Quick newborn sessions & “studio” set up

A couple of months ago I had posted some pictures of my newborn “studio” AKA my bedroom and it seemed to help some people who were just starting out and wanted some ideas on how to set up a session.  After getting my “newborn nest” from Mindy a few weeks ago, I knew I had to share my new set up:) Lemme just stop and say… this thing is WAY better than bean bag!  A serious must for photographers who shoot newborns!  Here is what it looks like before the session.

This is what I do with my main shooting area on the newborn nest… since I am a natural light only photographer, I have it in my bedroom a couple of feet away from my window (east facing).  I place my backdrop system behind (and then all my other clutter and junk behind that lol).

To avoid the blankets and/or baby from slipping anywhere, I place my non slip rug mat (I think this one is only 3′x5′)… adds a bit of traction between the vinyl and blankets.  Much more sturdy!  Then I throw on my neck pillow which helps me pose baby (especially getting the classic hands under face pose).  This particular one is SUPER squishy and bendable.  I can more or less mold it into any shape I want so it works really well for posing help.  Then I throw on an old towel… helps catch any accidents:) Even though the newborn nest can handle them easily because its made out of vinyl/leather, you just have to wipe off and sanitize, having a towel there just makes it easier.

Now I am ready for my backdrops and blankets!  Normally what I do is put my black muslin backdrop first.  Then I put the blankets I know I will be using over that.  This allows me to change backdrops much easier… I typically use about 2-3 blankets per newborn session so once Im done with one, I can pull it off, and the next one is ready for me.  I always end my sessions with the “classic” shots… mostly all b/w images of baby and mom/dad with baby so having it on the bottom works perfect for me.  I also always have a handful of inexpensive clamps (can be purchased at Lowe’s/Home Depot/home improvement store).

And here are some shots from one of my recent sessions:)

And a sneak peek for the session I had this morning….

I just happened to get an influx of newborn sessions and think they might just be my favorite this year:) Hoping 2011 brings me lots and lots more…. especially because I have already bought a TON of new props!  Take a look at this one I got to use today too…

love, love, love…. I bought a few extra of these last week so I will be putting them in the store once I finish painting them.   Can’t wait to show off the rest of my new goodies!

Hope this post helps a few people just starting out!

Shaylee B - January 24, 2011 - 7:34 am

You are my favorite! I love all of your logo/business designs and I ADORE you for posting behind the lens insight! Thank you!

maike - January 24, 2011 - 8:01 am

Thanks for showing your “Studio Set up”!
The baby photos are absolutely fantastic!

Pam - January 24, 2011 - 1:03 pm

Where did you get the faux wood paper you taped to your wall? Would love to get some of that!

Christy Foreman - January 24, 2011 - 1:31 pm

Thanks Corina! That is very very helpful! Very useful information;) I <3 your photos

stephanie w - January 24, 2011 - 2:43 pm

Amazing! thanks!

Rebecca Fauver - January 24, 2011 - 3:17 pm

Thank you so much for posting this. I’m a new self taught photographer and I can’t even begin to tell you how much this really helps! Knowing how setups work is so key! I would love to know where you got the floor looking things you use too! I would also be interested in knowing where you got the ‘pea’. I would be interested in getting one! Again, thank you for sharing. It’s so wonderful to have photographers out there helping other photographers! God Bless!

Rezika Zurch - January 24, 2011 - 3:55 pm

Oh C you are so sweet and talented! Great post and great pea pod too! I want one, LOL

Wendy - January 24, 2011 - 4:14 pm

Corina, Thanks for the wonderful pull-backs! I always enjoy seeing how other photographers set up things. I was wondering what backdrop stand you have? It looks nice a sturdy. Do you like it?

Joyce D. - January 24, 2011 - 6:02 pm

Great set up Corina!!! Love the shots!

Heather Dobbins - January 25, 2011 - 5:18 pm

Love it… Sometimes newborn setups are very overwhelming…

Erica Williams - February 1, 2011 - 3:42 pm

I Love your set up! Where do you find the backdrop stands?

Elena - February 1, 2011 - 9:35 pm

AMAZING post! And I especially love the wood floor set up on the other side…. I struggle with flooring because everyone’s house is different and I like to mix blankets with hard flooring as backdrops. I’d also love to know where you bought the backdrop stands!? You are truly amazing and have quite a gift, thank you so much for sharing that gift with others :)

Celesa - March 2, 2011 - 1:21 pm

Hi Corina. Thank you for sharing your setup. What lovely light you have in your room. I wish I had that. :) I wanted to ask you what you are using for your wood flooring. If you don’t mind sharing. Thanks again.

Haley - March 30, 2011 - 12:52 pm

Great post! I am thinking about getting the poser and this has helped me decide! As for the peapod’s… when do you plan to sell one? I’d love to purchase one!

Thanks dear!


sarah - April 14, 2011 - 12:30 pm

Where did you get your bean bag from, it looks awesome! ??

corina - April 14, 2011 - 7:35 pm

Love love LOVE my Newborn Nest!!! made right here in the USA! Let Mindy know I sent ya :)

Christine Atkins - April 25, 2011 - 5:14 pm

Your backdrop/floor set in the first pic (to the left)–Would you mind telling me what size that is? I thought a 5 ft size would be good enough for newborn shoots but the salesperson is telling me I would need 9-10 feet & it looks like what you have there is only about 5 ft. Thank you so much! You are great!

corina - April 26, 2011 - 11:57 am

The “wood” one? Thats only 5 ft…. I would definitely ALWAYS get larger than this from now on though! I normally get 8 foot ones now!

