What to Ask Your Newborn Photographer: The Must-Have’s

Newborn Photography is a specialist field. This guide will equip you with the knowledge needed to ensure the health and safety of your baby for their photo session. Gain the confidence in who you choose to capture your newborn baby. 

Warrnambool Newborn Photographer

Workshop with Erin Tole

1. Have you taken any workshops or had training in posing newborns?

Many photographers are self-taught, but those skilled in newborn portraiture have taken the time to learn newborn posing and how to safely handle the littlest of subjects. Newborn portraiture is a specialized field. If someone hasn’t taken any specific training with regard to newborns, be cautious.

They may not know how to safely replicate the poses they see online. I have heard stories of photographers bending baby feet and hyperextending limbs because they do not know the correct way to get the baby into posing positions. Every baby is different and won’t be able to do every pose. Look at the portfolio of the photographer you are considering. Do they have a diverse portfolio of babies and poses?


2. At what age do you prefer to schedule newborn sessions?

Most sessions are scheduled in the first 2 weeks of life. That means the ideal time for a newborn session is generally when a baby is 5-12 days old.

Warrnambool Newborn Photograpaher


They are very sleepy at this time and still remember being curled up in the womb, so their legs tuck up underneath them very comfortably and we can pose them in all those sweet curled up poses quickly and easily. At about two weeks old, babies go through a growth spurt where they want to feed more often and don’t fall back asleep easily and they don’t stay asleep while we pose them.

This doesn’t mean that you cannot have a newborn session of your baby is over 2 weeks old, you will still get gorgeous sleeply newborn photos,  – but it does mean you may have more images of your baby awake or you may choose a more ‘lifestyle’ session where baby isn’t being posed, e.g. being held by mum instead of in the curly, sleepy poses. Your newborn photographer should be knowledgeable about what she expects from the session based on the age of your baby at the time of the session.


3. How long have you been working with newborns?

Newborn photographers will tell you that every newborn is different. Some like being rocked, some like being bounced, some like pacifiers, some like to lay on their tummy, some like to be swaddled….and some won’t like anything you do! Having the experience of working with many, newborns gives professional newborn photographers the expertise to soothe colicky babies, to know what positions are best for babies with reflux, to understand how to pose multiples, and everything in-between. A newborn photographer must be patient, kind, and gentle with your baby.Colac Newborn Photography

4. Do you have props (blankets, baskets, hats, headbands, etc.)?

Make sure to ask your photographer if they have a variety of hats, headbands, blankets, baskets, etc. if you are looking for that type of thing during your session. These items can be very expensive, especially those that are well made and safe for newborns. Warrnambool newborn photographer

Professional newborn photographers charge enough for their sessions to cover the costs of having these things on hand in their studio for babies. They are often very selective about what they will choose to use during a session for safety or aesthetic reasons.


5. Do you do composites for difficult poses?

Many parents see photos of babies hanging in nests from tree branches, curled up in helmets, sleeping on top of chairs, etc. and think, “How did they do that? I want a picture of my baby like that!” What you don’t see is the process behind creating those images.

Any image where a baby is on top of a prop or hanging from something should be done as a composite, which means that the photographer takes multiple photos of the setup and then merges them together using photo editing software like Photoshop. This includes popular poses like the ‘head in hands’ or ‘froggy’ pose. (Example of a composite shown below) In these type of poses there is ALWAYS someone holding OR TOUCHING baby to ensure their SAFTEY.

A newborn baby should NEVER be left propped up on something where they could startle, roll off, or fall out. They should never be put in anything glass.


Example of a Composite where baby is safely posed

Warrnambool Newborn PhotographerHead in hands pose composite 1


Warrnambool Newborn PhotographerHead in hands post composite 2


Warrnambool Newborn Photographer

Final edited image (joining composite images 1 & 2)


6. Are you vaccinated against whooping cough & flu?

Ask your photographer if they are vaccinated. It’s a good idea to be wary of your babies exposure to other people, especially in the first few weeks. This ensures the health of your baby is not put at risk. Further information on whooping cough can be found on the Department of Health website here.


7. Do you have insurance?

Any photographer who works with newborn babies should have business and liability insurance. These items mean that you are dealing with a professional. A professional photographer should also provide a contract agreement for you to sign that outlines all of the key terms and conditions for the session. You should feel comfortable handing your precious baby over to your photographer and trust that they have done everything possible to protect your child.

