Are you wondering when newborn photos should be taken for the best results? The sweet spot is within the first 14 days after birth when your baby is most pliable for those adorable, sleepy poses. Read on to find out why this timing is helpful, with practical advice for if you’re early on in your planning or still trying to figure it all out!
Need To Know
The best time to photograph newborns is within the first few weeks of life, with around two weeks being the ideal age for classic sleepy, curled-up poses.
Advance booking of your newborn photo session during pregnancy is recommended to secure a spot, but if you miss the deadline, you can still check with photographers for last-minute availability.
Newborn safety and comfort are paramount during photo sessions, requiring a specialized photographer and a safe, clean environment for the best experience and results.
The Ideal Age for Newborn Photography
The golden window for capturing the most enchanting newborn portraits falls within the first two weeks of life. During this period, newborns are typically sleepy, pliable, and posable, ensuring your photos turn out peaceful and dreamy.
If your baby is slightly older, there’s no need to worry. Babies older than two weeks can still yield beautiful photographs. Sometimes older babies may develop minor skin conditions, such as baby acne, necessitating some extra retouching. Other considerations are doctor appointments, family visits, and sibling/parent schedules (as well as parent leave).
9-13 Days Old
Babies between 9 and 13 days old are a photographer’s dream! At this age, babies are still very snuggly and comfortable in cute curled-up positions, making it the ideal time to take newborn photos. They also tend to sleep longer, allowing photographers to capture those cozy, cocooned poses that parents adore.
This timeframe can also vary if the baby was born early, as it can be calculated from the estimated due date (early babies tend to be sleepier up to and past their due date). There may also be feeding challenges or medical issues that can push the date back (circumcision, tongue tie, etc.). And let’s face it, sometimes mom and dad just need a few days to acclimate to the baby at home!
The use of soft backgrounds, specially designed newborn props, and weighted bags can enhance the charm of the photos and ensure the comfort of newborn babies, including your newborn baby, during the newborn photo shoot. Sound machines, warming the area, and having the baby fully fed can also help to create a great session.
14+ Days Old
Babies 14 days or older may present a slightly different scenario. Around this age, babies might become more alert and start showing signs of acne. But don’t let this deter you! Even at this stage, those precious newborn moments can still be captured delightfully. If the baby is awake, you may just get more “personality” images!
Photographers must be mindful of signs of a growth spurt in the baby, such as persistent crying or abrupt behavioural shifts. Babies may want to eat more, need the pacifier more, or need adjustment in their wrap/outfit. Despite these challenges, stunning images can still be created by prioritizing the baby’s safety, utilizing soft shadow angles, and using suitable props.
Booking Your Newborn Photo Session
Once you’ve decided to document these fleeting moments, the next step is to book your newborn photo session. Ideally, this should be done during your pregnancy, as most newborn photographers tend to be fully booked. An early booking guarantees a spot with your preferred photographer and brings peace of mind. This also allows your photographer to save time for you around your due date (in case baby makes an early entrance!).
But what if your baby is already born? Don’t worry! It’s still worth reaching out to your photographer to check their availability. Many save extra days in their schedules as they wait for their new little clients to be born.
Scheduling Based on Due Date
Scheduling your newborn photo session based on your due date is the ideal approach. This allows for necessary adjustments if the baby arrives earlier or later. It is generally recommended to hold the session within the first few weeks post-birth, ideally between 9 and 14 days. Your photographer, however, can set a tentative date based on your estimated date (or if you are given an induction or C-section date).
Are you considering a last-minute booking without prior reservation? Don’t worry, reach out anyway!
Advance booking ensures a seamless, personalized, and creative photo shoot experience. This also allows better planning for you and the ability to work around parents’ and siblings’ schedules.
Beyond the Two-Week Window: Older Newborns and Photography
If the ideal two-week window has passed, there’s no need for concern! Photographing babies older than two weeks is still adorable. As the newborn matures, posing them “curly” may become more challenging, and they might stay awake longer during the session. While this doesn’t hinder the possibility of beautiful photos, it does require extra patience and adaptability.
As newborns grow, they become less flexible and more alert, which might make certain poses challenging. But with a skilled photographer who uses techniques like using posing pillows, sound machines, and keeping the area warm, these challenges can be managed effectively. And remember, the photographer’s priority is always the baby’s comfort and safety.
Lifestyle photography is another fantastic option for older newborns. This style (our speciality!) focuses on capturing real, natural moments of your family with the newborn in your own home instead of setting up posed or staged shots. It’s flexible with scheduling and follows the baby’s cues during the session, showcasing the beauty of everyday life with your new baby.
Involving Parents and Siblings in Newborn Sessions
Newborn sessions aren’t always just about the newborn – they’re about capturing the bond and love of the entire family. Including parents and siblings in the newborn session not only creates a more complete family portrait but also captures the growing dynamics and connections between family members.
Whether it’s a tender moment with mom or a playful one with a sibling, these images will be cherished forever.
