The secret to non-cheesy newborn photography

July 18, 2022

This title might be a bit controversial, but I mean no disrespect to my skilled and creative photographer friends who use lots of sets, props, and costumes in their newborn photography. That said, there is a lot of cheesy newborn photography out there, and “non-cheesy” is a term I’ve heard repeatedly when my clients try to describe the style they’ve been looking for. I like to call myself a Los Angeles natural newborn photographer, but “non-cheesy” works too!

So, how do I create non-cheesy newborn photos?

1. I use natural newborn posing

Posing newborns in ways that mirror their natural inclinations or mimic how they curled up in the womb goes a long way to creating natural-looking newborn photos. I use a technique called baby-led posing, which means that I pay close attention to your baby’s body language and cues to guide them into poses and positions in which they feel comfortable. Instead of being tightly swaddled and placed in a prop, your little one is free to move into positions they prefer. You’ll find that we end up with photographs of little movements or expressions that you’ve noticed at home, or maybe even in your ultrasound photographs!

simple newborn b&w portrait

2. I have a minimalist newborn studio

One of the keys to creating non-cheesy newborn portraits is to include only those things that will help my clients remember their newborn and this stage of their life. For me, that narrows it down to the baby and some neutral blankets, knits, and swaddles. I find props, costumes, and sets distracting and worry that they will make your images feel dated in a few years or decades. Though I photograph newborns on a special newborn posing surface, they look as if they could have been taken on the family bed. I often incorporate parents’ hands into my composition to add a sense of scale and visual interest.

Read more about why I don’t use props in my newborn photography.

close-up of small baby sleeping

3. I include candid newborn photos

I like to provide my clients with a varied gallery that includes more polished portraits and some more candid portraits. These photographs, which might include a stretch, a yawn, a funny face, or a gentle touch from mom or dad, round out my client’s newborn portrait collection and add a sense of movement and interaction to their gallery.

black and white portrait of hand and baby

You can see more natural newborn portraits on my newborn portfolio. If you’re looking for some non-cheesy newborn photography in Los Angeles, I’d love to hear from you!  

big sister and newborn

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I photograph maternity, newborn, baby, and family sessions in and around Los Angeles. If you're interested in a session, please get in touch.

Ariel Cannon Photography | Los Angeles

Newborn Baby with arms overhead
Baby girl portrait on bed

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