Newborn Photography (shhhh!)

I had the opportunity to photograph two newborns this winter.  While newborn photography is not for everyone, it can be a blessing.  Below is a packing list for things to bring on site.  I’ve also made notes for reasons why the items are on the packing list.

I encourage mom or dad to feed the baby after I arrive.  The newborn should have only have a clean diaper on and wrapped in the blanket we want to use for the first photo set up while feeding.  This will give mom or dad 20-30 minutes to feed while I unpack and set up.  Then, our newborn will be changed, feed and sleeping for our first photo set.


Light Stand Bag:

  • Backdrop frame (to hold backdrop cloth)
  • 2 Light stands for fluorescent bulbs
  • 2 Mounts for bulbs
  • 2 Fluorescent bulbs (for constant light source)
  • 2 White umbrellas (softens light)
  • Stand and clips for reflector (holds my reflector if I don’t have an assistant)
  • Grey backdrop sheet (main background)
  • Bag of Clips (for clipping blankets)

Sweet Lucy who loved sleeping on her stomach – photo by Karen Biwersi

Large Bag:

  • 42” 1-white/silver 1-transparent reflectors (for use opposite the light source)
  • Heater (for use to heat the air surrounding the newborn)
  • Heating pad (for use while baby is being feed or rocked to keep area warm)
  • Step stool (for taking over baby shots)
  • Bean Bags for adjustments (use under blanket to prop baby who is slouching)
  • 2 extension cords (for sound machine, heater, heating pad, lights, etc)
  • Slippers (taking off shoes when in Newborn’s home)

Sweet Anna who is sleeps in her blanket made by her great-grandma – photo by Karen Biwersi

Large Tub:

  • Medium white knit blanket (lay over bobby)
  • Medium cream knit blanket (lay over bobby)
  • Cream shawl (wrap newborn)
  • Grey sheer scarf (wrap newborn)
  • Headbands (for girls)
  • Clothes pins (attach large blankets to backdrop)
  • Sound machine and power cord (create white noise during session)


  • 2 Wire Baskets with handles (put newborn in for great photo options)
  • Yoga Mat (for you to kneel on)

Photo by Karen Biwersi

Camera Bag:

  • Camera with charged batteries and SD card
  • Lens 24-120 with hood (overall range of shots)
  • Lens Macro (detail shots)
  • Flash with charged batteries (to use if not using natural daylight window)
  • Flash reflector (use opposite of large natural window on cloudy day)
  • Extra batteries for camera
  • Extra batteries for flash
  • Extra SD card
  • Cleaning kit
  • Wrist Strap (to prevent camera from dropping on baby).
  • Cell phone (you can download an app with “Shhhh” sound).
  • Wallet (don’t want to drive without your licence).


I plan a newborn session to be 2 hours long with extra time in case of extending to 3 hours.  While we are on the newborn’s schedule and want mom to be relaxed, we do want to move quietly and quickly to get three photo set ups.  Any extras are just bonus.  You will want to get the newborn down to the diaper in at least one of the three photo set ups.  This is also the time to take the detail shots of the little hands, lips, eyelashes and feet.

Remember to enjoy your newborn session and rejoice with mom and dad the gift from God, their newborn.  Newborn photography is not for every photographer as it takes lots of patience and attention to detail.  My favorite moment is when we have gotten the newborn to fall asleep and I can put on my macro lens to do some detail shots.

Thanks for reading.  See you next time.  Karen


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