Baby photography is a special genre that many new artists are interested in. But, there aren’t many great resources for learning about it online.
In fact, most newborn workshops cost hundreds of dollars and you have to travel long distances to attend them. That’s why we created this list of the best infant photography courses available today on the internet.
Specifically, you will learn about the most recommended platforms for studying this genre plus the various courses they offer. These e-learning sites have great resources that can unlock your potential and help you become better at this specialized craft.
What is Newborn Photography?
First things first:
What really is a baby photoshoot?
It is a growing market in the industry today. It involves taking pictures of babies who are newly born. This is a very special genre because you will need to put a priority on the safety of your subject more than anything else. As lovely as they are, infants are very delicate and fragile.
This also makes the genre very challenging. The good thing is, the parents will help you along the way. They could get their child’s attention, or they can help with the different poses as well.
Let’s have a look at this quick preview of the best online courses (platforms) for taking photos of newborns in 2021:
Why has this special genre become so popular these days?
Well, one of the reasons why it has become a global trend is that it is very exciting to see babies grow into children and watch them develop over time. Capturing these development stages in film and putting them in fine print will help preserve the memories of their childhood.
Let’s get started, shall we?
15 Best Newborn Photography Courses Online
How to Be a Baby Photographer by Belly Baby School
Belly Baby School is an amazing e-learning center by Ana Brandt that delivers high quality online classes for photographers interested in baby photoshoots.
This platform offers a variety of workshops from posing to shooting, post-processing, and even marketing your work. In short, you can find almost anything you want to study as a newborn shooter here at BBS.
The materials are aimed at both beginners and advanced photographers alike. If you want, you can pay for the courses individually and start as soon as you complete the signup and check-out process.
Or better yet, you can choose to pay for their premium membership and get access to everything they have on the site. Personally, I think it is more advantageous to take this offer because it will save you lots of money while have access to more info, to be honest.
Now, about the class How to Be a Baby Photographer:
Though there are a lot of other great tutorials on this site, this one is a crowd favorite.
It is a comprehensive training on how to take pictures of a very young child without compromising his/her safety. The class is divided into 21 modules with both audio/video and text-based materials for you to easily follow through.
It discusses the things that could answer your question on how to become a newborn photographer. Starting from the preparation to marketing, every little detail will be tackled.
There are lessons that are purely discussions, but there are also videos showing the actual photoshoot taking place. This means you will be able to observe how Ana Brandt does her thing and you can certainly pick up a thing or two from it.
But what really makes this interesting is the inclusion of a business aspect lesson about the craft. It will:
teach you how to build your own business focused on this genre
tell you how to effectively market yourself as an artist and your work as well.
ANP Certificate Course by Academy of Newborn Photography
You may wonder:
“How to become a certified newborn photographer?”
If you want a certified newborn photography course, then this is the best place to go.
ANP is another e-learning hub dedicated to providing training and workshops to infant photographers. They claim ANP to be the first true “Training Academy” for newborn/baby photographers in Australia (if not the world) and are confident to lead the way in professional development.
The founder, Kerryn O’Brien found inspiration to open this online academy through her own experience of not being able to go back to her usual work after giving birth.
According to her, though there were mentoring sessions about baby posing techniques, there wasn’t really an in-depth resource for other things such as workplace safety and management.
We all know how fragile and delicate neonates are! Hence, she established this online school for people who want to have intensive knowledge about the infant photoshoot process (plus the business side of it as well).
This basic certification class covers a lot of things, not only the actual photoshoot, to be honest.
By enrolling, you will know about:
various birth defects and injuries of infants
…which could have an impact on your work as an artist.
Through this program, you will also learn the physiological considerations when dealing with neonates. This way, you can ensure that your subject stays safe while you do your thing. And to ensure that you are really holistically trained, there is also a lesson on infant CPR.
In the end, aside from getting the certificate, you will also get First Aid Accreditation.
All these credentials will certainly be helpful in building your professional portfolio.
Oh, and did I mention that they will give you a framed certificate (for Australian residents only) after completing the course? For non-Australian residents, you will get an electronic certificate instead (which you can easily print, by the way).
Plus, you get other perks like:
free promotion on social media platforms by ANP,
watermark badge for your digital products,
certification badge for your websites and social media accounts,
…and a lot more. And that’s just the basic certification!
They also have Advanced Certificate Course on Infant Photography, which is an extended training for those who want to study advanced techniques.
This is now more focused on the technical aspect of the craft. Plus, a discussion in opening your very own specialized studio for neonates is also available.
Kelbyone is an online membership-based school that has been training people since 2008. Over the years they have taught more than 250,000 students and a lot of them had been successful in their chosen field. For many in the digital media world, KO is certainly a familiar and trusted name.
