Smiling Newborn Baby Boy

This sweet little guy came into my photography studio here in Denver and he was an absolute gem. He slept almost the entire time and was full of smiles! I absolutely love when I can capture a baby’s personality on camera for his or her parents.



This baby’s parents have a house full of blues, grays, and creams, so when it came to their newborn photo session we wanted to stick with those colors. This way, the final printed artwork would fit beautifully into their home’s decor. I had the cutest gray, hand-knit onesie in my studio collection and it was just perfect!

For each newborn session I like to get a combination of baby-only “beanbag” images, prop images, and baby/parent images. The number and style of each depends on the family’s preference and the baby’s disposition… luckily this precious boy was very relaxed and cooperative throughout the photo session so we were able to get a great variety for their gallery.


I use my Canon 5d Mark III with a Tamron SP 24-70 F/2.8 for every newborn photography session, and it works beautifully! As for lighting, I have an Alien Bee 400 by Paul C. Buff with a 64 inch parabolic light modifier to create really soft shadows. I find that soft lighting works really well for newborn babies and helps to feature their small, gentle features.

After the photography session, I take the RAW images into Adobe Lightroom for some basic edits (exposure, white balance, contrast) and then over to Photoshop for more detailed editing. Photoshop is really where the magic happens. I removed some minor skin imperfections (baby acne is real!) and voila!





In general, people love photographs of babies… but they especially love pictures where the baby is showing a little personality. The parents especially loved this image because it really captured this little guy’s signature one-sided grin. They had seen it so many times before at home, but now they have it captured in a photograph to remember forever. I love that!

When working with newborns it really pays to be patient. As a photographer, you have to take cues from the babies and ‘go with the flow’. I honestly had enough images from the prop set-up for my gallery, but I could tell that baby was about to smile based on the cues he was giving (fluttering eyes, twitching mouth, etc.) so I waited and, sure enough, I got a huge grin out of him! Having the patience to wait that extra minute gave his parents a beautiful image that they’ll treasure for a lifetime.

Sometimes, if you can tell a newborn is about to smile, lightly tickling their cheek with your finger is enough to bring out that big grin!

Kaylie Kempsell

Kaylie, owner of Kaylie Ruth Photography, specializes in newborn photography. She loves capturing your new baby’s precious details: that swirly cowlick, that tightly curled fist, those perfectly pursed lips… or even that look you have when you’re holding the newest member of your family. Her beautiful studio is located in Westminster, Colorado. As a NICU nurse, Kaylie is dedicated to your baby’s safety. She is also certified by the American Association of Newborn Photography Safety.