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As a new parent, capturing memories of your little one’s first days is important because in all honesty, you probably won’t remember much of these days in a few years. Newborn pictures are a wonderful way to freeze time and remember this special moment forever. When is the best time to schedule a newborn photo session?
I am here to say that every photographer will be different! We each have our own sweet spots in regard to this. I have been a newborn photographer in the Dallas, Texas area for 12 years and can say for myself the best time for your newborn session is between 12 and 18 days. I will shoot newborns up to 8 weeks old, but after 3 weeks it becomes a slightly different session as the baby is not expected to sleep. For those sleepy squishy photos sooner is better!
Earlier in my career it was commonly taught that you need to do the newborn session between 6-12 days old. I did this for many years. The biggest issue I had here was that breastfed babies tended to stay attached to mom most of the session and usually had a hard time feeding themselves into that important milk drunk state needed for newborn photos. I experienced a lot of fussy babies and sessions where we would have to stop and get back together a few days later to try again. They were almost always better when we got back together a few days later. So one day I had an idea, I decide to try older newborns. I started taking them closer to 14 days and it was perfect. By this age breastfed babies have a better handle on feeding and could easily (and quickly) get into that important milk drunk state resulting in an amazing session!
No, but your expectations should be set appropriately. Many photographers will not take a newborn after it is 3 weeks old because it is exponentially harder, but there are some of us who will because we love this age too! In their first 3 weeks of life most newborns will sleep heavily throughout the day. But that 3-week mark is when many of them decide they want to participate more and they are suddenly more alert and paying attention to what is going on around them.
After 3 weeks old I do not expect newborns to sleep during their newborn photo sessions. I plan on them being awake and if they happen to fall asleep, then that’s just icing on the cake! When babies are awake, the photos will mostly be of them wrapped and in pretty baskets or surrounded by gorgeous floral arrangements! It’s the perfect time to get photos of the baby with their eyes open!
Scheduling a newborn photography session between 12 to 18 days after birth is the ideal time to capture those precious first days. Just remember, every baby and photographer is different, and the most important thing is to get photos that you love and will cherish forever.