Newborn Photography Session: Still Debating? Check Out These Pros and Cons

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A newborn photography session can be a great way to capture those first few days and weeks of your new child’s life. 


Maternity photos weren’t for me, but getting professional photos of my child during the newborn stage was important to me. 


This was my first baby and I knew I wanted to capture as much as I could from the beginning. 


For my husband and I, it was fairly simple to find a newborn photographer as I knew our wedding photographer did sessions and that I wanted to go with her. 


But for others, it can be a struggle to determine if a newborn session is right or not. 


So, to help, I’ve compiled a list of pros and cons of newborn photography sessions along with some tips to keep in mind throughout the process.


If you already took newborn photos or have already made the decision to, I encourage you to look into using The Short Years for your child’s baby book. I used this for our daughter and loved it. Here’s where you can read my full review of The Short Years.


If you haven’t decided yet if a newborn photography session is right for you or not, keep reading to learn more!


Mother looking over her baby in a newborn photography session






Professional pictures of your newborn that you didn’t have to take.


You just had a baby. The last thing you should be worrying about is taking pictures. 


But, time is fleeting in the newborn stage and before you know it, your baby will be opening their eyes more and rolling around and won’t be a baby anymore. 


Combine that with everyone asking you for pictures and it’s easy to become overwhelmed with making sure you capture those moments of the first few days and weeks. 


That’s where hiring a professional can be a lifesaver. 


My newborn photography session was right around the two-week mark with our daughter, and then it took about two weeks to get our photos back. 


Since her session was at the beginning of November, it was so nice to be able to take those pictures and print them onto a Christmas card to send out to all our friends and family. 


It essentially became a newborn announcement too in addition to a Christmas card!


It was perfect and I’m so glad we were able to do a session. I also printed photos fairly quickly of our daughter and was able to display them around the house.


If I hadn’t had photos professionally taken, I probably wouldn’t have done that as quickly. 


But the newborn photos we received of our daughter were beautiful and I wanted to look at them all day (much like I did with our wedding photos too!).


Great opportunity for family photos in addition to newborn photos.


Child holding his baby brother in a sweet moment during a newborn photograhy session.

Newborn photography shoots are more than just about the newborn…it’s about the entire family. And, if it’s the first baby, it’s about a new family that has just been born too.


Having a newborn session allows you to capture those early moments as a new family.


If you have other kids, taking newborn photos will allow you to include them as well. By giving them special one-on-one time with the newborn you make them feel special too.


Overall, it’s just a great way to get an updated professional family portrait right away. 


And, looking back I think getting pictures of just baby and mom together is such a bonus. Now that I’ve been a mom for a while, I’ve realized I’m often behind the camera taking pictures. It’s just what happens I think. 


You want to record your child doing something or meeting extended family for the first time.


It’s not that you are forgotten as a mom, it’s just that you are the one that wants those moments recorded in some way, so you end up taking the pictures. 


But, a newborn photography session allows you to get special shots of just you and your new baby together. 


A good newborn photographer will have props you can use.


A lot of newborn photographers offer an option for either an in-home session or a studio session. If you opt for the studio session, you will get the benefit of all the things that come with that. 


The natural lighting will likely be better. You don’t have to worry about cleaning up your house or the baby’s room. 


newborn baby sitting in tiny crib during a photograhy session

You also don’t have to buy a bunch of props or things for your photos (like blankets, stuffed animals, bedding, etc.). This will save you both time and money and frankly is just one less thing you have to worry about.


If you have a special stuffed animal or blanket that was passed down to your child or made for your child, you can still bring those and use them in the studio session.


But, overall you don’t have to worry about trying to make things look pretty. 


Everything will be set up and ready for you and your baby.


Or you can opt for an in-home newborn photography session.


On the flip side of a studio session, opting for an in-home newborn photography session can be a more valuable option and would be the one that I prefer.


Going with an in-home session allows everyone to be photographed right at home.


You can snuggle on the couch, in your bed, or in your favorite rocking chair and the photographer will capture all of it. 


