40+ baby photoshoot ideas, tips and tricks from Hallmark photographers

How to take cute baby pictures

You have the cutest baby in the world. There’s no contest. It’s not even a question. But what you might not have are all the baby photoshoot ideas you need to capture every sweet moment with that new, tiny human.  

Well, don’t worry! We’ve rounded up all the best advice from Hallmark photographers, stylists and designers to come up with the ultimate list of baby photoshoot ideas. So get your phone or digital camera ready, because we’re jumping right in!

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General tips for great baby photos  

Maybe this isn’t your first rodeo taking baby pictures. But just in case it is, we thought we’d start off this list of baby photoshoot ideas with some tried-and-true advice from our Hallmark photographers.

1. Snap pics when your baby is happy. Okay, obvious. But when is that, for your baby? For lots of babies it’s in the morning, after they’ve been fed.

2. A warm baby is a happy baby. Another key tip—especially when taking outdoor photos—is to make sure your little one is cozy. If they’re cold, you’ll have little to no chance of them not being upset about it. And with good reason!

3. Don’t set your heart on a sitting position. If you’ve got a good place to prop your tiny person up, great. But if they can’t sit up on their own, they’ll probably end up slumping a little. An overhead shot of baby on a blankie or chair can be just as cute—and let you see all the details of whatever adorable outfit they’re wearing.

4. Keep photoshoot backgrounds simple. You want the focus to be on your baby, after all. A couch is great, but a solid-color blanket draped behind them or some neutral pillow cushions or bedding are also great.

5. Give them props to play with. A bored baby is a grumpy baby. Thankfully, babies are easily entertained! Give them something fun and cute to interact with during your photoshoot. It could be a new stuffy, Daddy’s ballcap, or even a furry friend, provided you have help making sure everyone plays and stays safe.

6. Partner with a friend or family member. They can help you keep the baby’s attention or keep them smiling while you snap away.

7. Use natural light as often as possible. Taking photos by a window is a great way to get some diffuse, natural light into your baby photos. If the sun is a little too bright or harsh, use a sheer curtain to soften it.

8. Play with your camera’s capabilities. The portrait or low-light settings on smart phones can give you great results that pick up amazing shadows and detail.

9. Get in close and focus on the details. Zoom in on tiny fingers, knee dimples, eyelashes, curls. All those little things you spot when you’re snuggling.

10. Make a fool of yourself. Sing. Play patty-cake. Make faces. For some reason, babies think sneezing is hilarious. Clapping and saying “yaaaaaay!” is quite popular. Heck, turning a ceiling fan on and off might even work. We’ve seen it!

11. Don’t stop right away if your subject gets fussy. This might sound counter-intuitive, but you might be able to catch some adorable pouty moments that become classic. Do call it quits in the face of a full-on meltdown, though. For everyone’s sake. 🫠

12. When all else fails: Use cat toys. Feathers on strings and ribbon toys, in particular, can help get your baby’s attention.


Everyday baby photoshoot ideas  

So much of what makes moments with a new baby incredible is all the wonder. Both the kind you see in their eyes and the kind you feel when realizing this tiny being will someday be a fully grown human. Slow things down a little with these baby photoshoot ideas that focus on documenting all the little things.


Baby and…

Yes, these a very simple baby photoshoot ideas below. But it’s a good reminder to get lots of close-ups of your baby interacting with the people closest to you. These are sure to become some of your photos in years to come.

  • Mommy: Giving kisses, napping together, snuggling in the sunlight, playtime, feeding, etc. You can set up some really cozy, lovely photos in a rocking chair or a bed strewn with throws and pillows.
  • Daddy: All of the same moments above! Does Dad have any fun hobbies? Maybe you can take some cute photos of baby tagging along.
  • Siblings: First time holding their new little sibling; lounging in their pajamas; playing on the floor together at tummy time; sitting face-to-face with baby in their lap.
  • Grandparents: The smiles on Grandma and/or Grandpa’s face are likely to be huge, so whatever you do, make sure you capture just how much love and joy you see on their faces.
  • Aunts, uncles and cousins: Depending on where they live, they might not get to see the baby for months or even years after this, so make sure you take the opportunity to take lots of pictures.
  • Best friends and family friends, and their babies: Do you have a bestie who was there for you all throughout your pregnancy? Then you’ll definitely want photos of them with the baby they helped you bring into the world.
  • Namesake: If you have someone you named the baby after, like a grandparent, parent or sibling, think about doing a photoshoot just for them!


Tip: Is someone coming into town especially to meet the new baby? Set aside 15 minutes during their visit for a simple photoshoot. They can focus on each other while you take pictures!

