Just as with fashion and house decorating when it comes to newborn photography sessions we all have different tastes and like the look of certain things. Because tastes vary so widely in terms of what we like I ask all of my newborn client parents for lots of input when I put together and style their sessions for them. Your favourite colours, your preferences for style, and even the types of poses you like can be quite different from what the next person would like from their session.

New parents are often really unsure of what kinds of photos or options for styling are possible during a newborn session so I wanted to put together a bit of a guide for you that would help answer all of your newborn session styling questions. As you will see there are lots of choices possible making each newborn session very unique to every baby and family that comes into my studio for their photos.


One of the first things I ask my clients about when planning for their newborn session is the parents’ preferred style for their little one’s photos. A newborn session can be styled to be simple and classic with very little accessories and more neutral colours or they can be styled to be very bold and elaborate including rich colours and multiple accessories (e.g. hats, fabrics). Once a client has chosen their preferred style I can work to create the look my clients want in their photos by combining their preferred backdrops and colours with the types of poses they’d like.

Are you unsure of what you’d like?

While some families know just what they’d like in terms of style or what photos they’d like from their session other families are overwhelmed by all of the possibilities available for their photos. If that’s how you’re feeling about choosing what you’d like from your photos don’t worry, we’re happy to help guide you as much or as little as you’d like in styling your session. My session coordinator is there to walk you through all of your styling choices and help make the best choices for your family.

newborn photos with family members and siblings in candid shots


Those first family and sibling photos are so important so I want to make sure everyone is looking their best and that you’re happy with how you look. For your family photos I have a variety of classic and neutral backdrops you can choose from. I have a beautiful reclaimed barn board backdrop, a bright white dream lit backdrop as well as several classic backdrops (cream, white, light grey, mocha). You can either select your favourite from what I have available or I’m happy to make a suggestion based on what would look best with your clothing.

For sibling photos with little ones you may also want to include a wool flokati rug for those sweet cuddly first sibling photos. I have a variety of rug colour options for you to choose from including cream, grey, brown, and even pink or blue.

Siblings in newborn photos

Types of Family and Sibling Photos

There are a myriad of possibilities for the types of photos that I can take for you at your newborn session so I always ask my clients which types are their favourites.

Do you prefer more posed family and sibling photos? Or would you like more candid photos that capture the interactions between your family members? Many families like a mixture of both posed photos with everyone looking at the camera as well as those that capture the candid moments so I’m happy to style sessions to include both types. I also offer newborn sessions on my beautiful studio bed set for families who would like more of a lifestyle feel to their family photos.

posed newborn photos with siblings

Types of Newborn Photos

Individual photos of your baby can be captured in many different ways.

I offer newborn photos on my posing cushion with baby both wrapped and undressed to help capture those sweet, curled up positions your baby makes in those first early weeks. I have many different fabric colours that you can choose from to go under your baby for photos of them on the posing cushion. Photos on the posing cushion can be as simple as you’d like with no accessories added or they can be styled to include hats or headbands and draped fabrics.

newborn babies on a posing cushion

Many parents choose to include photos of their baby in one or more of my many props as these types of photos very sweetly demonstrate just how tiny your new baby is. I have a beautiful collection of wooden bowls, straw baskets, boxes, and wire baskets that can be combined with textured layers of fabrics to help highlight just how adorable your new baby is.

using various props during newborn sessions in ottawa

One dramatic type of photo you can also choose from for your baby’s photos is one where it looks as if you or your partner (or both of you if you’d like!) is holding your baby up in your hands against a black backdrop. These beautiful images have consistently been a popular choice at my newborn sessions for several years.

Black backdrop with hands holding babies during newborn photo sessions ottawa

Another dramatic type of photograph you can choose from for your baby’s photos are composite images I create by photographing your baby in studio and then combining their image with a digital backdrop later in post-processing. For these special images you can select from my catalogue of available backdrops including floral beds, beautiful nests, hanging branches, and much more. Once you’ve chosen a backdrop I will then photograph your baby during your newborn session on the matching dyed wools and props so that I can seamlessly combine their photo with your chosen backdrop to create a custom art piece. These images are perfect for creating beautiful birth announcements and are a popular choice for displaying in baby’s nursery.

newborn photo sessions ottawa


In my studio I have a large collection of newborn accessories such as hats, headbands, tiny knit toys, and fabrics. I am continually adding to my collection to give my clients as much choice as they’d like in terms of colours, textures, and themes. Clients can choose to include as much or as few accessories as they’d like in their session and I’m happy to select their favourite colours, or even their favourite animals, for their babies’ photos.

Various accessories used in a newborn session with Sara McConnell Photography

What do you want your newborn session to look like?

I can’t wait to hear from you!

For more information about my newborn sessions or to share what ideas you have for your baby’s first photos please send me an email at: info@saramcconnell.ca

close up images during baby newborn session