Tips on Posing Newborns

Newborn baby on white fur, shot in the shadows

Today’s feature is from Erica Courtine.

Erica says:

“This was one of my favorite newborn sessions from the fall. This little girl was a last minute session that I was able to squeeze in. She was just over two weeks old, but slept soundly through the entire session.

She was quite a dainty little baby with the most beautiful skin and strawberry blonde hair. I wanted to share this session because I love simplicity and portraits that focus on the newness and beauty of a newborn baby.”

Erica’s Photography Tip:

I have learned so much over the past year about posing. One tip that I would like to share about posing deals with placement of the newborn’s head.

When I first started posing newborn babies, I did what many new photographers do and I simply laid them on a blanket in a horizontal position. Because our eyes are almost always first drawn to the newborn’s face, I learned quickly that a head in a completely horizontal position is very difficult to look at.

Our eyes are not used to seeing and processing faces horizontally, so when posing a baby, try your best to get their head out of that horizontal plane. This can be done in a few ways.

1. When posing a baby on a bean bag, I always have a swaddling blanket rolled up and under their little head to gently angle it. When looking at your image, the eyes should be above the nose and mouth.

2. Tilt your camera slightly to make the head appear more vertical. For every pose on the bean bag, I take at least a few shots where I tilt the camera significantly.

3. Find other angles or poses where the head will naturally be vertical in the frame. Some of my favorite poses are shot from above where I can easily position the head in the frame in a more vertical orientation.

And as always, whenever posing and working with newborns, safety is always first – never do a pose that you’re uncomfortable with (or the newborn doesn’t seem to like).

Newborn girl on dark teal backdrop
Newborn girl on dark teal backdrop wrapped in purple
Newborn girl on brown backdrop
Newborn girl on brown backdrop, tucked in pose

Erica used a Nikon D600 (affiliate link) with a Nikon 50mm f1.4 lens (affiliate link) to capture these images.

Erica Courtine is a Raleigh, NC Portrait photographer.


When working with newborns, it’s crucial to remember that safety always comes first. One of our contributors, Anya from Anya Wait Photographer, is a very experienced newborn portrait photographer and offers a large breadth of information on newborn photography safety.

You can read her articles here and here.

 

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