newborn photography by Summer Johnston, Lancashire newborn photographer

What Age Do You Take Newborn Photos?

You’re home from the hospital, surrounded by a million muslins and scouring Facebook for good groups, when it hits you. This newborn phase is so brief, will your iPhone camera do it justice? Booking professional newborn photos is a fantastic way to capture the magic of this time and create lifelong memories of when they were teeny tiny.

But what’s the right time for newborn photography? Read on to find out everything you need to know.

Why Book A Newborn Shoot With A Professional Photographer?

The arrival of a new baby is full of such joy, you want to savour every tiny detail. Yet time moves fast, and before you know it you’re looking at nurseries and contemplating KIT days. Here’s why you should book in your newborn baby shoot.

Freeze time

Newborn photography gives you a chance to hit pause and capture your little bundle of joy exactly as they are in this moment. 

Create a keepsake

A newborn photo shoot gives you a forever keepsake to cherish and share with friends and family for a lifetime, remembering the days when you and your baby were joined at the hip and living in that precious baby bubble.

Document development

A newborn photo session is a lovely way to document their development over time and track baby milestones.

Lots of my newborn photography clients come back for a sitting session, a cake smash, family photography, and sibling shoots. This is such a beautiful way to reflect on how their little bodies, minds, and personalities have grown and flourished over a relatively short space of time and fill your family albums with memories from every stage.

Have physical newborn photos

One huge bonus is having actual physical photos! 

We so rarely print off our phone photos nowadays that all those lovely memories stay in the cloud rather than on our walls and in our albums, so booking a professional baby shoot gives you the incentive to display your images so they can make you smile on a daily basis.

So, What’s The Best Age To Book That Baby Photoshoot?

As a general rule of thumb, the ideal window for newborn photos is between five days and two weeks old, so think about getting your professional photography session in the diary within the first two weeks.

Why is that?

During this time, your baby is likely to be experiencing what we call the “flexion state”.

This is why photographers often refer to the ideal age range for newborn shoots as the “golden window.” 

However, a good baby and family photographer can of course also photograph babies older than two weeks – but this tends to be a lovely age to photograph your tot and get those all-important first baby portraits.

What Does The Flexion State Mean In Newborn Babies?

In newborn photography, the “flexion state” is when you see teeny tots curled up in a little ball – one of the most classic newborn poses.

Their tiny newborn arms and legs are bundled up close to the body, and their chin is tucked. It happens when their muscles are relaxed, and it lends itself perfectly to those newborn photograph poses you’ve probably seen online or in friends’ houses!

As a photographer, I love capturing babies in this state because they’re going to be sleepy and calm (not to mention extremely cute!).

This means they tend to sleep soundly during the session and because their umbilical cords have healed, they’re less prone to jaundice – allowing for uninterrupted photography.

This state tends to last around two weeks post-birth, as older newborns become more active and start learning to flex those muscles and discover more movement.

So, five to 14 days is the magical window of opportunity for your very first shoot.

Things To Consider Before Booking A Baby Photo Shoot

So, now you have a general idea of the best age for newborn photos, I wanted to share a few things you might want to think about before I photograph your baby.

After all, every baby is different and you all need to be in the right headspace to attend a newborn photoshoot.

Your birth story

If you and your beautiful baby had a difficult birth, with complications or prematurity, you might want to wait a little longer before you book your newborn shoot.

Your wellbeing

This isn’t just about baby. If you put pressure on yourself to rush into a shoot when your mental health is low, those memories may not be as magical as you’re hoping for. While professional newborn pictures are wonderful, it’s not the only opportunity to capture your little one. 

So, if you’re not ready to venture out of the house yet, be kind to yourself. Always do the right thing for yourself. After all, happy mum, happy baby.

Your baby’s temperament

Yes, your baby may cry or need a nap, that’s fine!

I like to think of myself as the baby whisperer. So, I love being the one to help settle newborn babies at this age to get the pictures you’ll cherish forever.

However, if your baby is very unsettled or unwell during the first two weeks, it might not be right for you to book newborn photos during that window.

Although the first two weeks are the optimal time, we can always be flexible and work around you and your baby.

Get In Touch To Book Your Newborn Photography Session in Lancashire

Are you ready to capture the perfection of your little one at this precious age? 

I’m Summer, an experienced newborn photographer based in Edenfield, in the beautiful Rossendale Valley, Lancashire. 

I offer newborn photoshoots in my warm and family-friendly photography studio. They last around four hours. And yes, it’s absolutely fine to feed, change, or cuddle baby as much as you need to!

I’ve been doing this for 10 years, so I know how newborns are (I had two of my own once!). I’m an expert at calming them – and you – to get that shot. A settled and happy baby is a picture-perfect one!

Look at my newborn baby gallery here to get a feel for my style of photography. It’s best to get your newborn photo shoot booked in as early as possible, so get in touch for a chat now and we’ll start planning the perfect photos of your baby!

Contact me here.

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