If you want to, instead of purchasing the classes individually, you can pay a monthly (or annual) membership fee to gain access – to everything they offer on the site!
Tracy will take you through her entire workflow from start to finish. You will be able to observe how she plans the shoot, how she does it, and how she wraps it up.
The coolest thing about it is that you also comprehend how to handle the baby so that your workflow becomes as light and as efficient as it can be. You will know about:
different soothing techniques,
how to wrap your subject up in the most creative and artistic manner
…and so many other things that can make your photos look amazing!
Also discussed here are the post-processing workflows to enhance the quality of your images. If you are not so well-versed in editing, don’t worry! This includes basic Photoshop and Lightroom editing so you can easily follow through.
One more thing I want to mention about this newborn photography workshop is that it also discusses family photo-taking techniques.
When parents ask to have their neonate photographed, they usually end up wanting family pictures as well. So it’s a really good thing to study this topic at the same time. Better prepared than not!
Aside from KO, CreativeLive is also among the most trusted names when it comes to online educational sites. It is a major e-learning hub with so many courses on a variety of topics including art, design, and cooking, just to name a few. They even have some great baby photography courses available, too!
Students can gain access to these classes by signing up for their newsletter (for free). You can view their free online workshops and classes just by creating your account with them.
Or you can go for the premium membership which gives you access to all resources in the platform along with other useful features such as video downloads, community forums, and e-library.
But wait, that’s not all there is to CL’s pricing plans. If you wish to only get one or two classes, you can purchase them individually. But if you ask me which one’s better, I’d say getting the premium membership sounds like a sweet deal.
Anyway, here are some of the best lessons you might be interested in:
Kelly Brown’s NB Photography Bootcamp (CreativeLive)
By far the most recommended infant-related class on CreativeLive, it already has over 55,000 students who have enjoyed/currently enjoying the material.
It is created by no other than Kelly Brown, a highly-acclaimed family photographer not only in Australia but all over the world. Kelly is famous for her specialization in infant portraiture and her easy-going teaching methods.
Many students highly commend Kelly’s way of teaching. It’s evident that she has a lot of experience in this field and knows how to handle clients very well. All these factors greatly contributed to her high trust rating among online participants, and even other working professionals as well.
In this class, you will:
learn how to take great pictures of babies,
know how to handle them safely
…with all the lessons about the safety and well-being of a child.
In fact, you will even understand how to make an infant sleep so soundly so that you can focus on the shoot without worries!
This training is created not only for beginners but for intermediate and experienced professionals as well. It covers:
the basics of the shoot,
the basics of building your very own business related to your craft,
advanced posing techniques,
…and so many other things.
With that much to cover, there is definitely a little bit of something for everyone.
Baby & Pregnancy Photoshooting by Ana Brandt (CreativeLive)
In this specialized market, knowing what’s the best age to take newborn photos will be a great advantage. Not many shooters are very well trained in this department and only a few really master the art of doing it. This is due to the difficulty level of this special genre.
Aside from the technicalities of your craft, you will need to put into consideration the total well-being of your subject. In fact, you will need to make it a top priority to keep your subject safe, warm, and sound throughout the entire duration of the session.
You need to gain the trust of your clients (who normally are the parents of your subject). In order to do this, you will need to know how to properly handle the child as safely as you can. This is only a portion of what you are going to pick up from Ana Brandt here.
(This is the same person who founded Belly Baby School but she’s also on CreativeLive.)
Being a mother of 3 herself, Ana has firsthand experience in dealing with things related to maternity, child development, and the neonatal environment.
This means your education will be based on a mixture of her actual experiences and all the different professional techniques she acquired by working in the field for a long time.
By the way, this is created for:
… and for people who simply want to study how to capture child development from maternity to birth. As a bonus, there will be lessons on how you can start your own business the way Ana did with hers.
Lifestyle Newborn Photography – In the Home(CreativeLive)
Emily Lucarz is a mother herself and just like many others, she began getting into this special genre after giving birth to her own offspring. She is well-loved by her community and clients because of her patient nature and very approachable personality.
I know by now you are probably thinking that all these listed resources have similar contents in one way or another. Though there is some truth to that (cause, after all, we’re just talking about the same genre), this training is quite different.
Instead of showing you the sessions in a studio, Emily will take you to the home of her clients, where she does most of her work.
The main focus of this class is to help you understand how to properly conduct yourself in the event that you are asked to come over to your client’s home instead of doing the shoot in your studio. Somehow, this kind of setup makes things really look more personal to the clients.
It will allow you to:
show the real and raw connection between family members,
create natural moments,
and show the most intimate family relationship
Once captured in film, these usual things become much more meaningful to your clients and yourself.
