Essential Guide to Baby's Photoshoot: Must-Have Themes | Ideas

baby boy's cake smash photo with Kate Milk Cookies Blue Backdrop Designed by Melissa King

One of the most amazing milestones in your journey of parenthood is when you're about to have your first baby, and have their first baby photo taken. In planning a perfect baby's photoshoot, there's much planning, hence much to be put into place.

We have compiled this guide with all the baby photoshoot essentials for you to plan a beautiful and memorable session for your little one. Here, we bring forth some of the must-haves in ideas and themes for baby photoshoots that are going to add the beauty of difference to your baby's photoshoot.

Baby's 1st Birthday Photoshoot

Here are some ideas for baby photo sessions: from simple and classic to the creative and cute ones.

1. Balloons

baby girl's 1st year cake smash photo with balloon backdrop

Kate Pink Balloons Backdrop Birthday Designed by Uta Mueller Photography 

Balloons signify nothing but fun. Bright, colorful balloons are a great way to add some fun and festivity to the baby's first birthday photo shoot. Fix them on the ceiling or form a small balloon arch for the backdrop.

2. Nature & Outdoors

a baby girl's 1st year birthday with flower wall

Photo by Paul Biñas on Unsplash 

If you want to create a look that's just a little more natural and organic for the all important first birthday photo session, take it outside. Natural elements like flowers, leaves, and trees make for perfect photo backdrops.

3. Ball Pit

a baby sitting in a ball pit

Photo by Ellona Kritskaya on shutterstock

For a more memorable baby photoshoot, you can opt for a mini ball pit as the prop for you baby photos. Fill the blow-up kiddie pool with plastic balls in various colors and let your little one have fun playing with them.

4. Bubble Bath

baby girl's taking bath with bubbles and ducks

Kate Bathtime Duck Pink Backdrop Designed by Jia Chan Photography 

Bubbles are a nice whimsical add-on to any photo shoot. You could set up a bubble machine and let your baby chase and pop the bubbles as you grab the moments. Better still, set up a bubble bath photo session by filling a small tub with a bubble bath and letting your little one play in the bubbles.

5. Beach Photoshoot

baby boy sitting at beach and playing sands

Photo by CroMary on shutterstock

The best way to celebrate a one-year-old baby is a photo session on the beach, if you are lucky to live close to one. Go to the beach and let the baby play with the sand and waves, or take some fun props to do so, like a beach ball or a small surfboard.

6. Photo with String Lights

baby boy's first yeas birthday with string lights

Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash 

String lights are an easy way to add a bit of glitz and magic to a photo shoot. Drape them across a ceiling or around a bed frame to help create the cozy, intimate photo session atmosphere.

Get a few more props like a teddy bear and a mini cake to add to the session and make it just that extra bit special. Use the string curtain lights and lights, or a Vinyl background of string lights, for a pretty effect. 

7. Hot Air Balloon Theme

baby boy sitting in hot air balloon

Kate Blue Sky Cloud Hot Air Colored Balloon Backdrop For Children

A hot air balloon theme works quite well in making your baby's first birthday unique and whimsical. You could hang a mini hot air balloon from the ceiling and have your baby pose in front of it.

Cake Smash for Baby's Photoshoot

baby girl's cake smash with pink backdrop

Kate Pink Birthday Carnival Backdrop Designed by Melissa King 

A cake smash is a photo session that celebrates a baby's first birthday and captures his or her personality in a very fun, unique way. The principle behind a cake smash is to capture the baby's enthusiasm in smashing the cake and the mess that results from it.

The cake is often decorated with bright colors and toys and could be set on a table or the ground. The baby then gets to enjoy his way with the cake, and some various shots can be made of him either playing with the cake or eating it.

