As a family photographer, I often get asked when you should schedule your newborn photo session. Since newborn photo shoots are relatively new in the world of photography, there isn’t a lot of knowledge about it. Parents can sometimes feel overwhelmed when trying to schedule a photo session. If you don’t know when is the best time to have newborn photos done, you don’t know when to schedule it!
Schedule Your Newborn Photos Early
It’s best to schedule your newborn photo session before your due date. Your photographer will plan for your due date and keep a little extra time available during the days before and after your session. Unless you have a C-section scheduled, you likely won’t know the exact date your baby will be born. Newborn photographers are ready for this.
How Old Should They Be?
The best age for newborn photos is within the first 2 weeks. This allows the baby to get into the deep sleep that is needed for many of the newborn photos you see online. If a baby is not completely asleep, it can be much more difficult to pose them and can make using certain props impossible for safety reasons.
In some cases, a baby older than 2 weeks will do just fine. Talk to your photographer about any special circumstances you may have such as a premature baby or even a slightly older baby.
Most props that photographers use for newborn photography are made for a 2 week old baby. Since babies grow at an astonishing rate, many props will simply become too small in a very short amount of time.
Newborns sleep a lot. They’ve got a lot of growing to do, after all. While any time of day can work for photographing newborns, I have found that they do best in the morning. In my experience with my own children and listening to countless moms, babies tend to be more alert and awake in the afternoon and evening. Mornings are when they are super sleepy, especially during the first few weeks when they seem to have their days and nights mixed up.
Newborn Pictures With Parents
I like to do just a few newborn pictures that include the parents. If you aren’t feeling up to being in front of the camera, that’s okay! I’ll just use your hands for a few pictures. It’s a great way to remember how tiny they really are! For this reason, I recommend waiting until the first week has passed. By the end of the first week, you’ll be feeling a little more like yourself. You will have begun creating new routines and will have an opportunity to do your hair and makeup if you want to be in a few pictures.
All in all, it’s best to book your newborn session well in advance. It’s hard to book too early, but if you book too late, there’s a chance it may not work well. As soon as you get home from the hospital, let your photographer know so you can get on the schedule for the following week. These pictures will be treasured forever, I promise!
Check out some more information on newborn photo sessions!
What to Expect The First Year is one of my very favorite resources for new parents. In fact, I have several copies in my studio that I offer absolutely free to any parent that is struggling to know what is normal and what to be concerned about. I never want a parent to feel like they are lost and this book helped me tremendously.