This material has a total of 42 videos that collectively last 9 hours and 45 minutes. Also, I’d like to mention that it already has more than 33,000 students happily studying all the inputs contained in this valuable resource.
Newborn Photography Posing Tips by Kelly Brown (CreativeLive)
This is another great training from the all-time popular Kelly Brown.
Instead of comprehensively discussing every aspect of this craft, she focuses on teaching you about various posing styles and techniques.
This will add some “wow” factor to your images, while at the same time teaching you how to achieve your goal without compromising the comfort of the infant.
There are also video discussions that talk about what you can do in order to keep the entire family happy and comfortable. Since you will most likely work with them as well, especially if you are invited to do a home pictorial session, this is an important aspect that you need to really know about.
On top of that, you will also grasp how to make the parents stay as calm as possible throughout the entire duration of the session. With a newly born child, parents are expected to be short-tempered due to:
lack of sleep
stress in dealing with the offspring
…especially if it’s their first time becoming parents.
Plus, they get really protective over the child, so you should know how to make them calm down and let them see that you are confident in what you are doing with their baby.
Bumps to Babies by Kelly Brown & Sue Bryce (CreativeLive)
We know Kelly already. We’ve talked about her a couple of times already in this post. It’s time to meet Sue Bryce, another excellent photographer who worked alongside Kelly for this workshop.
Sue Bryce is also a well-renowned personality in her own respect. Many people see her as having a cheerful spirit that will greatly help you a lot in absorbing all the information you need.
However, she is also very straightforward and doesn’t sugarcoat, so you might want to keep that in mind.
Sue says everything in black and white. I understand some people might not find this really motivating at all, but a lot of her students love her because of this. Her honesty helps them realize the real importance of taking this workshop.
Also, I’ve heard some students say Sue is very repetitive. I don’t really know whether this is a bad or good thing because each of us has different preferences.
There are some who see redundancy as a good thing because the more you repeat the statement, the more you remember it. But to others, this is a total waste of time. I’ll let you be the judge for this part.
But hey, don’t get me wrong. This workshop is a very good learning resource, that’s for sure.
In this training, you will:
learn about shooting babies in beautiful wraps
get to see how they photograph the other members of the clan
So it’s really more like a family portraiture thing, but of course with much emphasis on the development of the infant.
Here, you will see how a child develops from maternity to birth and up to 1 year old. There’s so much you can gain from watching the two artists perform their respective works.
Plus, you will also know the proper settings to use for newborn photography, the props you will be needing, and the things you need to do in post.
The workshop lasts for 14 hours and 52 minutes with 36 video lessons. On top of that, there are exclusive bonus contents for you that can help you become better at this craft.
Baby Plans: Photographing the Early Years (CreativeLive)
This is yet another exciting workshop you can find at CreativeLive. It is designed for people who don’t only want to take pictures of neonates but also capture their growth until they reach 1 year old.
This is a fantastic resource for anyone who wants to understand the best practices and techniques for this craft.
Julia Kelleher has been into family portraiture for several years now, and her concrete experience in dealing with children is evident in her wonderful works. She is passionate about teaching others what she knows so that they can also benefit from her knowledge.
This online program helps artists capture beautiful images of babies. This training:
teaches techniques to create safer and more professional-looking images
provides tips for effectively marketing your work
teaches you to increase business growth
and teaches how to keep clients comfortable during shoots.
One thing I’d like to mention is that this program also teaches you proper lighting techniques, studio setup, props usage, and many other things you will find useful, not only for this specific genre.
You can use the lessons you picked up from here and apply it to other specializations that you might want to venture into next time.
NB Photography: Prepping, Posing, Lifestyle (Skillshare)
Skillshare, one of the world’s largest learning communities, gives you access to thousands of classes taught by experts across a wide range of subjects.
It was founded in 2010 by serial entrepreneur, Andrew Warner and serves over 5 million members across 180 countries. And with new materials added every day, this platform can help you gain something new at any time—no matter your age or skill level.
Unlike other e-hubs where you can purchase classes individually, Skillshare uses a membership-type plan pricing. As a student, you get to choose which kind of plan you wish to get – the free plan, premium membership, or team account.
The free plan gives you access to a limited number of lectures and their related files. Also, you might have probably guessed it by now, this free membership is ad-sponsored.
Choosing the premium membership will entitle you to access all the materials and learning resources available at the site, plus other perks like community interaction and downloadable workbooks.
Now, let’s now talk about Newborn Photography: Prepping, Posing, and Lifestyle.
This course was created by Tabitha Park.
She is an artist who specializes in lifestyle family portraiture. It means she has loads of experience dealing with family members from the youngest to the oldest. Plus, she does most of her work in the client’s personal space, rather than in a studio.