Here are a few ideas that can help you prepare for your little one's cake smash:

8. Pick the Cake with Care

baby boy's eating cake with colorful balloon decorations

Kate Colorful Balloon Cake Smash Backdrop Designed By JS Photography 

A cake smash cake can make a photo session work for its atmosphere. A bright, colorful cake is in order as it will stand out in photos. If the baby has any allergies to wheat and eggs, consult the parents before choosing the cake.

9. Ensure the Cake Is Well Set & The BaBy Is Safe

baby boy's cake smash with a bohemian garland

Kate Spring Garland Backdrop Designed by Keerstan Jessop

Consider safety when preparing for a cake smash. Ensure that the cake is well set and not placed at a dangerous height. Also, check the decorations: balloons and flowers shouldn't come off and hurt the baby.

If you're using a cake stand, make sure it doesn't tip too easily or hurt the baby if it does. Taping it to the surface it is placed on might be an option too (table, floor, etc.). Make sure that babies placed on the ground (rather than in a high chair) are away from any potentially harmful objects if they decide to flee, which does happen.

10. Go Easy on the Lighting

baby girl's playing with her birthday cake in front of a pink and white stripe

Kate Pink and White Stripe Photography Backdrop 

Lighting for a cake smash photoshoot should be relatively low so there are no hard shadows. Soft, natural light works the best for this, which can be achieved by using a diffuser or a reflector. There should not be many flashes, which provide too much light, causing discomfort to the tiny baby.

11.  Accessorize the Cake Smash Photos

baby boy's cake smash photo

Kate Milk Cookies Blue Backdrop Designed by Melissa King 

Accessorize the cake smash photos even more. Props such as balloons, banners, and even confetti are going to make the setting look fun and colorful. You can still make big decoration even with a high chair by dressing it with fabric, ribbon, and all manner of decorations.

12. Capture the Moment

baby boy's cake smash with boho balloon decorations

Kate Boho Balloons Tent Backdrop Matte Blue Designed by Mandy Ringe Photography 

Cake smashes are all about capturing the moment. You want to get the expressions of the baby as they go and explore the cake, the fun and joy in it. Take your time with multiple angles and perspectives in creating many different images.

Baby Summer Photoshoot Ideas

With warmer weather here, it's high time to get outdoors and utilize some of the best natural light and views. Here are some great and creative baby photo shoot ideas that will make you go outside and make the most of this summer's photo shoot with your baby.

13. Swimming in the Pool

baby boy lying on green lifebelt

Photo by Valeria Zoncoll on Unsplash 

Another brilliant and creative idea is organizing a baby pool in your backyard. Get some fun toys for the pool, let your little one loose in the water, and the camera should not stop snapping.

14. Beach Time

baby boy sitting on the beach and watching a bird walking

Photo by Megs Mulcahy on Unsplash 

Take your baby out on a beach and make the photoshoot fun and enjoyable. Your baby is going to have a lot of fun playing with the sand as you take wonderful shots. Bring toys to the beach: buckets and shovels. Get your baby dressed in cute beachwear, and bring umbrellas and beach chairs for a really fun and relaxed shot.

15. Picnic Time

baby girl's picnic photo in the park

Photo by Douglas J S Moreira on Unsplash 

Take your baby for a picnic in the backyard. Lay a blanket outside with a pile of pillows for them to sit on, and some of their toys. Bring some snack items and some props, such as a picnic basket with some stuffed toys.

16. Ice Cream Time

a baby girl's eating ice cream with balloon decorations

Kate Ice Cream with Balloons Children Backdrop for Photography Designed by Megan Leigh Photography

Nothing can beat the summer better than a sweet treat. Take your baby to an ice cream parlor and click some fun and yum photos. Let them choose the flavor they like and capture the moments of them while enjoying this treat.

17. Water Balloon Toss

girls playing waterballs together

Photo by Tatiana Gordievskaia on shutterstock

Fill some water balloons and just have a fun water balloon toss with your baby. You will get some really funny photos of your little one throwing and catching them. Include some fun accessories like sunglasses, hats, and colorful clothing at the photoshoot.

