As a Brighton family photographer serving Sussex and as mother, I recommend within the first 20 days – but the sooner the better.
As a new mum myself, it’s amazing how fast these little ones grow. I feel like I blink and he’s in the next size up in clothing. I always tell myself, he will never be as small as he is right now.
In truth, I struggled to fathom how on earth my tiny baby could fit in his 6-9 month onesies, but now I struggle to fathom how he fit into his tiniest of newborn clothes.
And that’s one of many elements when deciding when to have newborn baby photographs taken.
When you should get newborn photographs taken
The early days – they are the biggest blur and the most unique as you and your family adjust and discover each other. And all what will often remain is a fuzzy memory of what was.
As a mother of a baby that still does not sleep through the night, I know the fog of sleep deprivation robs too many mothers of their memories.
Because your little one grows and develops at an incredible rate, the kind of photographs you can have change dramatically.
Newborn photography in the first 3 weeks
In the first few days, newborns can sleep through just about anything. They have the teeniest of tiny toes and these fragile little hands that grasp so tightly around yours. This is the perfect time for photographs of your little one content and all snuggled up in a milk coma. In these deep sleeps with a baby that has not yet become very alert to the world around them, you can get a variety of photographs without disturbing their slumber.
In order to ensure your baby is the happiest and most content, the sooner the session takes place the better. I’ve even gone into hospital and photographed newborns in the first 48 hours. This is perfect for parents who want to use professional photographs for their birth announcement. It is also lovely because parents are on a real high after birth, and don’t have to worry about a tidy house (because even though I tell parents not to worry about any mess and that I can work around it, I know I certainly couldn’t help but do a clean before any guests came over!).
But at home, is truly magical. In that very first week, there is a real beauty in settling into the new rhythm of parenthood. You’re little one will be just as sleepy as they were in hospital, and these in-home lifestyle newborn photography sessions make for wonderful photographs to document your new “Us”.
With each week that passes, your little one may get a little bit fussier during the sessions as their sleep is more easily disrupted or they may struggle to settle down. They might also start to exhibit baby acne, eczema, cradle cap and a million and one other skin conditions I didn’t even know existed until I became a parent myself. While I think my baby was gorgeous throughout it all and only corrected his issues slightly on my personal images, I do light skin retouching to reduce or even remove these skin flare ups on client photographs. However, I’ll be the first to admit I can only do so much. In severe case of cradle cap for instance, a hat is the best solution as I sometimes don’t have enough clear skin to work with to hide the affected areas. So aside from babies being heavy sleepers in the early days, skin flare ups are another factor to consider.
But, at the end of the day, everything is so new for both you and this little human of yours. I’ve often had newborn sessions at three weeks and beyond with babies that are pretty content and happy (even one after getting his vaccinations!). You must always follow what feels right for you and your family. If you or your baby need a few days to adjust and recover, then take this time.
Newborn photography after the first 3 weeks
Though I of course offer it and provide it to any family wanting it, I don’t recommend doing your photography session after three weeks. Instead, it is usually wise to wait until the baby is about 3 and half months old. Skin conditions usually start to clear up by then, the babies are starting to social smile, they have better neck control, and you’ll usually have some sort of routine in place and know how to settle your baby. The last thing I want is for you to book a session and have a very fussy baby the entire time, but it is possible to achieve great photographs during this time. You however, must be open to the fact that you and/or your partner may have to hold your little one throughout to keep them content. This may limit the variety of your photographs, but what you get will be beautiful none the less.
When should you book a newborn photography session?
You should think about booking before your baby is even born. By pencilling you into the diary, your photographer can ensure they have the flexibility to fit you in come time for your baby to be born – on whatever date they choose to arrive.
If you would prefer to wait to book your photographer until after your baby is born, I suggest you find the photographer you’d like to work with most and emailing them in advance to ask about their availability. This way the leg work is all done prior to your little one arrive. And, if the newborn photographer is nearing full capacity for around your due date, they may email you prior to becoming fully booked. This way you won’t find yourself robbed of those precious first days with your newborn searching for someone to document them!
Till the next bump drops,
Kelsie Scully Photography – Brighton family photographer serving Hove, Portslade, Lancing, Worthing, Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath, Rottingdean, Newhaven and beyond with moments of love, laughter and memory-making.