What age is best for my newborn photo session?
Depending on what you envision for your newborn photos, there are a few different "sweet spots" for newborn photography. First, you'll need to decide if you want posed or lifestyle newborn photography. Posed newborn photographers often will only take babies during a very narrow window of time, in order to have a moldable baby who can sleep in a variety of positions. Lifestyle newborn photographers are often a bit more flexible in terms of timing.
As a lifestyle newborn photographer, I have a very natural, baby-led approach to sessions and photograph baby in natural positions with a focus on family connection, so there isn't as strict of a timeline for a newborn session with me. I'll list my preferred "sweet spots" ( and why I love them) below, but know that just as every baby, birth, and family are different, so is every newborn photo session! Our goal is to capture your family as authentically as possible, which means this timeline may vary, and that's okay!
The Fresh 48 sweet spot
Obviously, Fresh 48 sessions have a very narrow window of time to begin with, since they need to be scheduled at your place of birth and a postpartum hospital stay is typically only 36-48 hours. My favorite time to schedule a Fresh 48 session is the day after you've given birth, in the morning hours (typically when baby is around 24 hours old). This allows any pain medication side effects to lessen for moms (.e., if you've had an epidural, you are well past the point of having any lingering numbness and can typically stand up to get some images with the hospital bassinet), but we aren't cutting it too close to discharge time when you'll have lots of doctors and hospital staff coming in for your last checks.
The Lifestyle Newborn session sweet spot
I prefer to schedule my lifestyle newborn sessions for when baby is 5-15 days old - for a few reasons. By day 5, moms are typically able to move around a bit easier and families have settled in a bit at home. Jaundice typically peaks in newborns around days 3-4, so by waiting until at least day 5, we lessen the chance that their skin tone is unnaturally yellow. Newborn features change VERY quickly (a big reason why newborn session are so popular is that families want to bottle up that fleeting littleness!), so once you start getting past the 2-3 week mark, newborns start to grow and change beyond their newborn features faster than you might think! In addition, newborn acne typically flares around weeks 4-6.
So, I've found 5-15 days works very well for lifestyle newborn sessions! That said, lifestyle sessions are flexible. If mom or baby experiences birth complications or simply isn't up to having photos so soon, we can move past that time window - just know that older babies are typically more awake, so you might not get those sleepy new baby photos you often see in newborn sessions.
Okay, but how does this work if I don't know when my baby will be born?
Newborn due dates are really just guess dates, and babies frequently arrive at 38-41 weeks gestation. Unless you have a planned C-section, no one really knows when baby will be born (and even then, things can change and dates can be moved as your pregnancy progresses). I only take a select number of due dates each month to ensure I can serve each family well. So, when you book your newborn photography session with me, your due date gets saved on the calendar, and you simply update me when baby is actually born so we can get your session scheduled!