It’s totally impossible to take a bad photo of a newborn baby — especially if it’s yours. However, overwhelmed new moms, contending with sleep deprivation and adjusting to this wonderful but life altering event, may find it challenging to get some of those breathtaking coffee table book-worthy shots that make us melt. The ultimate baby photographer, Anne Geddes describes why she finds newborns so magical, “All have the same potential, right at the start of their lives. Nothing has happened to them, nothing good, and nothing bad. They just really speak to so much promise, and they’re just so beautiful.”

Let that purity be your inspiration for creating your own spectacular photos. Patience, timing and a warm, cozy room are key, especially if you don’t want lots of cranky baby pics. Schedule your shoots after a feeding and at the time of day when your baby is most relaxed.

Take advantage of natural light but keep it soft. Harsh shadows can make even the world’s most adorable baby (Yours of course!) look a bit scary. The most flattering lighting comes in from the side and a little above to bathe your newborn in a pearly glow.

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Keep the background simple, these pics are all about that beautiful baby. When it comes to poses, rather than trying to reposition the infant over and over (which leads to a crankier-looking baby in your pics) think about ways to change your perspective. Choose a spot that allows you to move around and shoot from different angles. Perhaps a big fluffy pillow in the center of the bed or on a table if you can do it safely or a soft blanket on the floor.

The only prop you really need is a pretty blanket. Experiment with draping and wrapping it around your newborn in different ways. The surroundings should emphasize and echo your newborn’s softness and delicacy. Colors depend on your personal taste but, as a rule, solids in pale pastels or neutral tones are pretty foolproof. Mix things up a little by taking some black and white shots too.

Don’t forget to capture those precious details. Take plenty of close-ups of tiny hands and feet or fat little cheeks and bums — whatever you love the most about your baby. We know, there’s probably nothing about him or her that doesn’t enchant you so snap away, that love will show in every photo.