When Should Newborn Photos be Taken?

December 23, 2022

Wondering when you should schedule your newborn photos? Let me answer all of those questions for you and a few more you might have overlooked! I know this process can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. The process is simple, book early with a trusted photographer, and you’ll be in good hands. Read on for some more information about when you schedule your newborn photos.

When to Schedule

The short answer to when you should schedule newborn photos is early on in pregnancy. If you want a particular photographer, it never hurts to schedule as soon as you need their services. Getting on their calendar early ensures you lock in a rate, guarantee a spot in the studio, and also gives you time to consider pairing a maternity session as well! The unpredictable nature of newborn deliveries limits the amount of newborn clientele a photographer can take during any given month. We have to allow room for early and late deliveries, unexpected complications or delayed healing, and even sibling sickness. An added perk for scheduling early: checking it off your ‘to-do’ list!

When to schedule your newborn photos

Should I Have Maternity Portraits Taken?

Again, the short answer is hell yes! In my opinion, NO ONE is going to regret taking these images. You are documenting a very important milestone in your life and in your family – make some lasting memories! How fun will it be to share those images with that baby years down the road? Decades later? Don’t worry about not feeling ‘yourself’ or ‘nothing fits’ or you fill in the blank. Schedule the maternity portraits and let your photographer help you feel beautiful. Maternity gowns are designed to flatter every shape and accentuate the best parts of pregnancy! Many photographers (myself included) even offer client closets so you can use their gowns for your session and don’t even have to worry about getting clothing!
Trust me, these photos will be treasured. Maternity portraits are best taken between weeks 28-32, when your baby bump is round and beautiful, but not so uncomfortable as it may be in those last weeks!

studio maternity portrait

When Should Newborn Photos be Taken?

The ideal window for newborn portraits is between days 7 and 21. That time frame is when babies are still very sleepy, easy to move between poses without much soothing, and the biggest perk is their curled up position. Think about it. They’ve spent the last 9 months tucking their legs to their chest, and keeping their arms pulled in aside from those occasional stretches and somersaults. The first weeks outside of the womb allows for them to be put right back into those womb-like positions because it’s where they are comfortable. Have you heard of the newborn scrunch? When you pick up a newborn under their arms and their knees automatically lift up to their belly? Yeah, that doesn’t last (unfortunately). If you like those curly newborn poses, where they seem to have no limit to their flexibility, make sure your session is scheduled within those first few weeks.

newborn boy in newborn photography session

What if my Baby Comes Early?

Not a problem! Babies are going to be unpredictable. Even if you have a scheduled cesarean, that baby may decide to evacuate the week before on their own! If that happens, we can adjust the newborn session to ensure everyone is recovered and healing properly. If your little one had to stay in the NICU, or had any other complications, the priority is recovery. We just touch base along that road, when you’re home and ready for the session, we schedule. I always leave room in the schedule for those changes.

newborn baby girl wrapped for her newborn portraits

What if my Newborn Baby Comes Late?

This scenario is a bit different. Because babies that stay in utero for longer than 40 weeks still typically follow the same developmental scale (meaning they still stretch out around that 3-4 week mark, have longer awake periods, even get the beloved baby acne around 2-4 weeks) we want to adjust your session to keep you within that 3 week period of your due date. That being said, if mom or baby needs time to recover, that again is always the priority. If everyone is healthy and well? We may adjust that session date to be closer to a week after their birthday instead of 2-3.

beautiful flower wreath surrounds newborn baby girl on a pink backdrop

What to Take Away for Your Newborn Portraits

The ideal time for newborn portraits is 7-21 days after the baby’s due date. Trust the process to a photographer that knows newborn developmental milestones and you’ll be in good hands. Click below if you’d like to get on my schedule!


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photography + design by Jessica Johnston © Jessicajohnstonphotography 2023

follow along @jessicajohnstonphoto

photographing babies and families in Noblesville, Carmel, Westfield, Fishers and Indianapolis