Looking for newborn props and backgrounds that you already own? If you don't have time to shop for props to use during your upcoming newborn shoot, have no fear, because you shouldn't have to.
Although I travel with a full box of wraps, baskets, blankets and wardrobes for my newborns, I always encourage mom & dads to include items that are sentimental and scenes that showcase baby's first home. Sure, we can always use photographer-supplied fuzzy white rug and cute hats, but something I like to do for at-home props/backgrounds are the following for each unique family shoot (photo gallery below):
1) Your awesome couch and home-made blankets
Baby's going to be spending a ton of time on this couch. Whether it's grey, brown, teal, or deep blue like Maceo's, we just need a small, clean area to use as a background. When the photo ends up on the wall, it will match the decor. :) Another popular background for your baby's solo portraits include knitted blankets made by someone important in baby's life, often grandparents or aunties and uncles. These photos end up being wonderful for gifts to said family member, and the blankets may even end up being very special to baby as she/he grows.
2) Nursery decor
Example -- grab a decorated upper-case letter to place next to baby. Their initials stick with them for life, and also work wonders for a size comparison. How big will Maceo be next to his big "M" in a year?
3) Stuffed animal that can do tummy time
The best stuffed animals for baby photos are ones that can lay flat and be positioned with loose limbs, since baby will be on his/her back. If you can prop the stuffed animal to do tummy time alongside baby doing the same pose, you'll be able to get a cute picture with the same stuffed animal you used in the newborn shoot! Baby should be strong enough for this somewhere between 2-4 months. Example:
4) Your favorite childhood book
If you have a book that meant something to you when you were a child, read it to your baby during photos. It's a unique and easy way to showcase your family's latest generation. If you don't have any of your own childhood books, pick something you'd love to introduce to baby one day. During our shoot, you'll really read the book, and it will be so special. I often get the most genuine photos from this time. Example:
5) Play a music instrument
If mom or dad plays the piano, ukulele, guitar, this can double as an amazing prop AND a soothing sound for a fussy baby. Even if you only know a few chords, this will end up being really special. If you don't have any music instruments, putting on some tunes during the shoot will help the mood, give your baby bouncing some rhythm, and provide some smiles when mom & dad sing along.
Thanks for reading! Here are some excellent shots of baby Maceo and his parents using special props, blankets and backgrounds that showcase textures from his first home in San Francisco.