with Courtney Slazinik
How to Use a Newborn Wrap for Photography to Create Amazing Photos
How to Use a Newborn Wrap for Photography to Create Amazing Photos

Newborn wrap for photography doesn’t only soothe the newborn to get better images, but helps to add texture and interest to your images. Follow these 7 newborn wrap photography tips focused on helping you nail wrapping the little one.

how to wrap a newborn baby for photos

Read more: 10 Tips to Help Dramatically Improve your Newborn Photography

Newborn Photography Wrap Tips

1. Invest in different lengths and textures like cheesecloth wraps

If you really fall in love with a brand, texture or color, buy more than one and cut the second one in half. Use a smaller piece of fabric when you just want to cover part of the baby or the fabric is thicker and you only need one layer.

Use a longer piece of fabric when you need to double it up so it won’t be see through or you are using a tail. I have a collection of vanklee, cheesecloth wraps, lycra and pieces from the fabric store.

newborn photography wraps of different kinds like cheesecloth and variety of colors

2. Practice using a newborn wrap on a doll

If you see a wrap you want to try, use a doll first! This will help you determine where to place the wrap and baby to start, if you need to leave more fabric on one side, and so on. You will feel more confident recreating the wrap on a real baby.

Using a doll to practice using a newborn wrap for photography

3. Have a newborn wrapping workflow

Just like with your posed or lifestyle work, you should have a plan. Set aside the wraps you want to work with, keeping mind what textures and colors go with your current background. Start with wraps where you don’t have to move the baby too much, think of them as your safe shots, then go for a more complicated wrap. Layer your wraps for added variety. This is great to do if the baby isn’t in a deep sleep or fussing a little. Start with a tighter swaddle and then add a darker color over. Here, the blue wrap was placed over the beige wraps.

how to wrap newborn for photography including twins

4. Tuck the newborn wrap around the baby

Whenever you can, tuck the wrap around the baby instead of picking them up and actually wrapping it around them. Your chances of waking the baby up will be less so you can maximize on your workflow.

Use different newborn wrap techniques to create beautiful photos

If you are using a longer wrap with a tail, bunch the extra fabric behind the baby for two different looks.

Newborn wrap for photography using cheese cloth wrap

5. Don’t use a flat surface

When the baby is on their back, you want a surface that has some give so you can give the baby some shape. Use a bowl or a bean bag so you can dig a little hole for their bottom so you can curl the legs and feet up. The baby on the left has less shape and looks bigger. Take advantage of having a tiny newborn in your hands and curl them up.

Newborn photography tips | wrapping by Alicia Gould via Click it Up a Notch

6. Wrap the newborn tight for sibling shots

Babies startle easily and swing their arms and legs around. Swaddling them tight creates a nice clean look and keeps them warm. You don’t have to worry the baby scratching their sibling or rooting.

Newborn photography tips | wrapping by Alicia Gould via Click it Up a Notch

7. Use directional light

I prefer side lighting when the baby is laying on their back. This helps bring out their features and the texture in the fur. When moving from posed shots on the bean bag to flokati shots, I need to move my set up so the light is coming from the side.

Newborn photography tips | wrapping by Alicia Gould via Click it Up a Notch

Alicia’s vendor list for these images:
Dolly priss – Etsy
TJF Designs – Etsy

Newborn photography tips | wrapping by Alicia Gould via Click it Up a Notch
  • September 26, 2014 at 5:47 AM

    Brilliant tips! These definitely gives every aspiring NB photographer an idea.

  • Emilia
    October 27, 2014 at 9:22 PM

    Great tips! Thank you Alicia.

  • Brittney
    March 12, 2016 at 9:49 PM

    Hello! What do you suggest is the best doll to practice on?

    • April 5, 2016 at 2:36 PM

      I don’t have a specific recommendation. I know there are companies out there.

  • Arun
    November 12, 2018 at 5:20 PM

    Thank you for the tips. Do you have any recommendation for good lighting or number of flashes , color temp and so on ?

  • Kerri Seibert
    July 3, 2019 at 10:16 AM

    Learning how to swaddle a baby takes a lot of practice especially if you want it to look good enough for images! Always remember to keep it simple when it comes to baby wraps and other photo props. If you don’t feel comfortable with complex swaddling techniques then leave them out. Classic is always in style.

  • Jess M
    February 4, 2020 at 11:04 AM

    Great tips! I would also add that if you can get a really snug bottom wrap, you can put a pretty wrap over top and it. I often use a hair tie to secure the wrap in the back, and then I use fluff to round out the baby before I add the top layer.

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