When are Newborn Photos Taken?

This seems like a nonsensical question at first glance – when are newborn photos taken?  Well, when your baby is a newborn, of course!  However, people’s opinions of how long your baby is a ‘newborn’ for does differ wildly.  In this article, we’ll discuss this from a newborn photographer‘s perspective so that if you are planning a portrait session for your baby you can be well prepared.

black and white photo of a newborn wrapped up for a newborn shoot

How old is a ‘Newborn’?

When it comes to newborn portrait sessions, photographers will prefer your baby to be within his first 2-3 weeks. Ideally around day 10 I would add.  And we refer to this stage as ‘newborn’.  The reality is your baby is in the newborn phase for a few weeks until they start to smile and become more alert.  However, from a photographer’s perspective, babies under 21 days old have some very unique traits which allow us to create stunning portraits. It doesn’t matter how many times I write this information on my website or social media. “When are Newborn Photos Taken?’ is still one of the most asked questions by every parent.

Why Are Newborn Portraits Best Under 21 days Old?

A lot of the reason that the typical newborn portraits you see are so adorable is that babies this young are still very ‘curly’.  They naturally take up the position they held in the womb for months – it comes naturally to them to curl up in the foetal position.

Brand new babies are also very sleepy.  It may not seem that way to you but some newborns can sleep up to a total of 18 hours per day.  This means they are very easy to pose, they remain comfortable and sleepy whilst I can gently turn and pose them without disturbing them much.

close up profile of newborn baby laying on a white blanket during a photoshoot

Can I get Newborn Portraits If My Baby Is Older?

Of course, you can!  Each stage your baby moves through is unique and it’s lovely to capture all of those milestones.  However, if you have your heart set on sleepy, curled-up poses then you’ll need to understand, the older your baby gets, the harder these are to achieve.  I’d never promise I could create those poses for you if your baby is older than 21 days but I have been able to achieve them in babies as old as 6 weeks.  If your baby has been born early, it’s slightly easier to extend the ‘newborn’ window too.

But as a mum myself, I never say no to another mum. For us they are our babies, they are cute and small even at 3 months, right? It’s just a matter of expectations, that’s all.

How do I book when I don’t know when my baby will arrive?

I’ve been managing a newborn diary for over a decade now so have become pretty good at scheduling!  You can book your newborn portraits once you have had your 20-week scan. If you don’t feel comfortable booking that much in advance, I would still highly recommend doing it 2 months before your due date. I only need to know your due date and we work around that. I just pencil in a potential date for the booking. But of course, babies come early and late which is why I only take a limited number of bookings each month. I can be flexible in moving your date if needed and I can better serve you. 

Please contact me to find out if I have availability around your due date.

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