Child on Horse Blanket, and How to Catch Those Great Newborn Images

I’m starting to fill appointments for the next month of photographs, once April 15th rolls around and the studio officially opens, the Kelley Bard Photography Studio should be shooting priceless images on a regular basis!

This photo is not of a newborn. This baby was about 2-3 months old, I believe. Alert, interested, with great expressions. Plus with clearer skin (a great benefit of the slightly older child). I redid this photo with some of the newer techniques that I use now, and I really like this version. Thanks to this boy and his family for allowing me the image! Below, I outline some of the things to think about when planning a true “newborn” photo experience.

How to Catch Great Newborn Images

A scary reminder for those who are interested in taking newborn images of your child: Time is not your friend! You will notice time and time again how quickly your child grows, but in terms of catching some of those precious newborn moments on film, you are facing a limited time before those moments are gone forever. This isn’t to scare you… you will have years of amazing, cute, tender moments caught (I almost said “on film”, lol) ahead of you. But if you are serious about taking those newborn moments, here are the most pertinent details:

1) “Newborn” images- curled up, asleep, even hanging in cheesecloth or a baby hammock or a “stork pouch”, etc are best taken between birth and 10 or so days old. After you hit 2 weeks or so, the baby will be spending a lot more time awake and will be less inclined to curl up like they were so comfortable doing inside their mother’s belly.

2) A happy, sleeping newborn is a full newborn. Therefore, a newborn photo shoot requires patience, time, and a mother’s nipple / bottle. I suggest that you hold off on feeding your child until you arrive- I have a nice place that you may feed the baby once you arrive at the studio. I will have the best chance to get amazing images with this technique. The baby may need to be fed more than once, and that is fine. Patience, again. A newborn shoot can take up to 2.5 hours long, with sleeping moments, awake moments, unhappy babies, hungry babies… and a few gorgeous, once in a lifetime images preserved.

3) Bring both parents, or siblings, if you wish. Father/child, mother/child, and parent/child images are precious! Siblings may need to wait until the baby is a bit older and can interact for the best images and for safety. But we can discuss that ahead of time if you wish. Other family will be welcomed but the baby may not tolerate the amount of photos being taken… he/she really runs the show, you see. Still, I customize to what you want, as much as possible! I want to create the photos that you want.

4) ┬áMom may not be feeling up to traveling or to being immortalized in photos right now. I totally understand, believe me. I prefer to do photo shoots in my studio, and think that I can provide great newborn images there, with my backgrounds, lighting, props, and newborn setups. I can also do in-home, though, and as long as there is ample window light or a way to safely use flash for the newborn photo shoot (bouncing the light off the walls, etc) I can create a beautiful image anywhere. Contact me if you would be interested in this option. In my studio I provide the parents with a relaxing space to watch the photo shoot, or even to rest, snack, or enjoy a baby-less moment. Paradoxically, for all the importance of having mom there to feed the baby, a newborn is very sensitive to their mother being there and will often wake if they smell or hear her. So she is actually encouraged to rest and relax away from the baby, while dad takes the lions share of the photo work. If you don’t plan to be in the photos, then show up in your comfiest clothes, no makeup… whatever gets you here easiest. Take a nap while you wait, even!

5) It is best to contact me before the birth, although I will try to fit you and your child into the schedule ASAP for those all-important newborn images. If I know that you are likely to have a baby soon, I can leave likely spots open in the schedule. Less stress all around. BUT, if you hear about me after your child is born, and want to get those images taken before the chance is gone forever, DON’T HESITATE to call. I want to take photos of your baby as much as you want to have those photos taken!

**Most important**

I want to be your photographer, the person you trust to create these precious images. I will help you along the way so that in the end you and I are both ecstatic with the results. One of the big reasons that I am going down this route in photography is because I think that lifestyle photographs- family images, maternity, newborn, children interacting and growing… these are the best moments that you will ever catch of your children, your family, your life. I am honored that you allow me to be a part of these private celebrations. Thanks for bringing me in, and letting me do what I do best to provide you with wonderful images. I am blessed, and grateful.

See more of my work at, or off any of the links to the right- facebook, flickr, twitter, and buzztown. I have a child portfolio that you can enjoy there, as well as a variety of other types of photography. Get a feeling of my style and how much I enjoy great images, and I hope you will let me be your photographer of choice!


About Kelley B.

I am a Durango, CO photographer who specializes in portraiture and wedding photography. My business is Kelley Bard Photography. You can find me around town, gardening, or on my website at View all posts by Kelley B.

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