Most parents are extremely busy for the first 2 weeks after the baby arrives and often find themselves trying to book newborn session when most photographers say “its too late”. You may be wondering is this true that the newborn baby can only be photographed only for the first two weeks?
Most of the newborn photographers in San Jose prefer booking sessions under 2 weeks because they want the newborn session to go smooth and don’t want to put extra efforts for working with fussy baby. Often baby photography under 2 weeks is offered by beginner photographers(you don’t want to risk the safety of your baby, don’t you?). From the other side, many of my experienced fellow photographers prefer 3-4 weeks old babies since they gain weight back and get these wonderful rolls and well rounded checks, plumpy sweet toes and hands.
Being a very experienced newborn photographer with 500+ sessions behind, I can confidently offer newborn photography up to 6-8 weeks old, and often even up to 12 weeks old. BTW, the sweetest baby on the photographs is a 5 weeks old…and froggie pose for 5 weeks old baby is truly rare!
So what are the true limitations in newborn photography?
1. Nervous system development: while babies grow, they develop skin, sound, light and proprioceptive sensitivity. Some babies faster, some babies slower. It depends on their nervous system type which might be focused on acceleration or deceleration. Also, the babies develop startle reflex which you probably have already seen, and what’s important for the session is that become more sensitive to pose and outfit change. So, if you would like to try out a few baby girl dresses or baby boy’s outfits, you may want to book your session earlier!
2. At 3rd week babies experience growth spurt – the period of very fast growth when they begin cluster feed frequently, every 30 minutes. And their sensitivity increases dramatically. All of the sensations come right away and all together. The babies feel their hands, skin, movements, muscles. And the sensations really alert them. You will definitely see that on the 4th week they get used to these sensations and the become calmer.
3. Do you have a preemie baby? As a newborn photographer I frequently adjust the age if the baby was born a little bit earlier. Lets say the baby was born 4 weeks earlier, and we will photograph him at 6 weeks old – the baby adjusted age is approximately 3-4 weeks old. But its important to remember that the nervous system of the preemie babies develops faster than their body. They may become alert as the regular developing baby at 2-4 weeks old. with a preemie baby you also want to consider some extra time for them to gain some weight back. Normally, we photograph preemie babies up to 8 weeks old and sometimes older.
4. In general, it’s perfectly fine to complete newborn session within the first 4 – 6 weeks, yet be aware that babies become light sleepers after the second week. If you strive for perfection, please book earlier. The poses we offer are always and totally depend on the baby and what he or she allows.
5. Most of my bookings are completed 3-4 months since I only offer limited amount of newborn sessions to provide each of my client ultimate, fun and emotional experience from the 1st call to their amazing delivery product.
Also, if you’re photographing an older baby, It’s very important to have a good amount of mommy’s milk or formula available, since older babies tend to eat more and more frequently than one week old babies.
I never photograph the baby over 3 hours. There is overstimulation. The overstimulated baby cannot settle, eat or fall asleep, he is just tired, and our professional duty is to provide the best photography experience both for the baby and for the parents and maintain newborn safety rules for each of our clients.
If your baby is over 10 weeks old, you may want to consider a different genre – 3 month old baby photography or 100 days photo session. This is a super fun and sweet genre, unlike newborn photography babies are always a way calmer, they are smiling and we change many of the outfits. Check out 3 months baby photography and check our session.
Photographing older baby requires especial attention to newborn safety:
- It’s very important to use proper weights and have a spotter for each pose since the babies are frequently unsettled.
- It’s very important to have having specific larger props properly feeding the older baby.
- The workflow (the sequence of the poses) is crucial to older baby photo-session success. So let your photographer define the best poses that will fit your baby best.
- Other safety concerns matter as well. You can read more about newborn safety here.
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