Using Baby Toys as Newborn Baby Photography props

On our Instagram pages we get sent some fabulous pictures of your newborn babies and toddlers with our baby toys acting as newborn baby photo props. So we asked our photographer for some top tips on how to use our baby toys in your baby photos.

If you’re like me then the photos you take of your new born baby are roughly split between the posed and the hilarious. We can’t help with the funny ones but when it comes to the posed ones there is a definite knack to it so we asked our photographer for some top tips about how to take the best photo and how to use baby toys as photo props.

His advice? "I have done loads of photoshoots with big complicated cameras, lights, pieces of card, window diffusers and a lot more, but things have changed a lot since the arrival of great quality camera phones and Instagram. Instagram was initially designed for phone cameras and discouraged big camera images so no need to think you have to have professional equipment to get a great baby photo."

"Depending on which camera phone you have, plenty now have a portrait mode that allows you to make the background blurry (or a shallow depth of field as we say in the business). The reason photographers use a shallow depth of field is to keep the images focus on the subject rather than being lost in a busy background. Modern smart-camera phone can make an amazing job of this."

"However, more important than all the technical bits is that the subject (your child) and their expression is one of the most important things in your image. My Rule No 1 is never to ask a child to smile, or even worse is to ask them to say “Cheese” Like taking a photo of most adults, as a photographer you have to make them feel comfortable and unaware that you’re snapping away. Let them do their own thing and especially with younger children, providing you’re not in their face, they will soon forget you snapping away. And as for the smile? That’s the easiest thing in the world! Don’t even mention the work “Smile”. Try saying something funny to them or remind them of something you know will make them smile. But never, ever tell them to say Cheese!"

You can see how Simon uses baby toys as baby photo props and other of his images on his website Pepperpack shots.

Most of the professional photographs use newborn baby props to add another dimension to the images. These don’t have to be expensive, and in fact they work a lot better if you use baby toys or a baby blanket that your baby is familiar with.

One point to make is that loads of the professional photos you see on the internet are actually photoshopped. It is not very likely that a photographer would actually balance a baby in a hammock or plop them in to a bucket so this is not something you should try at home!

Other things to watch out for if using newborn baby props are

  1. If you are using a swaddle or blanket make sure they don’t irritate your baby’s skin. If you use one that your baby has had from newborn you will not only know its safe but it will also ensure your baby feels safe and warm too!
  2. If you do use some sort of prop to position your baby then make sure its covered with a baby blanket so it can’t scratch your baby. Don’t buy a baby blanket just to be a prop unless you are certain it is suitable for babies.
  3. And if you want some shots of your baby without clothes or nappy remember to turn your heating up before you start! Warm babies are happy babies 

For a cute, classic photograph simply stand above your baby as they lie on their back (but make sure you are not casting a weird shadow!) This gives best results if they are lying on something plain so you get a solid background, and if you attract their attention by waving or shaking a favourite baby toy.

Cuddly toys add an extra dimension of cuteness but they also give a sense of scale so you can see how small your newborn baby was.

Once your baby can hold their head up then you can take some lovely stomach shots by grabbing their attention by pulling faces or waving a baby toy to get them to give you that smile

Once your baby can sit then the fun can really begin. Props can make for fantastic shots as your baby earnestly “reads” a book or you can sit them nestled among their favourite baby toys

Obviously we are biased but we think that a cuddly toy is wonderful as a baby photo prop as it will both calm your baby and give them something to focus on as you take your photographs.

If it is one of your baby’s favourite toys, you will also be preserving the memory of that toy - and your child playing with it - for years to come

The other thing that is good about including a soft toy is it shows scale. One idea is that as your baby grows you can keep using the same toy as this is a fun way to show how much your baby has grown.

Hopefully this has given you some ideas about using baby toys as baby photo props but come along and see some photos on our Instagram and Facebook pages.


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