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BN Living: Parents, Here’s Your Personal Guide to Planning a Newborn Photoshoot Session | M12 Photography




Are you expecting a baby or recently had a baby? Congratulations!! If you plan to have a newborn photoshoot when your baby arrives, here are some tips specifically for newborn photo sessions from a professional baby photographer, Bisola Ijalana of M12Photography, for you on how to get it done.

Newborn photography requires a great deal of skill on the part of the photographer and patience for both the parents and photographer. It is mainly done within 2 weeks (14days) after the baby’s arrival.

Some questions will likely be going through your mind if planning for the photo shoot, such as;

  • When do I schedule the Newborn photo shoot?
  • Where will the Newborn photo shoot be done?
  • What happens on the day of the photo shoot?
  • How long may the photo shoot take?
  • What do I need or take along for the photo shoot?

The following tips will help you in planning and working along with your newborn photographer to have a fun-filled and stress free photo session. This is just to serve as a guide as your newborn photographer will provide you with more details on what to expect.


Scheduling The Newborn Shoot
If you are thinking of having a photo session for your newborn after birth, you can start by contacting your newborn photographer by the second or third trimester. At this initial contact, the photographer can schedule an appointment for you working with your Expected Date of Delivery (EDD). However since we cannot be exact on when the baby will arrive, you may be given a provisional appointment of within a week from the EDD depending on the photographer. When the baby finally arrives, you immediately contact the photographer to agree on a definite appointment date.

If you have to wait till the baby has arrived before contacting the newborn photographer, she might be fully booked to accommodate you within the 14days post delivery. If you previously had or are having a maternity shoot it becomes easier for the photographer to work with you in planning the newborn shoot, the photographer already has your details.

The age of the baby goes a long way in determining the types of poses which will be comfortable for the baby. At this age bracket it will be easier for the baby to do curled up poses, like when he/she was in the womb. Also they will tend to sleep longer and will be more comfortable without clothes on than older babies.


For baby boys, it is advisable to have his circumcision done immediately after delivery or after the photo session, as it may take up to seven days for the circumcision to heal. The baby will be uncomfortable with poses if the circumcision has not healed.

On arriving at a definite date with the photographer, take into consideration possible pediatrician visits/ immunizations for the newborn. You will not want your be baby to be cranky during the photo session, if coming from an hospital appointment.

If your baby is well past 14 days, have it in mind that certain curly poses may not be easy to perform. Also colic may set in which can make the baby cranky during a photo session.

Newborn photo sessions are done in your home or at the photographer’s studio. In Nigeria, newborns tend to stay more indoors till after the naming ceremony or baby dedication, so the session majorly takes place in the parents’ home. In some countries like in the U.S it is common to see newborn photo shoots taking place in the photographer’s studio. Whichever location is used, what is most important is for shoot to be done in a place conducive for the newborn to be photographed


It is important to keep in mind that the newborn photography sessions might take up to 2-4 hours depending on the baby. It requires a lot of patience on the part of the parents and photographer to photograph newborns. Sometimes babies may be cranky and uncooperative. Some time will be taken calming the baby, soothing the baby to sleep, changing diapers, breast feeding, putting the baby in desired poses etc. Whatever time it will take to get your newborn photographed, relax, stay calm and enjoy the photo session.

What to Expect on the Day of the Photoshoot
The day is finally here for your newborn to be photographed and you look forward to a memorable and wonderful photo session. You have exchanged correspondences and shared ideas with your newborn photographer on theme, props, desired poses etc and you feel all is set.

Generally you are not required to bring much things for the shoot as your newborn photographer will have all the props required for the shoot such baskets, head bands, blankets, wraps, bowls etc. You are only expected to come with items such as like wipes, diapers & diaper cover. Newborn photographs are majorly taken with the baby nude. Try to keep to room temperature warm. If your baby does wee or poop during the photo shoot, don’t worry yourself, the photographer has enough blankets for the shoot.


Since newborn photographs are taken with the baby asleep, try to breastfeed the baby at least 30 minutes before the photographer arrives. It is easier to get them curled up when they are asleep. You may also need to take breaks in between the photo shoot to feed the baby to be prevent them from being hungry and cranky and to get them back to sleep. If for any reason your baby becomes restless and appears uncooperative, stay calm and be relaxed. Work together with your photographer to calm the baby and enjoy the photo session.

