Advice for taking the best pictures for newborns and births

westchester newborn photographer_ jane goodrich

One of the most amazing images you can get of your child is capturing them shortly after birth. Of course, you cannot be expected to handle this yourself (particularly if you are the mother!) – but you can pitch in to help friends and family members when their time comes, and then have one return the favor when your time arrives.

With that in mind, here are some tips for birth and (brand new baby) photography:

Be Ready, Always

By committing to birth photography you are committing to be on call; night and day. Keep your camera bag packed and ready (with fully-charged batteries, of course), ensure that you can leave when you need to.

Since labor can last anywhere from an hour to a day, pack a few extras; a change of clothes, water, snacks, and extra batteries and memory cards – perhaps a book to pass the time too.

westchester newborn photographer_jane goodrich

Roll with it

You won’t be able to set the scene when the baby’s born; so you’ll have to be ready to roll with the punches. Most of all, you have to stay out of the way so the doctors and nurses can do their work.

No Flash – Period!

Enough said : )

westchester newborn photographer_jane goodrich

Have a Back-Up Plan

No all births go according to plan; sometimes things happen. If possible, talk to the doctor or a nurse before the birth occurs to find out what will occur should a cesarean be required, as well as when you’ll be able to photograph the baby. You might need the laboring mother or partner to advocate for you to be in the room, if possible, or be allowed into the room as soon as possible after the birth.

Capture the Details

Besides the baby, capture some other moments as well. The mother may want some labor photos; the father may want some photos as well. Any visitors that comes by should be recorded, as well as gifts and balloon deliveries. After the baby arrives you can capture mother and baby, father and baby, etc. Look for little details, like the name card on the bassinet, the medical bracelet, the cup of ice chips melting beside the bed to make memorable photos.

westchester newborn photographer_ jane goodrich

Try Black and White

After the photo shoot, try converting a few images into black and white for a classic feel. Keep a copy in color as well, but you’ll find that with straight baby shots, black and white helps to make even the newest baby feel like an old soul.


You’ll be in a relatively small space, so ensure that your lens is good for portrait photography at a reasonably close distance. You’ll want to use a large aperture (f/5.6 or larger) to let in light, as well as to capture the details while blurring the surrounds. Keep your shutter speed fast enough to reduce blurring. (See my top recommendations on cameras and lens below)

Finally, get in some practice before the big day. Offer a maternity shot for your friends, find friends or acquaintances with kids you can shoot, take photos of your dog if he’s the only one you have to work with. The more practice you get in now, the better your images will turn out for your new mother.

When you’re ready to book your next photo shoot with Jane, call 917-744-3310 or fill out the contact form here.

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Recommended Products – What’s in my bag?

I love this stylish and functional camera bag. It’s sturdy yet stylish – who could ask for more?

Now this is one sturdy carrying case – it’s built so well to hold all of my gear – it’s especially great for traveling with my gear. I couldn’t do my job without it.

Oh the latest Canon 5D – it’s a dream to shoot with and I love it so much. It’s my second child! It builds on the powerful legacy of the 5D series, offering amazing refinements in image quality, performance and versatility.


Whoever said zoom lenses aren’t amazing didn’t have this one. It offers a great zoom range (perfect for moving targets like toddlers) yet it has a wonderfully large aperture throughout its focal length.

I love this zoom lens – especially when you are further away from the subject – great for capturing your kids playing sports.

A fantastic prime lens perfect for portraits

The lens is suitable for any shooting situation, with a lens coating and construction type that are optimized to minimize the ghosting and flare that frequently occurs when lenses are used with digital cameras. The lens also offers an ultra-large aperture that produces a narrow depth of field and the type of soft background blur so loved by photographers everywhere.


This speed lite delivers impressive power, responsive performance and advanced, wireless communication for those who demand the very best in flash photography


I love the Gary Fong diffuser – helps to give your speedlight flash that wonderful diffused light on the go!

You can never go wrong with using a reflector for fill light – I like the Neewer 43inch for portability and size.

If there was one product (apart from my camera) that I would take to every newborn shoot it has to be the Sleep Sheep. Press Ocean sound and babies love it as it is so calming!

I always get asked what consumer camera to buy and I have found that the Rebel t6i is by far the best for my clients to take gorgeous, high-quality photos and videos that are easy to share

Map of Jane Goodrich Photography in Westchester County, NY

Tips for Birth and Newborn Photography







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