When should you get professional newborn photos taken?? | At Home Lifestyle Photography (Pittsburgh!)

newborn baby asleep in mom's arms and holding dad's hand, family lit by beautiful dramatic window light

Sure, you can get your newborn pictures done in the first week after baby arrives for all those sleepy angelic baby pics… but if you wait *just* a little longer, you will get a TON more interaction- even smiles! (And those amazing sleepy pics, too, of course)

These new parents contacted me to photograph their 2 month old baby in their Pittsburgh home, after a failed newborn photography experience with a big box studio in the area. I joined them one cold winter morning, pumped up the heater and opened up their drapes for some beautiful natural light. Noah greeted me with a grin, but his fussiness soon took over and the little guy promptly passed right out in mom’s arms… perfect for some dramatic snuggly baby pictures by the window! It always amazes me how easily newborns drift off to sleep, without a care. The only other person I know who can fall asleep while babbling is my husband! LOL

(This video features photos from this family’s newborn session in their nursery and living room. Notice those SMILES from baby Noah!!!)


Typically photographers recommend you get your newborn photos within the first 10 days after baby’s birth. The reason for this is that baby is both sleepier and more pliable during that fourth trimester period. So if that photographer is planning on posing baby heavily (baby in a basket, anyone?) then the freshest of fresh newborns makes their job 1000% easier.

But, people, I just don’t like seeing baby posed unnaturally. It just doesn’t feel right and honestly, I think those pictures will feel very dated when your kiddo is off having babies of their own. You’ve seen a ton of my newborn baby photography so you already know this! I capture beautiful images of young families in portraits that feel very REAL. There is so much beauty in a fresh new baby- no need to gussy them up like still art!

(I’m getting to the WHEN of getting pro pictures done, I promise…)

mom and dad holding newborn baby, standing next to a window in the nursery. dramatic window light on their faces

I think natural and candid is the way to go. The pictures I treasure of my OWN four kids are the ones of him snuggly in my arms, lightly posed in beautiful light and watching each other, taking stock. A picture of my baby by himself propped up on a boppy? Not for me.

Which means that there is no need to rush and get photos in the week after you give birth. 

Girl, you have other things to take care of in that time! Take a break, take a nap (or five), get to know your baby a little. That time is so special and idyllic. When you’ve bonded with baby and are ready, give me a call. THAT is the best time to get newborn pictures taken.

And the bonus for waiting? Baby smiles (and not just for gas!). Lots and lots of them.

BTW If you’d rather scroll through the pictures from the V. family’s session at your own pace, here you go:

You can learn about how to prepare for a professional lifestyle newborn photography session like this one, in your home, by checking out this blog post. And of course when you’re ready, do contact me to chat about a session that works for you!

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Pamela Anticole

Serving PA OH & Beyond

Pamela Anticole is a Pittsburgh based newborn and family photographer. Her award winning style is thoughtful and emotional, and your client experience is both relaxed and fun!


Pamela will photograph your baptism, birthday party, anniversary, bar/bat mitzvah, or wedding in a documentary style learned as a newspaper photojournalist. It is her focus on real, natural relationships and ability to anticipate emotional candid moments that bring sensitivity to her work as a documentary photographer. Pamela is located in the Wexford area of Pittsburgh, PA and available for family photography within 45 miles of downtown Pittsburgh. She also offers photography education for parents both online and on location in person in the Pittsburgh area.