Older Newborn vs Three Month Old Photo Shoot. Which Should I Choose?
If you’ve started to think about a newborn shoot after your baby has been born, you may find yourself faced with a choice between booking a newborn shoot for an older baby or waiting until your baby is around three months old to have a baby photo shoot.
So why might you have this choice?
Typically, the optimum time for a posed newborn photo shoot is when your baby is less than two weeks old. Firstly, because babies tend to be more settled and sleepy during this time, but also because they often still love being curled up in the foetal position and so are comfortable being placed in those curly newborn poses.
I often hear from new parents who have missed this two-week window and would still like to book a newborn shoot. In these cases I offer two options:
- An older newborn session, which focuses on the poses that are suitable for older babies.
- waiting until their baby is three months old for a milestone studio session.
In this article I’m going to explain what you can expect from a photo shoot with an older newborn baby, and one with a three month old baby, and how you can decide which one is best for you.
What Happens In An Older Newborn Session?
Older newborn sessions take place at my studio. The sessions are suitable for babies aged up to eight weeks and focus on two things:
- the sleepy newborn poses that are suitable for older babies.
- family pictures including individual parent and baby photographs, sibling portraits if you have older children and portraits of the whole family.
During the session your baby will be wrapped throughout, and I’ll spend around half of the time photographing them alone. We’ll use the second part of the session to capture family portraits.
If your baby is aged between two and five weeks, you may find that they are sleeping for between half and two thirds of the session. Between six and eight weeks it’s more likely that your baby will only sleep for a few photographs, and will be awake for the rest of the time.
What Happens In A Photo Shoot With A Three Month Old Baby?
Baby Milestone sessions also take place at my studio. The sessions are suitable for babies aged three to thirteen months, and can include family and sibling photographs if you would like to.
The kind of photographs that I take at a Baby Milestone session will depend on how old the baby is at the time of the session.
At around three to four months of age, babies can typically hold their heads steady themselves, are smiling and have become more expressive. They can also usually push themselves upwards with their hands up for short periods during tummy time.
All of these new abilities mean that your baby can engage with me more, and so I will be able to capture their personality, different expressions and new skills such as pushing themselves up during tummy time.
These photographs show some examples of a three month old baby photographed in my studio:
One of the challenges in photographing 3 month old babies is that they still tire easily, and but they usually aren’t as small or flexible as a newborn. So we need to work with their awake time and work quickly!
For this reason it works really well to include family photographs in your milestone session, as well as photographs of your 3 month old baby on their own. Once your baby starts to get tired they may lose interest in being photographed on their own, but will still love to engage with their parents and family for some cuddly family photographs.
Older Newborn vs Three Month Old Photo Shoot. Which is Best For You?
Now that we’ve looked at the differences between a photo shoot with an older newborn baby, and one at three months old how do you decide which is best for you?
The answer is going to be different for each family, and so there is no right or wrong answer here. But I understand that it can be difficult to decide. When your baby is just a few weeks old it can be difficult to imagine how they will change over the next month or two, and you may feel torn between capturing them as a newborn, or waiting until three months.
If you’re having difficulty deciding, two considerations might help you with your decision:
1. Do you think you’ll have another photo shoot during your baby’s first year?
Some families who have a newborn shoot opt to have a second shoot at around 6-10 months, when their baby can sit unaided but isn’t yet crawling.
Whilst your baby will have changed significantly from the 3 month mark by then, photographs of your baby at 3 months will likely be more similar to those 6-10 photographs than newborn photographs will be. After 6-10 months some families choose to have a third shoot when their baby reaches their first birthday.
So if you think you might have a second, or even third shoot later in the year I suggest choosing an older newborn shoot now as you’ll have a more complete record of your baby’s first year.
2. What do you want the photographs to capture?
Babies change so much during the first three months, and you may start to see their preferences emerge very early on. However, it’s not until they reach 3-4 months that you can really capture their personality in photographs – once your baby is smiling socially, and has more control over their head and limbs.
Both older newborn and three month baby photographs will capture incredibly precious times – newborn photographs will likely focus on how tiny your baby still is, and your connection with them. At three months the photographs will be able to capture your baby’s expressions and smiles too.
Considering these differences may make it easier for you to decide between having a shoot at the two different ages.
When your baby is just a few weeks old, it can be difficult to imagine how they will be at three months. And I completely understand that choosing between the different session types may not be easy. If you’re faced with this decision I hope that this guide has helped you to decide which option is right for you.
You can find out about booking a shoot for your older newborn or 3 month old baby here:
If you have any other questions about baby photography you can send me a message here, or let me know in the comments below.