Want to get started with newborn photography or just photography in general? Here’s my recommended list of newborn photography gear and equipment to get you off on the right foot. Keep in mind since 2020, mirrorless cameras and lenses really are the future of photography. If you’re buying new or new-to-you gear, I suggest investing in mirrorless equipment. Where you see the “R” in the item details in this post, that refers to the camera or lens being mirrorless. Any “EOS” cameras or “EF” lenses are traditional DSLRS, not mirrorless.
As you’ll be able to see in my gear lists below, I’m a Canon girl. I’ve only ever used Canon equipment, so I can’t speak to other gear like Nikon or Sony.
Quick Tip💡: Skip the kit lens. In other words, don’t buy a camera/lens bundle. Those are considered “kit lenses” and are not great. Instead, purchase the camera body only and lenses separately. It’s better to invest in higher quality equipment that will allow for more capabilities.
Cameras for Newborn Photographers
Depending on your budget, these are my recommended mirrorless cameras for photographers.
The Canon R6 Mark II is currently the most raved about Canon mirrorless camera on the market. One of the biggest perks of this camera is the subject tracking of people and animals! This helps so much with nailing focus during shoots. This camera also works great in low-light scenarios where you may need to increase your ISO higher than usual. If you want a camera that takes both incredible photos AND videos, this is the perfect camera for you! I use the original Canon R6 that was released in 2020. The Mark II is the newest version.
The Canon RP is a great starter camera at a lower price point. It has many of the same features as the Canon R6 Mark II, but not quite as high-tech or efficient. A few major differences are the ISO capabilities, the battery life, in-built image stabilization, image processor size, and the video recording limits. The Canon R6 Mark II is going to have much better capabilities as a professional photographer.
The Canon R50 is going to be the lowest end of the Canon mirrorless cameras. It is budget-friendly, and created to be lightweight and compact. The camera is geared towards traveling, vlogging, or for content creators. If you are wanting to use it as a professional photographer, you are likely to run into limitations and perhaps not the best quality of images for your clients (if charging).
Lenses for Newborn Photographers
Your camera lens is SO important for creating high-quality, professional images. I’m so excited to share with you the lenses that go with me to every session, and are must haves when discussing newborn photography gear and equipment.
My Go-To Lens
This is the lens that I use for every session. It’s a telephoto lens, which means it can zoom in and out from 24mm to 70mm. Since 24mm is considered a wide angle focal length, it’s great for shooting photos in small rooms.
Prime Wide Angle Lens
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Lens
If you prefer a prime lens (i.e., a lens with a fixes focal length that doesn’t zoom in or out) then the 35mm is what you need. This lens is a wide-angle lens that will allow for easy shooting indoors. Instead of using the lens to zoom in and out, you’ll just have to use your feet to move closer and further away from your subjects.
Budget Prime Wide-Angle Lens
Canon RF35mm F1.8 is Macro STM Lens
If you love the idea of a prime lens but don’t have the budget for the L Series 35mm lens I listed above, then this is the one for you.
Truly Budget Prime Lens
This lens has been known is the “nifty fifty” in the photography community for a long time. And for good reason! This super-affordable lens is a staple in many beginner photographers’ bags. Note that this lens is best for full-frame cameras. So if you have the crop-frame Canon R50, you’re better off getting the budget 35mm lens I mentioned above.
Macro Lenses for Detail Shots
Who doesn’t love a stunning close-up shot of a baby’s toes or eyelashes?? To achieve these images, photographers use what’s known as a “macro” lens. Before I started using my RF 24-70 for every session, I used both the 35mm wide angle lens and the 100mm macro lens. I didn’t love having to continuously change my lens during my sessions. I realized that I was able to zoom in to 70mm and achieve macro-like images without having to use the 100mm lens. Even still, there really is nothing like a true macro lens for detail shots! I suggest the Canon RF100mm F2.8 L Macro is USM lens, but if you’re on a budget then the Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro is STM, Compact Medium-Telephoto Black Lens will be your best option.
Complete lists of recommended photography gear
Here are a few lists I have compiled that include links to my recommended Newborn Photography Gear and Equipment.
Want to learn more about what I bring with me to my newborn sessions, including my swaddles, beanbag, posing pillows, and DIY backdrop stand? It’s all listed inside my Photographer Prep Guide, which also includes everything you need to feel prepared and confident as you prep for your next newborn session: my inquiry tracking spreadsheet template, posing prompts and workflow, session timeline, tips, online tools & platforms, shot list, and more!
*This blog post includes affiliate links in which I may make a small commission if you complete a purchase. I promise to only ever share the gear that I trust and love.