10 Poses for Non-Sitters

The Milky Way - 10 simple poses for non-sittersThere’s a really tough stage to photograph when it comes to babies.  Well, actually there’s a couple.

The first is around that 3-5 months, where they can’t really hold their head up at all – stay tuned for tips on that stage.

Today, we wanted to give you 10 simple poses you can use for babies who can’t *quite* sit yet!(pin the image to the right for easy finding later on!)

Now, ages will vary…because some babies have this mastered around 5-6 months – but for others, it can be closer to 9 months – which is why I recommend you discuss ‘stages’ vs ‘ages’ when it comes to photos in your client’s first year!

In these examples, I’m using studio light (at 45 degrees).

Starting with the baby facing the camera, feet to the back of the backdrop (angle them slightly though, so you can see the toes!)

Here I’m using a wide aperture so the feet are blurred – you may prefer them in focus, in which case, you a narrower Aperture!)

10 poses for Non-Sitters - themilkyway.ca

If they can push themselves up to their knees, you can wait until the make that move and get an additional pose.

(one thing to note – with flokati rugs, which I’ve used here, you can lose their fingers in the fluff – so you can either ‘brush is down’ a little to see those tiny fingers, or use a different material for the floor)

10 poses for Non-Sitters - themilkyway.ca

A quick transition here is to simple turn their body so they are sideways to the camera (remember to put their head towards the light!)This is a great pose to see their little back rolls and leg chub if they have it (and elbow dimples!)

10 poses for Non-Sitters - themilkyway.ca

This is the same pose, I’ve just moved closer to get a tighter shot.  Remember to take different crops and angles when in each pose so you can have a diverse gallery (it doesn’t mean you need to present your client with every variation of each pose – but you’ll have a good selection to start!)

10 poses for Non-Sitters - themilkyway.ca

From the pose above, I will then turn the baby over on to their back (if they are ok with it! You have to just ‘roll’ with your client…no pun intended!)

Again, make sure the light source is near the top of their head (and look for the catchlights in their eyes!)  At this stage, they often have ‘found their toes’ – if needed, ask mama to help them grab them.

For this shot, I wanted to be sure toes were in focus too – so you’ll see that I have them on the same focal plane as his eyes.  Another tip to remember – have your camera positioned closer to their head vs the feet so you aren’t ‘shooting up’ their nose!

10 poses for Non-Sitters - themilkyway.ca

Again, moving in closer for the crop.  He had let go of his feet and his hand was in front of his body.  You’ll see that his fingers are no longer in focus because they are outside of my ‘depth of focus.’

If you want to have them in focus, either use a narrower fstop and/or be further away from your subject to increase your depth of field.

10 poses for Non-Sitters - themilkyway.ca

Your model can now stay in the same spot – but YOU can move to take an aerial shot.

**IMPORTANT: Make sure your neck strap is AROUND your neck!! Safety first!!**

Once again, try to position yourself so your camera is closer to their head vs feet so you aren’t shooting ‘up the nose’

10 poses for Non-Sitters - themilkyway.ca

After you get the full-body shot (easiest if you have a 35mm or a zoom lens vs trying to use your 50mm!), move in for the close up!(just try not to chop fingers off like I did here – oops!)

10 poses for Non-Sitters - themilkyway.ca

And remember to grab a few shots of the toes too!  These are great in albums! (it is also a great shot to snap off if the little one is unhappy!)

10 poses for Non-Sitters - themilkyway.ca

If they are still happy to be rolling around on the floor, keeping them on their backs, I’ll now rotate them so their feet are towards the backdrop again.

For the shot below, I have them on a 45 degree angle (head towards the light), so I can still see the little toes.

10 poses for Non-Sitters - themilkyway.ca

A quick variation on this one, is to angle the head so you are seeing the crown of the head/nose/cheeks vs the full face.  Mamas love this shot as it is a view they see often of their wee ones sleeping against them or when nursing!