If for any reason you are not comfortable with a particular pose, let the photographer know, but be rest assured that newborn photographers are well trained in the art of photographing babies and will not do a pose considered unsafe for the baby.

Sit back, relax and have a wonderful newborn photo session!

See more Photos

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Source & Photo Credits: M12fotographystudios | @m12photography


  1. Sugar

    September 15, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Absolutely breathtaking

  2. Single Shalewa, Bitter Bintu!

    September 15, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    This is amazeballs!!! Thank you so much for this writeup. You sure are going to be expensive (worth every penny from what I’ve seen though)., but please did you go with the baby baskets and the red dress?
    These pictures are too adorable.
    PS: Can a regular wedding photographer do a newborn photoshoot? Or we have to break the bank by looking for you now? *sad face*

    • Wow

      September 15, 2016 at 5:50 pm

      Expensive is relative lol. One just need to put value on what’s important to them. Not sure about Naija but in the U.S., newborn photographers have a lot of props in stock to use for the photoshoot; wedding photographers don’t stock up on baby props (these props aren’t cheap so it’s not something you can just go out and buy a bunch of at a time unless you’ll be using them over and over again). Newborn photographers acquire the props over years. In addition, newborn photographers (with experience) know how to handle/calm the babies throughout the session. It takes experience.

  3. zzzzzzzzzzzzz

    September 15, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    I like the third picture. They are all cute

  4. that uptown girl

    September 15, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    These pictures are so beautiful. It’s now doing me long throat to see my baby but am still a couple months off. The last baby in the blue blanket his pose is Epic, he probably doesn’t even know he is no longer in the uterus.

    • nira

      September 15, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      That uptown girl, u re definitely not alone…still a couple of weeks to go , but seeing these pics have made me so anxious to see my baby. Wishing us safe delivery.

  5. Social Media 9

    September 15, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Amazing photos . Luv the girl in red with her big red hair band. In the UK you can get these done in the hospital. Had my daughter’s done the next day after she was born. the photo company staff go around marternity wards with new born’s to offer their service and show you photos of thier own photos( archives). I was to tired to decide but my mum convinced me to allow the lady photographer do it. And it turned out to one of the most memorable pics of mydaughter ( although I have hundreds, take one almost ever two days ?). My point is mothers pls indulge in this, its worth it .

  6. Loveth Best

    September 15, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    Wow, Such adorable Pics

  7. Dee

    September 15, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Gorgeous pictures. <3

  8. Jo

    September 15, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    How do they get the babies to smile?

    • Roma

      September 15, 2016 at 6:58 pm

      Babies smile easily. My baby always smile whenever someone say hi. Sometimes, when he’s sleeping.
      So, i think that is how majourity of babies are.
      The cutest creatures in the world.

  9. Felinda

    September 15, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Bella why are you doing this to me?? why
    You know i am real sucker for babies and kids
    and now you have now just woken my ovaries up and they wont shut up this morning. 🙂
    i am just melting ;looking at this cuties

  10. chic wen sabi

    September 15, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    I just saved all the pix. How I love babies. God am looking forward in doing this soonest for the ones you have promised me.

  11. Ronald Goldman, Ph.D.

    September 16, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    It is better to avoid circumcision. Studies show that circumcision causes significant pain and trauma, behavioral and neurological changes in infants, potential parental stress from persistent crying (colic) of infants, disrupted bonding between parent and child, and risk of surgical complications. Other consequences of circumcision include loss of a natural, healthy, functioning body part, reduced sexual pleasure, potential psychological problems, and unknown negative effects that have not been studied. Thirteen national and international organizations recommend against circumcision.

    Some circumcised men resent that they are circumcised. Sexual anxieties, reduced emotional expression, low self-esteem, avoidance of intimacy, and depression are also reported. Some doctors refuse to perform circumcisions because of ethical reasons. Relying on presumed authorities is not sufficient because of their personal, religious, financial, and political conflicts of interest. Instead, watch a circumcision video and trust your instincts. Would you allow someone to do that to YOU?

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