Newborn Photographer Lenses:

What’s In My Bag Edition

One of the most asked questions by other photographers (or clients with curious minds) happens to always be – what newborn photographer lenses are in your bag? While some newborn photography secrets are kept close, what cameras lenses I carry in my bag are not! Just remember, depending on what brand your camera is may change the exact lens a bit.

First: it totally depends on what type of newborn session I am going to, to what my lenses bag will be on that particular day. There are slight differences in what lenses I use during a lifestyle newborn session and a posed newborn session. So we will break it down into each session and what lenses I use for both!

Before The Lenses, Comes The Camera Body

Before even thinking about the lenses I carry with me, you have to make sure you have your camera body! I personally adore and use the Nikon D750. There have been a few DSLR cameras (and even mirrorless cameras) to come and go, but my Nikon D750 is my baby. To go with my camera body, I always carry a back-up camera body and a fully charged battery, and quite a few memory cards. You can never be too prepared!

Posed Newborn Session

My posed newborn sessions are more intimate, so there is no need for any of my longer lenses that I typically use for maternity sessions or family sessions. For this reason, I typically stick to my two favorite lenses for newborn photography.

My Favorite Go-To Lens

First up is my absolute favorite lens as a newborn photographer – Sigma Art 35mm 1.4 for Nikon.

camera lens, sigma art 35mm

This is a bit controversial, as most newborn photographers tend to stick with a 50mm (which I love as well, don’t get me wrong), but I love that I can stay a bit closer to the newborn while using this lens. The sharpness is also something else on this lens!

Backup Go-To Lens

If you know nothing about me yet, it’s that I love to be way over-prepared for all of my sessions! For that reason alone, I usually have what is called a “Nifty Fifty” with me at all times.

Nikon 50mm 1.4

nikon 50mm 1.4 camera lens

This lens is an overall great prime lens, and one that almost all photographers have either used at one point or still use to this day. I have had this lens for quite some time, and I still grab for it quite often.

Macro Lens

Another one of my favorite San Diego newborn photographer lenses happens to be my macro lens – the Nikon 105mm 2.8 Macro lens 

Getting those sweet details of your brand new baby is so easy with the great lens. I only use it a handful of times during the session, but it is absolutely worth it!

If you cannot afford a macro lens, don’t you fret my dear. There are some amazing macro lens kit filters that mimic a macro lens that you screw onto the front of your lens. I have a set, and they truly are an amazing replacement for a macro specific lens. I used these for years, and sometimes I will go back to them. They are just that good, especially for the low cost involved. You only need to have a lens that is great quality to attach them to. These are my favorite from B+H Photo and Video.

Lens close up filters

There are macros extension tubes as well, but I’m not a fan of those. Most of those need you to manually focus, which isn’t a big deal if you are photographing a still object (like a plant).

That’s it as far as a posed newborn photography session goes. You don’t need much, but the quality of the lens you use is key. Now onto the lenses I bring for any lifestyle newborn session!

Newborn Photographer Lenses | Lifestyle Newborn Session

Most of the lenses I bring with me for a posed newborn session are the same exact ones I bring to a lifestyle newborn session. My Sigma Art 35mm, Nikon 105mm Macro are always in my bag ready to go. The additional lens that comes with me for lifestyle newborn sessions?

Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 lens

While this beast of a lens is a great one for outdoor family sessions, it can also be a great lens for lifestyle newborn sessions as well! Being able to stand farther away and really let the parents peacefully snuggle and interact with their new family brings a beautiful element to your images. This lens is perfect for catching all of those intimate moments for your clients.

Food for thought: this lens is a great addition to my newborn photographer lenses, but it is not necessary. It also works beautifully because my camera is a full frame camera. If you have a crop sensor, the 70-200mm will most likely be too much for your in-home lifestyle newborn sessions. Stick to a 50mm if you have a crop sensor camera, that is more like the 85mm lens anyway!

The Extras

To go along with my camera bodies and lenses that I bring with me to every session, there are many little extras that accompany me as well! A few of my favorites are:

~ Lens cleaning cloth. You really never know when you will accidentally touch the glass on your lens, leaving a fingerprint. Cleaning cloths are absolutely necessary to pack in your bag.

~ Speedlight and diffuser. Sometimes the weather does not cooperate and you need a bit of extra light for your images. A speed light is in my bag just in case I need it during a lifestyle newborn session. Posed newborn sessions are an entirely different beast as far as lighting systems.

~ UV filter for lenses. This is more of a preference, but I tend to throw a UV filter on my lenses to protect them in case I accidentally bump into furniture or drop my camera. They have been known to protect the glass on lenses by taking the brunt of the hit. $50-$70 for a filter, compared to upwards of $2,000 for the lens replacement when an accident happens… I’ll take the filter, please!

~ Extra memory cards. I briefly touched on this, but I always *always* have additional memory cards on hand. Cards corrupt, become full and have no more storage, etc. Having a few on hand can save having to reschedule the session.

~ Extra, fully charged, camera batteries. Again, things happen. One can never be prepared. I’m starting to feel like I’m prepared for the Apocalypse with all of these extras…

~ Camera strap. Disclaimer: 1000000%, always use your camera strap while photographing newborns! I decided I wanted a comfy, cute camera strap, so that sucker is constantly on my camera and gets used constantly. Especially when photographing sweet, precious little clients. Any extra safety measures I can take, I take! But I like it to look cute while being safe 😉

That’s it for my San Diego newborn photographer lenses edition! I hope you found this helpful, whether or not you are just starting in photography or just a curious person (like me). What each newborn photographer carries with them and photographs with depends on what type of session, what brand of camera they use, and when it comes down to it – their personal preference and style.

Have questions or want more information about this newborn photographer lenses special edition? I’m more than happy to answer any questions you have! Leave a comment below <3

Lauren V Photography is a full service San Diego maternity and newborn photographer, catering to all of San Diego county, Orange County, and beyond. I’d love to chat with you about your upcoming maternity and newborn session! Contact me so we can set up the perfect time to hop on the phone.