Best Time for Newborn Photoshoot

Wrapped newborn baby being held by parents

The first few days to the first few weeks of your little one’s life are so memorable and important. Whether they are the first ones to make you a parent or another amazing addition to your growing family, newborn photos give you the chance to freeze this moment in time and remember just how small they once were. 

As an award-winning Minnesota newborn photographer, I have been a part of telling the first chapter of so many little one’s lives, and one of the most common questions I get is, what is the best time for a newborn photoshoot? 

Especially if this is your first child, all of this may be uncharted territory, but I am here to help make this process as stress-free and enjoyable as possible. So, if you are expecting and want to make sure you capture these first amazing moments with your baby, here are some of my top tips for the best time for newborn photoshoots! 

family smiling with newborn and two older children

What is Newborn Photography?

Before we actually jump into when to plan these photoshoots, I want to talk a bit about the two types of newborn photography that I provide. Most of the time, you’ll see people talk about newborn photos within the first few days and newborn photos within the first few weeks. 

When it comes down to it, there is no right or wrong answer for which newborn photos are going to be best for you. You want to remember that you are doing this for you. You and your partner are beginning this exciting journey of raising a child together and you are probably going to have a lot of people over the years tell you what you should and shouldn’t do. 

When it comes to these photos, it’s important that you do what you want to do. But…if you are looking for a little guidance or just some extra insider information to help you pick what feels good, here’s what you can expect when it comes to these different types of sessions. 

newborn child sleeping on comforter

Fresh 48 Newborn Photography 

Just as the name suggests, fresh 48 newborn photography are session that happen within the first two days of your kiddo’s life. Typically, these even happen while you are still admitted to the hospital or birth center. 

So, why get photos so soon after your baby is born? I mean, won’t it feel too soon, or won’t you feel too tired to step in front of the camera after your first few nights with a newborn? 

Well, while you may be adjusting to having a new one up at all hours of the night, there is something so raw and organic and real about these first few days. This little human that you now get to watch grow up will never be this small again. 

While photos at any time in your kid’s lives are meaningful, fresh 48 hours are more intimate and authentic than a typical lifestyle newborn session at home. 

You always hear that your kids grow up in the blink of an eye, and people always say, “Oh, I remember when you were that small,” but how much more incredible would it be if you actually had professional photos that you could look back on from when they really were the tiniest of squishies? 

Even looking back on these photos 3 or 6 months down the road, you’ll be amazed at how fast they have grown and how much they have really changed since you first brought them home! 

fresh 48 newborns legs next to pregnant belly of parent

Lifestyle Newborn Photography 

Lifestyle newborn photography that is captured at home after hospital discharge is the most popular choice for my clients. The sweet spot for these photos is going to be anywhere between 5 to 15 days. This is normally the perfect time when they are still in their sleepier phase and before any cases of newborn acne start to creep up (and yes…that is a real thing for all of my first-time parents out there!). 

Unlike a heavily posed/wrapped studio newborn session which requires the baby to be in the first week of life, the beauty of lifestyle sessions is that there are no hard and fast rules on when you have to take these photos. If you and your family need a bit more time to settle in and recover, take it! I have had plenty of families that I work with take some extra time in those first few weeks, and we still captured all of the love and emotions of this new adventure. 

You may also be thinking, “Well, what if my baby is crying the whole session or just sleeps through the entire thing?” Great! I am here to capture the beauty and magic of your little one in their own space and being loved and cared for by their family. 

This means we focus on capturing real life. I believe your baby truly shines as they are, in your arms, and in their own space…not by themselves, intricately wrapped and sleeping in a set up with elaborate props. You too??  Then we just might be an excellent fit.

And believe me, I have seen the full spectrum of emotions – from newborns who sleep the whole session to those who are content just being there to those who just aren’t having the best day. But, with each and every one of them, we find a way to capture a beautiful and varied gallery that feels true to life! 

Just like most things in your life, I let your baby take the lead and will follow along wherever it takes us to make sure that at the end of the day, we all have an amazing time and you have incredibly special memories to look back on. 

Plus, doing these in-home sessions also means that we can include your pets in the photos too. After all, they are part of your family and are just as excited to welcome the newest addition to your family as you are! 

Golden retriever with paw on crib whilst newborn baby sleeps

When to Book a Newborn Photographer

So, regardless of whether you are looking to do 48-hour photos or general newborn lifestyle photos, you’ll still want to know when to actually book your photographer. And with this, there are a couple of things that you want to keep in mind. 

First, you do not (and I really mean do not) want to wait until your baby is born or almost ready to come out of the oven to start looking for a photographer. These are really authentic moments and photos that you are going to capture, so you want to make sure you are giving yourself enough time to find the perfect person (Of course, if you’re around the Minneapolis area, I’d love to be your photographer *wink wink*!)

newborn baby crying

I know that there are so many things that you are doing to prepare for the arrival of your little one, but I would suggest you start looking for a photographer sometime during your first or second trimester. This will give you plenty of time to find the right fit and reach out to anyone with questions. 

Now, when it comes to actually booking your sessions, this is where things are a bit tricky. Mainly, this is because your baby is going to do what they want to do. They are in a world of their own and are going to follow their own schedule which means they are going to come out when they want to come out. 

So, realistically, you won’t book your actual session before your baby is born. There are simply too many variables as to when your baby will actually make their grand entrance (early/late?), how long you will stay in the hospital before discharge, how much time you might feel like you need to recover, how much time your family might need to settle in at home and adjust to this major life change, etc.  

While each photographer may have their own process when it comes to booking your sessions, personally, I’ll have your due date on my calendar so that I can guarantee availability in the weeks before/after your estimated delivery date. 

I also completely understand that you may never feel completely ready to schedule your session. Your house is going to be a wreck, you other kiddos are going to be experiencing a whole heck of a lot of feels with this major transition, you’re likely going to feel like a walking zombie from lack of sleep. That’s all ok – I promise to keep this painless and deliver you photos that will make all that fade away.

Pro tip: be sure to let your photographer know what types of photos you want. If you are planning on doing 48-hour newborn ones, your photographer may want to be a bit more in the loop on how things are progressing and when your baby is expected just to make sure you don’t miss out on these first unforgettable moments with them! 

If you are sitting here and thinking to yourself, “This is great, but I think I want more than just this one session,” I have the perfect thing for you. My Baby Plan checks all the boxes with 4 sessions included and gives you the flexibility to choose when the sessions are, how many photos you get, plus, you’ll get a fine art album at the end with the best photos from each of the sessions!

And, because we all know babies can be expensive, this saves you $1,700 over the course of the plan (which, by the way, spans for the first year of your little one’s life!), plus the payments are split up across all of the sessions to give you more flexibility compared to upfront payments! 

four photographs of children, hand holds front photo of newborn and child

Final Thoughts On When to take Newborn Baby Photos

So, hopefully, this gives you a peek behind the curtain when it comes to newborn sessions and helps you and your partner get all your ducks in a row before the newest addition joins your family. 
If you are interested in learning more about my newborn photography service, then click here. Or you can head over here to get in touch with any questions you may have. I can’t wait to hear all about your new family member!

Covid-19 Update

I AM fully vaccinated and boosted.  With the rise of concerning variants, I DO continue to wear a mask for in-home sessions.  I am also more than happy to wear a mask for any outdoor sessions upon request.

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Minneapolis Newborn Photographers