9 Popular Newborn Photography Poses

There are many Newborn Photography poses that have been popularized recently. In my 10+ years of being a professional newborn photographer I have tried all of them and will show you some of the most popular in this article.

I do use all of these following poses regularly in my sessions, so I guess you could say they are pretty much essential for any budding Newborn photographer to learn.

Most of these poses are done on a posing table or beanbag with small posing bean bags under the backdrop. These are used to create the support and shape necessary to position the baby for each pose.

Table of contents


Tushy up

Facing forward/head on the hands

Nighty night


Huck Finn pose

Potato Sack

Side laying

Relaxed pose

Awake ‘Mug shots’

Taco/womb Pose

The Taco or Womb pose mimics the position of the baby when in the womb.

newborn photography poses
The Taco Pose

It is not a particularly difficult pose to perfect but the baby does have to be sleepy. You will probably find that some babies are not quite flexible enough for this pose to be done correctly.

If this is the case, the legs can be positioned closer to the chest or belly than near the face.

Some important points to note about this pose are:-

  • One hand needs to be under the cheek and be partially visible
  • Both feet need to be visible with all ten toes showing
  • The feet are crossed with the furthest leg crossed over the other, tucked up just below the chin

All in all this is a nice neat pose and a staple for any Newborn Photographers portfolio

Tushy up Pose

The Tushy up pose has the baby lying on its front with its legs tucked up and under.

tushy up

Just like the taco pose, it is not too difficult to do, the baby does not even have to be sleepy.

Try to get the baby’s back to arch slightly, this improves the look of the pose. Arching the baby’s back can also emphasize the little fat rolls on its back, this is super cute.

tushy up

The legs are criss-crossed and tucked up under the baby’s belly. The near side hand is placed under the baby’s cheek and the arm it’s lying on is comfortably placed out of shot.

This pose can be framed from different angles to capture the baby’s best features. This is a very popular pose with parents.

Facing forward/head on the hands Pose

This pose is used to capture the baby’s face, but can be quite difficult to master.

head on hands pose

A posing bean bag is used under the chin to raise the head, but positioning the hands correctly while getting the head to sit vertically can be difficult.

It can help if the baby is sleepy but with practice not really necessary.

To execute this pose correctly, the baby’s body has to be stretched out with an arch in its back. This enables the arms and shoulders to be in a relaxed position folded under its chin.

The head can be positioned vertically or slightly tilted. The fingers need to be on top of the other hand’s fingers, not hands on hands.

head on hands pose
Head on hands pose with a slight variation with one hand on the cheek

Nighty night Pose

Sleep tight! 

The Nighty Night pose is a bird’s eye view of the baby asleep (or awake) in a ‘bed’. Just lie the baby on its back with a wrap pulled tight over its body.

nighty night pose

I find it best to do this pose on a small exercise trampoline. Having it on the floor helps because you have to shoot from directly above the baby.

The baby’s hands can be posed gripping the sheet, lying both sides of its head or above the head. Catching a baby yawning while doing this pose can create a really good shot. A see through wrap can be used to enable the baby’s body to be seen.

This is an easy pose to get when the baby is asleep. But, if the baby is awake it can move about a lot because it is not wrapped up.

Froggy Pose

The Froggy is the pose I get asked for the most, and also one of the hardest newborn photography poses. The baby has to be very sleepy to have a chance of pulling this off.

froggy pose

The final image is a composite of two different images. 

Due to the unusual stature of this pose, the baby has to be supported at all times. So in the first composite image, the baby is supported by holding the wrists together with the head sat on its hands. The next image is with the head being supported with hands left under the chin.

froggy pose
First composite image supporting the baby’s wrists
froggy pose
Second composite image supporting the baby’s head
froggy pose
Final edited image

The legs of the baby are tucked up behind the elbows so the toes can be seen. The hands are open, on the cheeks supporting the head. Both shots are done while trying not to move the position of the baby’s head.

The two images are then combined in photoshop removing the supporting hands.

Huck Finn pose

If you are wondering why this is called the ‘Huck Finn’ pose, you are not alone. I have no idea either.

huck finn
Huck Finn pose with a small teddy placed in the baby’s hand

This pose has the baby lying on its back in a relaxed position looking like it has no cares in the world. The legs are positioned on the stomach with the hands relaxed on its chest. The baby can be wrapped, naked or wearing an outfit.

Posing bean bags are used under the backdrop sheet to get the pose. Under the head and legs to get the correct shape and position.

huck finn pose

I prefer to take the shot with the head higher up and closer to the camera. Also, I position myself so I am looking ‘down the nose’ of the baby.

Potato Sack Pose

This pose shows the baby completely wrapped up so it looks like it is in a sack. Prior to wrapping the baby you will need to bend and tuck the legs in, put the elbows down close to the baby’s waist, with the hands up.

potato sack pose

Use two stretchy under wraps to keep the baby in this position and to build up the roundness. The top wrap will be your choice of style and color. Any style of wrap can be used, just make it neat and organized.

When this pose is done correctly the baby’s hands will support its head. The baby should stand up on its own with this wrap, but use a spotter (parent) just out of shot or support the baby with posing bean bags under the backdrop.

This style of wrap can also be used with a bucket prop as shown below.

potato sack in bucket

Side laying Pose

The ‘Side Laying’ pose is one of the easier poses to master. It simply shows the baby as if it was asleep on its side with its head on its hands. This pose is best done while the baby is sleepy which makes it even easier.

side laying wrapped

The baby’s hands are put in the ‘praying position’ placed under its cheek. Tuck the baby’s legs up to the belly with the feet visible in the shot. If the baby has a cord clamp a wrap can be placed around the waist if you don’t want it to be seen.

A wrap can also be used to cover up the baby if the parents don’t want a naked shot.

This is another pose that is very popular with parents.

Relaxed pose

The relaxed pose is similar to the Huck Finn pose. The difference being that the arms are positioned above the head.

relaxed pose

Once you have figured out the Huck Finn this will be a simple alternate variation that can be done at the same time.

Awake ‘Mug shots’

Bonus pose!

mug shot pose

These shots can be done at the end of the session when the baby starts waking up. This is the baby version of a ‘headshot’.

mug shot pose

Just lie the baby on its back while awake, the baby can be wrapped or unwrapped. If the baby is unwrapped, the parent can kneel down and hold the baby’s arms to its sides.

mug shot pose

This stops the baby flailing its arms around and getting in the way of the shot, then take the shot over the top of the parent.

Final Thoughts

Mastering any of these newborn photography poses is going to take time and practice, some will take a lot longer to perfect than others. I have a Camera settings for newborn photography article you can read which you will find helpful.

Also each pose can be used for multiple shots, shoot from different angles and use different props and colors to get lots of variations for your clients.

All these poses can be taken using a 50mm or 35mm lens and off camera strobe lighting.