First of all – I’m realizing you might think by the title of this post that I’m about to write about when you should call me to schedule your newborn session. The answer to that question is short and sweet and not even worthy of a blog post, really. You should call me now. Assuming you’re pregnant, that is. I always bend over backward to make time for newborn sessions, but in some months there are just tragically few days and there’s only so much I can do to save room. Some people get in touch before the news of their pregnancy is out, and at least one fave mama reached out before she even told her husband. (Isn’t that awesome?) So, the sooner the better. Now that we’ve settled that …
What date should you plan for your newborn session? Is it absolutely crucial to take newborn photos during the first two weeks of baby’s life?
Here’s the beauty of lifestyle newborn photography the way I do it. The goal is NOT to wrap your baby up in coordinating blankets and hats, get them to sleep curled up like a frog in a blanket with a flower or a bear and create art a la Anne Geddes. To make that magic, you’ve got to take photos when baby is brand-spanking new and basically still molded into the shape of your belly. (Nothing against that style; it’s just not how I do it. If that’s what you want, ahem, you’re on the wrong website).
What is the goal of my newborn lifestyle sessions? It’s to tell your exciting story of right now – the story of what it looked and felt like to bring your baby home and welcome them into your family. Babies grow and change so fast that your sleep-deprived head will be spinning and you will not remember the little details without help.
That story is not your baby wrapped in stretchy fabric and balanced on a beanbag. It’s your baby in your arms; being held and fed and changed and walked and burped and cuddled and loved. We’ll take some portraits in pretty light as well, of course, but baby gets to decide whether she’s asleep or awake and where she puts her tiny fists for the picture.
So. The fact that we’re capturing baby in her natural habitat means that timing is less important. We’ll talk about what makes the most sense for you as a family and what you most want to remember. If that’s right after baby’s birth, I’ll mark your due date and protect time based on that. If that’s a few weeks after baby’s homecoming, we’ll choose a date in advance and keep it in pencil to allow for the inevitable unexpected.
There are two time frames that I recommend scheduling your newborn session. Both have pros and cons. Like many questions, this is one question that’s best answered with photos. And don’t worry – we’ll chat through all the considerations and make the best decision for you and your family. I look forward to telling your story!
Within Two Weeks of Birth
Baby is super brand-new. All curly and belly shaped. Tiny little scaly fingers, floppy limbs and fuzzy skin. The mood in the house is one of wonder – who is this new little family member, and what do everyone’s interactions with him/her look and feel like? Baby will likely sleep through just about anything at this stage, so you can probably get that classic sleep newborn look in mom’s arms, or on the bed, or in the bassinet, etc.
Up to Eight Weeks After Birth
Baby still has that newborn look, but is awake and alert more. Not quite as wrinkly and floppy, maybe he can follow you with his gaze. Family members are settled in a bit and getting used to the new addition. Baby is more likely to be awake and is starting to look a little more like his/her future self. Less likely to get those classic peaceful sleeping newborn images.
Should I have just started this long-winded answer by saying “it really doesn’t matter – there’s no part of this story that isn’t beautiful and that you won’t want to remember”? Maybe I should have – but doing so wouldn’t have required sharing of all these sweet newborn photos, so … no regrets. 🙂
Thanks for looking,
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