Photographing the Older “Newborn” Baby | Fairfax, VA Newborn Photographer

Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, clients are unable to make it into the studio for their newborn session until their baby is past the ideal window for newborn portraits of 5-14 days old.  Not too fear, though!  Babies are still cute as can be, and absolutely worthy of photographing, after two weeks old!

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Why the two week window, anyway?  When babies are fresh-born, they are very sleepy for the first couple of weeks and still used to being curled up in their mama’s bellies, which is so adorable.  Older babies are more likely to wake up when moved into another position.   Used to stretching out their arms and legs, and with the extra pounds on their bodies, they are less comfortable in some of the curled-up positions that we use for newborns.

For babies who are three- to six-weeks-old, here are the modifications I make to their newborn photo sessions:

  1. Lots and Lots of Swaddles!  Babies who are this young still have few motor skills and are prone to making sudden movements with their bodies, which can startle them awake.  When setting up for the session, I plan on the older babies to be awake for the entire session, and if they fall asleep… bonus!

I start with the family photos.  These are very similar to the newborn photos, though sometimes the baby is awake.  With their arms and legs snuggly wrapped up, they are easy to pass around without stirring them, and there’s also no risk of the parents getting a little surprise!  😉

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From here, it’s super easy to take them over to a blanket backdrop for some perfectly simple newborn pics.

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With the same swaddle, I move the baby over to a prop and add a little hat for a totally new look!  Newborn hats range in size, but most will fit babies up to 10-11 pounds.   For babies who are larger than that, I have a collection of hats for older babies ranging in sizes up to a year old!

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New swaddle, new prop.  We used a navy, gray and cream theme for this session.

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A totally different look by changing the swaddle, hat, flooring, and prop setup.

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One More!

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2. When the baby is sound asleep, take advantage by doing some nude portraits.   It’s extremely rare for a baby younger than two-months-old to stay awake for two straight hours.  As some point during the session, the baby will fall asleep, especially in the cozy studio room (warm, but not as warm as a newborn session) and with the white noise.  Once the baby is asleep, I take advantage of one of the swaddle changes to pose the baby on a blanket backdrop.

Here, I do the three most simple poses that even older babies are comfortable doing.

Side-lying:

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Tushie-up!  I love this one for older babies because their back rolls are so super chunky!!

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And this pose with the baby’s hands under their heads.

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3. If you’re feeling lucky, try moving the baby from the blanket to the prop.  I explain to the parents that this transition isn’t always successful and that if it doesn’t work, we’ll just swaddle back up and move on to the next thing!  Notice that it’s the same pose as the last one!

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4. Get the little details. Some of my favorite photos are those of the baby’s cute little details like their hands, feet, eyelashes and lips.  Throughout the session, I take advantage of different swaddle techniques and/or the baby’s nap time to capture these perfect little parts.

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So don’t get disheartened if you miss the “deadline” for newborn portraits!  There are still so many beautiful photos we can capture with your older baby during their portrait session.

If you’d like to schedule a photo session, please contact me as soon as you can!  My schedule is usually completely full as much as 6 months in advance (depending on the season).  I keep my schedule updated here.

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