Capturing the cuteness of your little one as they’re wearing their best baby sleepsuits is an ambition all parents have. Whether it’s a quick snap on your smartphone or a more organised event with your whole family, having some kind of record of your child during this time is priceless.
If you’ve already got some camera skills you can make use of then you’re lucky, but even the most amateur of photographers can achieve some pretty amazing results with a few great ideas. We outlined some of our favorite photoshoot ideas and best practices for documenting an all-important growth stage for your baby.
Best Practices for Photographing Babies
Babies bring with them a whole lot of natural charm and cuteness, but it’s still important to know the basics before embarking on your baby sleepsuit photoshoot.
The best kind of lighting you can use is natural. As long as there is some daylight present when you’re taking photos, you should be able to take some decent photos. We’ll talk a little about black and white photography later and how high contrast settings using artificial light sources can create a great scene, but when you’re just starting out, prioritize environments which offer you sufficient natural lighting.
You can play around with different windows in your home to see which one lets in the best light. Depending on the direction your house faces, you may have to accommodate the sun outside. Alternatively, bring your little one outside for some non-obstructed lighting.
When you’re just starting out, prioritize environments which offer you sufficient natural lighting.
The idea of finding and using a backdrop might sound like something only a professional does, but it’s actually pretty simple. All you need to do is find a blank sheet and hang it up behind the area you plan to use when taking photos.
You don’t always need to do this, especially when you're taking candid photos, but a simple backdrop is the best way to eliminate general background clutter and put greater focus on your baby.
We recommend plain patterns and neutral colors that will emphasize your baby and the designs on their baby sleepsuit. And if you don’t have anything suitable to hand, you can try using plain walls or moving your lens in closer to your child so the frame doesn’t include as much unnecessary background.
Make Your Baby Feel Comfortable
As you’ll know, there are a thousand things that can cause you child discomfort or put them in a bad mood. If you want to take some great photos while they’re awake, it’s best to avoid moments when they’re unhappy or too distracted.
As long as you’re able to make your child feel comfortable, your photos should turn out well. However, choose the wrong moment and you could spend more time chasing your little one around the house or trying to calm them down more than actually taking photos. A good tip is to plan your photo shoot around meals and naps when you know your child will be settled.
If you’re taking photos of your child sleeping in their baby sleepsuit, then this is a little easier. But just be careful that you plan their position and arrangement before you let them nod off, otherwise you’ll have to disturb them to get them in that perfect position.
Also, another great tip for helping your child to feel relaxed and happy is to make sure they’re dressed in the most comfy and appropriate gear. Although many baby products look adorable, not all will be gentle and comforting in all the ways they need to be. For some advice on what your little one should wear, check out our blog: What Should My Baby Wear to Sleep? — The Right Products for the Right Time.
Be careful that you plan their position and arrangement before you let them nod off, otherwise you’ll have to disturb them to get them in that perfect position.
Choose a Good Location
A great setting can truly make a photoshoot, so be mindful about where you choose to position your little subject for the important moment. You don’t have to go crazy with planning an extravagant day out to some amazing location. Something bright, open and uncluttered will do, such as your garden, a park, a meadow or even your living room. Just make sure you clear the space and check there’s enough natural lighting.
Top 5 Photoshoot Ideas
Some photo shoots can happen spontaneously with little required time to prepare. And these candid shots are sometimes the best memories. However, other more creative ideas might take a little time to prepare or require some additional help from a family member to get just right.
The Sleeping Baby Pose
The first and arguably most important baby photoshoot idea is the sleeping baby pose. It’s also one of the simplest ideas to execute so it’s a good place to start. As long as you’ve dressed your little one in some adorable gear, you can go ahead and snap away while they dream peacefully.
If you are looking to arrange a specific kind of pose or sleeping position, this might take some additional planning before your baby falls asleep. Too much movement will wake your child and spoil your shot, so setting things up beforehand is usually safer than moving your baby while they’re asleep.
Babies are ridiculously photogenic but sometimes when you choose to take some snaps, you lose the true authentic quality of the moment. You may have the perfect idea in mind and be unable to coax your child into the right pose or situation to achieve the desired effect.
This is why interactive scenes work really well, as you’re encouraging natural movement and activity rather than focusing on one specific outcome. This also works best when you have someone else on hand to play with your child, whether it’s your partner, your other children, or even your pets.
