Want beautiful photos of your newborn baby but don’t want to fork out hundreds in cash for a professional photographer?
You can replicate pro photos at home by simply investing a little money in some props for your baby pictures.
The cost of these is a fraction of the price tag for a professional photographer who is also likely to charge you extra for copies of their photos.
To take gorgeous photos of your baby at home there are some stunning props you can pick up that are not going to break the bank, but will take your pictures to another level.
This post will give you some inspiration for what the best props are to buy for your baby photos which you can take yourself at home.
Before we get to the props, there are a few key tips when it comes to taking baby photos.
You will need the following:
- Great lighting. There really is no compromise here. You must have good lighting to take great photos. Natural light is ideal, however in certain houses it’s just not possible to get enough light. In which case you can buy your own professional lights for not too much money.
- The best camera you have. It could be that you only have a smartphone. That’s fine. Modern smartphones have great cameras. However ideally you will use a digital camera – even better you will have a DSLR camera of your own to take the photos on.
- Space. A tiny corner in your house is not going to be enough. You may need to move furniture around so you can create a decent amount of space to set up your picture.
- A pretty setting. You want your baby to be the focus of the photo, not the clutter in your living room. The props will help, and some of the props in this list will improve the setting aesthetic, but you need to think about overall look of the photo. Think about the background as well as the floor. You could make your flooring look nicer by draping some blankets down. Or if all else fails, use an ironed bedsheet or duvet cover as a background and floor covering. Simply tape it to the wall (you may need some tough tape to hold the weight) and bring it down to spread out the rest on the floor and then you have a blank backdrop ready for your baby and photo props.
- Patience. Taking photos of children can be hard work! The sooner you take portraits of your baby the better, because sleepy newborns are easier to move around and position for cute poses. Time your photo sessions around nap time if you want cute sleepy photos. When it comes to capturing their expressions when they’re awake, try to feed your baby first so they don’t get upset during the photoshoot. If it’s not working out, then stop and try again later in the day or the next day.
For lots of tips on taking baby photos with just your smartphone, head over to my post on baby photography.
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DIY baby photo props
A wicker or straw basket is perfect for baby’s first portraits as a squidgy little newborn.
You could lay them on their back or their tummy for gorgeous pictures. Swaddling a baby before popping them into a basket makes the photo super cute.
Try using a gorgeous muslin swaddle cloth with a pretty print to add some pops of colour.
There are some adorable buckets you can buy specifically for taking adorable baby photos.
But you don’t have to get a bucket that’s sold as a baby prop. You could just get a simple tin bucket.
Remember to pad out the inside well and think about where you will rest your baby’s chin and arms before popping them into the bucket. You may need small cushions and/or blankets to do this.
On a similar theme, you could also try old-fashioned style mini washtubs for photographing your baby. These have a beautiful vintage look to them! Check out this one here.
A miniature bed makes a really sweet prop for photographing your baby!
They tend to be in the more expensive price bracket for baby photography props but the results are very pretty.
On a similar theme there’s also tiny cribs you can buy for baby photos that are completely impractical for sleep but are gorgeous for taking photos.
Don’t forget to dress the bed up with blankets, and maybe even some foliage if you would like to go for a nature-themed photo.
A simple bonnet or knitted hat adds a beautiful finishing touch to your photos! Think hard about what colours you want to feature in your pictures.
Maybe you have a relative who can knit a hat for you. If not, there are tons of hats you can find online and while your baby may not fit into the hat for very long, it’s a keepsake to hang on to for years to come in their baby box.
Floral or leafy headband
An adorable floral headband is perfect for baby girl photographs.
Alternatively there are tons of headbands on the market you can buy. They’re not particularly expensive and really add a special something to your pictures.
You could also swap the floral headband for a tiny crown like in this picture. I love how they have stripped the baby down. It’s really simple and neutral but beautiful.
Vinyl backdrops are often used by photographers taking images of products.
However they’re great for baby photos if you go for the larger sizes. You can tape them to both the floor and the walls to create a neutral backdrop to photograph your baby.
I love vinyl backdrops featuring simple, clean images such as white floorboards. However if you fancy some colour, why not go for something in a bright pink or blue and maybe some texture too?
There are lots on the market. I love the backdrops from Capture by Lucy.
There are also some beautiful vinyl backdrops here.
You don’t need loads of props if you have just one luxurious fluffy blanket!
You could just use it on its own, similar to how this photographer has composed their photo.
Alternatively use the fluffy blanket with one of the mini beds as described above.
Chunky knit blanket
An ultra chunky knit blanket looks really striking in photos of tiny babies!
Then once the photos are all taken, you can use it as a throw in your living room!
Drape the blanket on the floor and arrange it so that it helps to prop up your baby’s head when laying on their tummy.
This is a fab investment if you want to capture every milestone of baby’s first year. It really showcases how rapidly they grow in the first year.
A milestone mat generally has the numbers one to 12 marked on the blanket along with space for the baby to lay down alongside the numbers. You can use a prop such as a wreath of flowers to mark the month on the blanket and then take a photo for every month of baby’s first year.
Milestone cards or signs
Similar to the keepsake mat but a little more space friendly.
Milestone cards are a really fun way to document your baby’s first year. You can get simple ones that indicate how old baby is in the photo, or funnier ones that indicate milestones such as “I slept through the night”.
If you’re on a budget go for simple cards, which will be a little larger than a normal deck of playing cards.
Alternatively you can get wooden signs either in a set showing milestones or just the one personalised wooden sign with baby’s name and weight at birth, plus any other details you would like to include.
A photo donut is a large cushion, and sometimes comes with a set of smaller cushions, to help prop up your baby for pictures.
They’re very plain and so you can drap sheets or blankets on top of them to dress them up.
Many professional baby photographers use them to raise baby up off the ground and give a little height to pictures.
You could also use them to pad out baskets and buckets for pictures.
Have a little fun with your baby photos by adding some fancy dress to the picture.
You could dress your baby up in a little tutu or a little suit and tie.
There are absolutely thousands of baby costumes on the market, so the sky really is the limit.
From your favourite superhero to animals such as foxes and bunnies, there’s something for absolutely everyone.
These are a lovely touch for baby girl photos. The ruffles are super feminine and they adds a bit of texture and drama to the photo.
If you are a whizz on Photoshop then you may want to consider buying a digital backdrop instead of investing in a ton of props.
You simply take a photo of your baby as described in the instructions with the digital backdrop you purchase and then Photoshop your baby into the backdrop.
There are lots of different options to choose from and Etsy has absolutely loads on its website.
If all else fails, fresh flowers will brighten up any photograph.
Pop just one bud in your baby’s hand, or tuck a flower behind their ear (remove the thorns first!).
Alternatively you could pop a bunch of flowers in the background. You could also scatter petals all around your baby and take a photo from above.
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