Colac Newborn Photography
8. Do you have an assistant or will there be other people with you at the session?
Sometimes photographers will have an assistant who helps them during the session, and other times they may rely on a parent to help. It’s always good to know if there will be additional people handling your baby or others watching at the session.


9. Are parents and siblings included in the newborn session?

Some photographers specialise in newborns only and do not include parents and siblings in the session. Other photographers may charge extra for each additional person. It’s always a good idea to clarify with your newborn photographer who will be photographed during the session.

Meet Jess, a passionate newborn photographer based in country Victoria, Australia. Having experienced the challenges of learning photography while caring for a newborn herself, Jess empathizes with overwhelmed parents.

Driven by a desire to help, Jess now offers offers online training programs for parents and photographers alike. Learn quick and easy techniques to capture stunning photos of settled and sleepy newborns effortlessly.

Whether you’re a parent wanting to document your newborn’s precious moments or a photographer seeking to enhance your skills, Jess is here to guide you on this beautiful journey.

Join Jess’s offers online training programs and discover the joy of capturing timeless moments that will be cherished forever.

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  • Tracy MartindaleAugust 25, 2017 - 10:21 am

    Jessica this is a great article on newborn safety during a photography session! Very informative thanks for sharingReplyCancel

    • jessicaAugust 25, 2017 - 9:05 pm

      Hi Tracy,

      Thanks so much for your feedback. I’m so happy you found this helpful.


It's Jess, your go-to newborn photographer, and today let's chat about one of those adorable quirks that often steal the spotlight during our newborn sessions – hiccups!


Ever wondered why those tiny, hiccupping symphonies happen? Well, fear not; I've got the inside scoop for you!


Warrnambool Newborn Photography


1. Baby's Superpower: Developing Diaphragm

Newborns are like little superheroes in training, and their hiccups are a sign that their diaphragm, the muscle responsible for breathing, is flexing and getting stronger. It's like their own mini gym session, preparing them for those hearty belly laughs and future superhero feats.



2. Gastrointestinal Adventure

Sometimes, those cute hiccups are just a part of your baby's digestive journey. Their tiny tummies are navigating the ins and outs of processing milk, and hiccups can be a natural outcome of this gastrointestinal adventure.



3. The Learning Curve

Just like we stumble while learning to walk, newborns might hiccup as they figure out the whole breathing-and-swallowing coordination dance. It's all part of the learning curve, and trust me, they'll be mastering it like pros in no time!



4. The Calming Effect

Believe it or not, hiccups can actually have a calming effect on your little one. It's like a rhythmic lullaby, creating a soothing pattern that might even help them drift off to sleep. Ah, the magic of baby hiccups!

So, the next time your precious bundle of joy breaks into a hiccuping melody during our photoshoot, know that it's just another note in the beautiful symphony of babyhood. 🎶



Common Questions about hiccups:


How do I stop my baby's hiccups?

To ease your baby's hiccups, try gentle burping, offering a pacifier, or letting them suck on a small feed. Patience is key; hiccups often resolve on their own.


Do hiccups mean the baby is OK?

Yes, hiccups are usually harmless and common in newborns. They often signify a developing nervous system and are not typically a cause for concern.


Why does my baby hiccup for no reason?

Newborns hiccup frequently, and sometimes seemingly without cause. It's a normal part of their development, linked to the maturation of the diaphragm and respiratory system.


What is the purpose of hiccups in infants?

Hiccups in infants serve a developmental purpose, helping to strengthen the diaphragm and respiratory muscles. While their exact function isn't fully understood, they're considered a natural part of a baby's growth.


Should you sit the baby up with hiccups?

While it's not necessary, you can try holding your baby upright or allowing them to suck on a pacifier. However, most hiccups will resolve on their own without intervention.


How long should newborn hiccups last?

Newborn hiccups are typically short-lived and can last anywhere from a few minutes to around 20 minutes. If they persist for longer periods, it's always a good idea to consult with your pediatrician.


And hey, if you're curious about capturing these delightful moments (hiccups included) in a frame, I've got you covered!


As a seasoned newborn photographer, I'm not just skilled at handling these little ones; I'm also your guide to creating timeless memories that celebrate every adorable nuance of your baby's journey.



Grab Your Seat In My FREE Newborn Photography Training


Are you ready to take your newborn photography skills to the next level? Consider joining our 30-minute Masterclass , where we’ll share game-changing insights to elevate your photography game. Don’t miss this opportunity to improve your photography skills and create unforgettable memories!


Newborn Photography tips


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