What to expect at your newborn session

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

I’m Jessica, and I’m a newborn photographer. I specialise in newborn photography for down to earth families. I work with mums sharing struggles and capture meaningful images that build strong connections. Showing how amazing your family is, is my purpose. You’ll fall in love with them all over again.

You’re Having a Baby!

Congratulations! On the day sit back, relax have some nibbles, hey even have a nap! Put your legs up and watch your baby be photographed in the most adorable poses.

Always Photogenic

I remember those first few weeks with a newborn, you are so tired. I know what your thinking….  I pose you in the most flattering angles and those bags and red eyes from lack of sleep? They won’t exist! After just having a baby the last thing you feel like is getting in front of the camera. It’s my job to make you look and feel great about studio-newborn-photography-camperdownyourself. You won’t regret it I promise!

When the session is scheduled?

Newborn sessions are designed for babies 14 days and younger. The best day to photograph your little one is from day five to day ten. During this time newborns tend to be sleepier and retain that fresh newborn curl. After 14 days, newborns tend to develop things like colic and baby acne, they also tend to be more alert and stay awake longer.

I set your newborn session on a temporary date near your due date. Once baby arrives, give me a call and a date within the first 5-10 days will be arranged.

During  The  Session

You’ll have access to a beautiful hand selection of props, delicately handmade by talented entrepreneur mums like Love That Prop and Princess and the Pea Props. The studio ensures perfect soft lighting for stunning images and a cozy setting for a sleepy and happy baby. The room is maintained at a balmy 28degrees. I suggest wearing light clothing.

Before the session you’ll receive tips to ensure your baby is restful and sleepy for their session. Sessions typically last 2-3 hours. This ensures we have enough time to settle baby and take feeding breaks when needed. You are more than welcome to bring your iPad along for entertaining.

During the session, I will posestudio-newborn-photography-camperdown and handle your baby with the utmost care. There is no need to worry if you are not feeling 100%. I have a newborn assistant with me (when available), to assist with posing and settling baby. I never force your baby into a pose, always making sure they are comfortable. All babies are different  some poses will not work as they do for others. Newborns crave pressure and warmth since it is what they have grown used to. They love being wrapped and supported, they will sleep comfortably.

Your baby’s dignity is ALWAYS maintained, their privates always hidden in final images.  We capture their beautiful creamy baby skin and all the finer details like fingers, toes, squishy back rolls (ohhh my fave).

If baby is wide awake and does not want to sleep, I will swaddle baby to get some gorgeous wide awake shots. Near the end of the session, I encourage you and your partner to take part in the session. I love capturing this time with baby and you and siblings etc.  The connections you have with each other will be felt through your images.

Baby and Siblings

If there are siblings I suggest they come near the end of the session, so they don’t get too hot or bored.  I have a play ground area at the back of my house. Your kids are more than welcome to play outside with mine! Bonnie & Rueben (if they’re home) love having visitors.

Please remember, sibling photos don’t always work out with young children and toddlers. I wan’t it to be a pleasant experience for them.  Working with young children is what I do, I have many tricks up my sleeve but kids are kids therefore the baby and sibling shot can’t be guaranteed. I can assure you I’ll try my hardest to get this shot as long as your child continues to be happy to participate.

What to Wear

  • Avoid branded items, prints or horizontal lines.
  • Plain, simple clothing is best.
  • Clothes for mum – suggestions are a tank top, tube, camisole in a cream or white/nude/beige colour. Jeans, pants or skirt to match. If you’re not sure what will work better bring all of it.
  • For Dads – a white, grey or black plain t-shirt, work dress shirt or bare skin to skin with baby looks really beautiful.
  • For siblings – Bring plain neutral coloured t-shirt or dress as well for their individual photos with baby.
  • Also please ensure that fingernails and facial hair is groomed.
  • Please try and iron clothes and use a lint roller, as wrinkles and lint tend to stand out in pictures.
  • Make up for portrait sessions can be tricky. Here are some tips to get you on the right track.

Refer to our newborn session outfit ideas board on Pinterest for outfit ideas.

Your kids will love looking back at their beautiful young mum when they were a baby. You are their world.




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  • EmilyMarch 3, 2017 - 9:46 am

    Hi Ive got a 3 month old. Would the photos mainly feature her but also a few with her & our dog, the 9 & 12 year olds siblings. Maybe a few with me also? Do we have disc etc to print or do you charge extra for photos? Thanks, EmilyReplyCancel

    • jessicaApril 4, 2017 - 5:01 pm

      Hi Emily,
      Terribly sorry for the late reply. Your session wouldn’t run like a newborn session with a 3 month old. It would be a combination of your 3 month old, yes yes please include your dog and her siblings. Most importantly lets not forget about photos with mum too! She’ll love looking back of photos with you. You will get many different combinations with your family. I’ll work hard to capture many different moments and relationships in your family. Ones you will truly cherish for years to come. If you’d like more info, please contact me via the ‘contacts’ tab in the header.
      Thanks so much for your message.

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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