleep-deprived we are, they don’t stay tiny very long at all.

Whether you invest in newborn photography or you take snapshots yourself, I encourage you to take a picture a day for the first year of your baby’s life. It’s a great way to remember because, if you’re like me, after the third baby you begin mixing memories and children. Here are some tips you can use to take pictures of your newborn.

Size Relation

nbsize2.jpgUse things in the picture that can show just how small your baby is. The easiest way to show this is to take a picture of daddy holding your newborn. You can also show size by using things in your home such as your master bed or big brothers Tonka truck. Now, I don’t recommend you put your newborn in the truck (I’d leave that to a professional photographer), but you could certainly place the truck next to your baby.


nbdetails.jpgSome of you mamas have invested in a great camera, so pull out your manual and learn about macro settings. Even if you only have a point-n-shoot camera, you can still get great shots of your newborn’s details. Photograph the feet, toes, fingers, belly button, little mouth, eyelashes and the list goes on. If your baby has been blessed with a full head of hair, photograph it!


nbexpress2.jpgThis will require patience. Newborns are full of funny and sweet expressions, but they can’t really control them so often times you just have to wait for them. Stretching, yawning, puckering their lips — these are all great expressions to capture. If you’re lucky enough to snap some of these, they will certainly be treasures forever.

If you choose to have your newborn professionally photographed, call while you are still pregnant.  Newborns photograph best between 5-10 days old.

Happy shooting!