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Welcome To My Blog

My name is Haley and I am a newborn, wedding, and senior photographer based out of Shepherdstown, WV.  I photograph newborns and babies in my Shepherdstown studio and shoot weddings and seniors all over the WV, MD, VA, PA, and DC area.    


Cake Smash






Do It Yourself Newborn Photos

April 10, 2020

Taking Your Own Newborn Photos 101

Newborn Digital Backdrop – Lauree Jane Photography, LLC

I put together this DIY guide for my clients who already booked newborn sessions and can not come into the studio right now due to Covid-19. The plan is for them to take newborn photos of their baby now at home and then come into the studio as soon as businesses open back up and it is safe. Feel free to use the guide to take your own newborn pictures or to put something together for your clients if you are a newborn photographer.

For my clients who have a newborn session booked with me I will edit your in home photos and do a few composites (like the one above). This service is included in your newborn session fee. If you have recently had a baby and are interested in me editing your in home photos please contact me at If you book a newborn session with me for after the quarantine is lifted it will be included in your session fee. If you just want editing services those can be purchased separately.

Don’t worry if you can’t get your photos perfect.  Just try your best!  Awake shots are amazing too! 

Haley Willingham Photography is located in Shepherdstown, WV

Video Tutorial:

What You Need:

  1. A Camera: A digital camera will work best but if all you have is a cell phone that will work too! 

Digital Camera Settings

Shutter Speed:  Set your shutter speed at 160 for a baby who is asleep and not moving.  From 2 or more kids or an awake baby who is moving have your shutter speed at 260.    

Aperture: Set your aperture at the lowest number it will go. 1.8, 2.8 or whatever that number is for 1 newborn baby.   If you are taking sibling shots keep aperture at 2.8 if they are on the same plane (in a line) or 3.2 if they are not. 

ISO: You want to keep ISO low if you have an entry level DLRS camera but you can crank it up a bit if you need to.  Try not to go over 500 for an entry level camera.  

  • Nice Lighting: A sliding glass door is best or a room with a lot of natural light.  Direct sunlight shinning in is not your friend.  You want nice even lighting.  Turn off all overhead lighting.  That will create weird colors and shadows. 
  • A Surface To Lay Baby On:  A Bed, Sofa, Dog Beg (can be covered with a solid colored blanket). 
  • Stretchy Wrap:  I am sure you have some nice blankets and wraps for baby.  Grab those to use to create a different look and to keep baby secure if she/he doesn’t want to cooperate.

Optional Items:

  1. Hats and Headbands
  • Bucket, Basket Or Other Item To Lay Baby In
  • Outfit

Lets Get Started!

It is best to take photos after baby has eaten and has a full belly.  Fed baby before you start.  Get baby down to a diaper and wrap him/her in a blanket before feeding so you are not having to take his/her clothing off after they are full and settled.  You probably know when he/she is sleepiest so try to do photos during that time.  Make sure the space you are using is warm.  You can find a white noise app on your phone that will help to get baby sleeping and filter out any loud background noises.  Have a pacifier handy to keep baby soothed while you are getting baby into the pose.

Dog Bed/Bed

Dog Bed: I am setting up in my kid’s art area and I am going to use my dog bed (be sure to wash it first if you are going to put your baby on it).  I found a cute IKEA blanket to lay on top of it.  I am shooting with my sliding door light to the right.  I am shooting in the afternoon because in the morning the sun comes directly through that window and creates harsh lighting.  We want even natural light. 

Bed: Use a white or neutral colored cover or blanket on bed.  Like the dog bed be sure to use a room with even lighting.


Side Laying:  Lay baby on side head toward the window.  You can use a wrap or dress baby if it is too difficult to do with baby naked. The light should be going down baby’s noise.  You might have to angle the baby or bed slightly to make that happen. 

On Back: Lay baby on his/her back with Window light coming from the side.  Put a towel or receiving blanket under baby’s head to lift it up.  We don’t want to be shooting up the nose.  Towel under bum to get baby into a curly pose.  Stand looking down on baby and take the picture.    

Basket/Bowl:  Find a nice basket or bowl that you have in your home.  Find a solid color blanket or throw.  You want blanket to come to the top of the basket.  You might have to stuff another blanket under.  Use a rolled-up towel or receiving blanket under baby’s head to lift it up.  You want to take the picture shooting down on baby. 

Shooting Inspiration

(This is the photo I used to composite the moon photo below)

Photos When I first Started Out Shooting In Client’s Homes


Composite Examples:








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