When Should I book a Newborn Photographer?

Natural Maternity Photography in Philadelphia

When looking to book your newborn photography session, the sooner you find a photographer you love, the sooner you should reach out and book.  Given the nature of newborn photography, most newborn photographers will only accept a certain number of bookings a month to best serve the clients they have. 

Due dates are helpful, but babies have their own plan which is why leaving some space and wiggle room around bookings is expected.  The postpartum world is different for each Mother. Some women can bounce right back, others need some more time to settle and feel like themselves again.  Newborn photography sessions take more time, prep and sanitizing than other sessions require, so this is all built around the booking process.

The beginning of the second trimester is a good time to start narrowing down your search and finding availability with your photographer in case maternity is an add-on option. 

Here at Steph Kines Photo, I offer something called The Motherhood Experience which combines maternity and newborn photography to tell your story.  By booking the two sessions together you save money on each.  A guideline for maternity sessions is somewhere in the 27-33 week period, thought it all depends on how Mama is feeling… you want to have a belly to show off, but also want to be able to move around with some comfortHere is a post with more details on that.

Natural Newborn Photos

The newborn photography window will change depending on who you ask. For the type of work I do, the first 6 weeks of life, to me, are considered newborn.  Here is what to expect during the three phases of this time period:

  1. 1-2 weeks:  we will have a milk drunk, very exhausted, sleepy baby.  This allows us to move through more sleepy newborn posing and capture shoulder hairs, umbilical belly buttons and remember the small, fragile nature of newborn life.  Parents are often beyond exhausted and the first two weeks are complete blur.
  2. 3-4 weeks:  we will have a slightly less sleepy baby, as newborns tend to become more lively and stimulated in the third week.  We will still be able to get sleepy poses, but we will also be able to capture some more eye open, expressions which are super cute.  During this time, most newborns have gained back their birth weight, possibly surpassing it and behind to fill out a bit more.
  3. 5-6 weeks:  we will have an alert, curious newborn with fuller cheeks, hands and toes.  With our space heater, white noise, soft blankets and comforting swaddles we will be able to soothe any baby to sleep.  The images will be more expressive, capturing more eye contact as they grow out of their newborn phase and into their babybaby phase.
Newborn Photos in your home

If you have missed this time frame, do not worry!!  There have been a handful of clients who have contacted me after birth because it wasn’t until they saw the quick day-to-day changes for themselves that they were moved to look for a photographer.  There is not a right or wrong time to start this process, these are simply guidelines for those who are looking.  When you are ready to photograph your story, that is the perfect time to do it.

Lifestyle Maternity photos with dogs

Steph is Philadelphia’s Natural Newborn Photographer, specializing in finding light and connection in your own space.  She offers maternity, family, milestone and newborn photography in a warm, natural and unexpected way.  Her clients love that her sessions are child-led which means giving space and guidance to young children to be themselves in their own environment.  This leads to more true reflection of your family at this time in your life.  All clients receive a collection of prints and the rights to fully edited digital files.  Steph can design custom, heirloom albums and assist with wall galleries to display in your home.  I invite you to learn more about the quality and feel of my offered products and art with this blog post.


Steph serves Philadelphia, Bucks County and The Main Line including:

Bryn Mawr  |  Media   |  Main Line  |  Gladwyne  |  Villanova  |  Radnor   |  Narberth   |  Wynwood   |  Ardmore  |   Malvern   |  Strafford  |   Chestnut Hill   |  Haverford   |  Merion   |  Penn Valley  |   Doylestown   |  New Hope   |  North Wales   |  Lansdale   |  Harleysville   |  Newtown Square  |  Collegeville

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  1. Tara Stradling says:

    So helpful ❤️