10 poses for Non-Sitters - themilkyway.ca

A variation on that is to help them find their toes again! (and rotating them slightly so they are straight on to the camera). Again, you decide if you want everything in focus, or have have the feet/hands a bit blurred (which is my personal preference on these ones!)

10 poses for Non-Sitters - themilkyway.ca

Now, spinning them 180 degrees so their toes are closest, I’ll snap off a few quick shots of the little toes from this angle)

10 poses for Non-Sitters - themilkyway.ca

Next, I will move on to some prop shots.  The key with non sitters is to have a prop that is deep enough to support them – you don’t want them awkwardly sliding out of a prop.

**IMPORTANT** Have your spotter right beside them – and if needed, hanging on to part of the prop and edit them out later  – OR, stick to tight crops so you don’t have to do that editing (especially if you have a backdrop that would make it tricky to edit).

It’s also a good idea to have some sort of weight on the bottom as well to make it more stable.

10 poses for Non-Sitters - themilkyway.ca

Once in the prop, remember to take various angles.

10 poses for Non-Sitters - themilkyway.ca

And change up your crops to get some tighter shots!

10 poses for Non-Sitters - themilkyway.ca

I also like to get a few shots of fingers here as well (as I usually get the toes on my floor shots)

10 poses for Non-Sitters - themilkyway.ca




Ebb and Flow: The Myth of Finding Balance as a Mother and Business Owner with Aspen Dawn

From Chaos to Keepsakes: The Joy of Photographing Large Families with Kristen Coberly

Play, Prompts, and Passion: How Liz Devinny Creates Playful Photography Masterpieces

Scroll-stopping Storytelling: Creating Fine Art Children’s Portraits with Photographer Iwona Podlasinska

A Passion for Pet Portraits: Making Furry Friend Photography a Profitable Business with Nicole Begley

Contracts, Copyrights, and Copycats: The Must-Do Legal Tasks for Your Photography Business with Kiffanie Stahle

Marketing Mindset Makeover: Why It’s Time for Photographers to Rethink Their Marketing Strategies with Carolina Guzik

The Profitable Photographer: Pricing for Profit in Your Photography Business with Jamie Devlin

The Procrastinating Robot with Lisa DiGeso: Strategies to Deal with Overwhelm & Procrastination

Picture Perfect Productivity: Strategies for Streamlining Your Photography Business with Brittnie Renee

Countdown to Success: Using The Rocketship Blueprint to Propel Your Photography Business Forward with Senior Photographer Sean Brown

Focus on Inclusion: Empathy and Advocacy in Neurodivergent Family Photography with Stacey Feasel

Learning Curves: How Maintaining a Lifetime Learner Mindset Can Help You Master Your Fine Art Maternity with Esther Kay

A Kid at Heart: The Art & Business of Preschool Photography with Trina Julius

The Business of Being Yourself: How Embracing Your Uniqueness Unlocks Your Creativity & Helps You Stand Out in the Newborn Niche With Natasha Simpson

Better Together: How Hiring a Team of Associates Can Help You Grow Your Photography Business With Jill Smith

From Scrubs to Shutter: Balancing Nursing, Photography, and Passion with Shannon McTighe

The Wild Side: Embracing the Beautiful Mess, and Capturing Authentic Connection with Tiffany Crenshaw from Animal House Photography

Golden Moments: Elevating  & Nurturing Client Relationships with Maternity and Newborn Photographer Kellie Golden

The Heart of Photography: Josie Tan’s Approach to Client Connections & Building Relationships in Your Photography Business

Advice From the Pros: Lessons and Reflections From 16 Photographers on What They Wish They Knew as Beginners

Giving Up the Ghost: Releasing the Stories Holding You Back in Your Photography Business.

Practicing Presence: The Healing Power of Slowing Down & Tuning into Mindfulness & Creativity in Photography with Joy Prouty

Inkpot Insights: Crafting Web Magic for your photography business with KP and Jessie from Inkpot Creative