what is the best age for newborn portraits?

Find out the ideal age for newborn portraits, as well as what will be different with an older baby.



the best age for newborn portraits is…

Let me cut right to the chase: the best age for newborn portraits is between 5-10 days old.  That is the sweet spot, but don’t panic if you find yourself running short on time. (Do call now to get scheduled, though).

If you are still early in your pregnancy, read on to see what steps you should be taking, and when, to plan the perfect session for your new little one.  If your baby is arriving soon, or even already arrived, you still have options. Skip ahead to see what to do, and what to expect at your session.


Newborn baby girl in blue, navy, cream, and tan. Photo by Colleen Hight Photography.
Photographer taking picture of Dad holding his newborn baby

timeline to beautiful images

First Trimester

  • Choose your photographer
  • Book your appointment

second trimester

  • Complete your design consultation to cover your needs, preferences, and any questions
  • Look at artwork and image options, think about how you might want to decorate with your images
  • Get instructions on next steps!

third trimester

  • Designate a contact person to notify your photographer when your baby is born
  • Pack your “portrait session” bag

1-2 days post birth

  • Contact your photographer to finalize your session day!


what if you already missed that “perfect window”?

If you missed the timing milestones for having your Newborn Session scheduled, you still can (and should) get a beautiful gallery of your baby.  Older newborn sessions have some differences from those in the ideal age range, so it is good to understand that going in so you know what to expect.  Here are some of the main differences with an older newborn portrait session.

what to expect with photographing an older newborn

When I refer to older newborns, I’m referring to babies that are within or barely out of their first month of life.  Infants in this age range are less likely to hit that deep, nothing-can-wake-me sleep than brand, brand new babies are.  That means a few things for your session and gallery.  Since your munchkin is more likely to be awake or in a lighter sleep, it might not be possible to get all of the iconic “naked baby” poses we all love.  Poses like Bum Up, Chin Resting On Hands, and of course, the Froggy pose.  Fortunately, that still leaves a lot of beautiful options to record this special time with your little one.

Because they are more aware of their surroundings and of being handled and moved, I focus on posing and styling that helps them feel safe and secure enough to drift off.  You will see more images styled with wraps, to keep them from startling.  It also keeps those arms and hands from trying to wave at us if they decide to stay awake their whole session.  Some babies just do not want to miss any action!  You will also see more poses that promote sleep and comfort, such as back, side and tummy-lying poses.  Poses that require propped up heads may or may not be possible to do safely, depending on how awake and wiggly your baby is.

My favorite aspect of older newborn sessions is that you have a much better chance of getting some images with their eyes open, like the baby boy pictured above.  These images make such stunning portraits of your son or daughter!  These are always my favorites when we are lucky enough to capture them.


finding a newborn photographer

Wherever you are in your journey, I encourage you to do your research and find a newborn photographer to capture this short, sweet newborn period of your child’s life.  It’s so special, so unique from every other stage, and so fleeting!  I have lots of resources below to make the research less daunting, including a cheat sheet for comparing your top photographer picks, complimentary design consults, and a gallery of newborn portrait ideas to help you get inspired.  I’m happy to help in any way I can to make sure you have portraits to treasure forever of your first few weeks together with your new baby!

Design Consult

Schedule a complimentary design consultation to learn more about what a newborn session is like, and get any questions answered.
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Cheat Sheet: Picking Your Photographer

Learn what to ask to pick the photographer that’s just right for YOU.


View our gallery of newborn portraits for ideas and inspiration.

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Contact us here to schedule a free consult, or just hear more about a session with Colleen!

Suwanee, Georgia Newborn Photographer Colleen Hight taking picture of Dad holding newborn baby

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Suwanee, Georgia Newborn Photographer Colleen Hight taking picture of Dad holding newborn baby

7 Easy Questions to Pick the Right Photographer

A quick reference that Includes the best questions to pick the photographer that's just right for your style, your budget, and your family.   


You'll also get a simple chart to quickly and easily compare your top choices, and timeline for reserving and working with your 1st choice photographer!

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Wondering What to Wear to Your Session?

Check out these great tips and resources to help you pick the perfect outfits that will look great and show your family's personality!

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Let's chat!

Interested in a session?  Here's where you can get all of your questions answered.

We're also available by phone, email, or text, at contact@hightphoto.com or 678-820-8350

Look Forward to Chatting with You!