Introduction to Newborn Props for Photography
It’s important to use newborn photography props to make your images 100% more adorable! In addition to showcasing sleepy faces and button noses, you can use props to showcase the baby and the family’s personalities.
Many of the best newborn photos you see online are often photoshopped, so if you really want to safely engage in newborn photography we recommend investing in the right photo props.
After all, you could have all the best camera equipment in the world but without a few extra baby props, your photos will seem boring and predictable, especially when shooting newborns. A photo prop can make all the difference to take your newborn images from plain to creative.
Table of Contents
- Introduction to Newborn Props for Photography
- How do you Prop a Baby Picture?
- Must Have Newborn Photography Props
- DIY Newborn Props
- Cheap Props
- Baskets for Newborn Photography
- Creative Props
- Where to Buy the Best Newborn Photography Props
We hope you enjoy this list of the best props for newborn photography to add to your baby photography designs.
How do you Prop a Baby Picture?
When considering what newborn baby props to invest in the first thing you should think about is the style your clients are asking for. Many times families will come to you already knowing what they like or with at least a few example photos.
Oftentimes, it’s a great idea to tell potential clients to put together a Pinterest board of some of their favorite newborn photography before your session. Using this imagery you can get an idea of what type of colors and styles your new client may find appealing. Pay careful attention especially to whether they choose neutral/organic tones or something more bright and eccentric. Lastly, remember that the newborn photography prop should not take away the attention fully from the baby. The main focus is always the adorable little one!
The type of props you need will vary greatly on what the client is looking for but we have broken down our product list and items into categories to help you make the right decision when buying.
Safety and Eco-Friendly Props
When considering a prop for your newborn photo, the first thing you should always think about is what is it made out of? Keep in mind a newborn baby’s skin is basically a sponge and very delicate. Never choose something that would irritate the baby or worst cause a breakout.
Choose a prop that is comfortable and not made of artificial materials. If you are worried about finding eco-friendly newborn props, simply type “eco-friendly newborn photography props” on Amazon and you will find a huge array of products.
What fabric is best for newborn babies?
Always search for the words organic when looking at fabric items for newborn photography. You can usually tell the difference by the price of the prop. Better materials are more expensive. Search for cotton, bamboo, and wool. These items are more breathable and are less likely to cause irritations.
Must Have Newborn Photography Props
If you need to get new props for your baby shoots, start with this list. These are great photo props that almost every newborn baby photographer has in their gear bag. Make sure you have at least one of them with you when you are on your next baby shoot.
Wraps top our list for newborn props. They are flexible and take little space to store away or carry with you for in-home baby sessions. Additionally, we love this photography prop because it acts as a tool to relax a newborn.
Most babies are accustomed to being swaddled. Almost all newborn photo sessions include at least one pose with a wrap and they also work well to add family members into shots to safely hold the baby. Make sure to invest in an assortment of wraps including different sizes, colors, and materials. We recommend pastels.
Putting a newborn baby into a perfect position can prove challenging. A bean bag is a great photo prop to easily and comfortably position the baby. It forms to the newborn’s body and is also the perfect backdrop to make the baby pop and remain the main focus. Pay attention not to startle the baby when placing them because they can easily roll-off. Be sure to place the baby in the middle of the bean bag and keep a parent standing by.
Can you use a regular bean bag for photographing newborns?
Make sure to search online for newborn posing bean bags, because a regular bean bag is usually not flat on the top and could submerge the baby. We also recommend a vinyl-cover because it protects the prop from fluids or spits up from a newborn, which can be a common occurrence. Vinyl is also easier to clean and sanitize to keep your next baby client safe.
Stands and Backgrounds
Another top photography prop for newborns is of course a background! You will want to go the extra mile and invest in a stand as well so your background doesn’t come crashing down on your fragile subject. You can invest in backgrounds or simply use a cloth or a blanket. The stand is great because it keeps your backgrounds from wrinkling and can block the floor as well.
Rugs make for simple and easy-to-use newborn photography props. Just like a wrap, they can easily be transported and make for a neutral cozy backdrop. They are also great for laying the baby naked on their stomach or having a sibling sit with the newborn. Lastly, a pro tip when choosing colors is to choose contrasting colors between your wrap and the rug, this will give more depth of field to your images.
Headbands and Hats
Knitted headbands and hats always make for easy-to-use precious newborn photography props. Additionally, it keeps the baby warm and offers them more comfort as they sleep through your photos. Make sure to choose a color that compliments your chosen background and consider themed hats that related to the family or a holiday.
When taking a newborn photo, faux fur can be your best friend. It looks great by its self but also can be easily placed inside baskets, crates, and drawers. This can be a more expensive investment when it comes to photography props so consider how many newborn shoots you will be doing on a regular basis before buying one.
DIY Newborn Props
Shooting newborn photography can become redundant, this is why it’s important to try out some new ideas and do it yourself projects to make your own photos different from your competition. In just a few easy steps you can make your own photography props.
Bed of Books
This is a great photo prop that is easy to make and involves the parent’s personalities. Before the shoot find out if the parents are book nerds and what books they really love. This could also be a pile of the books they read to the baby before they put them to bed.
