No, this is not a parenting advice blog. Well, it is not your typical parenting advice blog of what to do now that you have a new bundle of joy in the house. It is advice based on what I do know: the right time to get your baby’s photo taken.
A big point of discussion I have with clients is when is the perfect time to have “newborn” photos taken. Many parents will assume that it is better to wait a little bit longer to get newborn photos for a variety of reasons. But, depending on what look you are going for, you may be missing your chance.
Real newborn photos
I know it might seem like it will be impossible to handle having someone take photos of your new bundle in the first week your new baby is home. But, if you are looking for the old fashioned “Anne Geddes” style, sleeping baby in cute little poses wrapped in cloth or with props that is the perfect time to do it. 5 to 14 days is typically the sweet spot for shots like this. The baby is a heavier sleeper at that age and right after being fed. Now, each baby is different. You want to always take into account weight and doctor’s recommendations when it comes to visitors and leaving the house. Many newborn photographers will set up shop at your house to accommodate.
Two to four weeks old
This age can be a lot more work for everyone involved, including your baby. Once we get to 2 to 4 weeks the baby is a lot more squirmy, easily disrupted and tends to wake up when you try to move them into poses. But, a positive note on the 2-4 weeks is they are more likely to have their eyes open. Depending on what you are looking for, you may have to sacrifice props and specific poses as a trade off for capturing those gorgeous eyes.
One month old
At one month babies can (kind of) hold their head up more on their own (but not for long). You will not be as dependent on extra padding and mom and dad’s hands to keep their head up. This is also a point many babies will actually respond and look at the camera. At this stage, it is probably more likely you will want to focus on cute outfits than props. Getting sleeping baby photos at this point is less likely.
Around 3 months we can start capturing little baby smiles. You will definitely see more of your baby’s personality show through in the photos. You may be able to get a few sitting up photos, with some support cushioning or stuffed animal friends. This is also a great time to get tummy time photos where they hold their head up all on their own.
You are half way through year one and this is a great marker where your baby may be able to sit up all on their own. This is a great time to re integrate special props that involve the baby, and are not just in the background or having to do with their outfits. Be careful, this is also when they are on the move a bit more rolling and pulling around. Try a game of peek-a-boo behind your photographer to keep the baby engaged in staying in one pose.
Nine months to a year
These are great months to capture just how much your baby has grown since you brought them home. They will be moving and shaking at this point so make sure to have a plan of attack on how to distract them long enough to release the shutter. Also, great time to start planning your cake smash session.
So, when is the best time to hire a photographer?
None of these milestones are the wrong time to take photos or hire someone to take photos. Ideally we would be able to hire a professional for all of our children’s milestones, but that is not realistic in many cases. The important part is planning ahead for how to capture what you want. If you want the “newborn” experience, be sure to book ahead. Many newborn photographers will make sure to set aside time in groups of days or weeks because we know due dates do not always hold true.
Also, all of these milestones are also great times to get comparison photos. To really see how much your baby has changed, try to remake the same pose at each milestone in similarly colored outfits or with the same props in the background. And, it does not always have to be with a professional photographer to pull off this project.