I see this question a lot, and I am also a member of several newborn photography forums. One thing you should prepare yourself for when you’re searching for a newborn photographer, is not to wait too long to secure your spot.
Why? The majority of newborn photographers will only book a newborn that is 14 days new, or under. If you do not have the opportunity to secure a session with the photographer you desire, you may not be able to get on their schedule before your baby reaches that 14-day mark. This may leave you scrambling to find someone.
A couple of things I would like to address. Yes, a newborn that is under 14 days old is often times the desired age. Do I personally stick to that rule? No. More on that in a bit. There are a couple of reasons why it is ideal to photograph a newborn within those first 14 days. The first being that in this time frame newborns tend to sleep more often. They often will sleep through almost anything. Once they fall into that beautiful dreamy sleep, they are not bothered with their little hands, and little toes being handled and moved about. Which is ideal for some of the sleepy, dreamy, newborn poses you may have seen on your social media feeds. The second reason is, the older the baby gets the less flexible they become. As they are growing their bones become stronger, they get bigger and less flexible.
So, while it may be ideal in most cases, there are some photographers that do not live by this rule. If you’re a photographer reading this, hopefully I will be able to share some pointers that will give you the confidence that you can work with a newborn at any age. I think it is important that the parents have the proper expectations set of what to expect during their newborn session with an older baby. In the past month alone I have personally photographed five newborn babies that were approaching a month old. Two were over a month old. A couple of these babies were great little sleepers and did very well during their session. When they will sleep for you, great, however, at this age they often do not sleep at all. They are so aware of their surroundings and become very curious in a new environment. Photographers, having the experience working with older babies is key, if you know what images you are able to create and capture with an awake baby, and have the confidence that you will have a full gallery for the family, then please do not hesitate to book an older newborn into your schedule. This comfort level comes with time, but I encourage you to book that next “older” baby if your schedule allows for it. Every baby, at any age, deserves to have beautiful images captured for their family!
If you are really looking for sleepy posed images of your newborn, please do plan to book ahead to ensure that your photographer will be able to capture those images for you. If you just had a baby and were not previously thinking of having newborn photos taken, that is ok too. Find a photographer that is willing to photograph an older baby. If you are unable to find a photographer in your area that is willing to do that, please feel free to contact me. I am a member of newborn photography groups with newborn photographers all over the country, and I would be happy to help you find someone. You can simply fill out my contact form, and I will be in touch soon!