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Family of five on bed during newborn session, header for when to take newborn photos blog post


When to Take Newborn Photos & 9 Other Must-Know FAQs

May 1, 2024

When is the best time to take newborn photos? This question—along with a few others—is often front-of-mind for expecting parents wanting to schedule newborn photos.

Family of five during Cleveland newborn photography session

Expecting a new baby and want to capture that newborn sweetness, but feeling overwhelmed with finding the best newborn photographer? Here are some frequently asked questions to help when choosing someone to capture this milestone for your family. (P.S. I hope it’s me!)

The newborn stage is hard! You feel like you’ll never sleep again (you will, I promise). Burp clothes seem like they’re becoming home decor. There is a neverending pile of laundry that continues to multiply. But it’s also the most magical time—sweet baby breath, warm snuggles, that signature newborn baby squish. And it goes by faster than you’ll believe. It truly is the longest, shortest time you’ll want to remember forever. 

Let’s dive into some of the most common questions I get from clients looking for a newborn photographer. From when to take newborn photos to what to wear to final gallery delivery, I’ve got you covered.

Mom holding newborn baby boy in Cleveland home

When should I book newborn photos?

As a lifestyle newborn photographer, I have a lot of experience with “newborns” of all ages. I have found that newborn sessions usually go a lot smoother within the first 14 days of your baby’s arrival. However, having an “easy” session comes down to your baby’s temperament. I have had week-old babies scream an entire session and four-week-old babies sleep through a session. Whatever happens, I guarantee I’ve encountered it before and can handle whatever your baby throws at me, so don’t stress.

As far as booking your actual session, I recommend securing your spot on my calendar sooner rather than later. Why the rush? Well, as your little one’s arrival approaches, life has a way of getting wonderfully hectic. By reserving your spot early, I can ensure I’m available to capture those tender first days with your new addition. 

Not sure which date to choose? I recommend clients book their due date and keep me posted when the baby arrives to nail down a session date. 

Sister holding newborn baby brother's toes in Cleveland nursery

What is in-home lifestyle newborn photography, and how does it differ from studio-based newborn photography?

In-home lifestyle newborn photography is an intimate approach to capturing your baby’s earliest days, all in the comfort of your own home. Unlike studio newborn photography, which often involves props and posed shots against backdrops, in-home sessions focus on the genuine connections and interactions within your family. 

I like to refer to my in-home newborn photography approach as “baby-led” because your baby is running the show during your session. Baby wants to be held? The baby gets held. If they want to nurse, we let them nurse…consider it your baby’s first choose-your-own-adventure! Picture cuddles on the couch, snuggles in the nursery, and playful moments in the living room—all captured authentically and organically. 

Siblings and newborn baby girl on bed with dad during Cleveland newborn photography session

What should I expect during my in-home lifestyle newborn photography session?

You can expect to snuggle, and be in most of the shots. My main focus during a newborn session is to document your family connecting and naturally interacting with one another. 

I love candid images of your life at home with a new baby, but don’t worry if you haven’t done this before—I’ll give you directions and prompts throughout your photo session so you know what to do!

Brother holding newborn baby sisters toes

Do we need to prepare anything in advance for the photo shoot?

Not really! That’s the beauty of an in-home newborn session! You don’t have to do anything other than pick out outfits (which I’ll help with!) and snuggle your baby. 

A quick pre-session sweep of the house for any lingering bottles, burp clothes, cups, things on nightstands, coffee tables, etc. is helpful, but you don’t have to go on a cleaning spree by any means. 

Big sister kissing newborn baby sister's head during Cleveland newborn photos

How long does an average in-home newborn photography session last?

I’m happy to report that your newborn photography session won’t be an all-day affair! In-home newborn photos usually last 60-90 minutes (max!), depending on your baby’s mood. Time is precious, especially in those first weeks, so I aim to be quick and efficient and get in and out so you can get back to your regularly scheduled life.

When I arrive at your home, I’ll ask for a quick tour so I can assess the best rooms to photograph in, and then we’ll get right into the session. If you have any specific areas of your home that you would or would not like to use, just let me know! Most times, we end up in the nursery, master bedroom, or living room.

What should I wear for my in-home newborn photography session?

Ah, the age-old question. The short answer: it’s up to you. Neutrals and earth tones are safe bets if you’re not sure where to start. Ultimately, you should choose what makes you feel comfy and confident. 