Symbols make for great newborn photography props to give all the emotions! Find out the baby’s name before you set up your studio, this way you can buy wooden letters that represent the newborn’s name or initials. It’s a good idea to place the letters around the baby’s feet when shooting or even next to another prop in front of the newborn. You can even spell out words like their favorite characters or parents’ initials.
This is an easy thing to make happen for newborn photography. If the child was born around a specific holiday, buy some candy-related props. For instance, if it’s Halloween, buy some candy corn. Or if it’s Easter, you could purchase some Cadbury eggs and jelly beans. Get the creative juices flowing on this DIY prop.
Mom and Dad’s Hands
These photo props are free and DIY! It always makes for a sweet newborn photo when you can involve the newborn’s family. Opt for a closeup of dad’s arms or an adorable photo of mom snuggling the child close to her face. Also, consider zooming in on just the baby’s feet or hands inside their parent’s hands.
If you have already invested heavily in the newborn props, you may want to consider some of these cheaper items just to spice up your studio and approach to baby photography.
Bubbles are a super simple and cheap newborn photography prop. At around 2 dollars you can add vibrant colors and a lighthearted feeling to any photo. Have an assistant or parent blow bubbles to toss and turn while you shoot away. They also make for a perfect alternative to a snowy or rainy day theme.
Consider adding plastic flowers to your photo props bag. They are easy to bend and mold and can be added to your backdrop to add some color to an otherwise dull sheet. Or you can interweave them into the baby’s basket. Even more, consider adding flowers to the baby’s hat, real ones work as well, just be careful of allergens.
If the parents have an itch for travel, consider incorporating a suitcase into a newborn photo. You can find vintage suitcases in a secondhand shop or even your own home. Be careful to sanitize and cushion the inside before placing anyone’s precious cargo inside.
Quilts are colorful photo props and can have a lot of meaning to parents. Many times a newborn will have a special quilt gifted to them or one they sleep with on a regular basis. Always ask parents beforehand about any meaningful props they might want to bring on their own behalf for a newborn photo.
Bows are a cheap and easy accessory to brighten up any newborn baby girl’s photos! Remember that most newborns are not accustomed to anything wrapped around their head, so make sure they are swaddled or comfortably sleeping before attempting to add a bow or head accessory. Etsy offers an array of fun handmade bows for newborns.
Baskets for Newborn Photography
Baskets have a whole list of their own because they are such a vital part of newborn photography. Many items can be revamped into baskets.
If you have yet to invest in a basket, consider using one of your wardrobe drawers instead. Many times wooden drawers give off a bohemian vibe to newborn photos and are easy and comfy to fill with baby toys or soft blankets to keep the little one sleeping comfortably and safely.
Bowls and Buckets
Look for bowls and even ice buckets that are the perfect size for a newborn. Just like drawers and baskets they offer a sturdy wall around the baby and are easy to fill with silky props and cushions. Consider turning them on their side as well.
Instead of just a plain basket, revamp this classic newborn prop by choosing a more rustic look. Look for different tones of wood and as mentioned above consider adding some floral or green plants into the layers of the woven basket. Always double-check for lead paint or anything that could harm the newborn.
What size basket is required for newborn babies?
Sizes vary based on the size of the baby but ideally you should look for 18″ x 20″ or 18″ x 30″. These sizes are optimal because they leave extra space for stuffing with cushions and blankets.
Creative props let the imagination run wild. If you have already tried some of the props from above consider some of these new innovative ideas. From baby “firsts” to holiday and movie themes, there is not shortage of creative ideas for your next shoot.
As mentioned with candy, consider other holiday elements you can work into your newborn photography props. Significant holidays like the baby’s “firsts”. These include Christmas, birthdays, the 4th of July, and Thanksgiving. Parents will want to remember the firsts of their child for a lifetime. This is an excellent time to incorporate more outfits too, depending on the holiday.
If you have never child movie-themed newborn sessions, add it to your toolbox! Ask the parents some of their favorite films and try to customize as much as possible. Popular films include Star Wars, Superman, Harry Potter, and many others.
Get even more creative by asking families what their favorite hobbies are. By discovering what they like you can personalize their newborn photo session. Get as much information as you can before to find inspiration including things like fishing, eating, music, military, or a favorite family heirloom.
Where to Buy the Best Newborn Photography Props
Lastly, now that you have all these wonderful ideas, you may be wondering where to buy them. Here are some great online resources to buy your next newborn photo prop. Also, don’t be afraid to look through garage sales and get your friends involved asking them to pick up any epic finds they think could work for a newborn photography session.
- Newborn Studio Props
- Denny Manufacturing for backdrops
- Home Goods
- Beautiful Photo Props
- Baby Bliss Props
- Facebook Marketplace
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best newborn photography props for your next shoot! We want to end by reminding you how important it is to put the newborn’s safety first! No matter how sweet the prop is always be sure you file down rough edges. Make sure there are no scratchy surfaces and double-check the baby is safe inside.
Always have an assistant to keep watch while you are shooting, and try following around an experienced photographer first if you don’t yet feel confident working alone. There is no shame in mastering a craft by learning from a pro before you jump in, especially when it comes to babies.