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Creative Newborn Photoshoot Ideas to Shoot at Home

Capture your newborn's earliest moments with these creative photoshoot ideas you can easily do from the comfort of home.

newborn photo shoot
Family

Who doesn’t have a phone full of baby pics? 


Mom, pro-photographer, and Chatbooks super-fan Erin Phraner knows all about capturing those ridiculously adorable baby moments you just have to print. That’s why we asked her to share some fun, modern setups that are perfect for monthly updates—or just because!


These do-it-yourself concepts are perfect for creating precious baby photos you'll treasure for years. And once you've taken your shots, print them with a Chatbooks Monthbooks subscription—the easiest way to have your memories delivered to your door each month.

“I love adding these pics to my Chatbooks Monthbooks subscription… My girls love flipping through them and seeing their own faces, and they’re so easy to create with the Chatbooks app,” she says. 

“Between running after my little ones and running my own business, I don't have time to scrapbook or be on my laptop to edit photos,” she explains. “With the Chatbooks app, everything is on my phone and I can print high-quality photo books that I will love and cherish forever and ever,” she says.

Monthbooks
Monthbooks

Try a Monthbooks subscription and fill your book with 30-60 photos! Choose between 4, 6, and 12 books per year, plus different colors and styles. Softcover Monthbooks are $12 a month and Hardcover Monthbooks are $20 a month. Cancel anytime, no strings attached! 

Monthly Minis
Monthly Minis

You can also opt for Monthly Minis. Subscribe to get 30-60 photos every month in a mini book for mini hands (made with rounded edges and toddlers in mind!). Photos come straight from your camera roll. 

Classic Photo Books
Classic Photo Books

A Classic Photo Book is the perfect way to print your entire year, vacation, or special occasion. Fill a book with up to 366 pages with pictures from your phone, Google Photos, Dropbox, HeyFam and more. 

Now, let's get snapping!

Everyday Items

Think of this as your creative warm-up. First choose a spot next to a nice sunny window where you get plenty of indirect light. If there's a cozy rug on the floor, even better. Grab your cute baby and also grab a coffee mug. If you're a tea drinker, a teacup works, too. Hold the mug over the baby's belly so it covers most of their midsection and start snapping away.

It's too cute and it takes seconds to snap! If you're feeling adventurous, grab a cozy blanket and spread it out on the ground next to your window and try this idea with some fruit, like a slice of watermelon. Same thing: Hold the fruit up so it covers your baby's belly in the frame and start snapping away. Look at you, you're a natural photographer. 

This trick works on pretty much anything, but Erin advises that rounded objects tend to look best. If you love croissants, try a croissant. Got a tomato? Try a tomato. Your kitchen is your oyster. Oysters? No, they would get messy. For an easy, inexpensive colorful background, grab some poster board.

If you're ready to take things to the next level you can set up a little scene. 

“I love working with these vinyl backgrounds from a brand called Club Backdrops,” says Erin. A marble version is shown in the picture below. “They're beautiful and really durable,” she adds.

These are just a few examples of how you can have fun with food, but the options really are endless.

premium photo albums
Sonogram “Before” and “After”

Chances are the first photo you ever had printed of your baby was a sonogram. So we love the idea of taking a “before” and “after” picture with this memento. And the best part is you can use an adorable, sleeping baby—just like Erin did!

Use the headboard of the bed to create a cozy photo background. Drape a blanket over the headboard and spread it out on the bed. The higher the headboard, the better, because it's going to give you some more space to work with. 

One trick Erin likes to use with blanket pictures is to roll up a towel and use it to prop baby up just a little bit. You'll be able to get a better picture of their face this way. 

Now, since the background is so simple you may want to play around with accessories to jazz this picture up a little bit, like Erin did with an inexpensive tiara. Move your camera around and experiment with different angles.

If your phone has portrait mode this is a great time to turn it on with a blanket photo like this. “It just sort of softens the background and makes it look more professional,” says Erin.

newborn photo album
Mirror Play

Everyone loves a mirror selfie! “I love, love, love taking mirror photos,” says Erin. 