Moms: think flowy, comfortable and postpartum-friendly. A roomy dress, a cozy sweater, or your favorite top with jeans or leggings—casual vibes all the way. Dads can go with a basic t-shirt, sweater, henley, or a laid-back button-down with jeans or neutral-colored chinos. 

For the baby, a solid white or neutral onesie works wonders. I love these wrap-over ones from H&M. If you want to pull out a few different outfits for the baby, feel free! I typically also use a swaddle or blanket for a few photos throughout your session. 

I cover all of this in my newborn client welcome guide and offer styling assistance leading up to your newborn session. 

Family of six sitting on bed during Cleveland newborn photography session

What happens if my baby is fussy or uncooperative during the shoot?

The most important thing to remember during your session is that newborns are unpredictable and I am ready for whatever happens, so don’t stress if your baby is crying. However, there are a few things you can do to help eliminate fussiness during your session. 

Turn up the heat (or turn down the AC). Babies are much happier in those cute diaper-only pictures when the environment is a little warmer. A warmer house also helps keep the baby sleepy and snuggly throughout the session. 

Feeding your baby right before I arrive is key. A nice full tummy = a sleepy baby, which makes for a smoother session. If you want nursing pictures, hold off on feeding until I get there so we can get those photos done first! 

If you are pro-pacifier, make sure to have one (or several) handy so we can pop them in and out as we go. 

And lastly, I’ll refer back to my first point about when to take newborn photos. Try, try, try to get that session scheduled within the first 14 days after birth. It’s not always the answer, but most babies are less fussy within those first couple of weeks.

Mom and dad holding newborn baby on cream couch

What if my baby has any skin conditions or imperfections on photo day?

Another reason I say the best time to take newborn photos is within the first 14 days is because baby acne typically hasn’t surfaced yet.

But baby acne happens and it’s normal! Don’t worry if your little one has a bad case of baby acne or even a few small blemishes. All of that can be corrected in the editing process. 

Images for when to take newborn photos blog post for Mackenzie Romagni Photography's blog

How much does newborn photography cost?

Newborn photography sessions can range from $575 to $925, depending on the collection you choose. Newborn collections include digital images and a gallery print credit to use on products like prints, albums, and frames. All of the products in your gallery have been carefully curated to ensure you’re getting the highest quality products. 

Dad holding newborn baby on chest while mom snuggles

How long will it take to receive my final edited photos, and how many images can I expect to receive?

After your session, you can expect to receive your final edited photos within three weeks. You will receive a gallery preview via email in the form of a slideshow set to music. Once you have viewed your slideshow, you will be able to choose which collection you’d like to purchase.

Big sister looking at newborn baby sister on bed with mom and dad

So there you have it…when to take newborn photos and nine other frequently asked questions. I hope this post answered all your burning questions about what to expect during an in-home newborn photography session. 

Family of four snuggling new baby in nursery

If you have questions about newborn photography or want to learn more about booking a session, . As always, I’m here to help you create beautiful, timeless memories of this special time in your family’s life!

Interested in learning more about booking a family, birth, or newborn session with me? Fill out my contact form here. Not quite ready yet? No problem! Follow me on Instagram or join my email list to stay in the know.

Click here to contact me about when to take your newborn photos.

Click here to see more of my newborn images.

Hey there and thank you for stopping by! I’m Mackenzie, owner of Mackenzie Romagni Photography, and birth, newborn, and family photographer serving growing families in Cleveland & Northeast Ohio. I hope you found my “When to Take Newborn Photos & 9 Other Newborn FAQs” blog post helpful. 

Mackenzie Romagni is an award-winning birth, newborn, and family photographer in Cleveland. She offers documentary birth and natural and relaxed lifestyle newborn and family photography.

Mackenzie is based in Cleveland and serves all of Northeast Ohio, including the following counties: Lorain, Medina Summit, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake & beyond.

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I'm Mackenzie. My Philosophy?

every moment counts.

As a parent, I know how quickly our babies grow up; all the time in the world still doesn't feel like enough, and every moment counts. While I haven't yet figured out how to keep those babies small, I do know that a photograph does a pretty good job in the meantime.


Hi, I'm Mackenzie, the vision and camera behind Mackenzie Romagni Photography. If you like what you see on this blog, chances are, we should work together. Click here to view my collections or simply contact me below.

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