Ideas, In Studio, Newborn Photography, When to Book

April 13, 2024

News Flash: Your Baby is Not Too Old for Newborn Photos!

As a professional photographer specializing in newborn portraiture, I’ve had many clients ask if their baby is too old for newborn photos. So many that I’ve become an expert in the delicate balance between timing and technique when it comes to capturing those precious moments of infancy. In addition, another question that consistently arises is “When is the best time to schedule a newborn photoshoot?” From my experience, the answer may not be what you expect!

While most of my colleagues in the photography industry may say the ideal newborn age is within 14 days, my opinion is a bit different. In my experience, the “older babies” typically have an easier time in the studio; ideally between 15 and 21 days old.

Newborns are the epitome of innocence, their features untouched by the passage of time. It’s during this brief period that they possess a unique blend of flexibility, sleepiness, and curled-up coziness that lends itself beautifully to artistic portrayal. Here’s why the 15 to 21-day mark is considered the ideal age for newborn portraits:

1. Flexibility and Posability

During the first few weeks of life, babies are more flexible and have a natural inclination to curl up into those adorable, womb-like positions. This flexibility makes it easier to gently pose them into various positions without causing discomfort. Whether it’s the classic “froggy” pose or the sweet embrace of tiny fingers, these poses create timeless images that capture the essence of newborn serenity.

At Photos by Ashleigh, safety is always our top priority. In order to keep baby as safe as possible it is necessary to do most poses while they are in a deep sleep.

2. Cluster Feeding

It’s normal for newborns to go through a cluster feeding phase at around 9-11 days old. This phase can oftentimes make newborn photos extremely difficult due to baby’s constant need to eat. By pushing the session off until after the cluster feeding stage, newborns are able to sleep more peacefully and are satiated with a full belly. I often ask parents to give their baby a nice, full feeding so they’re “milk drunk” and in a deep sleep.

3. Deep Sleep Patterns

Newborns spend a significant portion of their early days sleeping, often in deep slumber. This state of restfulness allows photographers to carefully manipulate props and create intricate setups without disturbing the baby’s tranquility. The resulting images exude a sense of calmness and tranquility that resonates with parents and viewers alike.

As babies get older (usually after the first month), their sleep patterns become more predictable. Babies tend to be more awake and observant as they get older, making newborn photos difficult to achieve after one month of age. Rest assured however – scheduling your session between days 15 and 21 will still result in amazing newborn photos!

4. Minimal Skin Imperfections

Within the first few weeks of life, many newborns still retain the flawless skin characteristic of the womb. Blemishes, rashes, and peeling skin, which may appear later, are typically absent during this period. As a photographer, this means fewer distractions and a focus on capturing the purity and innocence of the newborn’s features.

However, if your baby does struggle with baby acne and you’re worried about how it might affect your photos, check out this article from Pampers on the causes and treatments for baby acne that you can try at home.

5. Parental Adjustment Period

For parents, the first few weeks of parenthood are a whirlwind of adjustments and bonding with their new baby. If older siblings are involved, it’s even more important to spend a little extra time bonding and adjusting to your newly grown family. By scheduling the photoshoot within the 15 to 21-day window, parents have had some time to settle into a routine and recover from the initial exhaustion of childbirth. This allows them to fully enjoy the experience of the photoshoot and participate in creating lasting memories with their newborn.

While the 15 to 21-day mark is considered optimal, every baby is unique and flexibility is key. Some newborns may thrive in front of the camera even beyond this timeframe, while others may be more comfortable within the first two weeks of life. As a photographer, my practice is to communicate with parents, understand their preferences, and prioritize the safety and comfort of the baby above all else.

In conclusion, the ideal age for newborn portraits lies within the brief but precious window of 15 to 21 days old. During this time, newborns exhibit a perfect balance of flexibility, sleepiness, and pristine features, allowing photographers to create timeless images that celebrate the innocence and beauty of new life. I am thrilled to let you know that your baby is not too old for a newborn portrait session! As guardians of these fleeting moments, it’s our privilege and responsibility to capture them with care, precision, and an unwavering commitment to preserving memories that will be cherished for generations to come.

if you’re expecting your own little bundle of joy this year we would love to have you on the calendar. Summer bookings are available. Please visit photobyashleigh.co/contact to start planning your full service newborn portrait session today!

Photos by Ashleigh is a professional newborn & child portrait artist based out of Oklahoma City. We proudly serve the communities of Moore, Norman, Oklahoma City, Tuttle, Newcastle, Mustang, Yukon, The Village, Edmond, Guthrie, Piedmont and surrounding cities.

  1. Susan says:

    This is a great informative post on Newborn Photos! Great prep info for new moms and dads!

  2. This is great news for moms wanting newborn photos! Many photographers insist that the baby be a certain age which means there is a limited window. Your newborn portraits are absolutely gorgeous, Ashleigh!

    • Ashleigh Maxey says:

      Thank you so much, Michelle! I love being able to photograph babies that other photographers deem “too old” for newborn photos!

  3. Brandi says:

    Ok, these are just the most beautiful newborn photos! I love that you like the older babies. As a first time mom I would not have thought about newborn photos so early and your local clients are blessed that you will work with babies over 2 weeks old and still get these stunning images!

    • Ashleigh Maxey says:

      Thank you, Brandi! Some of my most favorite sessions are with babies over 2 weeks old, and I hear moms apologize for not coming in sooner. I hope this blog post helps ease some of that anxiety for them!

  4. Jodi Major says:

    I love your explanations on when and why to get newborn photos. These newborns certainly are adorable.

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