Maybe you designed a beautiful nursery and you want pictures of that to remember, an in-home newborn session allows you to get those professional shots too. 


I don’t have a fancy house and we didn’t spend a lot of time or money decorating our daughter’s nursery. But, we have some beautiful shots of her in her crib and with some stuffed animals that she still plays with. 


Every time she grabs this one plain white bear we used during the sessions, I think of those pictures and smile.


Again you don’t have to have to do anything fancy less can be more when it comes to photography.


So, keep the areas of your house that you want to be photographed simple. Don’t worry about props or anything like that. Neutral colors and casual vibes translate best with newborn photography.


No matter what type of session you opt for, I do suggest you get a simple outfit or two (we just used an adorable Footed Onesie from L’ovedbaby). 






Newborn photography sessions can be costly.


It’s no secret that hiring a photographer can be expensive. And, if you are in a bigger area, photographers, in general, are probably more expensive. 


If you don’t have a newborn photographer close to where you live there could be travel fees on top of their normal rate too. 


tiny baby in a basket with a deer knit hat posing for a picture

This is where it’s important to do research and get estimates on sessions. Ask some mom friends or people you know in your town who they have used and what their rates are like. 


And, after you start doing research, it’s important to set a budget and stick to it. 


If you know you only want to spend $100 then you probably need to look a little harder than someone with a $200-$300 budget (yes they can be that much!). 


It all just depends on who you want and where you live honestly. But either way, be prepared for the extra expense. 


Not all photographers in your area will do newborn photography sessions.


Every photographer specializes in something, for some, it’s landscape or scenic photography. For others, it’s weddings or portraits. 


And some specialize in newborn photography. 


But, some don’t. 


I would imagine being a newborn photographer takes skill, practice, and patience in addition to a good set of photography skills. 


Not all photographers will do newborn sessions and that’s just something you need to keep in mind while looking.


Your child (or children) could not corporate.


Any mom who’s ever tried to take photos of a child before (either professionally or just with their iPhone) will tell you that children rarely corporate when you actually want them to. 


And babies are just as unpredictable, especially in those early days and weeks. 


Some babies sleep a lot, some don’t sleep at all. 


Others only want to be held by mom. 


Just be prepared for some added stress…and, maybe some bribery with your other children if they are going to be involved with your newborn session. 


Try to have a bottle or boob at the ready for your newborn and some special snacks on hand for the bigger kids. 


Even better, try to feed your newborn 20 minutes or so before your photographer arrives so that baby is fed and happy (because generally, a fed baby is a happy baby!).


And, even if you are worried about having a fussy baby or your children not cooperating, don’t let that stop you from hiring a professional. 


At the end of the day, all those headaches from the session can be erased with just one amazing picture. 


Your newborn photographer will get at least one shot that you will love and cherish forever and that is priceless.


You have to get dressed.


After my daughter was born, getting dressed some days was a chore. Not to mention showering.


Young family with new baby during newborn photography session

Everyone wants to look their best for professional photos, I know. 


But try to remember that you just had a baby! Wear comfortable, neutral-colored clothing and keep your hair and makeup simple. 


I wore a simple, comfy, plush pink sweater with a pair of jeans.


Whatever you wear, don’t overthink it, and be sure you are comfortable. That’s what matters most.


And make sure you are taking care of yourself too mom. Check out this list of self-care ideas for moms






1. Do your research.


If you don’t know where to start, do a quick google search in your area to see what photographers appear.


Searching for something as simple as a “newborn photographer near me” should turn up some results. 


Even my small town turned up some in the area. 


Read reviews, look at the photos on their website, and reach out to get pricing. 


If you have a photographer that you love, but you can’t tell if they do newborn photography (ie you don’t see anything on their site), just send them an email and ask. 


It may not be in their standard packages/offerings, but could still be something they provide. Or, they may have an amazing recommendation for someone that does newborn photography. 


Regardless just do some research and don’t rush the decision. 


