Why it is OKAY to delay your newborn photoshoot: COVID-19 edition

Has the COVID-19 pandemic delayed your newborn photoshoot? Are you panicking because your newborn photographer told you that the best time to take your photos is within the first 2 weeks of life, and you’ve past that deadline?

I’m here to tell you that it is okay. All hope of capturing this beautiful time in your life is not lost!

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO TAKE YOUR NEWBORN PHOTOS?

In most cases, the best time to take your newborn photos is within the first 2 weeks of life, and there are 2 main reasons why:

  • babies are usually much sleepier during those first couple weeks, and that can make for some really adorable sleepy poses
  • usually baby acne and other skin conditions that are very common in newborns don’t set in until around week 3

So in a regular time of the world where this is possible to do your photo shoot in this time frame, it is highly recommended! That is why it is important to schedule your newborn photoshoot several months before your due date!

However, these are unprecedented times. A global pandemic is definitely a good reason to go against the usual recommendation. But does that mean that your photos won’t turn out as well?

No!! I’ve captured so many of the sweetest photos of families with their babies who were older than that 2 week recommendation.

So then you may be wondering..

My newborn photo shoot was delayed. When is it too late to take newborn photos?

In my opinion and for my style of photography, when a baby hits about 3 months is when I don’t consider it a newborn photo shoot anymore.

Each trimester in pregnancy is about 3 months long, and the first 3 months of life is considered by some as the 4th trimester:

“Your baby’s fourth trimester starts from the moment she’s born and lasts until she is three months old. The term is used to describe a period of great change and development in your newborn, as she adjusts to her new world outside your womb.” -baby centre uk

So during that time there is a lot of development, but for the most part they are still tiny, sleepy, and newly born. The trick is to hire a photographer who has more of a lifestyle approach to their photography.

While I shoot refined, timeless portraits in my natural light studio, I tend to take a more natural and relaxed approach to the poses. Instead of forcing babies to be in an exact pose that I want them to be in, I let them guide the way and I capture their tiny, beautiful movements that express their new little personalities.

For example, during this newborn photo shoot, I was turning this sweet baby girl onto her side to see what kind of position she would naturally take (usually makes for some of my favorite shots!!). But instead of curling up like most of the newborns I photograph, she stuck those tiny legs straight out and would not take any other position!

I absolutely loved it. Instead of forcing her hand (or legs in this case ;)), I let her do what she naturally did and it made for one of my favorite newborn leg photos ever! I love it so much because this is what makes this little string bean quintessentially HER.

As both a photographer and mother, I know that those babies looks change extremely fast when they are born.

Heck, my daughter went from being in the 18th percentile at birth to the 85th percentile by her 2 month doctor’s appointment!

But just because you may not be able to capture that brand new time doesn’t mean they have already changed too much. It is not too late!!

There is beauty in both stages. At 3 months, I can capture some sweet smiles, some great tummy time, and a little more personality. A 2 weeks, I get a little more freshness. Either way that baby is worth capturing as soon as you possibly can.

As a mom of a 2 1/2 year old who I didn’t take the time to get professional pictures for as a baby, I regret SO badly not having nice, high quality pictures to show him now, to compare my baby daughter’s photos, and to cry over late at night when I realize that my baby boy isn’t so little anymore.

Now you might be thinking, my baby is older than 3 months so technically he isn’t a newborn anymore. Now what?

When is the best time to take professional pictures of a baby?

If your baby is older than 3 months due to a delayed newborn photo shoot,, I recommend waiting a little longer to get professional photos taken of him/her until we hit the sitting up milestone. This is simply because the changes in their faces don’t change toooo much in between 3 months and sitting up. And if you already have an older baby anyway, trust me when I say you WANT sitting up portraits because they are the CUTEST!!

There are few things I love more in my studio than a sitting up baby. The smiles, the chunk, and the constant discovery in their eyes are one of my favorite things to capture.

Good luck in your photo efforts!! I know how important it is to get those pictures done while they are tiny, but sometimes things happen (like a casual global pandemic) and it isn’t possible to capture the fresh first days of life.

If your newborn photo shoot was delayed, I’m sorry for you mama! Make sure to at least take as many of your own pictures as you can in the meantime. But don’t give up on professional photos! The interactions and authenticity captured in portraits with a touch of lifestyle are equally as beautiful. <3

XO,

Courtney

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