Most newborn photography is done when the baby is asleep and that is why the window for accomplishing it is so short – ideally when your baby is between 5 and 10 days old and definitely in their first two weeks.
The reason for this is that babies are at their most sleepy at that age and can be (more) easily moved between poses without disturbing them. After the two week mark, they are far more engaged with the world around them and it gets much harder to move them without waking them. Plus they have started to stretch out and unfurl after their time all cosied and tucked up in the womb so they are less keen on those cute scrunched up poses.
So you might think that after this point, you would just take pictures of them while they are awake but there are a few reasons why this is very difficult to do. Firstly, they have arms and legs but no idea what to do with them or even that they are in charge of them at this point. This means that their limbs will automatically flail and that will generally be in front of their face making photography a matter of luck and timing to some extent. Also they don’t have the ability to focus their eyes yet, and so they can quite often have them crossed or open at different degrees while they are getting the hang of things. It doesn’t necessarily make for the best look in the photos. The final factor is that many babies aren’t that thrilled at just lying down on their own if they’re not sleepy – it’s much nicer for them to rest in loving arms of a parent which means that they can be quite unsettled if they ‘left on their own’. So that is why newborn photography takes place early and while they are asleep.
However, sometimes a baby will wake during their session and they just look perfect and content and so I’ll always grab an ‘eyes open’ shot if the opportunity presents itself. Just like the beautiful little lady above whose bright open eyes just look like she is really taking everything in!
A newborn photo shoot is best when your baby is between 5 and 10 days old as this is when they are at their maximum sleepiness and poseability to capture those dreamy shots. For this reason, I definitely recommend that you book when you are pregnant as this is one less thing to worry about scheduling when you’ve just got home from the hospital. We make an appointment for your due date plus 7 days and then adjust it as needed.
My newborn shoots include your three favourite digital images which you select from your online gallery a few weeks after your photo shoot – I don’t make you attend a sales or viewing session. Sessions take place in my warm and cosy studio in Crawley Down and cost £95.