June 27, 2024

“What is the best age to get newborn photos of my newborn baby?”

This is a question I get asked all the time and it is one that every photographer will answer differently. The ideal age of your baby to be photographed is subjective, depending on your newborn photographer’s styling and posing preferences and on their past experience in capturing babies of different ages. There is no objective answer and no “ideal” age.

Even more importantly than subjective styling preferences and past experiences is the simple fact that all humans are different. I cannot stress this point enough: As newborn photographers we work with real human beings! And all human beings have their own personality, preferences and yes – aversions too. So what is true for most babies may not be the case for your own baby.

So when we give recommendations – like I am attempting to do with this post – please keep in mind that your baby is unique and different to every other baby I have ever met.

This in itself is what makes my work so incredibly special and why I will never ever get bored of capturing your babies. Everyone I meet is different, no image ever looks the same, no baby ever looks the same way when posed the exact same way and there are surprising, beautiful and unique moments to be captured every single time!

Before I launch into the pros and cons of different newborn ages, let me just preface this by saying that any age is beautiful to capture. There is no bad age. There is no age when we can’t get beautiful images. It is NEVER too late! But it is also never too early. Your baby will never be as little again as in this exact moment you’re reading this. But one day your baby won’t be a baby any longer. I would 100% rather photograph your baby when they are not at the “ideal” age for newborn images than have you miss out on images of your baby altogether.

Even though we have just established that there is no bad age and that there are many factors involved, here is what I email my clients who book a newborn session with me: I tell them that their baby should ideally be within 14 days old at the time of their newborn session and here is why:

  • Babies within their first two weeks of life are generally (see, there are always exceptions) still very sleepy. I’ve heard midwifes calling this time the “honeymoon phase” and it stuck with me because it’s such a good comparison! Bub often doesn’t do much more than eat and sleep and the everyday business of parenting hasn’t started yet. (By the way, there was no such thing as a honeymoon phase with my first baby but I was surprised to experience it with my second! Don’t worry if your newborn isn’t as sleepy in their first few weeks – it doesn’t mean we can’t get beautiful images and of course it doesn’t mean you are doing anything wrong either – some babies are just super alert from day one).
  • When they are under two weeks old, babies are often a little more flexible and actually enjoy being curled up like they were in mama’s womb. They don’t want to stretch out (it scares them if they don’t feel that resistance they did in the womb), they just want to curl up – which leads to those classic, beautiful signature newborn session poses you have seen on my portfolio:
  • In consequence, newborn sessions tend to be a lot more relaxed with babies under 2 weeks old and progressively become harder work and take longer for everyone involved the more days go by after your baby turns 2 weeks old.

Now I know that 2 weeks doesn’t give you a lot of time to consider if you would like to book a newborn session, get it organised and commit to be somewhere at a certain time when you just had a baby. This is why I recommend to book in your session when you are pregnant. This way you avoid the rush and stress of booking this important shoot last minute and you can take your time to get different quotes from photographers you actually like, rather than who is available last minute to capture your newborn baby. Not every photographer is the same. We all have a different approach and preferences in terms of styling, prop colours, editing, poses we like and don’t like doing. We all have different capacities and some of us are booked out many months in advance.

In saying that, I know that some of you are reading this because your baby is born already and more than 2 weeks old by the time of their newborn session. Here is the good news: I LOVE photographing babies of any age! They may not curl up sleepily into the poses in above images any longer, but their beautiful, individual personality may start shining through! In fact, I have had several parents who got images with older newborns or even 3-4 month old babies tell me that they ended up preferring the images they got over classic newborn photos because they can recognise so much of their baby’s personality! I think this is the main reason for me why I encourage you to book in a newborn session even if your baby is past that initial 2 week stage.

Just as important: – As much as I love the curly, sleepy poses above – these poses are not the focus and centre point of my newborn photography! Natural light and colours and your baby shown in an authentic way – this is the heart of my newborn sessions. Capturing connection between you and your baby (no special posing or sleeping baby necessary) is also a big part of every session. If you like natural, authentic images in neutral colours that capture the individual features of your beautiful baby and your special connection with each other – then I’m your photographer no matter how old your baby is!

Instead of classic newborn poses we get smiles (from 4-6 weeks old), funny expressions, individual moments that are unpredictable and therefore special and unique and eye contact with mum and dad (so so beautiful to see and capture!!). Here are some of my favourite examples of babies between 6-10 weeks old:

Aren’t these just as adorable and beautiful?

Even if your baby is older than 10 weeks it it’s not too late to get beautiful images. There are other options that I hope I’ll get around to show you in another blog post.

For now, I hope this post helped you with your decision when (or wether) to book a newborn session.

Is your baby too old for newborn photos?

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