18. Paint Rocks

burshes and paints scattering on the ground

Photo by Mariah Hewines on Unsplash

A toddler can easily mess up with paint during some outdoor painting without worrying about furniture. Collect some rocks, clean them, then paint them. Put them all together in the yard so that everyone can enjoy them.

19. Road Trip

boy and girls sitting in the backseat and greeting

Photo by altanaka on shutterstock

There is no better way to keep those summer memoires alive than taking a roadtrip with your baby. Grab some snacks and toys, and hit the road. Make several stops while driving, and snap those breathtaking pictures of your baby against the background.

20. Sunflower Session

baby boy taking bath in the sunflowers

Photo by Olga Gorchichko on shutterstock

Sunflowers would be a great way to add some color and fun into your summer photoshoot. Put the baby in a basin and spread sunflowers around. Take a few gorgeous snaps of your little one in the middle of all these sunflowers. 

21. Lemonade Stand

a little girl taking photo with lemon decorations

Kate Summer Lemon Stand Backdrop Designed by Jia Chan Photography

A great summer baby photo shoot idea would be to do a lemonade stand with colorful decorations and props. Dress up your baby in a pretty outfit and make them pretend to sell lemonade. Don't forget to capture beautiful moments of your baby at their lemonade stand.

Baby's First Christmas Photoshoot

A baby's first Christmas photoshoot is not a moment but a lifetime memory, hence needs to be articulated creatively. Here are a few ways to do the best baby's first Christmas photoshoot.

22. Choose a Theme

baby's hot cocoa theme photo

Kate Christmas Backdrop Hot Cocoa Night for Photography 

The first step for turning the photo shoot into the most memorable one is to choose any theme. The theme could be anything from a traditionally decorated Santa and elves to a silly snowman theme or maybe even more of a decoration piece theme; whatever you wish to make this first Christmas memorable for your baby.

23. Involve Siblings in the Photo Shoot

siblings sitting on bed with Christmas pajamas

Kate Christmas Bed Backdrop Headboard Designed by Emetselch 

Siblings also share a unique bond together, and parents would want to have this preserved. A good time to bring in the siblings is when taking pictures during the baby's first Christmas. 

For example, you can include the sibling in a picture with the baby in different poses like while hugging or holding the baby. The children may also be incorporated if they are older and would be able to engage in other activities.

24. Go Natural

little girl taking a sitting photo with Christmas trees

Kate Christmas Backdrop Winter Brick Wall Barn Door Designed by Emetselch

The best light for a newborn baby's first photos would be natural light; this way, it gives a nice and soft glow, in turn making the pictures beautiful. Also, ensure no background distractions and the surrounding is not cluttered.

25. Involve the Family’s Pet

baby boy taking Christmas photo with his dog

Photo by New Africa on shutterstock 

Taking the first Christmas shots with the baby into the world of baby photography will be more special if a family pet is included. It definitely takes those shots to an entirely different level of cuteness and memories. The pet can be included in the shot with the baby as a prop. For example, a dog or cat on a blanket with the baby.

26. Try New Angles

a baby girl reading a big book in front of a fireplace

Kate Christmas Fireplace Backdrop Wall for Photography

Do not hesitate to take a shot from a new, different angle, or a new perspective. Quite some baby shots taken from the angles and perspectives can look pretty interesting and unique. You can go an extra mile and use a drone so that you capture the baby from a bird's eye. 

27. When Necessary, Add Distractions

baby's Christmas photo with gift boxes

Kate Christmas Gift Snow Tree Backdrop 

Sometimes babies just won't cooperate and are very difficult to photograph. Distractions, such as toys, music, and even a familiar face, can keep the baby involved and, in turn, help make the pictures of the baby look a lot more natural and relaxed.

Baby Milk Bath Photography

Baby milk bath photography captures the innocence of a newborn baby. This is a subgenre of baby photography, wherein the baby is placed in a big enough container with warm milk, and a series of beautiful but rather intimate photos are taken. The texture of the milk bath is both simple and stunning, being soft and fluid.

