When should I take photos of my baby?

Congratulations you made it through the hardest part of life, giving birth! Now you want to celebrate your biggest accomplish by having a photo session for your newborn! You’ve seen your friends’ photos of their tiny little ones, but you’ve also heard that newborn shoots can be exhausting and long! So now you’re not sure if you want to do the session at all and if you do, when to do it. I’ve photographed brand new babies that were under 7 days and I’ve shot 30+ day new and the sessions can be so different. So here are my personal opinions on when you should take photos of your cutie pie! 

~7 days new 

The biggest benefit of shooting a baby so new is that you can pose them in cute little position because their bones haven’t developed yet. You can dress them in cute outfits and they stay this way for a while as you are shooting them. But the challenge is to get them asleep in the first place and keep it that way for the duration of the session!

However there are a lot more cons in my opinion than pros when it comes to shooting babies so new. 

1. Be prepared for the session to last 3-4 hours. Many photographers only shoot at their studio, and babies are expected to wake up and once they do, you must nurse them and ensure they are back asleep otherwise the photos will be only of your crying grumpy little one.

I usually work around the babies schedule, and come to your home to shoot, when the baby is fed and asleep so my sessions are hassle free and only between one and one and a half hours. However you are not always guaranteed that the session will go as smoothly as you thought, and in many cases, session have to be rescheduled because the baby is just not co-operating! 

Here’s a photo of Sully, 7 days new.

Here’s a photo of Sully, 7 days new.

2. Newborns aren’t always the cutest. Sure we want to believe that our baby is the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen but that isn’t always the case. They can have dry skin, a lot of wrinkles, and they can even look blue (eek). Sure a photographer can photoshop all that out, but typically you would only get 2-3 photos to do skin retouching on. 

So the most important question I ask mommies if they want to do a 7 day new photoshoot: “Is the baby sleeping well?” If they are then it’s up to the mommy and you if you want to do shoot your newborn at 7 days new. In the end it’s you decision. 

~30 days new 

30+ days is usually my personal favourite, I find that babies that are “older” have developed more and their personalities really start to shine. Usually when you are taking photos of 30+ day new, they will be awake for the sessions. They love to make faces, confused, surprised, happy, curious. All the great emotions come out. And even the crying faces are so adorable. 

Babies that “old” can also track the lens’ movement, so they focus on the zooming in and out, the shutter noise keeps them curious and alert. This allows them to directly look at the camera with big open eyes. Personally babies between 30-100 days are the best to take photos of. Their personalities shine through. 

They are also much easier to travel to the studio with as well. And if they are hungry during a session and you are comfortable with it, you can even sneak a few mommy and me photos in there while feeding.  I don’t charge extra for breastfeeding photos during my newborn sessions. It’s included in the package!

This is Sully at 60+ days new.

This is Sully at 60+ days new.

There are some cons to the session though. If you’re baby is awake and is not co-operating, it’s much harder to put them back asleep. You won’t be able to dress them up in cute little outfits and pose them in a dreamy like positions. So if that is something that you want, definitely get them in between 7-14 days max. 

If you missed your chance to take photos of your newborn, don’t worry there is still time. 1st birthday & Toddler sessions are just as important and a lot more fun! With cakes and props your little one will love! Toddler sessions usually are between 12-36 months. Generally a cake smash photo session is the way to go. Some families also take Christmas photo sessions. Don’t forget there are plenty of ideas and fun photo sessions you can plan for your newborn, baby or toddler!

In the end it is your decision. Each baby is unique in their own way. And you will know within the first 2 days what you’d like to do. And if you still can’t make a decision, well you can always do 2 sessions, a 7 day new and a 100 day new. Many photographers will give you a discount for booking two sessions at once. I offer $200 off if you book a 7 day new and a 100 day new sessions. So instead of booking two sessions at $350, your two packages would only be $500! Now that’s worth celebrating about. 

If you want to book a session for your new lovely baby, head over to this page to read all about the details.