This New Dad and Photography Expert Shares Tips for Taking Photos of a Newborn Baby

Nobody wants to see blurry photos of your baby. Here's how you can ensure every single snap is pure perfection.

A newborn baby surrounded by Polaroid photos
Photo: Courtesy of Adobe

Welcoming a baby into the world is one of the great joys of this life. It's a happiness you'll want to share with everyone. And that means taking lots — and lots — of photos. Luckily, Josh Haftel, director of product management at Adobe, happens to not only be a new dad but a new dad who knows a thing or two about taking photos. And he wants to share all that wisdom with you.

"Just over fourteen months ago, my wife and I welcomed our first child, Malcolm, into our family. I had always heard about how many photographs we'd take of our first child, but even as someone whose high school superlative was 'most likely to take a picture of himself dying,' I still didn't really know what to expect," Haftel says. "Would I just be taking the same number of pictures, but of a different subject? What changes to my photography would I face?"

The answer to these questions, he adds, ranged from "obvious to surprising, and some of these changes even came from adjusting our lifestyles due to the pandemic."

Because of this, Haftel put together a quick tip sheet for parents who need a little help taking the best photos of their pride and joy.

A mother taking a picture of her baby on an iPhone
Courtesy of Adobe

Before you capture

Before even picking up a camera to take any images, Haftel says it's important to have a conversation with your partner or spouse about just where these images may end up.

"Have a conversation with your partner or co-parent. Relationships with social media are very personal, which is why you should be on the same page about your child's social media footprint and what you're comfortable sharing," he says. "Let your family and friends know your plan. Let family members and close friends who will want to share pictures know your plan and your rationale behind it — together, you can workshop ways to share out photos of your child."

Next, he says, don't stress about capturing every single moment — especially the "firsts."

"Don't worry about capturing 'firsts.' There's been an endless stream of pop culture over the years drumming into our heads how important it is to capture baby's first laugh, first step, or first word," Haftel adds. "Without having a camera going 24/7, you'll miss some things and that is perfectly ok! Focus on being in the moment."

Get the right equipment

This is something both Haftel and we here at Travel + Leisure cannot stress enough: "You don't need an expensive camera or fancy equipment to capture captivating and heartwarming images. Your smartphone is all you need to get started."

Then, just download a free app to help you along, like Adobe Lightroom for mobile, which Hafel says has "all you need in one app, from shooting to editing to storage and organization."

If you really want to get fancy, Haftel suggests exploring some better lighting options, such as a ring light, which can also double as an effective light for all your work-from-home Zoom calls.

While you capture

Haftel has an unexpected tip for photographers, which is don't just take pictures, take video, too.

"With both mobile phones and mirrorless cameras making capturing video easier and more accessible, you might be tempted to only capture video or perhaps you're a die-hard still photo person. But both have a place — you'll want to capture all types of memories that you can," He says.

Next, just focus on the mood of your baby.

"The difference between a good and a great photo can be the child's mood — for my wife and I, our child is most calm right after he wakes up," he says. "If you learn when your child is the calmest and attentive, you might be able to avoid a bunch of blurry photos."

After you capture

Now, it's time to make your photos shine with editing tools like Adobe Lightroom for mobile.

"Love a certain edit? Save it to use in the future! For example, you can get the benefit of filters that you can customize without limits when you use Presets in Lightroom for mobile," Haftel explains. "When you save your favorite edit, you can apply it to new photos with just one click. Consistency and convenience are never bad things to have."

And finally, go old school.

"Print them out," Haftel says. "Handing someone a physical print these days is somewhat of a magical experience — if you feel comfortable, share some pocketable versions of your special bundle of joy."

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