Emma Jackson Photography Cheltenham

Cheltenham Newborn Photographer | Tips for taking great baby photos with your phone

The days with your newborn baby go by so fast! In the early days you’re in a delicious, fuzzy warm fog of sleeplessness and snuggles. But before you know it you’ll be walking them to school – I’m not even kidding! Whilst we’re yet to find a way to keep our babies tiny, we can try to capture their everyday changes at home!

You may decide to hire a professional to mark the occasion and take some beautiful photos of your new little family. But the photographer can’t be with you every day, and they really do grow and change so quickly! So here are my top 10 tips for taking great baby photos on your phone!

Gloucestershire Newborn Photography by Cheltenham Newborn Photographer Emma Jackson,

1. Turn the flash off and use natural daylight.

Natural daylight is very flattering on skin tones. Direct sun (or a flash) can cause harsh shadows, and make it difficult for the camera to read the light properly. To avoid this, make sure you are near a window with good natural light coming through, whilst avoiding any direct sunlight. Turn your baby towards the window so that soft light is falling gently onto his or her face. If sunlight is streaming through the window, take a step or two back to ensure you stay in the well lit area yet out of the sun.

2. Shadows can be your friend.

Shadows can add really interesting detail and texture to a photo. Look at how the light falls and play around.

3. Keep colours and backgrounds simple.

Clear the background of clutter if you can, to minimise distraction.Gloucestershire Newborn Photography by Cheltenham Newborn Photographer Emma Jackson,

4. Keep baby happy.

Ensuring baby is well fed, comfortable and ideally sleepy will keeps things easier for you to capture some co-operative shots!

5. Photograph by the month.

This is a great way of showing just how quickly your baby is growing and developing! Try taking the same photo every month, in the same spot, even maybe wearing the same clothes! You’ll be left with a gorgeous set of 12 images of your baby’s first year that you can frame and hang on your wall. I’ve used this frame for the monthly photos I took of my little boy in his first year and I included a few maternity photos and detail shots too. I photographed him in a washing basket every month and the memories were so worth the effort!

6. #ExistInPhotos!

Don’t forget to be in the photos with your baby! Set your camera to self timer if necessary – the only thing you’ll regret is looking back and wishing you had more photos of you with your new bundle!Newborn baby wrapped in a blanket asleep on mummy's lap

7. Don’t forget the detail.

Phone cameras these days can get you pretty close to your subject. Tap on the screen to focus and meter the light for the area you want to photograph. Don’t be afraid to move in and capture the detail of their tiny hands or feet – one day you’ll forget just how tiny those little fists were! Use your hand against your baby’s for scale. Think about different angles too – by keeping your baby in the same spot, but by moving around him or her you can get very different looking shots.

8. Edit sparingly.

Whilst it’s always best to get it as right in camera as you can, it’s not always that easy. There are some really powerful apps available which can help you tweak your photos to make them really sing. The LightRoom app is a great one, and it’s free. Edit sparingly though, as you still want your little darling to look like your little darling! Lighten, brighten, crop and off you go.

9. Save, save, save your images.

Back up, back up again, and back up a third time. Your photos are so precious. Keep them organised as your library of memories grows.

10. Print your photos!

Finally, print your photos so that you can enjoy them every day. They are not much use to you on your hard drive! Print them, share them, enjoy them. Tangible memories really are the best kind!

Newborn baby asleep on mummy's shoulder


If you do decide to hire a professional, I would love to help. My light-infused newborn sessions take place in the comfort of your own home, making it as relaxed and as easy as possible for you. You don’t need to travel or pack any bags, and the session is led by your baby. There is no posing, no props, just naturally beautiful images. You can see more of my newborn photography in the gallery here. Get in touch to have a chat and find out more.

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Gloucestershire Personal Branding Photography | How To Prepare For Your Branding Session

Wondering how best to prepare for your Branding session that’s coming up? I know it can be daunting to be in front of the camera. But I always aim to make my sessions as relaxed and as comfortable as I can. The following tips will help you to be organised and get the most out of your session. And once you feel organised and in control, you will feel calmer and more confident!


