Top 5 Lifestyle Newborn Poses for Newborn Photographers

parents hold baby in front of chest: lifestyle newborn poses

Being a lifestyle newborn photographer is such a joyful job! While photographing a newborn in any situation is always special, there’s something so meaningful to me about lifestyle sessions. These sessions are generally more natural and organic, and allow us to document our clients in their homes and daily lives. While most newborn sessions at home have a bit more flexibility for the family, it’s still best to approach your session with a plan. This ensures that you don’t forget anything important, but also allows the family to feel that your session has structure. Although lots of things can interrupt that plan (fussy babies, energetic kids, and so much more), I typically focus on a handful of specific lifestyle newborn poses to keep our session moving together. These are some of my favorite ways to encourage those interactions and quiet moments to capture for a new family.

Today, I wanted to share a few of my favorite go-to poses for lifestyle newborn sessions!

Pose #1: Baby on Shoulder

This is one of my favorite images to capture with new babies. I have mom or dad hold the little one high on their shoulder while having the baby snuggled up on their belly. This usually works well while mom or dad are standing. From this one pose, I can capture some great moments of interaction and snuggling, as well as details of the baby – like their tiny feet or hands, and how little they are compared to their parents. I will also use variations with perspective with mom and dad in the background for some unique final images. 

Pose #2: Crib Solo Shot 

Mainly taken from above, you’ll need a chair or high step stool for this pose! Place the baby down in their crib and make sure you get directly over the baby. I recommend a wider angle lens for this shot, as well. Try to get directly above the baby as shooting this at an angle can be more difficult to edit later. For a few variations, consider shooting through a mobile or other decor for some layers. You can also shoot from the side of the crib between the bars focusing on smaller details like their hands. Another great variation is to have the parents look into the crib and pull back your image to capture that special moment. 

Pose #3: Baby Head in Hands

This creative shot is also a favorite as it puts in perspective how tiny your new baby really is. Have mom or dad cradle their baby’s head in their hands with the baby facing them. I especially love to use this one with new dads! One of my favorite variations can include having the other parent looking over their shoulder and down at the baby. Honestly, it’s a super natural pose and it’s something you’ll spend many hours doing in real life, so I love capturing this view!! 

Pose #4: Floppy Baby Pose

This is another common pose I love having dad do. I face the baby looking out at me with their back up against dad’s chest. I have dad safely hold the baby with one hand under their bottom and the other supporting their chest under their arms. Depending on how young or sleepy the baby is, dad will sometimes have to use his hand to help support the baby’s head or slightly lean back to make it more comfortable for the baby. From here I love to shoot all the variations of little one with dad and then add mom into the photo. This is a great shot to incorporate mom peeking over dad’s shoulder. This pose can be very flattering for mom, too!! 

Pose #5: Environmental Shots with a Mirror

While this pose doesn’t always happen, it’s one of my favorites to do. I love the challenge and uniqueness that comes with lifestyle newborn photography. When a family has a mirror available in the space we’re working in, I’ll have them pose in the room and use the mirror to capture their portrait. It’s always fun to see the reflection of what’s happening in real life. 

There is so much beauty in capturing a new family in the comfort of their home during the first few weeks after welcoming a new baby. While there are countless variations and moments to capture, these are my 5 favorite unique photos I like to capture at every session! I hope that you’ll use some of these during your next newborn session! 

Other articles you might like:

Tips for Using Natural Light for In-Home Sessions

The Best Maternity Poses for Natural Portraits

7 Best Photography Prompts for Toddlers


about Danielle Blewitt

Hi, I’m Danielle. I’m a Pittsburgh, based family photographer and marketing expert. I help family photographers build and grow successful businesses using simple, organic marketing strategies. This space is designed to give you some of my best practical tips to implement in your business.

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