Why are newborn photographers obsessed with babies that are a week old? Surely they could wait a bit?
Actually, yes and no.
One of the first questions that I get asked by parents expecting a baby is when is the best time to do newborn photography. Well, the answer is simple: when babies are only a few days old, and typically less than 2 weeks old. In fact, most newborn photographers are particularly keen on photographing babies when they are about 7 days old.
It all has to do with how babies change after they are about 2 weeks old. Until that time, they are pretty drowsy and spend most of their time sleeping, waking up frequently out of hunger. But otherwise, they sleep a lot. When they are 2 weeks old, babies have their first growth spurt and this coincides with them staying alert more during the day. But what does this have to do with photography?
Pictures of curled up babies are safely done when they are asleep
When babies are about 7 days old, they are pretty drowsy. So if you want sleepy curled up poses of your newborn, the best time to have newborn photos done is when they are about 7 days old. Safety is so important when photographing any child and particularly when photographing newborn babies. When newborn babies are are comfortable sleeping curled up and when they are asleep I can very gently position their feet and hands. I don’t force any movements. Everything is done gently and slowly.
When babies are older than 2 weeks old, they get stronger and are less drowsy. This means that they also resist being gently posed. Since I never force any movements, the range of photos I take of a newborn are different to when they are more than 2 weeks old.
You don’t have to photograph you baby at 7 days old
I like to think of newborn babies as being up to about 10 weeks old. If you’ve missed the 7 day window, don’t worry because there’s still opportunities to have them photographed when they are tiny. Here’s a list of the different types of photos you can expect during each time window…
1 WEEK: These are the drowsy photos of babies curled up. They are at their tiniest and love to be asleep
4 WEEKS – these babies still sleep a lot but to be on the safe side, I don’t try the curled up poses. I let them sleep on their backs for asleep photos. Swaddling is always a good idea.
3 MONTHS – these babies are bigger and far more alert. It means that you can get really sweet pictures with their parents. They love looking at the camera.
What happens when families book a newborn photo shoot?
When families book a newborn photography session with me in my Twickenham Green photography studio above Maple Leaf Pharmacy, I pencil in their due date and then wait for the baby arrive. In the meantime, we will have chatted about the style of newborn photography they are interested in and I give them tips and advice for how to prepare for their session.
About a day after the baby is born, families then get in touch and we finalise a date a week later. I try to allow for a weekday option as well as a weekend options. Sessions are 3 hours long to allow for plenty of time for feeding, cuddles and soothing. I have a comfy sofa so families can feel relaxed during their session.
About 2 weeks after the session, I invite families to come back into my studio to look at their photos and decide which ones they’d like to purchase. I can also come to their home if they live in Twickenham.
If you’ve enjoyed this post, why not read my post about the 5 things you should know about newborn photography?
To book a session, just get in touch!