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8 tips for dreamy newborn photos - for beginners & parents!

As a Mum myself, I was desperate to capture my babies in those early weeks while they were tiny, sleepy and oh so perfect.


I tried many techniques in an attempt to get professional-looking shots but many of them ended up with my baby fussing and crying and me feeling overwhelmed and frazzled!


Fast forward through the next 7 years as I embarked on a career as a professional photographer and I’m now an expert at getting dreamy portraits every time with absolutely no stress.


I’ve now supported so many mums with my easy to follow online training and I’d love to help you become the next at-home photography pro.


Use these tips below to nail your in-home DIY newborn photo session.


TIP 1 - ensure bubs is fed

Ensure your baby is fully fed and left unwrapped to have awake time before you start the session. Ensure the baby is burped to avoid gas or an upset tummy. Let baby kick around and move to let off some energy which will help them settle more easily for photos.


TIP 2 - have the room toasty warm

Ensure the room where you are taking photos is super warm! Have the room at 27 degrees. This will ensure the baby is nice and warm to settle them asleep. A cold baby will not relax and will squirm all over the place.


TIP 3 - use natural window light

Use natural sunlight by making use of a window that has no direct sunlight/beams coming in (think in the shade or on an overcast day). This type of light is soft and beautiful and will result in beautifully exposed images. Ensure you take photos during the day when the natural light is bright enough. e.g. NOT taken at dawn or dusk!


TIP 4 - swaddle/wrap your baby

Babies feel safe and secure when wrapped firmly. If a baby is not settling into the wrap after a minute or two, if they can move their hands and legs out of the wrap it often frustrates them until they are completely out of the wrap. In this example, you must wrap the baby more firmly with a STRETCHY wrap to allow grip and to anchor the fabric around the baby. Always ensure there is space away from the baby's neck when wrapping.

TIP 5 - white noise

Taking photos of your baby should be a FUN and stress-free experience! I don't want you to go through what I did, which ending in me being exhausted and failing miserably on capturing beautiful photos of my baby girl. I felt so guilty that I made a horrible experience for her too as she squirmed and cried the entire time!

If your baby is upset, try putting on white noise and play it LOUD! Babies are used to being inside the womb which is very noisy and white noise is a very close resemblance to the sound inside the womb. Your baby will feel at home. This is why white noise is so comforting to babies.


TIP 6 - dummy/pacifier

This is another amazing tool to use to settle your baby. Even if your baby doesn't use a dummy, I recommend using one if only for the photo session to use as another settling tool when needed. If all the other tools aren't working, this can often be the last tool that makes all the other techniques come together and work!


TIP 7 - styling

Styling your photos can be made easy by using the items you already have in your home. If you have time to plan your styling (e.g. your baby hasn't arrived yet), you can get gorgeous wraps and hat/headband sets from Snuggle Hunny Kids. Their range is absolutely beautiful and are an absolute favourite brand of my clients! Examples of their gorgeous sets are shown in the first image.


Try using your favourite scarves to wrap your baby in and use your favourite linen as I have in the examples below!


TIP 8 - getting in a positive state!

After just having a baby, there's a chance you're waking up each morning feeling lethargic, sluggish and overwhelmed about the day ahead of you. You may be feeling like you don't have the mental energy to accomplish your goals.


Don't push or force yourself to take photos of your baby when you're in a negative or stressed state. It won't end well. Wait until you've had that much-needed nap or shower.


There are lots of ways to lift your emotional state, here are a few simple suggestions;
- put on your favorite upbeat song and move! (Please take it easy especially if you're recovering from surgery or trauma - please be advised by your doctor)

- smile to yourself in the mirror like a me you'll start laughing even when you feel ridiculous!

- take time to quiet your mind. Close your eyes and focus on your body and your breath - deep breathing. If your mind wanders, always return to your breath.

- take a cold shower! Sound too harsh? I struggle with this too! Try splashing your face with cold water for a good 2 minutes.


Find a method that works for you and do this before your session! There are many suggestions out there on how to change your state. Remember you are only as resourceful as your own resourcefulness!


Follow these tips EXACTLY as described and you'll have great success in being able to take photos with a calm and sleepy baby. Wrapping is a crucial part of settling your baby, but if you're wanting to get photos of your baby in the nude, then PLEASE only try this AFTER you've taken beautiful shots of your baby wrapped. When you unwrap them, this is when they often wake up and get unsettled.