Even if you have a big beautiful mirror in your house, don’t use it for this photo. You want to buy a safety mirror for this. Erin recommends grabbing one from Amazon. They're not expensive, and this way you know it's not going to crack or break or hurt the baby. Plus, it’s a great toy to have for your baby. “I highly recommend getting one just for sensory play, in general,” says Erin. Using it for pictures is just a bonus! 

Now, with the mirror, you're going to have to move around a little bit to make sure that you can't see yourself or your phone in the reflection.

If you want to take this to the next level—and Erin highly recommends that you do—take your mirror outside. Grabbing a few flowers from the garden, putting that on the mirror… it all just adds to the look and it's really, really fun.

This works really well, especially with a smaller mirror like this because the reflection that you're seeing is of the sky and of the grass and it just looks beautiful.

If you love taking pictures, this is a really fun idea to play around with.

newborn photo books
Frame of Flowers

This setup is perfect for monthly photo updates and super classic. “I'm going to use my vinyl photo background for this one, but any simple surface will do,” says Erin. 

This is the time to use a good quality faux flower. “I think fake tulips look the most realistic,” she says. Real flowers wilt. They get messy and that's not what you want with the baby. If you plan on using this setup for a monthly photo update, faux flowers are going to keep your pictures consistent so consider these an investment that you can use for month to month. 

“I really wanted to make a heart shape using these tulips and Chloe to fill in the rest,” she says. “However my delicious baby was too big and it just didn't work out,” she explains. You have to stay flexible when you're working with babies. Cut yourself some slack. Erin rolled with it and instead put her to the middle. Most faux flowers have some sort of floral wire that runs through them so you should be able to bend them to create any shape you need. This is a great way for her to practice her tummy time. “This one feels really classic and feminine to me,” she says.

Oh, one really fun idea if you're using this setup for monthly photo updates is to theme the flowers to the specific month. There are lists online, but January is carnation, February is violets, etc. And then at the end you can use your photos in your Chatbooks!

newborn photo shoot
Optical Illusion

This idea is so simple, but ends up looking super professional. Either put down a blanket for some padding, or do this on any comfortable surface like carpet. 

Pro tip: If you're going to take pictures without a diaper on, make sure you add a puppy pad underneath whatever your background is. It's going to give you peace of mind and will make cleanup a lot easier, in case an accident happens.

Now, on top of that add a piece of black fabric. “I got mine from the craft store, but anything works,” Erin explains. It's going to disappear into the background, so use whatever you have on hand for this setup. 

You're going to need an extra set of hands, so either grab another person or use an inexpensive phone tripod. The one Erin uses was less than 30 dollars and has a bluetooth remote. This way you can set up the timer, snap a photo and your hands can be busy holding your baby. 

You'll see when you cradle your little one in your hands, the black background gives the illusion that you are actually holding them in mid-air. 

You could do some really fun things with this. Make sure to crop out any floor if that creeps into your picture and what you're left with is something that looks like this. 

This is a great idea for a birth announcement photo or even a holiday card. Super, super chic! 

Get creative, take the pictures and print them because every day is a big deal when you're a new parent. So on most phones you have the ability to edit your pictures right in your camera roll. “I like to boost the brightness, contrast, and saturation,” says Erin. If you like a softer, dreamier vibe you want to bring those elements down for a gentler look. Once you nail the look and feel that you want, send those pictures to print. That way you get those pictures off of your phone and into your family's hands so they can hold on to what really matters.

baby photo book
Cozy Wrap

Pick a spot next to a nice sunny window with plenty of indirect light and spread a blanket out on the floor. You don't need any fancy photo backgrounds, just use what you have. Now, chances are you have plenty of swaddles. If you love the look of those stretchy, gauzy newborn wraps, they're easy to find on Etsy or even Amazon, but Erin has an even better trick: using an old, cozy sweater to make your own special photo wrap.

