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April 19, 2024

When to Take Newborn Photos


When to take newborn photos

When to take newborn photos is one of the biggest questions I receive on consultation calls with expecting parents. Is there a golden period we need to aim for, or does it really matter?

The answer is yes, there is a time frame we AIM for, but it is not a hard deadline by any means. There is NO wrong time to photograph your little one. When we photograph your baby, we want to get gorgeous portraits of your newborn, but we also want to allow your session to run as smoothly as possible so you’re not feeling stressed during photos. We want to avoid photographing baby at a time when they’re particularly fussy, hungry, or experiencing a growth spurt.

A collage of three images of a mother in light blue dress with her husband and newborn daughter.

So when is the ideal time to take newborn photos?

The ideal time to take newborn photos is in the first two weeks after birth. I list the reasons why below:

Babies are sleepiest in the first two weeks.

Having a sleepy baby allows a session to run super smoothly. We can wrap, hold, and pass off baby without them waking up and needing soothed. This also makes the session go fairly quickly! You shouldn’t be stressed about soothing baby during your session, so photographing baby when they’re sleepy and calm makes things easy, peaceful, and enjoyable. Even though I photograph newborn sessions with a lifestyle approach, having a calm, sleepy baby still allows the session to flow with ease.

Collage of three images of blonde mother, her newborn baby, and toddler daughter.

Cluster feeding usually begins around three weeks.

Cluster feeding is essentially when newborns or babies hit a growth spurt and want to feed for hours – literally! I loved when my babies were cluster feeding (during the day, that is) because I set myself up on the couch with a good book or show. The downside to cluster feeding is that it can make doing any task, including newborn photos, tricky if not impossible.

Baby acne also typically kicks in around 3 weeks.

Baby acne. Some babies skip it entirely, and some babies get it all over their face! This is totally normal, but since baby acne is temporary, we usually try to avoid it if we can. We want to document your little one’s chubby cheeks, sweet eyelashes, etc. without the distraction of acne.

Three images from a newborn session with a brunette mother in light blue dress and husband in blue button-up.

When you SHOULD do your newborn session after 2 weeks…

With all that said, the recovery of mom and baby take priority, so if mom needs a little more time to recover or both parents need more time to settle in at home, that is MOST important. We will work around everything above because at the end of the day, this is about you, your new baby, and the family you have created.

I have photographed babies at 4 weeks or even 8 weeks, and we’re still going to get beautiful photos.


In conclusion, the best time to have newborn photos is within the first two weeks, unless the parents need more time to recover or settle in. Babies are sleepiest in the first two weeks, making the session flow with ease, and they usually will begin cluster feeding and developing baby acne around the three week mark.

Brunette mother in blue Needle & Thread gown with her newborn.

Marie Elizabeth Photography | Newborn Photographer

Marie is a newborn photographer, specializing in a luxurious, full-service portrait experience. From planning your session to delivering custom fine artwork to your home, Marie takes care of all of the details. All Marie Elizabeth Photography clients are pampered with included professional hair and make-up and an array of whimsical dresses from the client wardrobe. Marie then will create exquisite works of art, such as heirloom albums and fine art matted prints to grace your home and lay your legacy.

Interested in both a maternity and newborn session? Marie offers a luxury membership to best document that first year with your little one. With perks such as birth announcements and album credit, the luxury membership is the perfect way to remember this special time. Reach out to learn more.

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