Have you ever inquired with a newborn photographer AFTER delivering your precious baby, just to have your bubble bursted and be told that the photographer captures newborns at 5-14 days old, so now your baby is too old? This has become a normal standard in the newborn photography industry for majority of photographers, but ultimately it’s a personal business decision and is really up to what the photographer feels comfortable with. I’ll explain here why I prefer babies under 2 weeks, although Miss Soleil (featured in this article) was 3 weeks old for her session.

Since I book sessions 2-3 months in advance, I normally do not have any space to get them in as a newborn if moms inquire after the baby is born. It is very rare that I will be able to squeeze last minute newborn sessions in. This usually only happens when I have a date reserved for another client’s due date, but the baby has not yet arrived. I can also book in last minute newborn sessions if there was another session date that was cancelled. Because of how far out I book this is EXTREMELY unlikely so it’s always best to book as far ahead as possible (usually after 3 months pregnant).

Now, although I PREFER babies between 5-14 days old, I do tend to aim for them to be around 7-10 days. I have found this timeframe to be my sweet spot. During the super odd time I do decide to take on an older newborn, I will let parent’s know that even ¬†though I am going to still be attempting to do newborn shots as though their baby is under 2 weeks, I DO NOT GUARANTEE ANY RESULTS. Well I guess I never really guarantee any results with any shoot, but especially with older newborn babies.

So let’s just jump into why I feel older newborns hate me:

  1. They have already been in the world for a period of time, so who the hell am I to force them back into swaddled positions that make them feel contained in their mom’s belly again. They’ve done their time. They often DO NOT want to swaddle as easy, unless of course we feed them until they have no choice but to sleep because of the “itis” (when you over eat and want to do nothing but sleep).
  2. They can begin to develop colic if the shoot is done at a later time. I can have much gassier and fussier babies, making it much more difficult to pose.
  3. Baby acne starts coming in by week 2-4 really obviously at these weeks if not a bit before. I don’t love spending my whole Saturday afternoons editing, so whatever I can do to make my editing a tad bit easier, I try to.
  4. Naked poses are always rough for me. They hate being touched when I touch them & they want to know why they are naked, when at home the only time they are naked is bath time and diaper changes!
  5. Their birth weight has often increased a bit and/or they are starting to fill out a bit. This makes some positions a bit more uncomfortable for them to pose in.
  6. Because of #5 they do not curl the same way fresh new babies do!
  7. I just don’t feel they really appreciate the art of “shushing” the same way my really new newborns do.
  8. I feel like I try extra hard to be accepted and appreciated by them and it just never works.

So these are the main reasons I feel that older newborns hate me. I know it sounds silly right, but it’s a real thing. I know of photographers that are amazing with older newborns and that is all they shoot, but not I. I have tried shooting newborns even up to 21 days old and I still much rather prefer (for my workflow and sanity) to shoot them when they are under 2 weeks. There of course is no right or wrong way. Some newborns under 2 weeks are super fussy for other photographer’s and some older newborns are super great for them. With me it’s a hit or miss with older newborns. I like my work to be consistent as possible, I like to have my self-esteem intact at the end of my sessions & I like to confidently know I can deliver a beautiful gallery with various set-ups to my client. Ultimately, it’s about the photographer’s comfort level and the baby that they are working with.