Top 3 Baby Photography Facts You Need to Know

Baby Photography Fact #1: you should reserve your session By your second trimester

Oftentimes my clients say to me “I know I’m calling early, but…”


Truth be told, I would argue that it is never too early to reserve your baby photography session.

First and foremost, baby photographers, especially on-location baby photographers such as myself, tend to book out weeks if not months in advance.

I take a limited number of clients per month for a few reasons.

The first is to ensure I have ample flexibility to accommodate babies that arrive early and late.

The second reason is to enable me to provide an outstanding, multi-step client experience, each part of which takes place in the comfort and convenience of my clients’ homes. It involves designing the session, conducting the session, showing my clients their baby’s portraits, and delivering their ordered artwork. This level of service and customization would not be possible if I took a large number of clients, or operated a “volume studio” business model.

So reserving your session in your second trimester ensures I can accommodate your delivery delivery date.

Secondly, reserving at this time avoids the very real possibility that you might have to scramble to try and find a photographer later.

Let’s face it: life can easily get in the way and by the time baby arrives, oftentimes it is too late to create “true” newborn portraits (see fact #2).

Not to mention it can be difficult or simply impossible to find a photographer on short notice, and fully customizing a session can become more of a challenge since there is less time to thoughtfully plan.


You want to research photographers well before baby arrives so that you can find one whose style you admire, who provides the level of service you desire (including whether you must travel to a studio or whether they come to you, like my studio), and who you feel comfortable with.

You have enough things to tend to in the first two weeks of your baby’s new life – don’t add the stress of trying to secure a photographer last minute.

Baby Photography Fact #2: it needs to be done early

I find that many people do not realize posed newborn baby photography is done within the first two weeks of life.  

This is a very important fact that you need to be aware of when considering baby photography.

The first two weeks is the time period that affords a professional baby photographer the greatest latitude: babies are most flexible, they are most sleepy, and their skin is free from baby acne.  These are critical components to a successful baby photography session. 

Of course infant photographers can photograph babies beyond this two week window, but the chances of creating classic posed newborn imagery becomes more difficult as babies age.

So you should plan on having your baby’s portraits taken within the first two weeks.  

Baby Photography Fact #3: you should not DIY

If you have the means and desire to hire a photographer*, but decide for whatever reason to DIY your baby’s pictures, please consider the following:


For safety reasons, you should not attempt to recreate certain newborn poses you have seen.  

Many infant photography poses are composites, meaning they are comprised of multiple images which are blended together later in Photoshop.  

And it’s not just the obvious ones, like a baby snoozing on a tree limb in the forest, but also other poses such as “froggy,” when a baby is leaned forward and seemily holding their head in their hands.  

Approximately 25% of a baby’s weight is in their head and this weight distribution can affect how one safely poses them.  Baby photographers have experience and training in posing, which is critical to safety. 

Additionally, not all babies will tolerate all poses – so just because you have seen something done does not mean your baby will naturally go into that pose.

Professional newborn photographers test a baby’s flexibility before proceeding with a pose.  Baby’s comfort and safety are my top priorities, so if a baby resists a pose, I move on to the next one. 



Another consideration when you DIY is what will you dress the baby in and what will be the baby be posed on?  

Most posed newborn photographers such as myself own a significant amount of baby outfits, headbands, hats, props, posers, and other accessories to both style and conduct a safe session.  Generally speaking for a posed newborn portrait studio, these items are expensive – we’re taking all together, in the multiple thousands of dollars.

Of course you could purchase some of these items yourself – but are you really going to purchase a beanbag to pose the baby on?  

If not, and assuming you want the posed newborn photography look, what will baby be posed on? If it’s your bed, do you want to see your comforter/sheets/headboard in the image? If it’s a basket on the floor, what will you stuff the basket with? What does the floor under the basket look like?  What are you wrapping the baby in? How will you keep baby warm enough? 

Baby photographers have sorted out all these details and purchased a significant amount of gear (emphasis on significant) that goes into creating a professional baby portrait. Not to mention back-up clothing and accessories, for when babies decide to go to the bathroom during a session (it is normal and happens all the time).

Another word of advice: please don’t just ask a friend or relative because they have a nice camera. 

If you want to create professional-looking portraits of your baby, asking someone who simply has a nicer camera than yours is generally speaking going to be insufficient because:

  • do they have the right lens?
  • do they how to manipulate the light and expose the baby properly?
  • do they know what other settings to use (there are dozens)?
  • do they know how to post-process newborn skin and overall how to edit the image?
  • do they know how to prepare the file for online viewing versus for print? What about for a canvas versus a fine art paper (yes, the procedure is different)?
  • do they know given the technical specifications of their camera how much they can enlarge the image before it degrades?
  • do they have baby posing and soothing experience?

The point I’m trying to make is having a nice camera is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creating a professional image, let alone a baby portrait.

And honestly, these days we all have nice cameras.  Your cell phone camera is an amazing camera.  I think you should take as many images of your baby with your own camera as you can.  I’m just advocating that you also hire a professional to also capture professional portraits of this unique time before it passes.


Going back to the “baby posing experience:” photographers, whether hobbyists or professionals, usually have a speciality, or expertise in one area. 

It is a common misconception that a photographer by default should be able to photograph all sorts of different subjects.  This is a major fallacy. 

Each sub-category of photography (think headshots, real estate photography, bird photography, flower photography, astrophotography, etc.) requires its own gear (camera/lenses/adapters/etc.), education, and editing techniques.  

My speciality is newborns.  My hobby speciality is landscapes.  I dabble in other areas, but babies and landscapes are where my expertise lies.

And my standards may be high, but if someone wished to hire me to photograph a fast-action sporting event or an indoor wedding that required flash, I would have to decline as I don’t have the proper equipment or experience to provide professional results.  

And regarding newborn photography – at least equally important to the photographic skills required are the newborn posing and soothing skills required.

Newborn posing is not easy – it takes time, experience and training do it well and safely.

So unless a friend or relative with a nice camera has experience with baby posing, photographing, and editing newborn portraits, the results may variable at best.

To be fair: if you prefer lifestyle baby photography which doesn’t require posing, that is easier to DIY.  

The Good News

*Just like any profession, there is an abundance of photographers from budget photographers to luxury photographers who can create your baby’s portrait. 

It is up to you to decide which photographer’s work you prefer and the type of service you desire.

If you are looking for newborn photography in Philadelphia or its suburbs and would like an unparalleled, in-home experience, please contact me. 

I’d love to discuss customizing your newborn portrait session.