If you'd like to learn more you can grab our free guide to improve your photos drastically with this one simple tip PLUS a bonus explainer video ⬇️.

IS THIS helpful? How can we help you further?
I'd love your feedback and suggestions! x


Anxiety. It can be hard to find the positives in it. But for me, there was one. Anxiety helped me to empathise and be optimistic for others.

After becoming a mum, I felt pressured by what I thought society expected of me.

“It’s the best time of your life”

“You can’t imagine life before them”

“Your life is now complete”

“You’ll be overwhelmed with love and joy”

I felt gut burning guilt for weeks – because I had other thoughts.

I was overwhelmed with worry for my daughter, second-guessing everything I did and feeling sick from sleep deprivation. An impending feeling of doom washed over me when I realised I couldn’t sleep for more than 1.5 hours straight while my baby fed 2 hourly.

I didn’t feel connected to motherhood in a way that I thought I should. How could I be so ungrateful as to not enjoy every second? That guilt lifted immediately the day that I confided in a close friend, who was also open and honest about how she felt being a new mum. I realised how easy it is to curl up in a ball and not venture out into the world when you’re feeling lousy. If I hadn’t pushed myself to do so, I may not have laughed with a friend that week or come to the realisation that I wasn’t a complete nut job or a terrible mother! The simple act of talking honestly healed me and it healed my friend. We realised we were normal!

We now laugh…

“Remember the time you were so exhausted you dreamed of handing your baby to the Department, thinking I tried this parenting thing, I’m not cut out for it”.

“Or the time I freaked out that I was stuck with this baby for the rest of my life, and I’ll never sleep for more than 2 hours again”. “When you drove past a couple walking their dog and huffed to yourself jealously … Look at them they still have a life, they don’t have kids”.

Why didn’t someone tell me that it takes time to adjust and get to know your baby? That the love will grow stronger than you had ever imagined. That you’ll form unbreakable family ties and value family above everything else.

Mums would say to me “I didn’t get out of the house until mine were 3 months old” how did you manage to get out with a 2 week old? Back then my reply was “Today is a good day. Yesterday I didn’t get out of my PJ’s, the house is like a bombs hit it and I felt unwell because forgot to eat for the entire day”. Share your bad days. It could really help a mum who’s struggling.

This is where I’m meant to be..

The choice to specialise in newborn photography came from a love of photography, the desire to share stories with mums, and to capture such a special fleeting moment when your baby is a newborn. It’s just incredible the sense of wonderment a newborn brings to a family.  Newborns are the building blocks of life. If you are my newborn client, I will certainly offer maternity, first year milestones and ongoing family services. I love “my” families and watching “my” babies grow!

As crazy as parenting is, I love it. You know those car trips on the way to visit friends? It’s a bloody circus, tears, boogers, crying, yelling, hitting each other… I laugh to myself, are we really taking them in public? We arrive, open the doors, kids stop crying and we enter looking like we are managing. Doing it like a Boss.

Don’t you wish you had more time to actually ‘see’ your kids, rather than a rushed glance to check they aren’t juggling knives or forking power points? Chaotic days like this, I wish I made time to watch them play, noticing the little quirks in the things they do.

And then sometimes all I want is to enjoy a cuppa in peace. They both linger like a bad smell waiting to have the last sip. I haven’t finished reading one line of a text message yet. I’m distracted and then drink it all, so I make another to share with them.

Most of us are uncomfortable getting our photo’s taken, but we do it anyway because it means so much to our kids. You are the reason these amazing creatures exist. They adore you. You are their entire world. Mums are behind the camera capturing special moments. Got to love our husbands but they suck at getting us in photos, we must ask them!




The beauty of capturing your world on film is that you find yourself being present here and now, taking in all that your children are, realising this present moment will soon be the past, a beautiful moment, a memory.

Jessica Van Den Berghe newborn photographer

See one of my top 5 favourite newborn sessions here.

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    I'm Jessica Van Den Berghe, a small-town

    Camperdown girl with big dreams.
    I'm hooked on Netflix, in-door plants, candles and crispy pork crackling with apple sauce.


    T.0439 932 229