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A Photographer’s Definition of Newborn

Two weeks or younger…

A photographer’s definition of a newborn may vary vastly from the general public’s idea of a newborn. Typically a photographer considers a newborn a baby that is two weeks or younger – this is because the newly-born stage of life is extremely special! Your baby is very sleepy and pliable – two traits that can set the stage for some exceptionally creative newborn portrait art.

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But my baby is 3 weeks old already!

Never fear! All is not lost! While most photographers prefer to work with younger newborns, this isn’t to say that beautiful artwork cannot be created with a baby that is older than two weeks, nor is it a guarantee that every baby under the age of two weeks is going to be the perfect model.  All babies are different, of course!

Whenever possible, I recommend scheduling your newborn’s portraits between day five and fourteen. This seems to be the ideal window of opportunity for working with newborns.  If you have missed this window, don’t worry – I will still schedule your session for as soon as possible so that we capture the newness of your little one!

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From 5 days to 8 weeks…

I approach all sessions for babies under 8 weeks of age as if the baby were under two weeks of age – if he will sleep soundly and let us curl him into those adorable poses, we definitely do them! However, if your baby is more “awake” (even if they aren’t fussy) the curled-up, sleeping poses may not be possible.  Wide-eyed portraits are just as beautiful and I have a lot of ways to pose and work with a baby who isn’t the least bit sleepy.

The fussy ones…

Some babies are just flat out fussy during their sessions – but don’t worry!  I am first, and foremost, a mom and have been in your shoes before!  I have also been photographing newborns for nine years – I’ve experienced it all!  It’s a rare session where, with a little (okay, a LOT) of patience, beautiful portraits can’t be created.  While I typically schedule all newborn sessions in the morning, if you have noticed that your baby is typically fussy in the morning but calm in the afternoon, definitely let me know!  This pattern may not reveal itself until after the first two or three weeks, but for babies over the three or four week mark, it is definitely important to work with the time of day they are the happiest!

Your job: Sit back and relax!

Whether your newborn is two weeks, or two months, the most important thing to remember is to NOT STRESS their portrait session. I set no expectations of your newborn prior to the session – every child is different and I take cues from them on what they will, and will not, do for me.

2 thoughts on “A Photographer’s Definition of Newborn

  1. Great post and so informative!!

  2. Very informative and great for new parents to read to know what to expect during the newborn session.

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