She is very passionate about her craft, and it clearly shows in her works. She just loves capturing raw moments of families and helping them remember the moments they had by putting them in print.
The lecture doesn’t last that long, but it is comprehensive enough to tackle all the basic things you need to know before doing the shoot. The various tools, props, techniques, lighting, and even the post-processing workflow will be discussed. So it’s still more of a start-to-finish job.
And by the way, this is designed for intermediate photographers.
This workshop also lets you apply what you have learned in practice by giving you some projects. It works just like a real class, you know.
The Unraveled Academy is another great online learning space for photo creators like you.
They offer workshops, training, lectures, tutorials, and all those stuff offered by similar platforms as well. However, there is something that sets them apart from the rest.
They have a really caring community of artists that will:
cheer you up.
According to the members, this space has one of the least judgemental communities ever. Everyone is welcomed with warmth by all members, and there’s nothing more fulfilling than having that sense of belongingness.
If I’m going to be really honest, you can hardly find a support group like this since the industry has become much more of a competitive arena for most artists. It is actually nice to see sites like this that continuously help members become better at their craft.
Now, about the course:
Headed by Kayla Kohn, this workshop is pretty straightforward. You will see some behind the scene footage of the actual shoot, plus a side discussion on how the team did it.
She will also teach you which gear to prepare and what accessories you will need to be able to ace this kind of session.
On top of all these, you also learn about her post workflow. She will give you tips on how you can make yours more efficient than ever.
You know how much it helps to finish editing your shots, do you?
At the end of the session, you will be introduced to the community, where you can ask questions, raise your concerns, or just listen to the inspiring stories of each member. Who knows? You might be the next one sharing your own success story on their Facebook page.
Profoto Academy is an online space that offers tutorials on how to properly use light to enhance and make your images more magazine-worthy. The lectures are headed by professionals who are well known in their respective fields.
By enrolling in their programs, you will have the opportunity to interact with your mentors and other artists that can help you understand your craft better and give you a new light in doing certain things.
They often provide tips and techniques that will help you keep efficient and effective at the same time.
About the course:
Capturing the Early Years is a part of a series of training. Since this is from Profoto, you know what to expect right? This program heavily focuses on the different lighting sources you can use for this type of shot.
You will learn how to effectively play with light so that your subject becomes more adorable and irresistible than they already are.
It is intended for beginners and enthusiasts who want to know some basics about the craft. It only lasts for about 36 minutes, so you can finish this lecture in one sitting.
If you are interested in creating beautiful portraits of your child, it is important that you know the different elements to take into consideration.
One of the most challenging aspects for many artists is how to create natural-looking photographs that do not appear contrived or fake. And that’s why you will learn in this program bundle by Russ Jackson.
Before we proceed with the details of the lecture, let’s talk about the instructor/founder first.
Russ Jackson is into family and children’s portraiture. He is a well-known artist in the UK and has led hundreds of workshops and seminars (both online and in-person) throughout his career.
Regardless of your skill level, there is always something in their academy for you to learn. The tutorials are easy to follow, so even beginners are very much welcome to join.
About the newborn photography bundle:
It’s composed of 4 different lectures combined into one comprehensive program. Here, you will study about various posing styles and techniques that will make your composition so much better and easier.
You will also know about different lighting setups to ensure that your subjects stay in focus and in the spotlight.
On top of that, Russ will also show you how to edit these shots and transform them into masterpieces. Plus, there’s a bonus lecture on Photoshop that can help enhance your post-processing workflow.
It offers a membership-type pricing, so you can get access to all the courses by signing up as a Pro member.
But, there’s always an option for you to choose the free membership instead. However, since it is free, there are only a number of tutorials available for you. And even though they are few in numbers, these free materials are still very good in quality and content.
As an infant photographer, you’re going to see some pretty amazing things.
Babies are tiny and fragile, but the way they interact with their parents is incredibly beautiful. Your first few shots of a newborn can be nerve-wracking, but they can also be very rewarding.
Learning how to do it properly is imperative, and there are limited physical workshops you can go to. So if I’m going to be honest, these online programs will be worth investing in.
Whether you are a parent who wants to learn how to capture your child’s development through the camera or a professional who wants to venture into this new specialized craft, you can find so many things for you at the platforms mentioned above (and most likely at a cheaper price!).
Now, I want to hear from YOU:
How did you find this roundup of the best newborn photography courses online?
What is your top pick that you’d likely to join?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!
Photography enthusiast and content creator at Digital World Beauty. My main objective here is to create a valuable resource for you with honest tech gear reviews, course recommendations, and how-to tutorials.