Whether your little one is already here or still on their way, congratulations! While this is certainly an exciting time, it’s easy to let the days or weeks go by without thinking about the best ways to document them. Before we get into when is the best time to take your newborn photos, I want to touch on why it’s so important to take them first.
As a photographer, you know I’m going to say yes. And I won’t bore you with clichés about how time is fleeting and they’re only this tiny once. But let me make a case for why you should hire a professional to take your newborn photos.
I’m sure you’ll be taking a million photos of your precious new baby yourself–but it’s important for you to be in some together too! This is a major transition for the rest of your family and the kinds of photos you’ll pull out over the years to reminisce over together. They may even hang on the walls of your grandchildren’s homes one day.
The right photographer will also guide you through the process so you won’t have to worry about anything–what to wear, how to prepare your home/baby/other kids, and how to find the most flattering lighting. During a very busy time in your life, think of it as self-care to hire someone that not only can take care of everything but that you can trust to take beautiful, heartfelt images that will one day become family heirlooms.
The best time to schedule lifestyle newborn photos is when they are about 2 weeks old. Your baby will certainly still be fresh and tiny, but a couple of weeks give you both some time to recover from the throes of childbirth.
Of course, it’s possible to schedule newborn photos earlier or later than this, depending on your unique circumstances. If you prefer very posed newborn portraits (i.e. your baby in a studio curled up in a tiny basket), many photographers recommend scheduling your session within the first 10 days of life so that it’s easier for your baby to bend into the position they had while in the womb.
Alternatively, scheduling your newborn session later than 4 weeks usually means your baby is more alert, awake longer, and a tiny bit bigger, making it harder (but not impossible!) to get those classic, sleepy newborn shots.
All that to say, the bottom line is this: You will never regret having professional photos of your new baby, no matter how old they are.
For photos that you (and they) will keep for a lifetime, a few weeks won’t make a difference in terms of the love, awe, and marvel you feel towards your tiny new human–and that’s what’s most important to capture in a lifestyle newborn session.
You might think that you should wait until your baby is born to schedule newborn photos. I don’t recommend this for two reasons. The first is that you might forget! It’s easy to let things slip from memory when you’re busy transitioning to becoming a first-time parent or learning how to fit a new baby into an already full household. Second, because the ideal window to take newborn photos is so short, your preferred photographer is probably booked.
Instead, you should contact your photographer at least two to three months in advance (or around the time of your maternity shoot!). Let them know when your due date is so they can work you into their schedule and begin the booking process. Then when your baby comes you can just give them a quick update instead of starting the process from scratch.
I would love to help document this precious time for your family, in the comfort of your own home. Learn more about the process here.