7 Best Newborn Session Poses


November 9, 2021

A week or so ago, I published a blog all about newborn mini session posing and it’s been very well received! Because it was so helpful to those potential clients considering newborn mini sessions, I thought I’d do a similar post highlighting all the great posing options available in the full newborn session. But before I jump into the full newborn session poses, let’s talk quickly about why a full newborn session is a great idea.

The full 2-3 hour newborn session is great for parents who know they won’t be happy with just 5-10 shots of their precious new baby. The parents who book a full session know they want undressed shots of their baby, swaddled prop shots of their baby, and (available as an add-on) some families even opt for family poses with all the important people in the baby’s life (mom + dad + sibling, in this case).

The full newborn session results in 20-30 great shots, perfect for hanging on the walls of your home with their timeless style. Don’t miss the breakdown, below, where I go into detail about each of the newborn session poses I try to include at every session!

Every newborn session is different, of course, because every baby is different. Some babies arrive asleep and stay asleep. Some babies arrive asleep and wake up after an hour, ready to party. Some babies arrive awake and are super curious about everything that is going on around them, to the point that it’s hard for them to tune out and go to sleep. Some babies are cluster feeding, some are super active diaper-fillers, some take a pacifier easily and chill out, others are appalled by the very idea of a fake nipple. Every baby is different and every session, regardless of the very similar workflow I employ each time, ends up looking a little bit different from the one before it. That’s the beauty of this style of photography. It’s the same but different and I’m smart to stay on my toes 😉

Newborn Full Session Poses

Froggy or Head on Hands

Not every baby is asleep enough to attempt froggy. This is one of those newborn session poses that, in MY studio, requires a *very* sleepy babe. Some photographers attempt it with awake babies but, as I don’t employ an assistant and instead require the help of mom or dad to achieve this composite shot (two shots merged together to produce the final product), I don’t attempt this with an awake baby. Hands are on the baby at all times during froggy. Either my hands are supporting the wrists or mom/dad’s hands are supporting the head. Despite the look of the final image, the baby has hands on him/her the entire time.

newborn session poses - froggy

If baby is not deeply asleep or resists going into froggy, I will forgo froggy in favor of head on hands. It’s a variation of froggy that is much easier to attain, doesn’t require as deep of a sleep and isn’t a composite. Head on hands is a beautiful shot that allows for a little variety in the angle of the shot. It can be photographed head on or from the side (to get a bit of that adorable profile) so it’s even a bit more versatile than froggy is (from the perspective of a photographer who doesn’t work with an assistant).

newborn session poses - head on hands

Side Lying

I used to be *very* intimidated by side-lying. There, I admit it. I could not get the angle of this pose for the life of me. I also struggled with getting baby’s legs to stay where I wanted them. This pose looks like the perfect, comfy sleeping position so it’s hard to understand why it’s so difficult to achieve. The reality is that no baby is going to get into this pose naturally.

Newborn babies have much less muscle tone than kids or adults so they require lots of support to remain in this position. Additionally, the diaper has to be off for this shot so you’re also running the risk of pee or poop happening. Any newborn photographer worth his/her salt is aware of this risk – and we accept it in the name of getting the beautiful shots that are paramount to this profession – but that doesn’t mean we’re jumping up and down and cheering at the prospect of having to clean newborn mustard off our very expensive newborn backdrops 🤣

Regardless, side-lying has become one of my favorite newborn session poses and I do it for every full session baby.

newborn session poses - sidelying 1
newborn session poses - sidelying 2

Bum Up

Bum up looks so comfy to me…this was the very first newborn session pose I mastered when I first became a newborn photographer. Baby is on the tummy with the back foot tucked behind the front knee. I love this pose when baby has a lot of back squish (gah! SO cute!!!) and typically baby settles into this pose super comfortably. We can put a drape over baby’s bottom for some modesty or let that cute bottom have it’s moment…whatever mom and dad prefer! Bum up is a staple pose for Liz Viernes Photography.

newborn session poses - bum up

Egg Wrap

I adore this pose. In this one, baby is on his/her back, wrapped up super securely with a swaddle but still allowing hands and feet to be front and center. Sometimes I put the dipe on and wrap around the belly; other times (like when babe is fast asleep and I’m less concerned about a potentially messy event), I’ll leave the dipe off and squish that baby even tighter (the diaper gets in the way of some squish). I love how baby’s face is in full focus with the rest of the body blurring into the background…it’s such a great way to artistically highlight that adorable tiny face!

newborn session poses - egg wrap

Wrapped Newborn Session Poses

For the rest of the newborn session poses I typically do, I’ll refer readers over to the posed newborn mini blog post where I go into detail about the prop poses that I can create for your session. There are a few that aren’t included over there that I’ll show you here. Feel free to let me know which poses are your favorite!

Muscle Man

I mean. Do I need to go into any more detail???? 😍

newborn session poses - muscle man

Sleepy Baby Freeform

This is a shot I love getting of a baby who is soooo sleepy that she doesn’t care whether her arms are swaddled up or not. I love the innocent comfort of this image – baby is deeply asleep and as peaceful as can be. What parent wouldn’t adore this shot!?!

newborn session poses - simply sleepy

Liz Viernes Photography is based near Ashton, Maryland, and specializes in maternity, fresh 48, posed and lifestyle newborns and first year milestone portraits.

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