When to Take Newborn Photos
Newborn babies seem to change almost daily, so finding a way to preserve each phase of their growth is essential. You’ll probably have a million photos on your phone, but there’s something really special about having intentional photos of your baby, too.
When Should We Take Newborn Photos?
From the second she’s born, your newborn is beautiful. This is an undisputed fact. Another fact, however, is that even though your baby is already beautiful, she will be a little swollen and possibly have other visible signs of the trauma of birth. Giving her body time to work through a few of those initial stresses will make her newborn photos even more perfect. We’ve been repeatedly told by photographers that 5-10 days old, even up to two weeks, is the magic time for newborn photos. But if you’ve missed this two-week mark, still go for it! You won’t ever be sorry to have memories captured.
One more thought on when to take photos: If you’ve just given birth, chances are you aren’t feeling your most beautiful and the thought of having that forever immortalized is definitely unappealing. But trust me–just take the photo. They will turn out better than you think and the memories are worth it. Even if you still have a soft belly and feel swollen everywhere, that phase is worth remembering, too. You’ve just done something amazing!
What to Wear for Newborn Photos
We’ve put our kids in all kinds of things for their newborn photos. It’s completely up to you to decide which outfits fit best with what you’re looking for. Just make sure that you’ve got a backup (or two!) in case the baby decides to either spit up or send other fluids to make that perfect outfit a little less than perfect. We’ve found our favorite photos have our baby in a clean, white onesie or wrapped in a special blanket. Then it’s way more about the baby than what she’s wearing.
There are always trends with newborn photos, too. Big headbands, for example, were a major trend when we had our first. You can ask your photographer for ideas of what to use. They may even have some things on hand that will fit with current trends. If you’re taking your own photos, a simple online search could give you more ideas.
How to Wrap or Swaddle a Newborn for Photos
The number one thing to consider when wrapping your baby for a photo is making sure your baby is comfortable. WIth that in mind, wrapping will change depending on the type of blanket you are using. If you have a soft, fluffy blanket, a tight swaddle will be impossible. This type of blanket will work best just loosely wrapped around your baby, creating a beautiful backdrop for that perfect little face.
If you want to highlight how tiny your baby is, using a thin, stretchy blanket will allow you to tightly (but not too tight!) swaddle your baby into a little bundle. You can either tuck the extra blanket under the baby or let it drape.
How to Pose for Newborn Photos
I am by no means a professional photographer, but the photos of ours that have worked out best have just been the ones that are the most natural. Baby lying cuddled in a blanket on a bed or even in a basket. Or our family sitting together on the couch with the baby in my arms. The ones that didn’t work out so well were when the photographer tried to have our very tiny newborn baby sitting up while she was sleeping–she honestly looks dead! Just make sure that if the photographer starts setting something up you’re not loving that you say something. Don’t waste time and money on poses you know you’d never display in your home.
How to Take Newborn Photos at Home
If you’re taking photos yourself, just make sure you are aware of your light. Natural light makes for the best photos. Make sure the light is shining on faces, not coming from behind. Position your baby near a window and let the natural light–especially if it’s diffused–highlight your baby’s best features.
Some of the most precious photos are ones of everyday moments, not staged ones. Having memories saved of the baby in his real environment will be priceless. Try and capture things that happen naturally at home: feeding the baby, rocking the baby to sleep, siblings gathered around the newest member of their crew. If you need some inspiration, look through images online and recreate and personalize your favorites.
How Much are Newborn Photos
Professional photos are pricey. Where we live, a newborn photo session runs about $500. There are photographers who are less established who might charge less, but expect to pay several hundred dollars. If possible, see if they will do your full family. We’ve been able to get photographers to do a few full-family shots, individuals of each of our kids, and a couple of newborn shots. Also ask about whether or not you will have the digital rights to the photos–this will save you a ton of money and allow you to print however and how often you’d like.
The Bottom Line
Take as many photos as you can of the newborn phase. Don’t worry about perfection, about having the house clean, or about everyone in their Sunday best. Life is worth remembering and that newborn stage is gone in a blink.