Like any newborn photographer my shot list is long, and I am always full of ideas. I thrive on capturing the love and connection of a family and creating images that make you feel something. After all, photos are meant to transport us back to the time when they were taken. The very reason we want pictures of our newborn baby is so we can remember that season of life and how precious and tiny our little people were.

I approach every session attempting to get these 17 can't miss shots that every parent will want to help them remember those early memories for years to come.


This one is easy to miss, but luckily it happens a few times in most newborn sessions. I try to be ready to shoot at all times so I don't miss those little newborn baby yawns when they come.

A father holds his son while the newborn shows off his yawn.
A newborn baby boy yawns sleepily during a newborn photoshoot.


Not every baby is smiley during their newborn session, but when you can document those precious smiles it is always an image that parents love.

A mother leans over to kiss her smiling baby boy.
A newborn baby girl shows a big smile while her parents look down lovingly at her.
A newborn baby girl smiles while swaddled and laying in a basket for her newborn photos.


Baby wrinkles in black and white always stop me in my tracks. These images reveal exactly how tiny their baby was in those first few weeks after birth.

A black and white image of a mother holding her son while showcasing his wrinkly newborn skin.
A mother holds her baby on her chest showing off his wrinkly skin.


I love how this shot can be interpreted differently in each session. Parents love to see how their baby's little head fit so perfectly into the palm of their hands.

A fathers sits on the bed holding his newborn son's head in his hands.
A father holds his newborn baby's head in his hands while his daughter hugs him around his neck.
A new father holds his baby girl in his hands while looking down at her sweetly.
A mother and father gaze down at their newborn baby while holding his head gently in their hands.


This shot allows light to shine onto the baby's face while the parent can still breathe them in, kiss their head, or snuggle them in close.

A newborn baby boy lays along his dad's chest while he kisses the top of his head.
A father holds his newborn baby boy on his chest while giving him a kiss.
A father looks down at his baby boy as he snuggles him against his chest.
A new father holds his baby girl on his chest while looking down sweetly at her.


Parents love seeing the size comparison between their hands and their tiny baby. It also shows connection and care, and can be another shot that is always done differently with different families.

A newborn baby lays in a basket while her family places their hands sweetly on her chest during their newborn photoshoot
A newborn baby girl lays swaddled in a basket while her parents place their hands sweetly on her head and chest.
A baby boy lays swaddled while his parents place their hands on him to display their wedding rings.
A family places their hands on their new baby boy sweetly while he sleeps on the bed.


This is one of the benefits of in-home newborn sessions. You can document the place you took your baby home. Not only does it make your images unique to your home and family, but these shots have timeless sentimental value that every parent can cherish for years to come.

A family snuggles on the couch with their newborn baby girl during their in-home newborn session.
A mother rocks her baby while sitting on her bed during their newborn photos.
A mother and baby sit on the couch snuggling during their newborn photography session.
A mother and father sitting in their nursery rocking chair looking down at their newborn baby boy.
A family rocks their baby girl in her nursery during their newborn photography session.
A mother and father snuggle their newborn baby while sitting in a chair in their bedroom.
A Birdseye view of a family snuggling on the couch with their newborn.


I still love when my kids hold my hand. Every parent's heart skips a beat when a baby grips on to their finger. If I haven't taken this shot in the beginning of my lifestyle newborn sessions, then I make it a point to get it towards the end of the session.

A newborn baby grasps his fathers finger.
A newborn baby boy holds on tightly to his mother and father's fingers.
A newborn baby holds on to his father's finger during their newborn photoshoot.
A baby grasps on tightly to his mother's fingers during their family newborn session.


If you have a nursery and crib for you baby, it is always a shot I love to include. These images help parents remember all the times they laid their baby down for countless naps and bedtimes in their crib. It also is a chance to highlight some of sentimental items a family may have like loveys and stuffies.

A baby lays in his crib looking up toward the camera during a family newborn session.
A baby boy lays in his crib looking toward the camera.
A baby girl rests in her crib while her parents rest their hands on her chest.
A baby boy sleeps peacefully in his crib during a newborn photoshoot.
A baby sleeps in her crib while her mother looks down over her sweetly.


Every family snuggles in their own special way. I always ask my families if they are a snuggly family and most of the time the answer is "yes!" Most parents don't resist the quiet moments we take during the newborn session to just be with their baby and snuggle in bed.

A family snuggles on their bed with their baby between them while they kiss her cheeks.
A family snuggles their newborn baby in their bed.
A family of four snuggle together on their bed during their family newborn photos.


I absolutely love baby feet. Tell me a parent who doesn't? These shots can be symbolic of a parent holding their child in the palm of their hand, guiding their steps, protecting them, and so much more. Parents want that reminder of how little and yummy their newborn baby's tiny toes were.

A detail shot of a father's thumb pressed into the bottom of his baby boys feet.
A father holds his daughters tiny baby feet in his hands.
A father holds his newborn son's feet in his hands.
A father presses his thumbs gently up against his son's tiny baby feet.


Sibling photos are probably the most stressful for parents during an in-home newborn session. I will typically try to shoot these at the beginning of the session. This way, if the children aren't interested initially or having a hard time cooperating, we can always circle back in the middle or end of the session to be sure we got a nice shot of the siblings together.

A baby boy lays in his mother's lap while his sister kisses the top of his head.
A big brother holds his new baby sister on his lap during a family newborn session.
A big sister holds her new baby brother on her lap.
Two older brothers look down sweetly at their new baby sister.
A mother holds her baby girl while her oldest daughter touches her nose.
A big sister and baby brother lay on the bed snuggling together.
A big sister leans over to kiss her new sibling on the head.
A newborn baby girl lays on the bed between her two older brothers while they give her a kiss on the cheek.
An older sibling kisses the top of her baby brother's head.
An older brother snuggles his baby sister giving her a kiss on her head.


Mama bears love the nose to nose shot with their newborn. It's a sign of affection with your baby that is heart melting.

A mother holds her baby up to give him Eskimo kisses.


Sometimes baby's have lost their cord by the time our newborn photoshoot day rolls around. However, if they still have it, you better believe I will be capturing it!

An up close shot of a newborn baby's umbilical cord.
A detailed shot of a newborn baby girl's umbilical cord.


I am not sure there is anything sweeter than a tiny newborn baby snuggled up on their parent's shoulder. Most parents go bananas for this shot when they receive their image gallery.


Babies grow and change so quickly. As parents, we don't always notice it since we are around them the most. Images of there tiny features and especially their hands are such a good reminder of how little they were as a newborn.

A black and white image of a baby's tiny arm and hand.


The baby stretch gets me every time. I used to live for my baby's stretches when you remove their swaddle. While I don't always get this shot in every newborn session, I am always watching for it. If I am able to snap that perfect shot, it is always a big hit with my families.

Parents look down at their baby as he stretches.
A newborn baby girl gives a good stretch after coming out of her swaddle.

There you have it! I hope this post gave you some inspiration for your newborn session. Which shot was your favorite? Let me know in the comments!



Jette McCormick is a newborn, baby, maternity, and family photographer in Charlottesville, Virginia and the surrounding area.