A great question to ask yourself when hiring your newborn photographer is when you want to schedule newborn photos. Many photographers will only want to photograph your newborn when they are 7-10 days, but as a lifestyle and in-home newborn photographer, I like to offer a few choices to my clients when it comes to scheduling their newborn photos. Here are some pros and cons to the various options for when to schedule your newborn photos.
Fresh 48 – One of my favorite times to photograph newborns is within the first 48 hours at the place of birth, be it at the birthing center, at home, or at the hospital. The beautiful thing about this is you really get to capture the baby in the tiniest state. They grow so fast those first few weeks and it’s hard to remember what it was like as a new family! Their tiny toes, expressions, wrinkly bodies and the pure joy of everyone around them! The downside is that Mom can sometimes not feel her best or want to be photographed, or sometimes it can be difficult to coordinate schedules and make sure siblings can be there during the shoot. But, I’m telling you, it’s not about glamour or perfect photos! These Fresh 48 sessions are all about capturing the raw and honest memories of having a new person in the family! No one is looking for you to have makeup or hair done, nor should you two days after having a baby! Photographing these early days is an amazing way to hold on to those precious and fleeting moments!
First Two Weeks – The next option is to choose a time within the first two weeks after you bring baby home. This is a great time to do your newborn photos because you are in the comfort of your home and even though baby is getting a little bigger, it’s still so fresh and new. Baby might be sleeping for some of the session and may need to feed, get changed or be rocked during the session. Being a lifestyle photographer, I factor this into my plan and photograph throughout all those changes. Lifestyle photography is all about capturing and celebrating those ‘everyday’ moments. The cons are that you may still be overwhelmed at home, learning to juggle two or more kids now, and still getting used to your ‘sleep’ schedule. Baby is a little unpredictable so we just choose a time to photograph baby and go with it!
Up to Six Weeks – Another option for scheduling your newborn session is when baby is up to 6 weeks old. Depending the baby, they may sleep for some of the session, but many times baby will have quite a personality already. At six weeks postpartum, you may feel a little more ‘yourself’ (or at least the new version of yourself!) and be ready to be photographed. Everyone is a little more settled with new baby at home and even though there isn’t that same newness as right after baby is born and your baby is a lot bigger than those first few weeks, you are still in the newborn stage and all the same daily interactions are happening, from feeding to changing to playing, with the addition of having had time to get to know yourself as a mother or father, as well as get to know your baby.
Whichever option you choose, having newborn photos is such a wonderful memento for yourself, your baby and your whole family. I think documenting the early weeks of having a newborn baby is so important because it’s so hard to remember those early days, between lack of sleep, having postpartum adjustments and the overall changes that are happening within your family, there is no better time to capture the real love and connection that is constantly around you with your new baby in tow.