The baby may have a simple white gown on or be wrapped in the fabric and placed in the bath. It offers an extremely natural and very pure background that is just perfect for creating a timeless portrait. The face, hands, feet, and body of the baby are then captured in the milk bath. They can also get shots of the baby's reflection in the milk if desired.

28. Safety

baby's milk bath in the yard

 Photo by Stock Holm on shutterstock

First and most importantly, the safety of the baby will be the prime consideration in milk-bath photography. First, the milk will be ensured not to be very hot, and an adult will always be watching the baby. It should also be ensured that the milk bath is not too deep, and the baby might drown.

29. Lighting

baby holding a flower in milk bath

Photo by Olga Tsybenko on shutterstock 

Proper lighting is key to achieving beautiful images when doing baby photography. It is important for the light source to be natural in order to give off soft and dreamy feels in the images. Artificial lighting could be included if necessary.

30. Props

baby milk bath in the room

Photo by Olesya Symanchuk on shutterstock 

The props that you will use will be related to taking the most beautiful and unique shots. These could be flowers, leaves, pearls, or other small items that could be added to the milk bath for even more beauty.

31. Background

baby in milk bath with flowers in

Photo by Bekker24 on shutterstock 

White background is highly preferred for baby photography, as a white background gives the photos a professional look since the baby is the subject of interest. On a situation where white cannot be accessed, another neutral color can be used. 

32. Positioning

baby lying in milk bath by holding under head

Photo by Kaganovich Lena on shutterstock 

It is very important how you position the baby in the milk bath. The baby should always be placed at the very centre of the bath with their head above the water. It should further be ensured that the baby is comfortable and not too hot or cold in the bath.

Baby's Passport Photoshoot

An important moment parents could go through is the photo shoot for a baby's passport in their preparation to travel with the baby. It is a good opportunity to get a photo for a passport that an immigration officer will accept and capture moments to leave memories.

The following are the specific requirements for the photo shot of baby's passport:

33. Outfit

baby's headshot with light color outfit

Photo by Take A Pix Media on shutterstock 

The infant should be clothed in something that contrasts with the background. Best is a simple, close-fitting garment. Your child should never be clothed in a hat or headband with large bows or flowers. Your baby's face may be covered by the hat or the face may be lost in the photo.

34. Background

baby girl's headshot with white background

Photo by Alejandro Camacho B on shutterstock 

The background is preferred to be very simple and white so as not to distract the viewer at all from the face of the baby. The baby background must be free from patterns, text, or graphic features.

35. Lighting

little girl's passport photo

Photo by Olesia Bilkei on shutterstock 

That's pretty important because, with adequate lighting, the face of the baby remains visible. Even though natural light is most preferable, it is only possible under a few cases, so consider lighting with a softbox and an umbrella.

36. Pose

baby headshot photos with right and wrong facial expressions

Photo by LuckyStep on shutterstock

The baby should be frontal to the camera, and his facial expression should be relaxed. The head should not be tilted to the side, and it should be positioned at the center of the frame.

37. Photo Size

a baby boy's multiple headshots

Photo by Srdjan Fot on shutterstock 

Photograph must be 2 inch x 2 inch showing the face and shoulders. Head should measure between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches; from bottom of chin to top of head.

38. Photo Quality

a perfect baby passport photo

Photo by Eugene Partyzan on shutterstock 

There should be no red-eye in the image, and it should be clear and of high resolution, showing all features of a child. The baby's passport photo should look like your baby, and any major difference in this can result in challenges in getting a passport.


There are countless ideas for your baby's photo shoot, and the choice of themes and props simply determines the uniqueness of your baby. Be it from the use of family heirlooms to the selection of fun themes or something way more creative, you are sure to get some classic portraits or something playful. Either way, your baby's shoot is going to just exude love and joy from the new little one.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.