The day of your newborn portraits is finally here! And many new parents may be wondering what your newborn photographer will be utilizing to capture those beautiful, artistic, photos of your new one. Below I have listed the top 7 props most newborn photographers will use when shooting a posed newborn session.
Top 7 Props
Wraps are one of the most utilized props in newborn photography. Why? Because they are versatile and take up very little space. Another huge advantage; wraps soothe a fussy baby while also adding a pop of color or texture to a picture.
Wraps are needed to create many different newborn poses such as taco, Huck Finn, tucked in, or even a simple swaddle. You will notice that your photographer has wraps in many different lengths, colors, and textures. While most wraps can be found in neutrals and pastels, your photographer may opt to have a few wraps that are bold in color to give a more dramatic look and feel.
Posing Pillows or Posing Beanbags
As a posed newborn photographer, posing pillows and beanbags are a must in the studio. Posing pillows and beanbags help create a stable, safe surface for layering and posing the baby. Another plus to these pillows and beanbags is they are waterproof so there isn’t a worry about ruining a favorite chair or couch should the baby have an accident (which they probably will!).
While rugs are used more for lifestyle photographers, posed photographers tend to have a few on hand! Like wraps, rugs, will add a pop of color and texture to any photograph. A common rug, called a Flokati, is a woven wool, thick shaggy rug, that adds instant visual interest to any picture. Other faux rugs that are shaggy can also be used to add interest. In posed newborn photography, rugs are genuinely used as a base layer and when paired with a wrap in a coordinated color scheme and you end up having a stunning photo.
In newborn photography, whether it’s posed or lifestyle, blankets are almost as essential as wraps! Blankets have many rolls in newborn photography; they can be used as a traditional blanket, as a rug, or as a layering element. Newborn photographers generally prefer a thicker blanket that will add a nice visual contrast in look and texture. Generally, thick crocheted or knitted blankets will add the perfect texture in a photo that will really make the final product pop.
Hats, bonnets, and headbands
These small but highly important props are some of the best elements a posed newborn photographer can have in their studio. Bows and headbands can instantly provide a feminine touch that signals the baby in the photo is a girl while hats and bowties can give a masculine touch to boys. Simple headwear can compliment the feel of the photo or can help create a theme to your sessions. For example, lace bonnets can create a vintage and timeless feel. While a Santa hat can create the feel of Christmas time without utilizing all the Christmas props. Simple, and small, hats, bonnets, and headbands provide subtle touches that can provide more of a story line to any newborn portrait.
Bowls, baskets, buckets
Simple, classic, elegant “containers” are one of the most versatile props in a newborn photographers bag of tricks! Bowls, baskets, and buckets can help frame a baby’s small body while adding depth and visual contrast to a photo. With proper support, a baby can be placed in a head on chin pose over the edge of the container giving a feeling that the baby is “peeping” over. Bowls, baskets, and buckets can also add some visual appeal and texture depending on what material they are made out of. Many newborn photographers love wicker baskets and galvanized buckets not only because they are diverse but for the texture and visual appeal they provide to a photo.
Beds and benches
Beds and benches add structure, dimension, and height to a photo. Generally, a photographer will place a baby in this prop and shoot from above; looking down at the baby peacefully sleeping. Or a baby can be placed on their side and a photographer can get a close-up of all their tiny new features. While any sturdy doll bed can suffice, many photographers opt to purchase specific beds and benches that are created solely for newborn photography and built with newborn safety in mind.
Here at Candice Swanson Photography, I love when parents bring in a special prop or props that highlight who the parents are or what they love. One thing to remember is that newborn photos are a snapshot in time but it’s also important to incorporate the story of the family. This baby is just the beginning of this family’s story, so I love to find ways to incorporate props that mean the most to the family as these are the photos that will elicit the most emotions and memories years from now.
At Candice Swanson Photography, safety is my number one priority (and something I repeatedly talk about!). All props used will be safe for your baby. If any prop I find has a sharp edge, you better believe I will file it down in order to ensure there are no ways babies can injure themselves on it. I will also weigh down any prop that I feel could cause a baby to tip as I will never compromise safety for a cute pose in an unsafe prop.
Getting ready for your newborn photo shoot can be scary when you aren’t sure what props your photographer may be using when taking your newborn portraits. I hope this post has alleviated some of your uneasiness and if you have any questions or want to book a newborn session with me, please contact us here!