Newborn photography after 2 weeks – is it possible?
If you’ve started looking into Newborn Photography, you may have noticed many photographers only photograph infants when they are under 2 weeks. There are several reasons for this which I will go over but then I want to talk about my take on the “only under 2 week” rule and answer the question newborn photography after 2 weeks – is it possible?
When babies are first born, they still act very much like they are in the womb. This means they’re squishy and moldable and often very very sleepy the first 2 weeks of life (I swear my daughter didn’t even open her eyes for 2 whole days after she was born – and I wasn’t complaining because after 25 hours of unmedicated labor, I needed the rest too). Once they start getting past the 2 week mark, a few things happen: they start to become more alert and have longer stretches of awake time, their bones start to calcify and stiffen up and they have less flexibility (This is a real thing by the way! I was shocked to find out that babies have 300 bones when they’re born instead of 206 like you were taught in school), and sometimes baby acne hits and their skin is all broken out and awful looking. These are the primary reasons in a nutshell why some photographers don’t like to do newborn photography after 2 weeks.
Here’s the thing though… There are a litany of reasons why getting a baby into the studio for their newborn photography after 2 weeks can be hard, if not impossible.
- Maybe you had a really rough labor and delivery and needed to spend extra time in the hospital, or even once you’re home you may be hobbling around and the last thing on your mind is getting camera ready and being in a hot newborn photography studio.
- Maybe the baby came early and has to spend time in the NICU and you don’t even know when you’ll be coming home.
- Maybe the photographer got sick the week of your shoot and had to postpone (Especially with all the extra precautions around COVID we’re dealing with, we tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to any sniffles because you never know if it’s “just allergies” or not. And we don’t ever want to put our littlest clients at risk).
- Maybe you didn’t think you needed newborn photography until you laid eyes on your sweet baby and realized you have to document this time with more than just pictures on your phone and now you’re scrambling to find a photographer at the last minute.
- Maybe you belong to a culture that doesn’t allow the baby to leave the house before it’s a certain age.
All of these factors come into play when scheduling newborn photography of your new baby. I personally won’t photograph a baby under 7 days old. I’ve found that they are just a little too floppy and don’t have enough muscle tone to stay in any poses. And if you’re a breastfeeding mom, you’re still figuring out nursing and maybe your milk hasn’t even fully come in yet that first week. And we all know that a hungry baby is not a happy baby. No one wants all of their photos to be of their newborn crying.
Now, all that being said, there are a few caveats to this. If you absolutely have your heart set on specific poses (especially the more challenging poses like Froggy) it is more likely achievable when the baby is on the younger side. BUT age is not always a factor here either! I’ve had 10 day old babies refuse to go into certain poses and 5 week old babies rock Froggy like they’re getting paid to. Every baby is different! Some have tummy troubles and poses that squish their bellies are a no go. Breech babies are fantastic at Taco pose because it’s how they were in the womb, but maybe they don’t care to be stretched out the other way and have a stiff back and want to arch. Some babies are just boob monsters and no matter what the pose or setup is, they want to be held and nursed. The truth is, there are never any guarantees when working with these tiny little humans. As long as you manage your expectations for the photoshoot, we’re all good!
And just know, no matter your baby’s age, I will happily photograph them. Whether they want to sleep the whole time or be awake the full session, I have strategies to keep them content so we can create beautiful portraits of them at any age. There is no “wrong” time to bring your baby into our Cuyahoga Falls studio. I didn’t get the nickname “The Baby Whisperer” for nothing! So fear not, we got you.
Want more information on scheduling newborn photography? Fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch within 24 hours to chat details!