There are many reasons why you may not have had a newborn photoshoot with your baby – maybe your baby was born early and needed extra care in those early days, or perhaps you just didn’t know you wanted a newborn shoot until after your baby arrived and struggled to find a photographer with availability, or perhaps you just wanted to wait until they were a bit older and a shoot seemed less daunting. Whatever the reason, it is still possible to have some really beautiful photographs taken of your slightly older baby, and my First Smiles sessions offer just that for babies around 8 weeks old.
Many newborn photographers won’t photograph babies much over 3 weeks of age – this is because around this time babies become much more alert and awake, and less likely to be comfortable in curled up, sleepy poses.
However, just because you might have missed out on this very short window for newborn-style images, it doesn’t mean you can’t have some beautiful photos of your baby, it just means the session has to take a much more natural, unposed approach.
Baby Photoshoots from 8 weeks of age
You may be wondering why these shoots are recommended from 8 weeks old and not from 3 weeks (the usual cut-off point for newborn shoots). The reason for this is that the 3 – 8 week phase is the most tricky for photographs. Before 3 weeks, babies are often sleepy and curled up, which is brilliant for posing. However, they don’t particularly interact much with the camera or people around them.
By 8 weeks, most babies are really inquisitive about the world around them, making eye contact and smiling, and pulling all sorts of cute expressions.
The weeks in-between can be a bit hit and miss, with growth spurts, baby acne and problems such as colic making their appearance during this time.
Therefore, if you’d like a shoot after 3 weeks of age, I’d always recommend waiting until 8 weeks in the hope of a happy, smiley baby on the day of your photoshoot.
A baby-led approach
All my baby photoshoots, be it a Newborn, First Smiles, or Sitter session, are all really relaxed and totally baby led – perhaps none moreso than a First Smiles shoot.
Chances are your baby will be awake for much of the shoot, which means they won’t be posed in any way – they’ll constantly move their little arms and legs, and be looking around at the world around them. And that is perfectly fine – I just pick my moments on when to click the shutter to capture them at their best, and make sure they are warm & comfortable throughout.
During the four-hour session, it’s likely your baby will need feeding and changing, and eventually they are likely to fall asleep, especially if they’ve tired themselves out having a good wriggle around on the beanbag! Once asleep, or when they’re getting sleepy, we can move on to flokati rugs and other props if you’d like. Often wrapping a baby can help them sleep (even at this age!), so often that is a useful tool when they’re feeling sleepy.
So, as you can see – you haven’t missed out just because you didn’t have a photoshoot in the first 3 weeks of your baby’s life – you can still get some really beautiful images of them when they are tiny for you to treasure forever. To book your First Smiles shoot, please just get in touch to check my availability!