Six Important Items I Use For a Successful Newborn Photo Session | Columbus Newborn Photographer

Six Important Items I Use For a Successful Newborn Photo Session | Columbus Newborn Photographer | Sarah Cropper Photography

Every skilled photographer has certain items or tricks they love to use during a newborn photo session. I have always wanted to share my favorite items I use that allow me to give my clients a stress free, relaxing photo session with timeless images that fit my style and brand. Along with these six important items, I always tell potential clients that booking before your baby is born is also a MUST. When you book before your baby is born it ensures I have you on my calendar regardless of when your baby is born. I do schedule newborn sessions after they've been born but I find it is a lot less stress on parents if they are booked, have read my client guide and know what they're going to wear before their baby is born and they start running on very little sleep. 

Enjoy reading these six items I use for a successful newborn photo session in my Grove City, Ohio residential studio!

1. A cozy, soft bed for family and sibling portraits

Sarah Cropper Photography is a Columbus newborn photographer who specializes in natural, lifestyle portraits of newborns and families in her Grove City residential studio. 

Sarah Cropper Photography is a Columbus newborn photographer who specializes in natural, lifestyle portraits of newborns and families in her Grove City residential studio. 

Safety is my top priority when it comes to working with babies and children. That's why I love using my studio bed for sibling portraits with newborn babies. A parent is always to the right of the bed to spot the children in case an energetic toddler decides to change their mind about having their photo taken. A big, soft bed is a lot safer and more enticing for little children than a hard wood backdrop. Siblings can lay with their new baby brother or sister or they can sit with baby in their lap like you see in the photo above. This bed has been a huge lifesaver AND a game changer for my newborn studio work. It really helps clients feel relaxed and at ease. It also doubles as comfortable seating for tired, new parents! 

2. The bean bag

Sarah Cropper Photography is a Columbus newborn photographer who specializes in natural, lifestyle portraits of newborns and families in her Grove City residential studio. 

Sarah Cropper Photography is a Columbus newborn photographer who specializes in natural, lifestyle portraits of newborns and families in her Grove City residential studio. 

You might see a newborn photo and wonder what the heck they're laying on. It's not the floor, it's not a bed, it's a bean bag specifically made FOR newborn photography. Mine is filled with light-weight styrofoam to ensure the bag is firm yet a little squishy. It allows me to easily turn and move the bag without being too heavy. On top of the bean bag are at least 10 blankets, with the top layer being the one I plan on using during your baby's phoot session. Some photographers also use a backdrop stand on which to clip fabric. I prefer not to use a stand so I can easily move around the bean bag getting just the right angles and the perfect light. You can definitely still photograph newborns without a bean bag but it makes your life a whole lot easier to use one! P.S. - Babies seem to LOVE laying on my bean bag. Parents often joke that they need to get one for their home!

3. Flattering light

Sarah Cropper Photography is a Columbus newborn photographer who specializes in natural, lifestyle portraits of newborns and families in her Grove City residential studio. 

Sarah Cropper Photography is a Columbus newborn photographer who specializes in natural, lifestyle portraits of newborns and families in her Grove City residential studio. 

My white studio and natural light bring out the most gorgeous light for newborn and baby photo sessions. I really hit the jackpot with the amount of light I get in this room. But on gloomy days you may wonder how I'm still able to offer clients the same soft lighting. I own a studio light for days when the light outside isn't optimal. You might wonder if this studio lighting makes my photos look better or worse than natural light. I position the studio light exactly how I would for natural light, and I use it on the lowest possible setting. So there is no fear when you show up to your session on a rainy day - your photos will look bright and beautiful regardless of the weather outside!

4. Cart full of goodies

Sarah Cropper Photography is a Columbus newborn photographer who specializes in natural, lifestyle portraits of newborns and families in her Grove City residential studio. 

Sarah Cropper Photography is a Columbus newborn photographer who specializes in natural, lifestyle portraits of newborns and families in her Grove City residential studio. 

I know, I know. Not a very specific explanation. But let me go into detail of what I have in this handy cart. In the top rack are soft toys to entice older babies and siblings, other lenses I might need to use during a session, hardcover books for littles to read, mints for myself and clients and a baby shusher. YES! A little machine that makes a "shhhh" sound so I don't have to. It's an amazing tool called "The Baby Shusher" and can be found on Amazon. The second row are posing "beans" that I can place under the blanket layers on the bean bag. It helps for all kinds of natural posing. For example if your baby's head needs a little lift I place it under them like a pillow, but hidden under layers of blankets. I also keep soft wash cloths in this cart for multipurpose scenarios (spit up, spills, etc.). 

5. A small, safe space heater

Sarah Cropper Photography is a Columbus newborn photographer who specializes in natural, lifestyle portraits of newborns and families in her Grove City residential studio. 

Sarah Cropper Photography is a Columbus newborn photographer who specializes in natural, lifestyle portraits of newborns and families in her Grove City residential studio. 

This isn't exactly a photo of a space heater, but trust me - a warm, sleeping baby is a lot more appealing than a space heater. I keep a thermostat in my studio to monitor the temperature of my studio. I warm up the studio prior to a client's session and close the door. This really allows your baby to feel comfortable and not feeling any cold drafts during their part of the photo session. I make sure not to put the heater anywhere too close to your baby for safety purposes. If a room feels nice a cool to YOU, chances are your newborn won't get into a deep enough sleep for me to capture those sleepy, curly newborn portraits. 

6. Refreshments

Sarah Cropper Photography is a Columbus newborn photographer who specializes in natural, lifestyle portraits of newborns and families in her Grove City residential studio. 

Sarah Cropper Photography is a Columbus newborn photographer who specializes in natural, lifestyle portraits of newborns and families in her Grove City residential studio. 

I know some folks will say this last item is optional. For me, it's really an essential for everyone involved in a newborn session - including ME. My newborn sessions don't tend to drag on and on, but they do typically run long enough for someone to get hungry or thirsty. I usually allow myself a short break if your baby needs a feeding to sit down and drink some water. Newborn sessions can be a little workout for photographers so it's important to see your photographer taking her time and staying hydrated. I also find that kiddos need a snack break too, especially if I tell them they get to pick a snack once they complete their part of the photo session. (I'm not ashamed to say I bribe with snacks - haha!) 


Are you looking for a newborn photographer in the Columbus, Ohio area? Look no further! Sarah Cropper Photography is a newborn photographer in Columbus, Ohio and in surrounding areas such as Hilliard, Dublin, Worthington, New Albany and Grove City. I photograph newborns in my cozy home studio located in Grove City, Ohio. I focus on natural posing, love, connection and pure emotions. Feel free to look at my work to see if my style is up your alley! You can contact me by clicking the button below or emailing me at sarahcropperphoto@hotmail.com