As a family photographer that specialises in maternity, newborn and the early years, one of the most common questions I get asked is “When is the best time to get newborn photos?”
Once you have chosen your photographer, I always suggest getting booked in for both maternity and newborn photoshoots as early as you can. With the nature of the job, and photographers only taking a minimum number of sessions per week, the sooner you get booked in the better to avoid disappointment. Imagine spending all that time researching who you wanted to capture the most precious time of your life, to find they are already booked!
Although the majority of Mums have an estimated due date, they don’t know exactly when their baby will be born. (Unless you are booked in for a planned c-section)
Most photographers will book you in for either your due date, or around a week after. I prefer to book my newborn sessions for around a week after the due date. That way, if baby is not born a little before, or on their due date, we have some wiggle room to get the date rescheduled. It is very common for babies to be born after their due date. I expect sessions to be rescheduled so it’s totally ok 🙂
So when is the best time to get newborn photos?
During the early days, babies tend to be really curly and sleepy. They are still getting used to being in the outside world and haven’t really started stretching out yet. I usually advise new parents that between 5-12 days old is a great time for those really sleepy newborn photos. This has given time for Mums milk to have come in (if you plan to breastfeed) but baby hasn’t started cluster feeding yet. This usually starts between 4-6 weeks, and can really unsettle baby (and Mummy), which can make getting professional photos an added stress you may not want.
What happens if I forgot to book my newborn photoshoot and now they are older than your recommended timeframe?
Don’t panic. Honestly, it’s not always the first thing on a Mamas mind when she gets pregnant. Some people even think they don’t want to have professional photos taken. Then, their baby is born and they realise it’s so hard to take them on their own! It’s even hard for us, as professionals, to take them of our own children! We are tired, and they don’t always settle for us because they can smell our milk. Trust me, Ive taken my own newborn photos and it was HARD!!
Some babies are still really sleepy even weeks after they are born. I recently photographed an 8 week old, and she slept the entire session! So it can happen. You just have to be more mindful that they might not sleep, but thats ok, because awake shots are still so cute, and you are still having beautiful memories of your fast growing baby captured.
I hope that helps you with when is the best time to get your newborn photos taken. Don’t forget, if you are expecting a baby, you can download my FREE hospital bag checklist with bonus questions to ask your midwife here.