rachel vanoven eworkshop review | what you need to know

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 lunatic...trust 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

Rachel Vanoven eWorkshop Review


It’s hard to find the right online photography tutorial these days as we are spoilt for choice and it is hard to know if it’s the right tutorial without having to first purchase it. Rachel Vanoven eWorkshop was way more than I had expected.

I’ve had Rachel Vanoven newborn and family eWorkshop for over 12 months now.

The newborn guide is the most comprehensive newborn posing guide I have come across. I have attended other newborn workshops in-person as well as online tutorials. Rachel’s guide has been the most helpful resource by far. I NEEDED this guide to help me perfect posing and to give me the confidence in handling these precious little beings. The attention to detail is brilliant and for someone who is OCD at times, it dots the I’s and crosses the T’s.

I constantly refer to the written and video guides. The eWorkshop has improved my knowledge and skills on posing baby safely, editing, shooting at the right angles and making the best use of my light. If you are looking to improve your images, I believe this is THE workshop to get.


The family eWorkshop has helpful tips on how to interact with young children of different ages and what to do if the children are about to loose it! Rachel’s tips have been a life-saver – preventing toddlers having a total meltdown or that one trick to stop busy moving toddlers for a second to look into the camera! I LOVE her tips on filtering the sunlight for sunset sessions. This has dramatically improved the look and feel of my images. It gives you a great confidence boost for family sessions.

I love that I can re-watch the videos over and over to refresh my memory and perfect newborn posing techniques. A newborn workflow guide is included to assist in transitioning baby into the next pose. It does it in a way that is least disruptive to the baby, giving you a better chance of baby staying asleep/settled in-between poses. I often refer to it to remind me of the next pose I need to make.

Here are before and afters, after having the eWorkshops:

Rachel Vanoven eworkshop reiviewRVPBeforeAfter2
The guide also includes a private Facebook group for extended learning. The group has BONUS learning videos, picture guides and editing tips. Again the attention to detail and how Rachel explains the poses, is so easy to understand and follow. She has a way of “opening your eyes”, helping you see the mistakes in your work which in turn improves you as a photographer.

If you are new to newborn photography, you will soon learn that the photographers who inspire you with their amazing, breathtaking work – it doesn’t happen over night. These photographers have had many hours of practice. No workshop can instantly turn you into an amazing photographer without the practice – but it will definitely give you the right tools to get you there. Mistakes will still be made, we are human – but you will learn and grow from them.

Before I purchased this eWorkshop, I wouldn’t have dreamed I’d be getting the images I have today. This workshop includes years of Rachel’s experience, all the hard work and mistakes have been put on the table, no secrets – you can avoid these mistakes and with practice using Rachel’s techniques, you can achieve the level of imagery you dream of.

If you haven’t purchased the eWorkshop, without hesitation I FULLY 100% recommend it.  My focus is more Newborn, however the family eWorkshop is just as good and the attention to detail is second to none. It truly exceeded my expectations.


Head on over here to Rachel’s page for full inclusions on the Newborn eWorkshop or the Family eWorkshop.

As for the price? It is worth every penny. As I said before – it has been the most valuable resource for my family and newborn photography. This is the best investment I have made for my business.

Thanks for taking the time to read this review. I hope it was helpful.

Jess x


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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

    E. jessica@jessicajanephotography.com.au