  1. Think about ‘why’ are you doing this and ‘who’ is it for

    Get clear on why you want some new images for your website or socials. What do you want to get out of the session? Do you want to refresh your ‘About Me’ page? Do you want some fresh content for the next few months’ social media posts? Is your business moving in a new direction? Perhaps you have a new product or service to offer? On booking a branding session with me, I send my clients a Branding Questionnaire to explore their vision and their brand in more detail. This helps clarify my client’s vision, and enables us to get the most out of our session together.Cotswold female florist holds a blush pink bridal bouquet in her red brick studio

  2. Create an inspiration board

    Create a secret Pinterest board and start collating images that inspire you, that you relate to or that simply resonate with you in some way. You can share this board with your photographer and use it to start building your own brand session. It will help you define your own ideas and will help your photographer to understand your vision for the shoot.Artist creates a mood board | Emma Jackson Photography Branding session for small businesses, Gloucestershire

  3. Make a shot list

    Are there any specific shots you’d like to get? Perhaps a proper headshot or your new product range. Or a clear shot of your workspace. Make a list and it’ll get done!

    Female nutritionist preparing food in her kitchen

  4. Plan your wardrobe

    A couple of weeks before your session, start planning your wardrobe. If you can get a couple of outfit changes in, you will get more longevity out of your photos. A variety of look also helps your photos avoid looking the same. Think about layers too – removing your cardi part way through is a clever way to get even more variety into your images!Artist choosing paintbrushes | Emma Jackson Photography Branding session, Cotswolds

  5. Think about props as well as location

    Props can be used to help get your personality across and make you easier to relate to. For example, favourite mug? Provided that it works with your brand incorporate it into your shoot. Favourite scarf? Weave it into your outfit. Think about a location that reflects your business. If you are an artist or a florist for example, it might be better to hold your session in your own studio with your kit to hand. If your home office isn’t quite the image you’d like to get across though, let’s start the session at your favourite cafe instead.A plate of macarons sprinkled with edible flowers on a black background | Emma Jackson Photography Branding session, Cheltenham

  6. Look after yourself

    On the morning of your session give yourself time to get ready without feeling rushed. Book a blow dry with your trusted hairdresser. Have a manicure a day or two before. Put on your favourite playlist and get yourself in a good head space! Do something that lifts your confidence. Going in front of the camera can be nerve-wracking but your business deserves to shine and I’m here to help you do just that!

If you’d like to explore the idea of a personal branding photography session for you and your business contact me for an informal chat! You can see more examples of my Branding photography here.

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Cheltenham Personal Branding Photography | Using photography to help your business grow

Female silversmith hammering a copper bowl on a wooden tree stump

You may be familiar with the term ‘Personal Branding Photography’, it has been growing in popularity recently. But what is Personal Branding, and how can it help your business grow?

Let’s start with branding.

What is a brand? Your brand is more than just your logo or your colour scheme or the pictures you put on your website. Much more. Your brand is your whole ethos. Your way of doing business. It’s your tone of voice, the way you communicate with your customers. It’s the experience you give your customers. It’s the way you make them feel after engaging with you. As a small business or entrepreneur, you brand is quite likely to be you. Which is why your brand is so important, especially to a small business. When someone buys from you as a small business, whether it’s a product or service, they buy from you because they like, trust and connect with you.

How can photography help?

These days we live in a world where showing up online regularly is probably a core part of your online marketing plan. A Branding session can help small businesses and entrepreneurs to build an online presence and showcase your talents to the world.

A collection of professional, polished and consistent photos will show off your personality and style and help you in building your unique brand, connecting with your ideal clients and growing your business. You can use these images to plan out your social media content, where you speak to your audience on a daily basis, or use them to refresh your website.

It’s about capturing your brand’s ‘personality’, showcasing what is at the heart of your business. Photography will show you doing what you are passionate about, enabling your audience to connect with you.

Female nutritionist preparing food in her kitchen

Personal Branding Photography can boost your business by:

  • Presenting a consistently professional front on your social media and website
  • Connecting with your audience
  • Showing your face – people want to know who you are!
  • Showcasing your talents, sharing your products or services
  • Conveying your brand’s personality
  • Setting you apart

Freshly sliced avocado on a wooden chopping board surrounded by other salad items

A Personal Branding session could be perfect for you if:

  • You are a Creative, a small business owner or blogger
  • You have a need for professional looking, fresh, bright and on-brand imagery to help you make an impact with your social media and website
  • You believe wholeheartedly in #communityovercompetition
  • You’re running this business because it’s your calling
  • You’re ready to up your marketing game!

If you’d like to explore the idea of a personal branding photography session for you and your business contact me for an informal chat! You can see more examples of my Branding photography here.

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Cheltenham Newborn Photographer – Client Feedback | Lin and Jon

Black and white collage of daddy holding newborn baby and baby wrapped in blanket on the bed

Cheltenham Newborn Photographer | Client Feedback


“We had a newborn photo shoot with Emma. She was creative, patient and professional. We were also grateful for her flexibility – working around frequent breastfeeding time outs and toddler tantrums.

