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What Age Is Best to Photograph a Newborn?

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What Age Is Best to Photograph a Newborn?


The newborn stage of a baby’s life is exciting, overwhelming, emotional, and beautiful. Sometimes, it can be tough to take time to enjoy the little moments. Getting newborn photographs is a great way to capture your little one during that brief period. 


So what age is best to photograph a newborn? Find out below! To get the best baby photos possible and have a pleasant photo-taking experience, time your newborn session correctly.

What Age Is Best to Photograph a Newborn?

What is the best age for newborn photos? The first two weeks after birth is the best age to get newborn photos. 


After the second week, many babies can develop cognitively, making them more sensitive to the photography experience. Some infants may also have colic, baby acne, or other issues. Getting baby photos earlier can help you avoid these issues. 

Newborn Milestones To Consider for Photography

Babies constantly develop throughout the first few weeks of their lives, and understanding milestones can help you choose the best age to photograph babies. 

Week One to Two

For the first few weeks of life, your child is mostly adjusting to being outside of the womb. They will likely need to sleep often, making them easier to pose and more amenable to a photo shoot. Most babies hit a big growth spurt around two weeks old. So, aim for before that to capture their look as a newborn baby.


Getting a professional newborn photo shoot right after birth is often not the best option for a few reasons. Firstly, mom needs some time to recover, and figuring out a new normal is essential, putting photos lower on the priority list. 


Immediately after birth, your baby may have a slight cone shape to their head. Many babies lose some weight upon delivery, and it can take a few days to plump back up again. No matter your baby’s growth stage, you can get adorable photos that capture the moment.


Since this is the best age for a newborn session, if possible, it is a good idea to schedule your newborn photo shoot during the first couple weeks of life. 

Week Three to Five

While the first few weeks are ideal timing for photos, life happens when you have a baby, and you can still get beautiful photos after the second week. Between weeks three to five, babies start vocalizations, snuggling, and smiling and are somewhat aware of the world around them. 


These developments are exciting to capture in photos. However, they can make the photography process more complex. So, it is a good idea to be prepared for more activity when your baby is closer to one month old. 


Week Six to Eight

As your baby grows, they keep developing and learning more skills. Around six to eight weeks, babies get better at the following:


  • Smiling
  • Recognizing colors
  • Holding up their heads
  • Recognizing sounds


The baby is generally more active and alert than in earlier stages. 


If your baby is in the right mood, their interest in the world around them can make them ideal photo subjects. At this age, they may be able to perform more poses and lie on their stomachs. Issues such as colic and acne often subside at this point, and parents may be getting the hang of daily life. 


Paying attention to your baby’s cues ensures a smooth photo experience. Their increased alertness can be a benefit and a drawback depending on the mood your baby is in and how they respond to stimulation. Sometimes a baby will just not put up with photos, and you may need to reschedule.

What To Expect From a Newborn Photography Session

Getting newborn photographs may seem daunting on top of all the other work that goes into caring for a newborn. However, if you know what to expect and how to prepare yourself, you can have an enjoyable experience and achieve beautiful photos. 


Baby’s Mood

While some babies are amenable to most situations, many newborn babies find new experiences and the stimulation involved in a photo shoot to be overwhelming. Before the photoshoot, consider how your specific baby may respond to this situation. 


An experienced newborn photographer will likely have a few tricks up their sleeve to help you get gorgeous photos. Plan a few strategies for soothing your baby during the shoot, including feeding, playing, and distracting. You may also want to schedule the photo shoot when you know your infant will be most agreeable.

What to Wear

Bring your baby in something comfortable to wear. A onesie or sleeper is a good idea. Many parents choose to get photographs of their children only in a blanket, while others prefer dressing their baby in heirloom items or other special outfits. You can also dress your newborn baby in accessories such as headbands and bowties.


If you or anyone else in the family will be in the photos, ensure they are dressed properly or have a change of clothes. Parents may hold the baby in some photos without the adults being visible. For those instances, you can bring comfortable clothing. 

What to Bring

Bring along any changes of clothes you want them to wear in photos or as a backup in case of spit-up or other accidents. 


Your usual diaper bag and other essentials are also vital for a smooth photo session. You do not want to run out of wipes halfway through the photo session. 


Your baby may need forms of pacification, whether a literal pacifier or toys and blankets. 


Bring any props you desire and communicate with your photographer about which props they offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Since baby photo shoots can seem overwhelming, getting your questions answered is essential. 

What is the best age for a premature baby photography shoot?

Since premature babies may spend their first few weeks in the NICU, they can’t participate in a family photography shoot. The most essential thing is that your baby is healthy. So, take your baby for a newborn photo shoot when they are safely out of the hospital. 

What if my baby is extra-sensitive to light?

Newborn babies can be sensitive to light. Most professional baby photographers consider how to make babies comfortable by using certain light and camera types. They may opt to photograph your baby with gentle studio lights rather than a flash. 

Can I bring props to a newborn photography shoot?

Check with your photographer to be sure, but the vast majority of photographers welcome your props to their newborn photography shoot. Usually, newborn photographers will also have their own props. Common props include stuffed animals, favorite toys, handmade clothing, heirlooms, accessories, sports gear, booties, and blankets. 

Can older siblings participate in a baby photography shoot?

If your other children want to be in some photos with their new baby sister or brother, you may want to check with your photographer of choice beforehand. Many photographers welcome the whole family to photo shoots as long as they have the proper time to prepare. 

Final Thoughts: The Best Age To Photograph a Newborn

So, what age is best to photograph a newborn? Every baby and family is different. So, get newborn photos whenever you and the baby are ready. If possible, try to get your newborn’s professional photos done within their first two weeks of life. 


Birth can be unpredictable. So, it is a good idea to plan your photo session before you give birth. Once you find a photographer who suits your needs, schedule to get your baby photographed and communicate with your photographer about the best time to have a shoot.

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