Learn the top tips for taking DIY newborn photos at home!

After I had my son, I was a little low on cash (not to mention the world was in the middle of a pandemic), so I decided against getting professional photos to capture the newborn stage. Instead, I started looking up DIY newborn photos at home and I did a little photoshoot with my iPhone.

Taking DIY newborn photos at home doesn’t have to be hard! Really, anyone can do it by following the right advice. All you need is your smartphone, the right timing, and some extra storage space on your phone for the million pics you’re about to capture of your sweet little baby.

Here are the top tips for DIY newborn photos at home that I followed to capture some awesome pictures of my son:

tips for diy newborn photos at home

Time it right

Timing is important for DIY newborn photos at home. The first thing to consider is what age is the right time for a newborn photoshoot. Professionals would say that some time around 2 weeks old is the sweet spot. During that time, newborns are still super sleepy and also easy to position.

You also need to consider the right time of day to do DIY newborn photos at home. For this, you’ll need to observe the lighting around large windows in your home. You don’t want it to be super direct bright sunlight, but it also can’t be dark without any sunlight. Take a day or two beforehand to make your observations and decide the best timeframe for your photos.

Utilize natural lighting in your home

This is probably one of the most important tips for taking DIY newborn photos at home. The key to great photos is natural lighting. Take your photos near a large window or a sliding glass door for maximum natural lighting.

Try to avoid too much light and brightness. You’ll need a happy medium between too bright and too dark!

Take photos on a white or light background

You’ll want to have a light backdrop to make the photos look bright and airy. Whites and neutral colors are timeless and never go out of style.

I used a textured white duvet for my backdrop. I spread it out over a bed before putting the baby down. You could also invest in a white cloth backdrop on Amazon, which you can continue to use in photos as your baby grows older.

Use what you have at home

Although you could choose to invest in a backdrop, you definitely don’t need one. In fact, you don’t need to buy any supplies to take DIY newborn photos at home. I know I didn’t!

Take advantage of things you already have. Use a Boppy pillow with a blanket draped over it to prop baby up. Try out some of the neutral muslin swaddles or receiving blankets you got at your baby shower. Take down some of your decor to use as little accents–this is an especially good idea if you have artificial flowers or greenery!

Work with textures

When you’re working with white and neutral colors, things can sometimes look a little too blended and monotone in photos. The way to avoid this is by using textured fabrics to give more dimension. Knit blankets or textured swaddles will do the trick.

In addition to the textured white duvet I used as a backdrop, I also used a gray and white plaid muslin swaddle. If you choose to use a patterned swaddle, make sure it uses neutral colors and is pretty basic. You want the baby to be the star of the show!

Take your photos after a good feed

You want baby to be super chill and relaxed when you do your DIY newborn photos at home, so make sure you get a good feed in before breaking out your camera!

Baby will probably drift off to sleep after you start snapping photos, although you might be able to sneak in a few pictures with open eyes if you go quick.

Get alllllll of the angles

After you position your baby for photos, move yourself and your phone as much as possible to capture all of your newborn’s angles. Later, while baby is napping, you can check out all the shots you got and choose the best ones.

I always find that it can be hard to figure out if you’re getting good photos when you’re in the moment. Getting a million different angles lets you figure that part out later.

So even if you think an angle won’t look good, just do it anyway. That’s the beauty of smartphones these days, you can take as many pics as you need and delete some later if they suck!

Cover the diaper

Make sure your baby’s diaper is covered in the photos you take. Nothing ruins a picture faster than Pampers popping out of the corner of a swaddle.

Portrait Mode is your friend

When you use your camera phone’s Portrait Mode, it really makes the subject of the photos (in this case your sweet baby!) pop and look amazing. It blurs the background and makes photos look 10000000% more professional. So if your phone has Portrait Mode, PLEASE use it to take DIY newborn photos at home! It will elevate your DIY photo game so much people will be asking who you hired to photograph your baby.

Capture the little details

Too many tiny newborn features will disappear quickly, so make sure you snap photos of each little detail when you do your DIY newborn photos at home.

Tiny feet and toes, little fingernails, precious itty bitty nose–capture it alllll in your photos.

Try to snap a pic of your little one’s tiny newborn hand in yours as well!

Consider investing in mobile preset filters for your phone

This is optional, but mobile presets have changed my DIY photography life. After getting mobile preset filters on my phone, I can easily edit the photos and they ALWAYS look amazing. There’s a ton of options for purchase, and they really aren’t too expensive. I can’t recommend doing this enough.

I have a wide range of filters I use for photos on my blog, but I love love LOVE the Light & Airy Lifestyle Mobile Presets.

Here’s a peek at our DIY newborn photos at home!

diy newborn photos at home
diy newborn photos at home
diy newborn photos at home
diy newborn photos at home

The last thing to know about taking DIY newborn photos at home

Don’t be afraid to take too many pictures! You can always go back and delete the not-so-great ones later.

I hope these tips and tricks help you save some cash and take some amazing DIY newborn photos at home. Enjoy these little precious moments with your newborn baby. These pictures will give them AND you a wonderful keepsake of babyhood.

Have you tried DIY newborn photos at home? How did they turn out? Any other tips and tricks? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Looking for more mom tips? Check out this post: 10 Amazing Tips for a First Time Mom