Okay ya’ll I don’t know what it is but I have newborn photography on the brain! The newborn photography class I just finished up must have really sunk in. I keep thinking about all the things I should have included in the last post but didn’t. Overall many of the topics I left out weren’t that critical and if I got bored one day could maybe include them in another post, however, I decided there was just one more thing I needed to cover, and it’s kind of important. WHEN you should get your newborn photos taken.
I know many photographers, myself included, would really push and emphasize that baby HAD to be photographed in the first 10 days or it was going to be an epic disaster! Don’t get me wrong, that 7-10 day mark is golden, but it is still possible to get great photos after that. One of my best images came from a session where the little guy was closer to 5 weeks than 1. Technically speaking, babies are still considered newborn up until 6 weeks of age so don’t freak out if life happened and you forgot to scheduled sooner.
Lets talk for a minute about why most photographers like the photograph newborns under 10 days old. Babies at this stage are still very sleepy! It is much easier to photograph a sleeping baby than one that is awake and moving. At this stage, babies still like to be curled up and will let you mold them a little easier. It really isn’t that much different from what they experienced in the womb after all. (Just remember that babies don’t have great blood circulation yet and can’t tolerate being balled up for too long!) Last major factor is newborns change so quickly! Most photographers really want to capture that newborn face before it changes.
Generally speaking, healthy babies will be able to make this 7- 10 day mark, but guess what, NOT ALL BABIES ARE BORN HEALTHY! Many babies are born prematurely, have major health problems, or any number of things that can happen. These little ones still deserve to be photographed, but they will need to wait. I mentioned this on another post, but baby’s safety and health are more important than anything else. If they have to wait, they have to wait and that is just fine with me. I just want Mom to know that she doesn’t have to feel like her little ones photos aren’t going to turn out great just because they won’t be able to come in by day 10.
Here is the bottom line secret that not many people are aware of. The timing of the newborn session should really be based off of WEIGHT not DATE. Let’s think about this for a minute. Say a baby was born and weighed 4 pounds and is considered healthy. If that were my baby, I would want to wait until he had gained more weight even though that means we will be well after the 10 day mark. We also want to wait until baby is eating/mom’s milk comes in. Newborns don’t know how to nurse, they have to be taught. (Which for me personally was a nightmare!) Those first few days can be tricky for mom and baby. Let them get feeding established before the photo shoot.
So let’s wrap it up. The best time to photograph a healthy newborn is in the 7-10 day range, but really a newborn session can be done up until 6 weeks. I hope this helps ease your mind and gives you more confidence that we can get great photos anytime baby is ready.