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When Should Newborn Photos Be Taken?

Welcoming a newborn into your family (whether your first or your last) is an incredible gift filled with love, joy, excitement and a big list of to-dos. For many parents, on that list is scheduling a photo session to capture those tiny details and features before they change right before your eyes. “When should newborn photos be taken?” ranks as one of the most asked questions when it comes to a professional newborn photo session.  Don’t stress, I’m here to help!

Post and images by Amanda Barrett Photography

I know, it might seem like the answer should be a cut and dry “tell me the range of days” and get on with it, right? Well, it sort of is. However, there can often be two parts to this question. Honestly every family brings different circumstances to the table. In this article I’ll tell you what I recommend and then provide some thoughts about alternatives!

Ideally When Should Newborn Sessions Be Taken?

Step One: Get on your Photographer’s Books

If possible, get your session on the schedule of your preferred photographer during the 2nd or 3rd trimester. “But babies aren’t born exactly on their due date. How could we possibly schedule it before the baby comes?” you may be thinking.  Great question!! Step One really just ensures your spot on a newborn photographer’s calendar. Oftentimes, newborn photographers book clients months in advance. These pre-booked sessions get juggled along with some clients who book after delivering their baby.

What does an advanced booking mean for you? It means you secure a spot on the calendar no matter when the baby decides to make an appearance! Talk about relieving some stress, right? There’s no worrying about searching for a photographer and hoping for an opening all while soothing a brand new baby! That brings me to another reason to consider booking in advance: you can plan out all the details of your session before the baby arrives. Indeed, this results in even fewer worries and to-dos when you take your sweet newborn home.

Step Two: Ideal Timing For When Newborn Photos Should Be Taken

Now, let’s discuss Step Two of scheduling newborn photos. “Once the baby is born, when should newborn photos be taken?” The ideal timing for a newborn session (especially a posed newborn session) is 2 weeks of age and under. Newborns go through rapid growth and development in those first weeks of life. In the first two weeks, babies are still in the very sleepy and curly stage. This makes some of the standard studio posing safer and more comfortable for the baby to settle into naturally. 

Other Factors to Consider

Are there any exceptions? ABSOLUTELY. This is why flexibility is key. While the first two weeks are generally considered optimal, every baby is different, and circumstances vary for each family. 

Was your baby premature? You have more time. Preemies typically stay in their sleepy newborn stage longer than two weeks. It’s usually safe to say 1-2 weeks after you get home from the hospital and/or past the due date will be perfect timing for your newborn photo session. 

Does your baby have an injury that needs time to heal or a medical complication that needs to be considered? The safety and comfort of your baby serves as the most important part of your decision. Chat with your pediatrician and your photographer on what timing for your baby might be best!

Was your baby several days late? In that case, scheduling before the two week window may be necessary for a more posed session.

Are you looking for a newborn photography session that is less posed, using more “organic” positioning? Then the timeframe factors in as less of a concern. Sleepy newborns are still the easiest to work with. But wide away babies bring their own magic to the session. They may just require more feeding and soothing breaks. Some mother’s choose to wait into the 2nd and 3rd month of life and still receive galleries full of beautiful images. Technically, babies are “newborns” until around 12 weeks.

Did you already give birth and initially didn’t realize how important photos would be to your family? Give your favorite newborn photographer a call and schedule a session for as soon as they can fit you in, whenever that may be! Ultimately, you won’t regret missing the window. You will likely regret not taking the photos at all.

Safety First

When scheduling newborn photos, prioritizing safety is paramount. Choose a photographer experienced in handling newborns and familiar with safety protocols for posing infants. If you book with a studio photographer, ensure the studio environment is warm and comfortable, and that props and equipment are clean and sanitized. Discuss any concerns you have regarding your baby’s health or special needs beforehand to ensure a smooth and safe photoshoot experience.

In Conclusion, When Should Newborn Photos Be Taken…

So, what’s the sweet spot? One to two weeks of age. Should you give up the dream of a session if your baby is out of that window?  ABSOLUTELY NOT, my friend!  I can’t speak for all photographers, but I am happy to take the photos whenever my clients are comfortable and able to come in for a session. We will just discuss the expectations for the session as far as posing your baby is concerned. I am confident that you will receive stunning, timeless photos of your sweet baby no matter the age (they just may be swaddled if they’re extra wiggly and ready to party!). 

Scheduling newborn photos is a significant decision for new parents. It offers an opportunity to capture the fleeting moments of your baby’s earliest days. By understanding the optimal timing, remaining flexible, prioritizing safety, and considering the family’s circumstances, you can ensure a memorable and heartwarming photoshoot experience. Remember, these photos will serve as treasured memories for years to come. Take the time to choose a skilled photographer. Then, cherish those precious moments captured forever.

Whether your newborn arrives right on schedule or surprises you with an early debut, scheduling their first professional photoshoot is a decision you’ll never regret.

About the Author

Amanda Barrett Photography is located in Nashville, TN. She is an award winning newborn and family photographer.You can find her Cradle & Folk Profile Here. You can visit her website to see more of her work here.

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