I’ll start with some background. The newborn photography community considers newborn sessions to take place within the first 14 days of life. I’ve had clients tell me that they have been turned away by newborn photographers because their baby was “too old” for newborn photos. This is fairly common within the industry, so I don’t fault anyone for that. While I agree that the first 2 weeks is the ideal time to photograph a newborn, I don’t think you will ever regret getting portraits of your baby. Your baby will never be this small again.
Is my baby too old for newborn photos?
The short answer is, “no.” I won’t turn you away because your baby is too old. (I love a challenge!) We just need to go into the session with realistic expectations.
Babies are most sleepy and flexible during that 2 week window right after they are born. Beyond that point, it gets harder to achieve traditional newborn poses. I never force a baby into a pose (before or after the 2 week mark). Older babies are less likely to be comfortable in unwrapped poses. After the 2 week mark, I’m likely to rely on swaddling to get you those snuggly, sleepy newborn portraits. I’ve had successful swaddled newborn sessions up to around 6 weeks old.
How old is too old?
The oldest “newborn” I’ve ever photographed was 8 weeks old. We went into the session with low expectations, expecting it to be more of a lifestyle session than posed newborn. I did sibling, family, and parent poses before brother and dad left the toasty studio so I could work with the baby. Mom topped the baby’s tummy off just before her normal naptime, and I was THRILLED with the results! I will say that she was a bit of a unicorn baby, and most older babies don’t let me pose them this well, but newborn portraits with older babies IS possible (but also a LOT of work!)
Without further adieu, here is a sample of the portraits I created with a 2 month old “newborn.” (Isn’t her little scrunchy nose smile so sweet?!)