What Is The Best Age For A Newborn Photo Shoot?

So you’d like to book a newborn photo shoot but have no idea how long that ‘newborn’ stage lasts exactly?! Some newborn photographers will put a two week or 15 days age limit on newborn photo sessions. While we strongly suggest holding your newborn shoot at the 5-10 day mark, I say there’s no reason why you can’t have baby’s newborn photoshoot up to around three or four weeks old. It’s never too late! Plus, life gets in the way. You may have had a bit of a stay in the hospital after birth, and having a new baby at home is exhausting. Scheduling a session with a photographer may not sound enticing right away. 

Fear not! Read on for my tips on the best age to have a newborn shoot. Plus how to book one when you have no idea what date baby will arrive. (Because isn’t that exactly how it goes? haha) Let me put your mind at rest at how easy it is to have beautiful new family memories captured that will last a lifetime. Most parents really enjoy the experience, and it’s much more relaxing and stress-free than you might think!

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Babies Younger Than Two Weeks Old (When Possible!)

Typically, I do recommend scheduling your newborn baby photoshoot for around two weeks after your due date. The most ideal time is between 5-10 days old. Babies at this age tend to be pretty chilled, curled up and sleepy, making posing easier!

This age is great for capturing all those gorgeous curled-up sleeping shots, snuggles with parents, photos of baby feeding (if you want them) and close up shots of baby’s eyelashes, lips, and feet. This is also a great time to capture some beautiful photos of the baby with their siblings. The baby may not be actively smiling yet, but at even the earliest newborn photoshoots we can capture a few adorable grins.

According to data, only 5% of newborns arrive on their actual due date. Around a third of the rest arrive early, and about two-thirds arrive past the date. So it’s a pretty safe bet, with a first baby at least, that your little one won’t be in any huge rush to come out on time! So two weeks after your due date tends to work pretty well as a tentative date for your booking. If the timing is just a little off, no worries. Most newborn photographers are happy to work with you to schedule a better time. We completely understand that the baby comes when they are ready and it’s not always easy to predict. 

A quick note…

If you’re looking for those adorable curled up in a basket/hammock/bucket or posed like a frog photo for your newborn photoshoot, the ideal age is more like 5-10 days and rarely older. This style of newborn photography tends to be more about posed shots of the baby. These poses can only be achieved before baby’s tiny bones fuse together and they’re still really curled up and ‘malleable’! 

Older Babies Age

Babies older than two weeks are not quite so curled up and weeny any more! They also start to lose some of that gorgeous wrinkly skin and downy hair. Around 2-3 weeks old baby acne can begin to appear and cradle cap is common from 1-2 months old. Some parents don’t mind these small blemishes, however. Baby is still perfect in every way. 

Every baby is unique and it is more than possible for a GOOD newborn photographer to get amazing shots of your new baby at 3-4 weeks old. No matter when you get around to it, a photo session with your new baby is always a great idea! But if you can it’s best to get a few shots of your little one captured because they grow quickly. The newborn stage passes by in the blink of an eye. 

Slightly older babies are likely to be more alert and aware of their surroundings. So photo sessions with older babies can result in more ‘eyes open’ shots than sleepy ones. Who doesn’t love a bright-eyed, curious baby? You’re also more likely to capture those sweet little grins. 

C-section Births

Having a c-section birth can be both a positive and a negative. On the plus side, you may know exactly when you’re scheduled making it easier to plan for a newborn shoot. On the other hand, if you weren’t prepared you may have feelings of deflation. Or, you may be worried that your photographer asks you to move around when you’re not ready to or to hold the newborn in a position that’s not comfortable for you. Our photo sessions, however, are flexible. We understand that the baby’s comfort comes first with mom and dad being a close second. We can capture memorable shots of you with your baby in whatever position is comfortable for you, whether sitting, propped up on pillows or standing.

Most parents are happy for me to move baby around for photos myself, meaning that for shots of the baby on their own you can just sit back with a cup of tea and watch the magic happen! 😉 We work in pairs so the shooter is always free to position the camera while our assistant is there to be helpful with the newborn. 

If you feel you’d like to wait a bit after having a c-section, by all means, wait. Once again your comfort is most important. 

Premature Births

If your baby came well before the anticipated due date it’s safer and better to wait until closer to their “adjusted age”. Premature babies are more delicate and need a bit more time to be ready for things such as photoshoots. 

Best Age for a Newborn Photo Shoot

So what’s the best age for a newborn photoshoot? When possible I recommend scheduling a session before baby is two weeks old, to capture him o/her in all their wrinkly and scrunched-up newness. I’d also recommend scheduling sessions throughout that first year about once a quarter (3, 6, 9, and 12 months old) to capture the growth and change in your child. 

In fact, we’ll work with you to create a custom FIRST YEAR Package that will allow you to schedule those photo session in advance with a discount in price. 

Get Yourself in the photos!

Whenever you choose to have your newborn photo session, it’s really important to me to capture photos of the parent(s) with baby, along with any siblings or pets where possible! You may not feel particularly photogenic just weeks after giving birth, but believe me, it would be such a shame to miss out on capturing those all-important shots of you with your baby that your little one will just love to look back on in years to come. Our team will work carefully to make sure you look your best in those photos no matter how tired or off you feel. 

Learn More About out Family Portrait Services

These precious moments pass us by so quickly. That’s why it’s important to capture and preserve them while you have the chance. Your family will never be the same as it is today at this moment. Contact us today to find out how easy it is to save this moment forever. 

Book Your Newborn Photo Shoot Today!