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Every little thing 

Babies don’t stay babies forever. 😭 Document all your favorite little things about them while you can during a “details” baby photoshoot. Capture things like: 

  • Teeny tiny feet and toes
  • Little bitty fingers…and fingernails 🥹
  • Profile pic with chubby cheeks
  • Downshot of eyelashes against said chubby cheeks
  • Up-close pics of those squishable, squeezable, chonky arms and legs
  • Bare bottom after bath time…maybe trying to crawl away from towel time!
  • Gummy grin with a glimpse of first teeth
  • Their sleeping face with pouty lips
  • That first big stretch in the morning…
  • …or that adorable big yawn.


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Baby’s firsts and favorites

These baby picture ideas are all about mini and major milestones, as well as their current obsessions. They are practically guaranteed to make you go “awwwww!”

  • First real smiles. All they’ve done up to this point is sleep, eat, cry and poo. Trust us, you’ll want to capture the moment.
  • First tooth peeking through. It’ll sustain you when their molars start to come in.
  • First solid foods. Nomming on a corn cob or picking up peas with little fingers and thumbs are our faves.
  • First steps. When they realize they’re really doing it, they get SO excited! 🥹
  • First fancy outfit. Whether it’s for a holiday, a wedding, a first birthday…it’s hard to get cuter than a tiny bow tie, shoes that fit in your palm or a sweet little dress.
  • Meeting a new baby friend. Capture their awe when they realize there are other humans their size.
  • Snuggling or napping with their lovey or blankie. Bonus if it was made by a loved one…you can send the pic as a gift!
  • Playing with or gumming on a toy. My mom’s favorite baby picture of me is from a phase when I’d just sit around with a teething ring hanging out of my mouth. 😆
  • Giggling with pets. You might capture the start of a wonderful childhood bond with a furry friend.
  • Getting silly during tummy time. Make sure you get the camera all the way down on their level. All the best, adorable details come out.


Seasonal baby photoshoot ideas  

Again, the first years go by fast. Snapping pics of them in a way that captures the seasons can help prolong the magic of those fleeting months.

Spring baby photoshoot ideas

  • Lying in the grass. This is best accomplished in early spring, when it’s warmed up, but the bugs aren’t out in full-force.
  • Sniffing a flower. Tulips, daffodils and other big, showy flowers make great candidates this time of year. But consider other pretty, sweet-smelling backdrops, like crabapple trees and lilac bushes.
  • Visiting a petting zoo. These places have all their baby animals in the spring…lambs, goats, ducklings, baby chicks. It’s like a cuteness bonanza.
  • Playing in clover patches. They’re everywhere this time of year. Wild violets, too!
  • Wagon time! Kings and queens of yore had it figured out…being pulled along in a carriage while you enjoy the nice weather is a fine time. And babies still agree! Have a partner or friend pull while you take photos of baby’s delight.


Summer baby photoshoot ideas

  • Dressed for the pool. Sorry, but is there anything cuter than a baby in a sun hat? We think not.
  • Beach baby. Snag quintessential pics of baby playing in the sand with shovel and pail. Just be prepared for a fistful of sand to go directly in their mouth.
  • Picnic time. As mentioned above, natural light is perfect for baby pictures. Find a shady spot and snap away while they snack on fingerfoods.
  • Splashing in puddles. Little ones love puddles—they’re messy, wet and the perfect size for shenanigans. Remind yourself you have a washing machine and let them splash to their heart’s content while you take pics. Even better if they’re wearing a tiny raincoat.


Fall photoshoot ideas

  • Playing in the leaves. Put them in a cozy sweater, rake up a big ol’ pile (it will not take long), and plunk them in the middle of it. Toss some leaves in the air to encourage them to do the same!
  • “Helping” paint pumpkins. We’ve got a bunch of little-friendly pumpkin painting ideas here! If nothing else, they can use their hands and tempera paint.
  • First Halloween costume. We’ve all seen the pics, but resist the urge to put them in a hollowed-out pumpkin. After all, would you want to sit in a cold, wet, empty gourd? Instead, think fuzzy, warm and if they’re old enough, something they’re excited about, like a favorite character. They’ll be much more likely to smile for you!


Winter photoshoot ideas

  • Bundled up for winter. Scarves, mittens, hats, coats…they don’t sound especially cute, but when they’re 1/10th normal size and on a baby? Somehow they’re just adorable.
  • That first magical snow. It doesn’t have to be a ton of snow—just enough to spark wonder on their little faces as it falls on their chubby cheeks and long eyelashes. See if you can catch them reaching for the flakes as they fall.
  • Sledding adventure. If you did get a lot of snow, time to make like a sled dog and mush! You could secure baby in their own sled and have a partner or friend pull them around while you take pics of their giggles, or stand at the bottom of a hill and snap away as they sled down together.


Okay…with all those baby photoshoot ideas, you should have plenty of inspiration for capturing all the sweetest moments in your little one’s first year. Hope you have so much fun along the way!


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