Posed Newborn Photo Sessions and Why I Quit Doing Them

If you have followed my work for some time then you might remember when I did posed newborn photo sessions and you may be curious as to why I quit doing them. Or, maybe you do not even know that I used to do them so you’re probably not even wondering why I quit. :) Either way, in this blog post I will tell you why I no longer pose newborn babies.

posed newborn photo session newborn baby sleeping with arms up overhead laying on cream fuzzy blanket

I prefer to take a simpler approach to newborn photography. I believe that babies are perfectly beautiful just the way they are. I do not use props and I will not pose your baby in some of the popular poses that you may see on Pinterest by other newborn photographers.

newborn baby swaddled in blanket in moms arms

I prefer to allow a sleeping baby to naturally fall into their own pose. Often, very young babies will pose themselves into the same position they were in in the womb. So many times I have heard moms say things like, “…that is how she always sleeps!” or “…that’s how he had his hands in my ultrasound photos!”

newborn photo session in Poland ohio baby in blanket in moms arms in nursery

I also love to photograph a baby with their very own swaddles, blankets, and sleepers. I think it is so much more special to use the items that Mom has bought for the baby or things that were gifted to your baby.

Let’s wrap your baby in the muslin swaddle that you received from your sister or the knit blanket made by Grandma. These are the perfect and unique props for your session!

newborn on couch of pine township home for newborn session

Now don’t get me wrong, I have seen gorgeous images of babies adorned with adorable knit hats, headbands and floral headpieces and I used to love to buy and make these kinds of things for my newborn sessions. But I also think they can take the attention away from the baby.

I also used to put babies in baskets and crates lined with pretty blankets (even my own baby!). However, my style has evolved over the years and now I prefer to simply photograph babies laying on couches, beds or in their cradle or crib. I really believe one of the best places to photograph a baby is in the safety and comfort of their parents’ arms.

newborn baby in arms of mother on couch with window light

Posed newborn sessions can also be a lot of work and very time-consuming. I would often spend around four hours per session and a lot of that time was spent getting the baby into a deep sleep. This often ended up being stressful for me, and Mama. (Oh but I did love cuddling those babies into a deep sleep!) But now, I actually prefer to photograph babies when they are awake!

newborn baby awake and looking into the camera while in moms arms

And since I do not have a studio of my own, I ended up transporting a lot of gear into my clients’ homes. This took another 30 minutes to set up and take down.

mother holding newborn son on bed

Another perk of a lifestyle newborn session is that it does not matter how old the baby is! Usually, a posed newborn photographer wants to photograph a baby in the first ten days when they sleep most of the day. I think this can be too soon for most Moms. With an un-posed newborn session, your baby can be over two weeks or even two or three months old. I always encourage my Moms to book their session when they feel ready.

baby boy in overalls laying on gray furry rug

Want more information about a newborn photo session with me? Click on over here to read more details about a lifestyle newborn session and go have a look at my newborn gallery of images!

And go read this blog post for even more info!


newborn baby sleeping in the hands of mom in black and white

I’d love to connect with you on Instagram!

Have more questions? Concerns?  
Please get in touch to ask me anything or to book your session!  

~All images by Mary Beth Miller Photography ~

Mary Beth Miller Photography specializes in lifestyle newborn photography in Pittsburgh PA and many of the surrounding areas.  

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Mary Beth Miller Photography


Established in 2009
Family & Newborn Photographer serving the greater Pittsburgh area; Wexford, Mars, Cranberry Twp., and also serving Boardman, Poland, and Canfield, Ohio.

Mary Beth Miller Photography

best newborn photographers in Pittsburgh Expertise logo award

Established in 2009
Family & Newborn Photographer serving the greater Pittsburgh area; Wexford, Mars, Cranberry Twp., and also serving Boardman, Poland, and Canfield, Ohio.