Parent and Sibling Poses
Capturing the special bond and connection between parents, siblings, and the newborn is a beautiful part of the photo session. From newborn photos of parents holding the baby close to their chest to siblings cradling the baby in their lap, these poses highlight the closeness and love of the expanding family.
It’s also crucial to ensure the session is fun and engaging for the older siblings, creating a positive experience for everyone involved. Experienced photographers have many tips and tricks for getting brother or sister involved. It can also help to schedule the session so that siblings have a good breakfast before nap time.
Wardrobe and Styling Tips
What to wear for the session is another important consideration. Coordinating outfits creates a cohesive look that keeps the focus on the baby and the special moments being captured. Opt for simple, solid-colored outfits in a color scheme with one or two complementing colors.
Neutral shades like cream, white, and gray work wonderfully well. Avoid bright and neon colors as they may distract from the baby. You can also match area of your home you’ll be shooting in, or where you want to hang the photos.
Safety and Comfort During Newborn Photoshoots
Safety and comfort should be the primary focus during a newborn photoshoot. This involves choosing a photographer with a specialization in newborn photography and ensuring a safe environment during the session.
An experienced photographer knows how to safely handle and pose the baby while creating a secure and nurturing environment to photograph babies during the photoshoot.
Choosing a Specialized Photographer
Choosing a specialized photographer is key to a successful newborn photography session. These photographers have the skills to capture stunning images and expertise in taking newborn photos and handling and posing your baby safely. Look for photographers with newborn experience and a reputation for adhering to baby safety guidelines for a stress-free experience.
Ensuring a Safe Environment
Ensuring a safe environment is as important as choosing the right photographer. This involves:
Creating a comfortable atmosphere with the right temperature (not too cold or hot)
Ensuring cleanliness by cleaning the photoshoot area (washing hands, sanitizing props)
You can also have soothing items nearby, like a white noise machine, and keep the baby well-fed before the session.
Newborn Photo Session Timing: Morning vs. Afternoon
Most photographers recommend morning sessions when it comes to the best time of day for a newborn photo session. Newborns are generally sleepier and more cooperative in the mornings, making it easier to capture beautiful images. Sibling and parent schedules can also be considered.
Mornings are often the best time for photographing newborns. Babies are usually more relaxed in the morning, especially from early to mid-morning. As a bonus, morning light provides natural, soft lighting that makes the pictures pop.
By scheduling your session for the morning, you can take advantage of this gentle, high-quality light for your photos. Your photographer may also provide lighting, which allows you to move freely around the home.
While afternoon sessions might seem tempting due to better lighting conditions, it’s important to note that babies tend to be more fussy in the afternoon. This can make it harder to capture the perfect photos. However, if you plan to have an afternoon session, feed your baby just before the session and try to keep them as comfortable as possible.
Preparing for Your Newborn Photoshoot
Preparation is key for a smooth and successful newborn photoshoot. From considering feeding and sleep schedules (for all involved!) to selecting the right props and accessories, there are several aspects that parents need to think about before the session.
Examining these details will ensure you’re thoroughly prepared for your baby’s birth and the momentous day it brings.
Feeding and Sleep Scheduling
Feeding and sleep schedules play crucial roles in ensuring a successful photoshoot. It’s a good idea to feed your baby a full meal just before the session. This way, your baby will be content (and hopefully sleeping), which can be helpful for the photoshoot.
Some photographers recommend keeping your baby awake and engaged after this pre-shoot feeding to ensure they are ready for a nap during the shoot. This can sometimes help but can also backfire. Use your best judgement with your baby and their wake windows.
Props and Accessories
Props and accessories add an extra touch of charm and personality to your newborn photos. These elements create a warm and appealing image setting, from backdrops and newborn wraps to hats, headbands, and soft, textured blankets. But remember, safety comes first! Ensure the props are child-safe, sturdy, and comfortable for your baby.
Also, it is always a good idea to discuss your preferences and ideas with your photographer to create a personalized and unique photoshoot experience.
We’ve taken quite a journey through the enchanting world of newborn photography! From understanding the ideal age for a newborn photoshoot and the importance of booking in advance to preparing for the session and ensuring safety and comfort, we’ve covered all you need to know about newborn photography. Remember, every newborn is unique, and so is every photoshoot. So, take these guidelines, personalize them to your needs, and get ready to create beautiful memories that you’ll cherish forever!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is two weeks too old for newborn photos?
Yes, a baby two weeks old is fine for newborn photos! You may need to adjust your expectations a bit, but by following the tips and tricks for a happy baby, you will still have amazing images!
What is the best age to take newborn photos?
The best age to take newborn photos is around days 9-14, when you can achieve those classic sleepy poses. Aim to schedule the session within the first two weeks for the best results.
How should I schedule a newborn photo session?
It’s best to schedule the newborn photo session while you’re still pregnant, use the due date as a reference, and then make adjustments if the baby arrives earlier or later.
What should I keep in mind while preparing for a newborn photoshoot?
When preparing for a newborn photoshoot, consider your baby’s feeding and sleep schedules, choose safe props and accessories, and create a safe environment. Remember, the baby’s comfort and safety are the top priorities.