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Create a “Newborn Portrait” Competition

Posted on 25 Mar, 2020 by Sarah Hart

Win a Baby Milestone Session AND a Babyprints Hand and Foot Casting!

Create a newborn portrait of your baby with help from Sarah Hart Photography and win the following:

  • a Baby Milestone Photography Session with Sarah Hart Photography plus 10 high resolution digital images from the Baby Milestone Session (valued at £300)
  • a hand and foot casting framed with the photo of your choice in a luxury hard wood frame from Babyprints Tunbridge Wells (valued at £160)

This competition is for any new mums (babies born in March) or soon mum-to-be (babies due March April and May).

Spring is a time for new beginnings and such a wonderful time for having a baby. I don’t want the current virus pandemic to put a dampener on the joy that comes with bringing a new life in to the world. Unfortunately, I’m not able to photograph your newborn babies this Spring BUT you can! And I’ve come up with a plan to help each of you to create a beautiful newborn portrait of your own baby. I may not be able to physically take the photograph, but I can still edit from home. Hence together we can create a stunning image together!

And I’m so excited to collaborate with another local business, Babyprints Tunbridge Wells, who has kindly offered a hand and foot casting framed in your choice of luxury hard wood frame seen below.

How to enter the competition

In this blog, I’ll show you step-by-step, how to create the following newborn portrait (it’s easier than it looks)…….

Stunning black and white newborn portrait. Baby in parents hands

All you have to do is follow my instructions and take a photograph of your baby in either mum or dad’s hands. Then email the image to me at and I will hand edit every image that is sent to me. I’ll convert the image to black and white and use my usual techniques for editing newborn portraits. Once edited, I’ll email the image back to you (there is no cost for my editing service) for you to keep. During the first week of June, I’ll make a display of all the newborn entries on my Facebook page and will ask for the public to vote for their favourite image. The winning entry with the most votes will receive a Baby Milestone Session (to be booked once I’m able to reopen the studio).

setting up for a newborn portrait at home

How to create your Newborn Portrait

  • 1) Choose a window in your house. Lighting is key to all photography. I use a studio light but you can create the look with natural light coming through a window. You want to avoid direct sunlight on a sunny day – this will create harsh shadows on your baby. Ideally, you will need to find a large north-facing window in your house if possible. If you only have a large south facing window, then choose a day when it is cloudy. In fact a cloudy day is better in general to take the photograph on as the light will be softer.
  • 2) Find a beanbag or duvet for your baby to lie on. Yes, you read that correctly. This image may look like you have to hold your baby up in a parent’s hands but you don’t! In fact, I always lay the baby on a beanbag in my studio to create this newborn portrait! If your bean bag is quite soft, you may have to part kneel on it to make it a bit firmer. If you haven’t got a firm bean bag you can use a folded up duvet (perhaps fold up a single duvet in half, then half again). You just need something comfy for baby to slightly sink into and be comfy on.
  • 3) Find a black blanket/sheet/table cloth. If you haven’t got anything black, then find something as dark as possible – a dark grey/maroon/brown throw or blanket will work – the darker the better. You’re going to lay this over the beanbag/duvet. A big tip here, is to lay a disposable baby matt under the black cloth to soak up any accidents. I’d hate for any duvets or bean bags to be ruined by a wee or poo!
  • 4) Plan where baby will lay on the bean bag. Make a slight well in the beanbag/duvet. This where baby will lay. Ideally, you want the light to come down the baby’s head. Make sure your partner (or whoever will be using their hands in the image to hold the baby) has enough room to kneel (see photo)
  • 5) Practice the shape of the hands. Decide on who will hold your baby. Dad’s hands are often bigger (and so make baby look smaller) but some men prefer to use their partner’s hands because mum’s arms tend to be less hairy! That’s a choice entirely down to you! Before you’re ready to lay your baby down, get the adult to practise making the shape seen in the picture below. They need to flex their hands back as much as they can and keep their wrists together. Remember to take off any watches or bracelets so as not to distract from the newborn’s portrait.
  • 6) Ideally, your newborn will be asleep for this image. So pick a time in the day when they’re likely to be sleeping. A great time to choose is just after a feed. Before you feed your newborn, strip them down to just their nappy and keep them warm with a blanket wrapped round them. That way, when they’re fed and sleepy, all you’ll need to do is peel their nappy off to lie them down on the bean bag.
  • 7) Lie your newborn down on their side and let them curl up. The best images, are those where baby is relaxed and curled up. Make sure the parent’s hands are nice and warm (cold hands will unsettle your baby). Scoop the parent’s hands around your baby’s back. Try to ensure that the fingers reach to the back of the baby’s head – this will make it look like your newborn’s head is being supported in the parent’s hands.
  • 8) Tuck baby’s feet in. Sometimes, baby’s feet will spring out. If at all possible, the parent’s hands might be able to help keep their baby’s feet down. Or another tip, place rolled up cloths/towels under the black cloth against where baby’s feet are pressing to keep them tucked up.
  • 9) Turn your baby’s head towards you. Just very gently turn their face towards you so that you get less of their profile and more of their face in the picture.
  • 10) Get the parent holding the baby to slightly lean back and to the side out of the way. This will mean you can stand next to them and take the photo over their shoulder. You want to aim to get only the parent’s forearms and your baby in the shot. Hold the camera steady to take the photo so you don’t get any camera blur. Try to keep the camera’s focus on the eye.
Image to show how to photograph a newborn for the competition

