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The Best Time To Take Newborn Photos: A New Parent Guide

The world of parenthood and babies is pretty foreign to most of us before our first child arrives.  Is Sophie really just a plastic giraffe?  What makes this stroller so special?  Do wipes really need to be warmed up?  And am I too late to have newborn photographs taken?  If you’re feeling a little lost or needing some direction- you’re not alone.  We all felt that way!  I may not be able to answer all of your newborn questions but I’ve created this resource to walk you through the ins and outs of Newborn Photography.  This guide will answer all of your questions like when is the best time to take newborn photos, what should you bring to your session, what should you wear and so much more.  I hope it helps!

newborn baby sleeping with white blankets draped over him for best time newborn photos

When Should You Schedule Your Newborn Photographer?

The best time to start researching and ultimately book your Newborn Photographer is in your 2nd Trimester.  Although that may seem early, I only take a limited number of newborn clients each month to ensure each family has a relaxed and completely tailored experience.  Therefore, those slots fill quickly so the earlier the better!

When we schedule your newborn session, I put your due date on my calendar.  Chances are, you probably won’t deliver your little one on that specific date but it allows me to reserve that time frame for you and your family.  Once your baby arrives, we’ll schedule an actual date for your session based on your baby’s birthdate.

newborn girl in white diaper stretching while sleeping

What Age is Best For Newborn Portraits?

I typically schedule newborn sessions when your baby is between 7-14 days old.  This is the best time for newborn photos because your little one is still very sleepy and super comfortable in those curled up positions.  While your baby sleeps, I can photograph her in various positions, change her outfits and even add in siblings and parents!

newborn baby in white diaper sleeping on belly for best time newborn photos

Although those first two weeks are often though of as the ideal time, photographing an older newborn baby is incredibly special and some parents prefer having older newborn photos.  Babies between 2 weeks and 5 weeks are more awake and this creates meaningful portraits with beautiful eye contact and connection!  Although older newborns don’t curl up the same way younger ones do, they are still so little.  No matter which time you end up choosing,  I know you’ll always cherish these images.

newborn baby in white onesie looking at camera for best time newborn photos

Should Parents and Siblings Be Included in the Session?

This is a personal choice but siblings and parents are always welcome and included in my Newborn Portrait Sessions.  Plus, I provide beautiful dresses for mom and happily coordinate hair and makeup so you can feel your absolute best for the session.  If your little one has older siblings, I offer complete wardrobe planning for them.  This ensures that everyone looks great and coordinates with one another WITHOUT you having to do it yourself!

big sister kissing head of newborn brother while holding him in arms

What to Wear For Mom

If you’d prefer to choose your outfit yourself, I completely understand!  My advice is to wear a flowy dress in light or muted colors.  First of all, your body is still adjusting in those first few weeks after giving birth.  Flowy dresses give you room to feel comfortable while still looking so feminine and beautiful.  Secondly, dresses that flow and move with you photograph so well!  They can drape and hang perfectly and show gorgeous movement while you sway and cuddle your little one.  Finally, choosing soft, light and muted colors creates a peaceful palette that’s perfect for your little one’s nursery!  My favorite go-to boutiques are Baltic Born, Nothing Fits But, and Pink Blush.

newborn baby in moses basket surrounded by white blankets for best time newborn photos

What to Wear For Kids

It can seem overwhelming to find outfits that fit, are clean and coordinate with each other so I happily do this planning for you.  However, if you enjoy planning this out yourself, that’s great!  The three tips I have are:

  1. Don’t match the outfits perfectly- create looks that coordinate together.  Instead of having everyone wear the same thing, find two or three colors that work with your home décor and aesthetic.  For me, it’s white, blue and tan.  Find outfits that contain those colors.  For example: a blue dress and white hair bow for your daughter and chino pants with a white Henley for your son.
  2. Avoid patterns and logos…like the plague! The best thing to do is find clothing with minimal patterns and designs and without any graphics/logos.  Busy patterns don’t photograph well and bold designs can over power your little one.  Graphics and logos will date your portraits and we always want to aim for a timeless look.
  3. Softer colors over bold, saturated colors will look better! When colors are too bold and saturated (think a strong orange or a bright fire engine red), they cast color on your child’s face and surrounding areas.  More muted colors will allow your little one to shine and not their clothing!

siblings looking down at newborn in moses basket

Newborn Safety

Your baby is so tiny and delicate and that’s why his safety is paramount!  I have gone through extensive newborn safety training so your little one’s well-being is always my top priority throughout your session. Prior to your session, I’ll ask about your delivery- if there were any complications and any health concerns I should be aware of.  This information helps ensure that I am holding and positioning your baby in the safest and most comfortable way for him and his little body.