“Just find the seams, and along them to cut away the sleeves in the collar and you're left with one big piece of fabric that’s the perfect size for a newborn,” says Erin. Plus, it smells like you and that's a really good trick for getting your newborn to relax. Look at that cozy texture and zero dollars to make! It works like a dream. Just wrap and stretch the swaddle, tucking it in under the baby until they're nice and secure. 

premium photo albums
Tucked In

Put a crib mattress on the floor and cover it with a set of jersey sheets, which are super-stretchy and soft and look beautiful in newborn photos, then tuck your baby in. “I happen to have these felt stars in the back of Chloe's closet, thinking I was gonna make her a DIY mobile… I haven't, so I'm going to add them to the sheet just to add a little bit of texture,” says Erin. But you could do the same thing with flowers, little stuffed animals, pretty much anything. This one's so simple but easy to customize with colors or accessories to make it however you'd like. 

newborn photo album
Up, Up and Away

You don't have to go crazy buying things to set up a scene. “I have a blue comforter so I'm going to do this next idea on the bed, but you could do this with any blue blanket, blue towel, or even a tablecloth,” says Erin. 

One thing to keep in mind if you're taking a picture on a bed is that you want to tuck your comforter in super, super tight. This helps smooth out any wrinkles and keeps your photos looking professional. To create this scene, Erin used regular computer paper to cut out some clouds and blew up a balloon (which babies love to watch!). Instead of ribbon, try a pipe cleaner for the handle. It doesn't move around a lot so it just looks a lot cleaner in photographs. So simple and so whimsical! 

newborn photo books
Teddy Bear

As a new parent, you were probably often gifted lots of lovely stuffed animals, so why not use them to make a cute little photo?! And bonus points if baby falls asleep while you’re shooting.

You could do this with one oversized stuffed animal or you could use a collection almost like they're one of the squishy little toys. If you have a stuffed animal from when you were little or a special gift from a grandparent you can use this photo to capture that memory, too.

newborn photo shoot
Tulle Time

If you're looking for something chic and dramatic, this one's for you. This is another one where you need your hands so you’ll need a partner or a tripod. 

Put down a piece of black fabric. You can use a black sheet or black tablecloth—anything you have on hand. You're also going to need one large piece of soft tulle, which you can find at a fabric store or most craft stores. If you have a wedding veil on hand you could use that, too, and make a really sentimental photo. This idea is so much easier to do with the younger newborn but if your baby is a little older, just use Erin’s trick of setting up the scene, placing her in it and helping her fall back asleep before taking your pictures. 

Once your baby is nice and cozy, roll them to their side, grab the tulle on each end and pull it together to one side of the black fabric, almost like a hammock. When you snap the photo, they're cradled in this really beautiful transparent fabric.

You can also do this one as a black and white. Super-chic and super-dramatic!

baby photo book
Book Stack

If you're a bookworm, this one’s for you. Create a backdrop by draping a blanket over the crib or the edge of the bed and spreading the rest of it out on the floor, then grab a stack of your favorite books. Once you create a setup that you love, grab your baby. It's very easy to prop up a young newborn on the books. For older babies, it is great tummy time practice. This is a great way to show off your favorite children's book or your collection if you're a super fan of a certain series. 

premium photo albums
Warm Heart

If you want to keep things super-simple, but still want a special setup, give this heart idea a try. All you need is a blanket. It can be as small as a receiving blanket or a crib blanket if you have a newborn, or you might want to use a full quilt or duvet. Spread your blanket out on a cozy surface and start molding the blanket into the shape of a heart. This works really well with a blanket that has some structure to it—kind of like a duvet. If you want a little extra help with the shape, roll up a towel or a blanket and kind of use it as a mold underneath your blanket. Once you create the shape that you like, put your baby inside of the heart and start snapping away. This one is a great idea, especially if you have twins.

newborn photo album
Laundry Line

This is a great example of how you can use “found” objects around the house to create a scene. Erin used a green blanket for her “grass,” and a yellow bowl with some crayons to make a sun, in addition to some string for the laundry line, some baby clothes and clothespins. It looks like they're hanging with the laundry in this cute little scene! The look and feel will change depending on the items that you have around your house. “I just think that this is the cutest idea, especially with a little tiny newborn as a birth announcement,” says Erin. 


Hopefully, you found an idea or two that you love and you feel confident snapping those photos yourself. Remember it is never too late to give your baby the newborn treatment. “If you're anything like me, I know that these kinds of photos can become your most cherished keepsakes in your new role as a parent,” says Erin. “Now that I have this adorable collection of photos, I'm going to order a few extra books from Chatbooks to share with Chloe's grandparents,” she adds. Remember, you don't need a pro to capture your little one at their cutest. Have fun and enjoy these photos of your newest creation. 

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