When to Schedule Newborn Photos? Here’s Everything You Need to Know.

Your baby’s sweet little fingers, their tiny feet in your hands, their first look into your eyes, and your first family photo. Newborn photos are a family heirloom that you’ll cherish forever. These priceless images will capture a fleeting time in your baby’s new life that can never be replicated. These little ones just change and grow so fast! Each day will bring a new adventure, and they won’t stay in that newborn stage for long.

Having photos of your newborn will allow your family and even your baby (when they’re grown) to revisit those earliest days. The reason I absolutely love being a newborn photographer is that I get to help families — AKA my amazing clients — preserve this incredible moment in their lives. Regardless of whether you’re welcoming your very first child or adding even more joy to your family, newborn photography is a great idea and I’d love to help.

How soon should newborn photos be taken? Anne took them when baby was between 7 and 10 days old.

What is the best time to book a newborn photographer?

The best time to book with a newborn photographer is in the second trimester of your pregnancy. To some people, this can feel surprising! I get it. It sounds really early, but here’s the reasoning behind it.

There are only so many newborn photographers in Portland, Oregon (or in any city for that matter). Just think of how many babies are being born each week, or each day. Newborn photography is in high demand and schedules fill up fast.

For me personally, I try to limit my bookings to just four (or fewer) families per month. This helps me do a few things:

  • Since we won’t know the exact date that your little one will be born, we need the flexibility. Flexibility to finalize the actual session date once your baby arrives.
  • Limiting my newborn bookings to four per month allows me to take care of my clients as individuals. That means customizing their sessions to their unique needs and vision, and dedicating myself fully to giving them a newborn photo experience they’ll love.
  • It also allows me to spend time with my own family and give my toddler all the play time and cuddles she wants!

Generally, searching for and booking with a photographer in your second trimester is the way to go. But what if you’re already passed that window? Don’t worry! You’re totally fine. Please get in touch right away and I can let you know if I’ll have availability around your due date.

Precious newborn picture of a 7-day-old.

Bonus Tip

If you’ve also been giving thought to having maternity photos taken, scheduling your maternity and newborn photo session at the same time is a fantastic idea! Here are a few reasons to think about booking these two important dates at the same time.

  • You know the photography style will be consistent across both your edited maternity and newborn photos.
  • By the time you have your newborn session, you’ll already know and be comfortable with your photographer. You’ll have a rapport and history, and it’ll feel much better to have your newborn in the hands of someone you already know and trust from a previous photo session.
  • Many photographers — including me — offer discounts for scheduling maternity and newborn sessions as a package.
When to take newborn photos? This lil' guy is just 7 days old!

What is the best age to schedule newborn photos?

Short Answer: Between 7 and 10 days old!

Long Answer: The absolute best time to take photos of your newborn is near the beginning of their second week when they’re between 7 and 10 days old. Why is that? At that age, your baby is still very sleepy (adorable), tiny (aww), and flexible (a must-have for the classic newborn poses you’ve been seeing). Another consideration is that after that second week, many babies will begin cluster feeding. Aside from being a new challenge for parents to tackle, cluster feeding will often reduce the number of cute poses and setups that we can cover during your newborn’s first photo shoot.

All that said, it’s always better a little later than never! Scheduling newborn photos on days 14, 18, or 21 is much better than missing this once-in-a-lifetime photo op. The photos will be just as special and you’ll cherish them just as much; we’ll just change up which poses and newborn props I use to support all the ways in which your newborn is growing.

I love, love, love the egg wrap on with beautiful baby boy.

What Happens Between Booking and the Actual Photography Session?

To give you an idea of what to expect, here’s what a basic timeline might look like once a client books with me:

  1. I chat with you over the phone to learn all about what you’re looking for and what I offer.
  2. You come in for a free in-studio consultation to view my products in person, plan session colors, and book your session.
  3. Baby’s due date is October 14th, so they’ll go onto my studio’s Baby Watch calendar.
  4. Baby arrives a bit early — healthy and happy — on October 9th.
  5. You text me on October 10th letting me know that baby is here!
  6. I text back with a few options for session dates and I’ll hold these open for 24 hours so you can take your time choosing which one works best.
    1. Remember: I recommend choosing a date when baby will be between 7 and 10 days old. That’s when they’ll still be the tiniest, sleepiest, and most flexible.
  7. You choose October 19th at 10:00 AM. You’ve officially scheduled your newborn photos!
  8. You come in that day, relax, hang out, and occasionally take some photos; I take care of all the rest!
  9. A week later you review your photos and choose which ones you love!
  10. I edit the photos, upload them for you to approve, and submit your order.
  11. You pick up your heirloom art products and enjoy them for the rest of your life, eventually passing them down to your child.
Don't sleep on it. Book a newborn photographer in the second trimester if you can.

What if my baby has already been born and I still need newborn photos?

First of all, congratulations! Second, please get in touch right away! I still may be able to do a phone consultation with you. If you feel like I’m a great fit for you and your family, get you booked and on my newborn photography schedule.

Where are newborn photos taken?

My newborn photo sessions are all held in my intimate and cozy home studio in Southeast Portland. I’m just east of Sellwood off of Johnson Creek and SE 36th. My studio is designed from the ground up to be absolutely perfect for capturing beautiful, timeless, and joy-filled photos. My lounge area is also a pretty great place for “sleep-challenged” new parents to take a much-needed break while I take care of your baby for a few hours.

While I’m primarily a studio photographer (when it comes to newborns), I can also offer families special packages that include a “lifestyle” newborn session in their home as well. However, I don’t offer standalone lifestyle sessions.

I'm not-so-secretly in love with black and white macro newborn pictures.

What are the next steps?

The next step from here would be to get in touch and set up a free in-person consultation. Having a pre-session consult with any potential photographer is key. This is an important decision and a big investment, and you want to make sure you love the photographer you end up working with! That’s why giving my clients the chance to meet me, see my studio, and go over all their questions before booking is so important to me. During your complimentary consultation appointment, we’ll spend a full hour getting to know each other, talking all about newborn photography, and I’ll answer any and all questions you may have. I’ll also:

  • Let you see (and touch) all the fine art products I offer (premium albums, museum-quality canvases, metallic prints, and more).
  • Show you my extensive collection of newborn wraps, clothes, and props.
  • Give you the chance to peruse my maternity and family client closet.
  • Talk through any concerns with you all well; I want you to feel confident and excited when you book with me.

Having you come in for a consultation appointment also gives me a great foundation from which to design a world-class photography experience. It’s a crucial part of how I serve my clients well.

If you decide to book at that time, you’ll pay a creative fee, you’ll get your welcome packet, and you’ll officially get on my schedule for newborn photos.

I can’t wait to meet you!

Zoe 🙂

These Portland newborn and sibling shots were photos cute to handle.

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