In addition to being trained in newborn safety, I also employ a baby-led posing method.  I believe strongly that newborns are beautiful just the way they are and their portraits should reflect how YOU see your baby. By using a baby-led posing method, I position your baby in natural sleeping poses and I allow him to adjust based on his comfort.  This is an incredibly safe and peaceful process and it truly puts your little one’s comfort and safety above all else.

newborn baby sleeping with toes in focus and head blurred

What Can You Do To Prepare For Your Newborn Session?

There actually ARE a few things you can do the morning of your newborn session that help provide a peaceful environment for you and your baby.  The first thing is to dress your newborn in a onesie or an outfit that has a full length zipper or snaps.  If your little one falls asleep, I can easily remove her clothing without disrupting her sleep.  Secondly, it’s important to try to keep your newborn awake one hour prior to your session time.  This way, she’s nice and sleepy once we begin! Thirdly, hold off on feeding your newborn until you arrive at the studio.  I build in plenty of time for a good, long feeding so take your time!  A full belly will also help your little one fall fast asleep.  Finally, I keep the studio around 80°F to ensure your baby is warm and cozy so please dress comfortably for this warmth!

black and white photo of newborn wrapped in white blanket for best time newborn photos

What Props are Used During a Newborn Session?

Very little, if any!  My style of photography is to keep everything simple.  This allows your little one to be front and center so the focus is purely on her.  By minimizing the use of props and keeping the background clean, your newborn’s beautiful little details are perfectly showcased.  I have a wonderful collection of cashmere and organic cotton wraps that I clean and prepare just for your baby.  Plus, I have a selection of timeless little bows, headbands, hats and bonnets.  Some families have a special heirloom receiving blanket or baby’s rattle they want to include.  This is a wonderful way to celebrate family and I love photographing your baby with such precious items.  Beyond this, though, there are no other props needed- just your beautiful little newborn!

newborn baby wrapped in white blanket looking at the camera

What Should You Bring To Your Newborn Session?

When designing my studio, I specifically had newborn moms in mind!  Therefore, there is very little you need to bring with you.  I have a private room, just for you, complete with a comfortable feeding chair, a Boppy and a changing table filled with diapers, lotions and wipes for you to use.  If accidents happen, I have plenty of burp clothes, onesies, blankets and cleaning supplies so I am fully prepared and ready!  Therefore, there are only a few things you may want to bring with you on the day of your session.  They are:

  • Pacifier
  • Extra bottle of pumped milk/formula
  • Extra clothes for baby to go home in
  • A sentimental family heirloom to include in the session
  • A magazine to read during the session. Quiet toys or coloring books for older siblings to play with after they’ve been photographed.

What are the best ways to enjoy your Newborn Portraits?

I offer several incredible ways to enjoy your portraits and my favorites are wall art, an heirloom album or a matted portrait box.  Framing your favorite portrait or two from your session allows you to enjoy them every single day.  Plus, it becomes a part of your home!  My Heirloom Albums are truly treasures you will pass down for generations.  Filled with all of your favorite images from your session, the heirloom album is a memory book that brings you back to the very beginning every time you open it up!  And finally, the Matted Portrait Box is a perfect combination of the two.  Not sure where you want to hang a framed portrait?  Is it hard to narrow down your favorites because they’re all so special?  Each image is completely matted and ready to be framed but also perfect for sharing with friends and family.

Framed newborn photography in nursery

Best time to take newborn photos

I hope this guide helps you feel more comfortable with your newborn photography session!  As a mom of two little boys, I know that kids are a whole new ballgame!  But, children truly bring a whole different type of love and happiness into your life.  If you would like to learn more about my newborn portrait sessions, I would love to talk!  Please click HERE to fill out my quick contact form and I look forward to connecting with you.  In addition to my website, I also have some other wonderful resources around my portraits sessions that may be of interest to you.  Here’s a couple of my favorites!

Dallas Children Photographer: The Most Important Milestones For Classic Portraits

White Studio Photography- What Makes it Special?

Thanks so much for joining me and I hope you visit me again soon!



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