Are you considering booking a newborn photo shoot, but unsure about the best time to do it? You may have heard that the ideal time is within the first two weeks after your baby is born, but what if you missed that window? Don’t worry, you still have options! As a newborn photographer, I understand that every family’s circumstances are different, and I am here to help you capture beautiful memories of your little one, no matter their age.

Why is the 1-3 Week Window Preferred for Posed Newborn Photography?

During a baby’s first three weeks of life, they are typically very sleepy and settled. They also retain the flexibility to curl up into the fetal positions they were in inside the womb. As a result, they are usually comfortable and relaxed during their newborn session, making it easier to capture a variety of poses. After 2-3 weeks, babies typically start to spend longer periods awake, uncurl, stretch out, and grow larger. As these changes occur, it becomes more difficult for them to manage all the poses and to stay settled during the session.

Is Four Weeks Too Late for Newborn Photos?

Despite the preferred window, it is still possible to create beautiful photographs of babies over 21 days old. In fact, I often photograph babies who are between three and four weeks old. Sometimes this is because mums or babies need a bit more time to recover after the birth. Other times it’s because families haven’t contacted me to book their shoot until after their baby has been born, and it’s the earliest date I can offer them. Typically, between weeks 3 & 4, it is still possible to complete a full newborn session, it might just have a few more awake photos!

What’s Different About a Photo Shoot with a Baby Aged Over Two Weeks?

All babies are different, and every day with a new baby can be different from the last. After 21 days, you may find a few differences in your photo shoot. Although it’s usually possible to complete a full shoot with a baby aged between three and four weeks old, the shoot may take longer than usual, as babies are usually more alert and spend longer periods awake at this age. Occasionally, some babies may not be comfortable in all of the newborn photography poses. If we find that this is the case for your baby, I’ll discuss it with you and take some different photographs instead.

This Baby’s Newborn Shoot at 5 Weeks Old

To give you an idea of what to expect, let me tell you about a baby I photographed when she was 5 weeks old. She was quite alert at the start of her shoot and took a little while to settle to sleep. However, once he had fallen asleep, I was able to work through the full session and capture some lovely memories of her at this age for his family.

Is a Newborn Photo Shoot Still Possible Beyond Four Weeks?

After four weeks, your baby will likely be even more alert, spend longer periods of time awake, and spend more time with their limbs stretched out. As with babies aged over three weeks, this means that your shoot may take longer, and your baby may not be comfortable in all of the positions. They are also likely to me more alert.

Next Steps

As you research photographers, you’ll find that some photographers prefer to stick strictly to the 14 or 10 day window, while others are happy to photograph older newborns. 

If I am able to fit you in I am more than happy to photograph your baby at any age! As long as you are aware that your baby might be more awake, more alert and might not do all the curly posed positions, we will still get you some beautiful pictures to remember this time. 

Elle x