She had a way of making everyone feel so at ease. Even our 2 year old loved having his photo taken for some family shots – she magically had him rolling around laughing and smiling!

Overall Emma made the whole experience feel so easy and fun despite having a 2 year old in tow! Needless to say we love all the photos she took. We feel her style of photography allows personality to shine through without distraction from props and backgrounds that you often see in other newborn shoots.

We cannot recommend Emma enough.”


To learn more about booking your at home newborn session in the Cheltenham area or beyond, be sure to get in touch for session details!

Cheltenham Newborn Photographer | Emma Jackson

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When to book your newborn photographer

As a Cotswolds newborn photographer something I get asked a lot is when should you book your newborn photographer? It’s a great question, and the answer has two sides!

When is the best time to book your newborn photographer?

The ideal time to book up your newborn session is while you’re still pregnant – after your 20 week scan. This allows plenty of time to secure a spot in my diary, since I can only accept a limited number of bookings a month. Also, there are so many things to organise and plan during your pregnancy and this ticks booking your session off the list and allows you to relax.daddy holding newborn baby's toes

When is the best time for the session to take place?

I find the ideal time to have your newborn pictures taken is when baby is between 7 – 10 days old. This gives mum some time to adjust and recover from her time in hospital. It also gives baby some time to settle into life at home.

As a baby passes the two week mark, he or she starts to become more awake and alert – and often fussier. I tend to find that 7 – 10 days old is something of a sweet spot. Baby is still sleepy and settled. A newborn’s skin can often be a little bit red in the early days after birth, so this also allows time for baby’s skin to calm down too.smiling mummy cuddling newborn baby

Planning what to wear

It’s an idea to plan your wardrobe before your baby is born, while you have a little bit of time to yourselves. I recommend choosing outfits which are light or neutral in colour, in soft, muted tones. Avoid busy patterns or slogans as these can detract focus away from your newborn. The simplicity of this approach ensures the focus is on your baby and the connections between you and him or her. It also give your photos that timeless quality and helps ensure they will be treasured for years to come.


If you’re considering some photos for when your little one arrives, I’d love to chat! You can see  more of my recent work on Instagram or in the Newborn Gallery. You can get in touch via the contact page!

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In-home newborn sessions | Cheltenham newborn photographer

While some photographers will have a studio set up, here is why your newest addition deserves to be photographed in your home. As a Cheltenham newborn photographer I want to share with you 6 reasons why you should consider in-home newborn sessions.

1. You don’t need to travel.

Having a baby is pretty life changing – from my own experience as a new mum I know that some days getting out of my pyjamas honestly felt like a genuine achievement! Other days it would take us four hours to leave the house, and getting anywhere for a specific time felt like the impossible task. By your photographer coming to your home it makes things as EASY as possible for you!Mum lying on a white bed next to her newborn baby

2. You have everything you need for your newborn.

Nappies, change of clothes, milk, soothers, blankets. There are so many things you need to take with you when going out with a baby. Having your session at home means that’s one less thing (or perhaps more accurately 100 less things!) to worry about.

daddy holding newborn baby and kissing baby on the head

3. You have everything you need for you.

Change of clothes, hot coffee, your own familiar environment, space to get yourself ready. Tick, tick, tick, tick.

daddy cuddling sleeping newborn baby on the bed

4. You’re in your comfort zone.

Having photos taken can be uncomfortable for some. But a session in your own home takes the pressure off – we photograph the early days as they are – bare feet, coffee and plenty of cuddles – surrounded by your home comforts.

daddy holding newborn baby

5. Brothers and sisters are relaxed and comfortable.

A new baby in the house can be very exciting but can also take some getting used to. Keeping older siblings happy and involving them is so important, and if necessary they have their toys and books to keep them occupied between photos. Plus we have the flexibility of taking a break whenever you need to.

mummy cuddling newborn baby and older brother on the bed

6. It’s your baby’s first home.

Your home is tied up with so many early memories. The home you brought your baby home to from the hospital. Your first night as a brand new family. Your home is part of your family’s story and provides the backdrop for these early memories. For that reason alone it’s special. It also makes every session unique!


Are you looking for a Cheltenham newborn photographer? If you’d like to book your newborn session, or would like to talk it through, I’d love to hear from you! Please get in touch here!

You can also read more about the best time to schedule your newborn session here.

Emma Jackson | Cheltenham newborn photographer.

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All images in this blog, are taken by Emma Jackson of Emma Jackson Photography unless stated otherwise. Feel free to repost or share images for non-commercial purpose, but please make sure to link back to this website and its original post.



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Newborn and Branding photography across the Cotswolds