How to Take Your Own Newborn Photos

Newborn on white quilt
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A few of my friends are pregnant and due with babies soon, and it’s heartbreaking to think that not only might their families not be able to visit, but they probably won’t have a photographer there to capture those first special moments.

I have seen photographers offer some tips for taking better cell phone photos of babies, and I wanted to share a few that might help my friends, or yours if you know anyone who’s due to give birth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information on how COVID-19 is affecting New Jersey, click here.

I’m also going to give something away at the end of this post to new parents, doctors and L&D nurses, or other circumstance that I didn’t cover but you think apply—no strings attached.

Photos are memories that can be passed from person to person, and having good photos is so important to me.

Mother with newborn in hospital

Best Tips for Taking Your Own Baby Portraits



If your baby is born overnight, wait until the sun is up. Of course take some quick snaps of those first moments, but if you want really nice portraits, sunlight is your friend.

But first…turn those hospital lights off.

To that point, fluorescent hospital lights? Totally not your friend. Turn those off when you’re taking a photo. It may seem counterintuitive, but by doing so, the warm color of the sun will compliment literally every skin tone of every mom and baby.

Where should I put the baby?

If your baby is facing the window, then sun will wash over their face and help you capture their features.

If they’re faced away from the window, your phone or camera will be working that much harder to understand what’s in the photo. It may be dark, or if not, it’ll be grainy.

9 out of 10 times, if your camera is pointed at a window, it’s going to focus on the light from the window and make everything else darker. Unless you’re going for that, stand to the side of the window.


Unless you specifically want to remember your baby’s nostrils, take pictures from the side or above. No MySpace angles allowed.

Don’t forget the details. Fingers, toes, ears, eyes, tails, horns, beaks, claws… whatever your kid has, get close! Just check with your nursing team to make sure that’s okay first. 😊


Now, my gift to you, new mom or dad!

I’d like to give every new parent, doctor, or L&D nurse one of my Dudes Portraits preset packs for Adobe Lightroom (mobile version) for free (a $13 value). Personally, I’d recommend Dudes Portraits – The Essentials for this, but the choice is yours.

If you’ve never edited a photo or used a preset before, Lightroom is a free mobile app that you can download on iPhone, iPad, or Android that will give you a lot more control over how your photos look.

Learn more about Lightroom here.

If your due date is before May 4th 2020, or if you’ve given birth in the last two weeks, message me on Facebook with some sort of proof and which pack you’d like, and I’ll send you the presets. Here’s a link to the store to pick your pack.

And if you’re seeing this and we don’t happen to know each other, consider this my gift to you. We’re all navigating our way through this pandemic, and you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your photos because of this.

If you use any of these tips or presets, I’d love to see your results! Please share them with me on Facebook or Instagram. And if you know parents who are giving birth soon or have recently, please share this post with them!

NJspots is a growing community. By sharing you can help.

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