2. Reach out to a photographer you’ve used before to see if they do newborn photography sessions too.


Sleeping newborn during a newborn photography session


Building a relationship with a photographer is great because they get to know you and your family as well as what you like and are comfortable with. 


Also, a lot of photographers will offer some type of discount if you come back to them again and again. 


This is what we did because our daughter was born just a few months past my first wedding anniversary. 


Our wedding photographer offered us a discount and even traveled to our house to take the pictures! It was perfect and a lot less stressful than having to pack up and go somewhere.


3. See if you can find a newborn photographer who is also a mom. 


This is not a knock on any photographer who is not a mom who takes newborn photos. But, having a photographer that is also a mom do your newborn photography session can be a blessing in many ways. 


If you are breastfeeding it will probably be less awkward if you have to feed in front of the photographer (it was for me at least when that happened). 


Your photographer will understand if the baby is fussy or doesn’t corporate because she’s been there too. 


And at the end of the day, she knows what giving birth to a child is like. She’s been there, and there is something to be said for that on a woman-to-woman and mom-to-mom level. 


In my experience, a lot of photographers that do newborn sessions are moms themselves. 


But, just in case, it’s a good thing to keep in mind if you are trying to decide between different photographers.


At the end of the day, someone who’s also a mom just gets and understands what you are going through.


4. If you are doing a home session, don’t worry about the state of your house. 


Beautiful baby sleeping in a basket of blankets holding a little teddy bear


You just had a baby…seriously, don’t worry about how clean your house is. 


Don’t worry about dishes in the sink or toys on the floor from your other kids or the laundry you have piled up.


Try to make sure the baby’s room is clean and the crib is made up. Maybe get a shower yourself that day (but if you don’t, honestly, no one will know). 


I promise your photographer won’t care what your house looks like. And frankly, any good photographer can edit something out of the image if they need to anyway. 


5. Don’t put finding a newborn photographer off!


Like everything in life, don’t leave finding a newborn photographer to the last minute.


First, you never know what could happen with your baby. You could deliver early or late. Or, there could be complications and you could spend longer at the hospital than you expected. 


You just never know what may happen. 


So try to line someone up at the beginning of your third trimester. 


Reach out to some photographers and get pricing and check their availability. 


They will want to know your due date and then generally will plan a timeframe of +/- a few weeks. 


We did our newborn session when my daughter was about 15 or 16 days old.


Looking back at our session, I think it would have been better to do them a little earlier. But, I was completely overwhelmed those first few days (and honestly for many months after).


You want the photos to happen within the first few days or weeks of your newborn’s life (otherwise they aren’t newborn photos).


So, keep that in mind and make sure you stay in communication with the photographer you hire. 


I simply sent an email about a week after my daughter was born to our photographer letting her know that she was here and we were ready. Then we set something up for the following week. 


Because both my husband and I were home on family leave from work, it was easy to schedule something during the week and that was nice for us. 


Plus, we didn’t have to compete for a spot with any weekend weddings.



Despite the cons I’ve listed, I think doing a newborn photography session is a great investment, especially if this is your first child. 


Yes, it can be expensive, and yes, you just had a baby, but you are getting something that (despite the cost) is priceless. 


You will never get those first few days and weeks back with your child, and it can be hard to remember what they look like after a while. 


But having professional photos of your baby that you can look at forever is truly special. 


So, if it’s in your budget, I’d suggest doing it. And, I would pick a newborn session over a maternity session if you can only afford one. 


Did you take newborn photos of your new baby? If not, do you wish you would have? Share your story in the comments below!



4 thoughts on “Newborn Photography Session: Still Debating? Check Out These Pros and Cons”

    1. Thanks for checking this out Jill! At the time I wasn’t sure if it was the right choice, but now I’m so glad I have those photos and decided to do a newborn session! I highly recommend it if it’s within the budget!

  1. I worked in a portrait studio in college. I loved taking new born pictures. As long as the family and photographer manage expectations, the pictures will be great and fun.

  2. Oh yesss the cooperating part takes forever luckily my friend did my babies easter pictures so it was free thank god because as stubborn as my son was being i would have been out of so much money lol

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