The answers to your questions about the Lifestyle Newborn Photography timeline
How old should my baby be for a lifestyle newborn session? Does my baby need to be under two weeks?
Not necessarily, but I do recommend a younger baby. My goal is always to photograph your family between 10 and 14 days old. The older your baby gets, the more awake they are. You might have the most easy going baby in the world, but in your lifestyle newborn session, that can change quickly. When I am photographing your baby, and your family, there is quite a bit of moving around. The baby is posed in their crib, in your arms, in dad’s arms, and even with siblings. Newborn babies usually don’t mind that, but as they get older, all the passing around can make them irritable. A three to four week old baby is still pretty sleepy, but they will notice my touch and all the passing around more than a 10 day old baby will.
There are always factors that can alter that timeline. Sometimes moms need more time to heal after a c-section, babies spend time in the NICU, but truly just about anything can happen. While 10 to 14 days in my recommendation, I am always flexible with my families.
Why do newborn photographers prefer sleeping babies?
The easy answer: sleeping babies are calm and happy!
The truth is that the newborns don’t really “like” being awake. When newborns are awake, they expect to be eating, or they are otherwise a little fussy. It’s hard to photograph a fussy baby, so it’s easier to get them fed and settled before we try to photograph your sweet baby and the family.
Also, newborns don’t really have control of their movements, yet. It can be difficult to photograph an awake newborn in a flattering way. Since they don’t have control of their movements, their arms and hands tend to go up over their face, or make punching motions. At this age, their vision is also still developing. My big black camera can sometimes get their attention, but many times, they cross their eyes trying to focus or look away. Sleepy babies look peaceful and sweet, which is what we all remember about this phase.
Aimee Hamilton is a lifestyle newborn photographer located in Dallas, TX and always happy to answer your newborn photography questions. For more information about a lifestyle newborn session with AHP, fill out the contact page, here.