top of page

5 Things to Know Before Your Newborn Baby Photo Session

baby wearing hair bow

Picture: Newborn baby wearing the dark grey brushstrokes hand-knotted hair bow (photo credit: Allison Payne Photography)

When you are expecting your sweet baby, you’re probably feeling pretty good about all the baby prep: the baby registry is getting made, your house is getting organized, and maybe nursery room walls are being painted. But have you considered newborn baby photos? Sometimes newborn baby photos are an afterthought or first time mamas forget to think about getting them done until the baby arrives.

As a first time mom, it didn't come across my mind to book a newborn photography session until it was too late (baby was already out the newborn phase) and while I did try to capture photos on my own, I regret not having photos professionally captured in that first week. This is why I wanted to write about this topic for those of you unsure about whether to book a session or not during the crazy first week of your baby's life.

Since I am not a newborn photographer, I’ve invited a talented newborn and family photographer, Allison, from Allison Payne Photography based in Pittsburgh, PA to help answer some of your questions regarding all things newborn baby photography so you can feel empowered and prepared to make the best decision for your family when it comes to capturing those precious early moments with your little bundle of joy.

I love partnering with local small businesses and have supplied Allison Payne Photography with a selection of Waku Waku Baby's hand-knotted hair bows to be used as props in newborn lifestyle or newborn posed/wrapped sessions (scroll below for more info on this topic)!

set of two hand-knotted hair bows

Before we begin, here's my one small tip for you. I'm sure you're thinking about the perfect cute outfit or your favorite swaddle for your baby, but don't forget the accessories. The little details totally make the photo.

  • As you can see in these photos, simple hair bows like the dark grey brushstrokes hand-knotted hair bow or natural cotton hand-knotted hair bows go well with any outfit and keeps focus on the cute baby while adding extra cuteness to the photo.

  • Our stay-on baby shoes will also be perfect little accessory and you get to keep those tiny baby shoes as a keepsake too, in addition to having your tiny baby wearing them

  • Will you also be in the photo? Make sure to grab a few of our adorable organic cotton burp cloths to drape over your shoulder! Trust me, it makes a world of a difference seeing you baby's sweet cheeks laying against a beautiful burp cloth over your shoulder.

mama holding baby with burp cloth on shoulder

Picture: Mama and baby featuring the organic cotton dreamer burp cloth

And now, let's dive in to all things newborn photography! Without further ado, check out below for the interview with Allison.

Hi Allison, thank you so much for taking the time to answer the top 5 questions from our community!

Question 1: What types of newborn photography sessions are typically offered and how can families choose which session is right for them?

Allison: The most common newborn sessions offered are lifestyle and posed/wrapped. Lifestyle sessions usually take place in your home or some photography studios have a more casual set in their studio to mimic a lifestyle session. These are more candid photos of you and your new baby. Posed/wrapped sessions are just that, posed! Think cute and cuddly babies in baskets or all snuggled on a posing table. These really accentuate all the tiny features of your new little one. You can’t go wrong with either session but if you are torn between the two types of sessions, that's where I come in and offer both!

posed newborn baby

Photo credit: Allison Payne Photography - wrapped session (hair bow: natural pointy handknotted hair bow)

Question 2: When should you get newborn photos taken? When should families schedule newborn photos with a photographer?

Allison: You typically want to do newborn photos within the first two weeks after the baby is born. If you missed that deadline, don’t let that deter you because you can absolutely have a beautiful session when the little one is three or four weeks old. They may not be as sleepy but that usually just means you get some amazing images of your baby making eye contact with the camera! As far as booking a session with a photographer, you want to do that while you are in the second trimester. Great photographers book up early and that last thing you want to hear (and what they want to tell you) is that they don’t have availability.

baby in crib

Photo credit: Allison Payne Photography - lifestyle session (hair bow: dark grey brushstrokes hand-knotted hair bow)

Question 3: What are your top 3 tips for families getting ready for their first newborn session?


1. Do not worry if your house isn’t straight out of a magazine for your lifestyle sessions. These sessions are about showing connection between you and your family and the focus is on just that!

2. Some photographers offer a prep guide prior to your session. If this is offered, try to adhere to it as much as possible. These guides are put together to help make the session go as smoothly as possible.

3. Have bribes ready for older siblings! They may be having a rough day or even a rough transition with a new sibling so to get those sweet pictures of them with the new baby a piece of candy or maybe new bubbles after the session will go a long way!

posed baby with hair bow

Photo credit: Allison Payne Photography - posed session (hair bow: natural pointy hand-knotted hair bow)

Question 4: If families opt to DIY their newborn baby pictures at home, what are your top tips to take quality photos?


  • Biggest tip would be not to try the posed images that photographers do. Photographers go through a lot of training to make sure everything is done as safely as possible and they can be extremely tricky to actually achieve.

  • Stick to more casual images in the crib, bassinet or even on a hand made blanket. Check Pinterest for inspiration!

  • Take pictures of the baby from above.

  • A sleepy baby is best so aim for a time that the baby will be doing a nice long stretch of sleep. This is usually right after a feeding

  • Find a location in your home that provides the best natural light to do your pictures.

  • Focus on the details; tiny toes, fingers, ears, lips.

baby wearing hair bow headband

Photo credit: Allison Payne Photography - lifestyle session (hair bow: dark grey brushstrokes hand-knotted hair bow)

Question 5: What should they look for in a newborn photographer?

Allison: When you are searching for a photographer online it can be overwhelming because there are so many. First, narrow down what type of session you want. Is it more of a posed session with the focus on the baby or do you want the lifestyle feel in your home. Next, look at the pricing. Make sure that they are within your budget before you fall in love with their work. Lastly, how does the photographer's work make you feel? When I was searching for a photographer for my second baby I came across a photographer whose work brought tears to my eyes. I could feel all of the emotion and connection in the image and I knew I had to work with her. To this day I am still absolutely in love with everything from that session!

baby in crib

Photo credit: Allison Payne Photography - lifestyle session (hair bow: dark grey brushstrokes hand-knotted hair bow)

And there you have it! Hope you got a better idea of the things to think about before you decide what to do regarding you newborn baby photos. A huge thank you to Allison for providing us with useful tips and professional advice. If you have further questions, reach out to Allison here and if you want to jumpstart shopping for your baby, check out the cute featured accessories below.

Wishing you the sweetest time with your little one!





bottom of page