For example, a great baby and dog scene is one of the most popular interactive photoshoot shoot ideas that showcases the combined charm of animal and child. A few other ideas for interactive scenes include:
- Child playing with their siblings
- Baby playing with their parents
- Baby playing with toys
- Baby playing with bubbles
- Baby in bubble bath
- Baby painting or drawing
- Baby exploring in nature
- Parent dressing child in their baby sleepsuit
Interactive scenes work really well, as you’re encouraging natural movement and activity rather than focusing on one specific outcome.
One of the most exciting aspects of the whole baby photoshoot activity is choosing a theme to bring to life. You’ll see thousands of adorable themed photoshoots when searching for ideas online, and while many examples look like you’ll need the help of a professional photographer or studio to pull off, others can be executed quite easily at home.
There are infinite possibilities, but it’s great to choose an idea that means something to the family. For instance, are you an avid Harry Potter fan and wish your child to be just the same? Obviously a whole scene inspired by the books would be a great choice if so. Other themed baby photoshoot ideas include:
- Fantasy land
- Adventure time
- Seasons and holidays
- Favourite books or films
- Space theme
- Profession based scenes (doctor, scientist, sports player, artist etc.)
- Beach theme
Props and Fun Objects
To achieve any of the themes above, you’ll need to choose the right set of props to complete the look. You can make a number of props yourself at home, with random items around the house, or purchase some additional items online. A number of online stores specialize in child costumes and fun baby clothes so you shouldn’t find it too hard to get what you need.
One of the best props you can use the mirror, which can make for a whole photoshoot theme on its own. While the specific purpose of the mirror changes as your baby grows into a toddler, whether it’s as a tool for supporting cognitive development or visual activity, its usefulness remains constant throughout their growth.
Simply purchase a large mirror (if you don’t have one already) that your little one can gaze into and get your camera ready. As they look at their reflection you’ll have the ingredients for a charming photoshoot as you capture multiple sides of your baby from self reflection to confusion.
Shoot in Black and White
Many consider black and white photography as classic or old fashioned, but it can be a creative and modern pursuit for all parents who love the aesthetic appeal of this kind of photography. Almost all phones and cameras will have settings that enable you to take photos in monochrome. Otherwise, you can take photos in color and edit them afterwards quite easily.
While this more artistic look is great, taking black and white photos requires a little more thought about light and contrast if you want to get the best results. Below are some timeless principles to keep in mind.
- Simplicity is important with black and white, so reduce any unnecessary distractions form the scene to focus on your subject
- The most impactful black and white photos have a strong amount of contrast, meaning there is a significant difference between the dark and light parts of your image. If desired, you can introduce artificial light sources to increase or decrease light intensity for some amazing effects.
- Shapes and details really stand out in black and white photography, so things like your child's tiny toes and fingers can convey a strong sense of identity. Also, the details of your child’s baby sleepsuit will seem more prominent, so consider choosing interesting patterns you want to highlight more.
Many consider black and white photography as classic or old fashioned, but it can be a creative and modern pursuit for all parents.
Useful Tips and Ideas
Newborn photography can be harder than it might seem at first. Especially if you’re trying to capture a specific effect while keeping your baby happy during their daily routines. However, a few useful tips and ideas can go a long way.
Include Favorite Toys and Items
Toys, rattles, gentle fans, baby blankets, and various props will help add personality to your photoshoot. They will also help to keep your little one occupied or encourage them into being cooperative. If your child has an attachment to a specific toy for instance, using it will make them all the more willing to smile and participate.
Capture the Details
If you are unable to create a whole scene, sometimes the little things will tell a whole story of their own. If you add a little more focus to the things you might otherwise overlook, such as your baby’s hands, eyes, nose or even their belly button, you can take some really great photos. These also make a great addition to a large collection that includes a combination of close-up shots and photographs taken from further away with more context.
Make Sure the Mood is Right
If it’s not the right time, it’s not the right time. Sometimes it’s better to come back another day if you want to get the best results. Photoshoots where you baby is uncooperative or moody can make your images seem forced and unauthentic. It’s much better to wait for the right moment and your photos will practically take themselves.
If you’re having trouble getting your little one to nod off before you start snapping away, consider implementing some bedtime routine activities to help the process. And for some great ideas, check out our blog: How to Help My Baby Sleep — The Perfect Evening Routine.
As long as you have a camera on hand, which almost everyone does these days, it’s easy to take hundreds of photos of your little one in their adorable baby sleepsuits and other charming outfits. And while many won’t make it into the final album, it's better to have a large collection of photos you can vet than not enough.
Don’t be intimidated by the need to take the perfect shot, simply keep shooting and you’re sure to get something great eventually!