That’s it! Take a few photos and pick the best one to email me and then I’ll put a little Photoshop magic in to your image and email it back to you to keep. Amongst other things, I’ll blacken the backdrop and convert the image to black and white.

Image edited with Photoshop for Newborn portrait competition

The images will need to have been emailed to me by 6pm on 31st May. Then I’ll pop all the finished (edited) images on to my Facebook page ( on 1st June 2020. All entries will remain up for a week. Encourage your family and friends to vote on your image by liking the photo. Only likes on the original post will be counted. The voting will close at 6pm on Saturday 6th June. The image with the largest number of likes will win the competition!

For full terms and conditions, scroll to the bottom of this page.

Enjoyed learning how to create this newborn portrait? Want to learn a little more about taking photographs of your baby? Take a look at another of my blogs which has more tips on photographing your newborn at home:

Terms & Conditions of the Create A Newborn Portrait Competition

  • 1) The promoters are: Sarah Hart Photography & Babyprints Tunbridge Wells
  • 2) The competition is open to anyone who has had a baby born in the period 1st March 2020 – 25th May 2020. The Winner must be willing to travel to the Sarah Hart Photography studio (TN10 4DT) and the Babyprints studio (TN4 0TQ) to claim their prize.
  • 3) There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
  • 4) Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are via
  • 5) Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified.
  • 6) Entry in to the Create a Newborn Portrait Competition will allow Sarah Hart Photography to post each edited entry on their Facebook page for the public to vote on. The entrant also gives permission to Sarah Hart Photography & Babyprints to share pre-edited and post-edited images from the entry, on all social media platforms.
  • 7) Closing date for entry will be 6pm on 31st May 2020. After this date then no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
  • 8) No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
  • 9) All entrant’s edited images will be posted on the Sarah Hart Photography Facebook page on 1st June 2020. Voting by the public will take place from 1st June 2020 until 6th June 2020. The Winner is the entrant who’s image receives the most votes by 6pm on 6th June 2020.
  • 10) The Winner’s prize is as follows: A Baby Milestone Session and 10 edited high resolution digital images from Sarah Hart Photography (valued at £300) A hand and foot casting framed with the photo of your choice in a luxury hard wood frame (valued at £160)
  • 11) The Winner will be notified by email and on Facebook within 5 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or does not claim the prize within 14 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
  • 12) The promoters will notify the Winner when and where the prize can be claimed. The Baby Milestone session & Hand Foot and Casting can be claimed only when Sarah Hart Photography and Babyprints Tunbridge Wells have reopened for business following the government’s COVID-19 restrictions on businesses.
  • 13) The prizes must be redeemed by 31st December 2020.
  • 14) The Promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • 15) By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to opt in to marketing material from Sarah Hart Photography and Babyprints Tunbridge Wells. Entrants may unsubscribe at any time.
  • 16) The Winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.
  • 17) Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
  • 18) This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or any other Social Network. You are providing your information to Sarah Hart Photography and Babyprints Tunbridge Wells and not to any other party.

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Sarah Hart Newborn Photography