What’s The Difference Between A Newborn Session And An Older Newborn Session?

difference newborn vs older newborn

Hello, and thanks for visiting my website. You might be here because you’re thinking about booking a photo shoot for your new baby. 

If you’re anything like me I’m sure you’ll want to know that you’re choosing the right kind of photo shoot for your family.

I offer two different sessions for newborn babies – a newborn session for families with babies aged 5 to 14 days old, and an older newborn session for families with babies aged 2 to 8 weeks.

Typically, families who book with me before their baby is born book a newborn session. 

But many families start to plan their photo shoot after their baby has been born, and because their baby has already passed the 5-14 day window, have an older newborn session instead.

In this article I’ll explain what’s involved in a newborn session and an older newborn session, and the differences between them.


london newborn photography

What Happens During A Newborn Session?

Newborn sessions are for babies aged 5 to 14 days old.

At this age, babies are typically very sleepy and still enjoy being curled up in the foetal-like positions they were in in the womb. Many babies of this age keep their legs tucked up onto their tummy and don’t like to stretch them out at all.

This means that babies are usually happy to sleep for long periods of time, and find the ‘curly’ newborn photography poses comfortable.

During a newborn session I’ll spend the majority of the time photographing your baby on their own in a wide variety of sleepy, curled up poses.

We’ll spend part of the session taking family portraits – individual parent photographs with your new baby, sibling photographs if you have older children and photographs of the whole family.

If your baby is awake and settled at some point during the session I will also take one or two photographs of them awake. However, not all babies of this age have periods where they are relaxed and awake so this doesn’t happen in every session.


older newborn photography london

What Happens During An Older Newborn Session?

Older Newborn Sessions are for babies aged 2 to 8 weeks.

After 2 weeks, babies will usually spend longer periods of time awake, and like to stretch out and uncurl. 

This means that we will usually have less ‘sleepy time’ to work with than in a newborn session, and that babies may not be comfortable in the ‘curly’ newborn poses.

With this in mind, the older newborn session is divided differently – with part of the session spent photographing your baby asleep in the poses that are comfortable for older newborn babies, part photographing them awake, and part spent on family photographs.


What Are The Differences Between A Newborn Session And An Older Newborn Session?

Now that we’ve looked at an overview of each session type, what are the differences between a newborn and older newborn session?

The differences between the session types are:

  • The poses that your baby is photographed in.
  • The proportion of photographs your baby will be awake for.
  • The proportion of family photographs compared with photographs of your baby on their own.


Let’s have a look at each of these in more detail…


The Poses That Your Baby Is Photographed In Will Be Different

Because babies aged under 2 weeks old are typically very sleepy and enjoy being curled up in the ‘curly’ newborn poses, there are some poses that I will capture in a newborn session that I won’t capture in an older newborn session.

For example, the positions you see in the photographs below would only be captured in a newborn session, because it’s unlikely that an older newborn would be able or comfortable to curl up like this:

Surrey Newborn Photographer Clare Murthy

surrey newborn photography studio

newborn baby photographer tw1

In an older newborn session I will spend a shorter amount of time focussed on capturing sleepy photographs, and this time will be focused on the sleepy newborn poses that are comfortable for older babies.

You can see examples of the photographs from older newborn sessions in my older newborn portfolio.


Your Baby Will Be Awake For More Of The Photographs In An Older Newborn Session Than In A Newborn Session

During an Older Newborn Session it’s likely that your baby will be awake for more of the photographs than in a newborn session.

In a newborn session we might capture one or two pictures of your baby with their eyes open – but this doesn’t happen in every session because not all babies are awake and relaxed enough during the session.

In an older newborn session very likely that some of the photographs will be of your baby awake. How many photographs there are of your baby awake is likely to vary depending on your baby’s age. 

For example, a 4 week old baby will typically sleep more deeply and for longer during the session than an 8 week old baby. So they may be sleeping in more of the photographs.

older newborn photography london

The Proportion Of Family Photographs To Photographs Of Your Baby On Their Own Will Be Different

During a newborn session more of the time is focussed on photographing your baby on their own than in an older newborn session, because your baby is likely to sleep for longer and be more flexible during the first two weeks.

This means that I can photograph them alone for a longer period of time and in more positions.

Older newborn babies will typically spend more time awake. When babies are awake, they tend to be quite wriggly. So I include parents (and siblings if applicable) in some of the awake photographs which helps to keep baby calm and relaxed. 

This means that typically, around a third of the photographs from a newborn session will be family photographs, with the other two thirds being of your baby on their own.

In an older newborn session around half of the photographs will typically be family photographs and the other half will be photographs of your baby on their own.

older newborn photography london

What’s Next?

I hope that this guide has given you a good idea of how an older newborn session might be different from a newborn session.

I’m sure you’ll want to make an informed decision about who you choose to photograph your baby, and if you have any other questions about booking a newborn or older newborn photo shoot please do get in touch here. I’d love to hear from you.

You can also learn more about booking a shoot with me here:

london newborn photographer






Picture of Clare Murthy

Clare Murthy

I’m a newborn, baby and family photographer working with families from South West London and Surrey. I specialise in timeless, natural photography with no props or unnatural posing. I photograph babies at my studio, and families in beautiful outdoor locations. I'm based on the Surrey / London border, close to Hampton Court.
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