The Best Age to Take Newborn Photos

Some photographers have strict rules for when they choose to photograph newborns. Others will photograph an eight-week-old and consider it under the banner of a "newborn session." Some photographers will even photograph the birth or come to your hospital as soon as your baby arrives. So what are newborn photos exactly, when should you schedule them, and when's the ideal time to take them?

Dad holding newborn baby with baby's hand wrapped around his finger.
This photo was taken when baby Madeline was a little over three weeks old. I captured her in her crib, on the rocking chair, on the couch, and in her parents' arms. She was awake for the first portion of the session and eventually fell asleep in mom's arms. Minimal retouching was done to remove only some of the acne spots.

What is a Newborn Session?

A newborn session is different from birth photography and photos taken in the hospital (commonly referred to as a Fresh 48 Session, i.e. photos taken within the first 48 hours of baby's life). The majority of newborn photos are taken between 6-12 days old. Some newborn photos are taken as old as 3-4 weeks. I'd consider anything taken within the first month of baby's life to be true newborn photos.

NOTE: If you're wanting photos taken while you're still in the hospital, then you'll want to hire a birth photographer or a photographer who offers Fresh 48 sessions.