What Age is the Best for a Newborn Session?

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As a Chicago Newborn Photographer, I get this questions a lot:

“What is the best age for a newborn session?”

An honestly, it really depends on a number of variables. There really is never a bad time to get professional photos, so it really is up to you. Every stage of babyhood is so much fun to capture, I love them all and don’t want you to feel like you have a deadline for images.

Plus, every mother has a unique birth experience and recovery time. It is best to wait until you are comfortable because it ensures you have a better experience throughout the shoot. A photographer can always photoshop a blemish here and there- but it’s about more than that! As a Chicago Newborn Photographer, I want you to look back and enjoy the memory of your session!

But one thing I’ve found can be helpful when thinking about what age is best for newborn, is getting clarity on the different stages! Then you can make an informed decision. So let’s dive in:


The Fresh 48 window is super short, but I would say any time within the first 6 weeks is a great time to get the typical newborn pictures. During this time the baby is still tiny and sleepy. Often times the baby will sleep through the session. I find clients love having photos to look back on because it is almost a blurred memory from exhaustion. It can be overwhelming to think of seeing a photographer right after you give birth, but like always, my style is to be natural and relaxed. I want to capture your baby how they are in the moment and you can take as many breaks as you need throughout the session. If you want to wait a little longer before seeing a photographer I would wait until the next stage.

#2: 12-16 WEEKS

The next stage is when your baby is still quite tiny, but they are more alert. During these sessions, the baby’s eyes will be open and you can start to see a larger range of expressions. So if you’re thinking about what age is best for a newborn session, this is another good time to consider. Looking back at your baby’s first smiles will make your heart melt. Since every baby grows at different rates, I typically recommend waiting until your baby is able to hold up their head while being on their tummy and can be propped up to sit. This helps us get more poses and expressions throughout the photoshoot.


#3: 6 MONTHS +

This age is my favorite to photograph during a baby’s first year (Although how can I ever really pick a favorite!? The first year is SO cute). During these photo shoots, babies can generally sit up by themselves but still have their little squishy baby limbs. At this age, I am able to capture the beginnings of your child’s personality and there are always so many giggles and smiles along the way. It is an absolute treasure to photograph this age. Plus we all know how much changes once they get walking. So please don’t worry if you feel like you’ve missed the best age for a newborn shoot – I promise you haven’t!! Over 6 months still makes for the cutest pictures!

I hope this helps you feel confident choosing the best age for a newborn shoot.

At the end of the day, it is truly up to what you want! You can professionally photograph none, one, or all of the stages! Either way, I can promise you will love to look back on images of your little baby and be reminded of what they were like when they first came into this world.