Stop Making It Hard, The Un-Posed Pose


Newborn Photographers, seriously, STOP!

Stop making it so hard. I don’t know about you but I tend to over think, over do and over complicate a lot of things sometimes (ok, probably a lot more than a lot but that’s another blog for another day).  I don’t know if it’s the perfectionist in me or some evil curse handout to me.  On occasion the same curse pops its ugly head during a newborn session and there I am STUCK!  Trying to make a pose work and the babys seriously not having it or it still just doesn’t look quite right to me.

I feel like the devil’s advocate saying this because I LOVE POSING and as you all know I teach newborn posing here at TPE!

“WHAT!! How can she say that? Stop posing!”


That is exactly what I’m saying.

Ok, well I’m not telling you to throw in the towel and never try the Tushie Up Pose or the Taco/Womb Pose…BUT I am telling you to stop making it so hard and really think about what we are capturing in the first place being newborn photographers?

Newborn’s sleeping

What I’m really saying is do both and when the time and flow is right during your session sneak in an un-posed pose into your workflow. Let them pose themselves how they would naturally and organically laying on their backs or on their sides when they are off in dream land.  What I’ve found is that when I’m stuck with a pose or baby is not having it, I un-pose them.  Most likely than not, those are the favorites of the parents when they see their images.  Parents KNOW how their baby looks when they are sleepy, I’m mean come on, am I the only one that sat for hours starring at mine when they were first new studying every detail of their cuteness? Parents are smitten with how their hands or feet curl, they know exactly what side they like to lay on best and if their baby loves to put their hands close to their chest when sleeping or not.

Capturing that pose, unposed, is priceless.

So how do you capture the un-posed pose?

There are a few ways you could implement it. Think about a natural transition in your posing workflow throughout your session. If you are going to capture baby on it’s back, then do an un-posed pose before or after the wrapped pose. Another suggestion is when they are laying on their backs in a prop like a bowl or basket.  Lastly, if baby is just seeming a little unsettled during any posing, relinquish any control over your pose and do an un-posed pose!

I hope to hear some sighs of relief that NOT every newborn session you capture has to be perfectly posed.  Stop making it hard!  I have to say I had to figure this out the hard way and wish I was given this small piece of advice to work with when I was overcomplicating my posing.  I hope you take it and run with it, get creative and mostly have fun.


To help all you newborn photographers off on the right foot, here are 4 un-posed poses with variation above to inspire you. Remember to use your angles to get the most out of each un-posed pose and don’t forget to capture those tiny details.  If you’re not sure how, click here to read the best tip for macro photography, Capturing Those Tiny Details.

Don’t forget if you want this advice in your back pocket, PIN IT to your Pinterest board of inspiration and take it with you to your next session.

Happy Snapping (un-posed!),

malia b

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Malia Battilana


It’s an honor to be photographing the world’s newest little human beings. It takes that special touch, patience and a pure love. She believes emotional connection makes for influential newborn portraiture and that anyone seeking that, can find it.

Malia lives in sunny Phoenix, Arizona with her most supportive husband and her 3 fun-loving children. As the owner of Malia B Photography, she photographs the cutest babies in the Valley of the Sun.