The best time to photograph a newborn baby

Photographing newborns has been one of the biggest joys of my career, and my life in general for nearly a decade. Being a newborn photographer is just about the best way to spend a day working I can possibly imagine. Not only are they super adorable, and super snuggly, newborns are perfect photography subjects, if photographed at the right time.

When is the right time for newborn photos?

Newborns are most easily photographed between 5 and ten days after birth. Much sooner than many new and expecting mothers realize. The reason is pretty simple to understand, though. During the first week after their birth babies are extremely sleepy. It's their ability to fall into a deep sleep that is the key to successful newborn photography. That and a talented newborn photographer of course!


When photographing a baby it's important to be able to put them in the position you want and have them actually stay in that position. Posing a newborn can be a delicate task, it can even take several minutes or longer for some poses (which is one of the reasons newborn sessions take so long - 3 hours on average). The goal is to get them posed while they remain sleeping, which can be difficult at times but it's impossible if they refuse to sleep.

Better Late than Never

There are many reasons why you might not be able to get your newborn in the studio for photos, premature births are the most common. Whatever the cause, if you are unable to get your baby photographed within the first ten days after birth there are still options.

While you may not end up with those classic sleepy newborn photos after day 10, there are still plenty of great memories to capture. Documenting your baby's first few days (or weeks) is something that you will not regret.

Time Capsule

Beyond anything else, you want to photograph your newborn immediately after their birth because infants grow so quickly. Make no mistake, a 5-day old baby is not the same as a twenty-day old baby. Their features change rapidly in the first few months and even weeks of life. They begin to move more and become far more lucid and aware of their surroundings. While these changes are amazing to watch it's important to document how precious and fantastically delicate they once were. We can never relive these moments but when we look through your photo album it's a trip down memory lane like no other.


The Shelby Studio specializes in newborn photography at our Houston studio, located in The Heights. Get more information on our newborn sessions here or give us a call at 832.582.1983.

Jacob ShelbynewbornComment