What is the Best Age for Newborn Photos?

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I am Neyssa Lee a Seattle area photographer, mom of 6, planning obsessed, and who help you see the beauty, love and joy, in your own family’s chaos. I also use my super power of time management to help fellow photographers take control of their businesses. Learn more by heading to my ABOUT ME page.

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best age for newborn photos, Seattle newborn photographer, father and newborn baby

When is the best age for newborn photos? How old (or young) should baby be for their newborn photography session?

There are many answers out there on this topic, and many strong opinions. I’m going to answer with the best age for newborn photos for how I photograph babies. I am a lifestyle newborn photographer, so if you’re looking for those super posed, studio photos, you’ll want to check in with those type of photographers for your answer. (Though I’m guessing it’s in the 5-12 days range).

If you’re a “skimmer, make sure you head to the bottom of the post for the Things to Consider!

Seattle Newborn Photography, Newborn baby in parent's arms

The best age for newborn photos is under two weeks old.

(I want to start this by saying, keep reeding if your baby is older, have I have big BUT….coming).

In those first few weeks, you’re riding on that high of new parenthood, baby is so fresh and tiny. The details still there such as the little poke on their foot, maybe even their umbilical stump still there.

If there are siblings, it’s still novel and exciting to be an older sibling. As time goes on, baby sister might be old news and less excited to sit and explore their sibling as I capture the magic.

My favorite age to photograph newborns is when they are home from the hospital for about a week.

Around a 7-11 days old, you’ve had a little time to get settled in at home. Mom is typically recovering well by this point, but the newness, excitement, adrenaline is all still there.

Will you likely be tired? Of course. I don’t expect your baby to sleep through the night at this point (or any point during the first year). Yet that’s the perk of an in-home lifestyle newborn photo session is that it takes place in your home. You don’t have to get ready AND leave the house. I come to you.

best age for newborn photos, Seattle newborn photography, family of five

Newborns can be beautifully photographed at 4 to 6 weeks old.

With all of the above information, your newborn can be beautifully photographed at 4 to 6 weeks old.

Whether life got in the way and you wanted more time to settle in, you forgot as the days ran together, or your baby had some time in the NICU, you’re not too late.

The baby featured above in this blog post was about one month old. She was alert most of the time, but still so beautifully tiny. I guarantee this family does not regret having photos taken of their baby girl.

Snoqualmie newborn photos of family of three

There are a few things to consider for the timing of your photo session.

While I truly believe there is no wrong time for newborn photos, there are a couple of developmental things that could impact your newborn baby.

Babies around 2-3 weeks old often get baby acne. While many babies it is just a few little red bumps, some babies it can be more intense. Although I do touch up baby’s skin, I’m not after a flawless, plastic skin look (remember your baby is perfect just as she is).

Six weeks old is a major developmental leap for babies. It could happen a tad early or a tad later, but the 6th week was the hardest week for all five of my children. They were just a bit fussier and wanted to be held all the time. Of course, I’m not after setting baby down and having baby unhappy. She can stay in your arms the entire time! Yet if you’re hoping for a little less stress and worry, I’d consider scheduling a little earlier or later than 6 weeks.

With all of these tips in mind, you may worry about trying to schedule at the best age for newborn photos.

When you book your session you are reserving your due date on my calendar. Then, once baby is here, we will schedule when you feel the best age for newborn photos is. When you are ready, whether that is when baby is 5 days or 5 weeks old.

Looking for more content to binge during those sleepless nights of pregnancy? Learn about newborn photography sessions, or even prep more with plenty of resources on the blog.