Family Photography Inspiration – Posing with Babies

Posing with babies can be a daunting task for the family photographer. Most posing guides will tell you to direct kids to sit here, stand there, walk over here, run towards that … but what do you do when your littlest clients are babies that are still non-mobile?

We’ve assembled some photo inspiration for you to take you beyond the “hold baby on your hip” standard and put some variety in your family posing with babies!

Let’s start with the basics…

The easiest way to pose babies is to simply not pose babies! Let a parent hold baby while you pose the rest of the family, and baby then becomes a “accessory” in the main setup.

mom with three kids on beach
Regina Moneypenny Photography
couple posing with baby in creek
Michelle Zumbach Photography

Basic, but different

The downside of treating baby as an extra is that it can cause baby to become a transparent member of the family. So figure out things that will make baby stand out. It can be as simple as wrapping baby in a special blanket, or as dramatic as letting them go au natural! Noone is going to ignore that little bum!

couple kissing in water with boy on shoulders and naked baby in arms
Theresa Sherron Photography
tattooed father with baby in arms at sunset
Tess Dana Photography

Get close to baby

Don’t be afraid to crop tight on the parents! Change your angle and use a shallow depth of field to maintain the focus on the little one.

laughing baby
Amanda Grace Photography
close up of baby in mother's arms
Allyson Marcangelo Photography
baby girl with scrunchy nose on parents lap
Heidi Aubin Photography

Sit down

When you embrace family sitting poses, it doesn’t matter that little babe can’t stand or walk! Just put everyone on the same level, cuddle in close and capture their connection. And sitting poses don’t have to be just traditional “look at the camera” photos – encourage tickles and play, and your candid captures will be on point.

mom and dad with baby
Nichole Brewer Photography
parents sitting in field with baby
parents sitting on bench with laughing baby
Michelle Petkovic Photography

… or lie down!

Get horizontal – baby will most probably end on top of the parents!

dad lying down on mom's lap with baby on top
family lying down on blanket
Let’s Spread Beauty

Come down to their level

Keeping the same concept in mind as with traditional sitting poses, you can put baby down first, letting them lie or crawl or sit whichever way they prefer. Then add the adults to the mix.

moms lying on blanket looking at baby
Teale Brown Photography

The assisted walk

If baby is strong enough to stand with assistance, you can capture this very classic shot by simply having the parents hold baby’s hands. It emphasizes just how small in stature these little ones are. You can include one parent as in this example, or have 2 parents on either side each holding one little hand.

baby girl being held up by parent's hands
Megan Koch Photography

Toss them!

Dads love it, moms usually gasp, but this shot is always a winner! Shoot from a low angle, and the height will look exaggerated for an even more dramatic fun family image!

boy tossed up in the air by dad with sisters looking on
Brittany Moore Photography

And if they are too little for a full toss, just a little flying will work beautifully too!

baby girl lifted up by dad with mom looking on
Renee McDaniel Photography
family of four
Tamara Michelle Photography

Focus on the details

Not every family photo needs to have everyone’s faces in it. Take time to focus on the little things that mark this special time, when their baby is still so little, and capture that. Snuggles into mom’s neck, protective arms scooped under baby’s bottom, tiny baby toes – those are all fleeting moments that are such valuable memories to capture.

close up of parents holding baby
KCP Creative Imagery

Attention from the siblings

If an older sibling is part of the session, asking them to focus some attention on the baby makes for some sweet images. Absolutely try for a kiss, but know that not all kids are willing to kiss their siblings. In that case, asking the sibling to smell the baby’s head because it smells like strawberries/chocolate/poop (whatever works!) will still result in an intimate portrait.

brother leaning over and kissing baby in family photograph
Eleven 29 Photography

One-on-one with Mom or Dad

Make time to capture just a parent and their baby without other family members to pay homage to the special individual relationship. A tummy-to-tummy pose (or half-tummy) ensures the two people can look at one another and interact, which is exactly what you want to capture.

mom kissing baby on cheek
Kristin Vucina Photography
mom and baby holding foreheads together
Happy Acres Photography
mom and baby with dad and sister blurred in background
Olesya Photography


Not only does dancing keep kids engaged and chuckling with laughter, the movement captured makes for a romantic, candid image that shows off all natural expressions.

mom and baby dancing in a house
Aspen Dawn Photography

Involve them

Try to find activities that the whole family can be involved in for your candid shots. Sure, baby will need extra help and the type of involvement would look different, but it still shows that this little one is very much part of the family and can enjoy activities with them.

family with 3 kids playing in the waves
Locallie Yours

Indoors – just let them be

If you are doing an in-home family session, posing with babies really means that you can let the family do everyday life with their baby. Diaper changes, cuddles in bed, tummy-time in the living room – families will love this glimpse into their real lives.

dad lying in bed with 2 small children
Cacti and Chaos

Come in close

In the end, allowing the tenderness and wonder of parenthood to reflect in your posing with babies is all that matters. Just ask your parents to come in real close and look at their baby. The look in their eyes and the smile on their lips are as real and honest as any photographer could wish for.

mom and dad and baby
The Photograp-her

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