Kristina - May 8, 2011 - 12:18 pm

Love this! Thanks SO much for sharing! Would you mind telling me WHY the newborn nest is so much better than a bean bag of the same size?


corina - May 9, 2011 - 7:00 pm

Hi Kristina! Good question! I think because the Newborn Nest is so much bigger than any other regular bean bag they have in stores (Target, JCPenny, Sears, etc.), it works better for me personally. I also like that because you stuff it yourself, you can adjust the firmness of it to whatever works best. Its super easy to clean, just wipe it down and you are ready for the next session!

Shannon Hart - August 18, 2011 - 7:35 am

Thanks for the pictures…very helpful! Quick question…where do you buy your blankets and what size are they???? Thanks!

corina - August 18, 2011 - 11:30 am

Hi Shannon! I buy most of my blankets are Marshalls and TJMAXX, but have a handful from IKEA and Macy’s as well! Any place where they sell home items, chances are you will score some neat blankets :) Hope that helps!

Joanna - September 8, 2011 - 5:06 am

LOving those backdrop stands…where is yours from? can you attach a faux baseboard to it? That is the problem I’m having…please email me JLD1983@aol.com :) great post!

Jodi Chandler - November 23, 2011 - 5:18 am

Hi! I have 2 quick questions…how do you get that piece of wood flooring that is like gray in color as well as the roll of wood flooring that is brown in color? Where do you find things like that?

Amber - November 27, 2011 - 9:15 pm

Thankyou so much for sharing this!

Bec Smith - January 27, 2012 - 5:11 am

Hi your pictures and setup are amazing. I am just starting out and was wondering if you just use purely natural light. No reflectors, lighting, flash units etc

Erin - January 27, 2012 - 1:46 pm

Thanks for sharing, these are great tips! I was wondering what backdrop stand that is you’re using? And if you might share where you found that wooden looking paper?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

shari gordon - March 4, 2012 - 1:37 am

We have been viewing your newborn set up. We were looking for the neck roll where did you find. We found some neck roll but they are small.Thank you for your input.Shari

Melissa Volpe - March 27, 2012 - 7:14 am

This is a awsome way to learn and thank you. May I ask were you purchase your props?

Deb Carr - April 16, 2012 - 9:22 am

Hi Quick question…your backdrop support…is that a much larger one and you are adjusting it to size or did you buy a smaller one? If you can recommend a brand that would be fantastic…thanks and your work is amazing!

allen - June 2, 2012 - 9:20 pm

so cute..nice post

Ivonne Flores - July 15, 2012 - 10:33 pm

Hi there your work is beautiful!!!! Was wondering where did you get the wooden floor background….??? Thanks

[...] Quick Newborn “Studio” Set-Up in a Bedroom by Corina Nielsen [...]

[...] like to take a look and see how I will invade your house (ha!). This image (photo credit to Corina Nielsen Photography & Design) gives you an idea of how we will setup for the [...]

Karla - September 18, 2012 - 8:18 am

Thank you so much for sharing!!! Your work is beautiful!!!

rachel - October 23, 2012 - 3:37 pm

Can you direct me to your the Newborn Nest site and Mindy? I can’t find the address above.

Jill Hord - November 7, 2012 - 3:28 pm

I LOVE you work! Are you still selling the peapod beds? I would love to add one of those to my small collection of props. :0)

Devon - November 28, 2012 - 3:07 pm

LOVE this post! Thank you. It’s SO helpful. I’m looking for a backdrop stand now. Where did you get yours from? It looks perfect.


Weelai - January 17, 2013 - 5:55 pm

Love the tips and photos! I too am also a natural light photographer. So I just have a vey simple question…. I have a lot of good props already but the really good ones, like wooden floor and different color backdrops are really expensive. Do you have any good websites that sell props for a good reasonable price? Thanks.

Susu - March 7, 2013 - 5:03 am

OMG this has truly inspired me to do what I been wanting to do for a long time which is start my photography business and incorporated with my crochet business, thanks so much for the tutorial! I even found all the stuff I need on Etsy to start off with!!! suppppppppppper excited!!!

Ashley - March 10, 2013 - 2:07 pm

Thank you so much for sharing!! I found the tutorial very helpful! Youre pictures are beautiful! Im hoping very soon i will be able to take such great pictures.

Diane Martin - March 22, 2013 - 1:07 pm

Thanks very much for,this blog post. I am in the process of setting up my studio, so found this really useful.

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Amanda - May 4, 2013 - 9:28 am

Where did you get the faux wood floor drop from?

jes - August 16, 2013 - 2:07 pm

i was wondering where you got your backdrop stand? i’m on the hunt for one and don’t know what to get! thanks so much!

Pauline - February 1, 2014 - 11:26 pm

Thank you so much for blogging this information. I’m about to start newborn photography and your article answered a lot of my questions. Thank you!

Beth Hinten - April 25, 2015 - 9:13 pm

I don’t see where you mentioned the brand of the backdrop apparatus. Can you tell me where that was purchased please?

[...] Quick newborn sessions & “studio” set up » Corina … – A couple of months ago I had posted some pictures of my newborn "studio" AKA my bedroom and it seemed to help some people who were just starting out and wanted … [...]

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