When Is The Best Time to do Newborn Photos?

This is one of the top questions that I get from prospective clients when they inquire with me. When is the best time to do newborn photos?

And the answer is pretty simple: EARLY!

But – let’s dive in deeper than that and get specific. There are 3 different options that I offer for newborn sessions. A fresh 48 session, an in-home lifestyle newborn session, and an in-studio newborn session. Depending on what you’d like to capture, the best time to do newborn photos is going to vary. So I’ll quickly break it down for you so you know the best fit for you and your family. If you want to read more about the differences in newborn sessions, I’ve talked about that before!

Fresh 48 Newborn Sessions

Dad fixing newborn hospital hat

A Fresh 48 session is one of my favorite types of sessions to photograph. Fresh 48 sessions, also known as hospital photography sessions, are a great alternative to birth photography. Fresh 48 sessions take place during the first 48 hours after your baby’s birth. It’s so important to capture newborns at this stage because they grow and change so much during those first few days. Many of my clients choose a fresh 48 sessions because it gives them the opportunity to rest and get photo-ready, after a sometimes long and exhausting labor and delivery.

Close up of newborn toes

Check out my recommendations and inspiration for what to wear during fresh 48 sessions here!

A Fresh 48 Newborn Session might be perfect for you if you:

  • prefer a documentary style of photography.
  • want those first precious hours documented.
  • want to capture older siblings or grandparents meeting your baby for the first time.
New dad holding newborn feet
Newborn in hospital bassinet
closeup of newborn hair


Most fresh 48 sessions are scheduled the morning after your baby is born. However, I will contact you to find out which side (north/south-facing windows or east/west-facing windows) of the hospital you are on so that we can schedule your session start time during the best light of the day for your room! This will give you enough time to rest after labor and delivery. If you have has a c-section we’ll plan to do your session on day two to allow you additional time to rest! You are welcome to schedule your session on the day of discharge, however, many clients feel very rushed when trying to pack up for home and get ready for their session.

Lifestyle Newborn Sessions

Lifestyle newborn sessions are captured within the first 2-4 weeks. I will use a “lifestyle” approach to this session to show connection and authenticity in your images. We will use your home as the backdrop of your session as we capture your family interacting with your new baby.

Newborn baby boy on cloud crib sheets
big sister looking at baby brother in crib
dad holding toddler, mom holding newborn
new parents snuggling with baby boy

A Lifestyle Newborn Session would be a good fit for you if you:

  • prefer a documentary style of photography but do not want photos taken in the hospital.
  • want photos taken in the comfort of your own home, perhaps in the adorable nursery you’ve worked so hard on!
  • want more real and raw moments captured.


This will also depend on the type of natural light you have in your home and which rooms we will be photographing in. We will time the session to happen when you have the best light of the day!

In-Studio Newborn Sessions

Unlike with lifestyle newborn sessions, the best time for newborn photos in-studio is within the first 2 weeks of life. Although capturing your in-studio newborn session after two weeks is still an option! The earlier we can get your baby into the studio, the smoother the session will go. Newborns sleep more those first few days we are able to pose them more freely, without being swaddled. The poses you can expect to capture in those first two weeks can be seen below.

Plus, as an added bonus, they’re still the smallest and squishiest that they are ever going to be!

baby girl in white headband and white onesie with dads hands
newborn baby girl sleeping
newborn baby girl during newborn session
newborn baby in white bonnet and white blanket

The Bottom Line

Regardless of what style you prefer for your newborn session, be sure to book your session well ahead of time. Contact me if you’re on the search for a St. Louis newborn photographer, and don’t wait until the last minute! Waiting until the last minute almost guarantees I won’t have room in my calendar – reach out with your questions!


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A rating of 5 is not high enough for Kelly!! Kelly is an amazing photographer, was absolutely wonderful to work with, and was quick to reply to emails. Shes an upbeat and positive person, which made out photo sessions comfortable and fun!! Kelly is professional in more ways than one and I highly recommend her to anyone in the St. Louis area wanting some maternity and/or family photos taken!

Angela, Family session

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