Newborn Photography Expectation Vs. Reality

Feb 23, 2022 | New Parent Blog, Newborn

Newborn Photography Expectation Vs. RealityNewborn Photography Expectation vs Reality

When you think about a newborn session, you probably think about sleeping babies, all snuggled up and looking like perfect china dolls. Is it really all that easy? The answer is No, it’s much harder then it looks! Let’s break down all the details of a newborn session. This post is all about Newborn Photography Expectation Vs. Reality. What you thought a newborn session is like vs what it actually is like in real life!

Newborn Photography Expectation Vs. Reality #1: All Babies Sleep

Ok, I’m starting off here with a bang, right out of the gate! The expectation is that all babies sleep during their session and it’s so easy to get them to sleep. Well let bust that myth! Newborn Photography Expectation : babies sleep. Reality : most babies will eventually sleep, but…that’s with parents following instructions and with a lot of rocking and shushing and wrapping! Once in a while there will be a unicorn baby, that arrives asleep, stays asleep most of the session and is just overall chilled! Reality…that’s really rare! Most babies need to be rocked to sleep. Once we get there it’s great! But until then open eye poses are wonderful as well!

And that leads us into our next point about why the session takes so long!

Newborn Photography Expectation Vs. Reality #2: The session is around an hour

That’s a big NO! I’m actually loving this whole idea of breaking down Newborn Photography Expectation vs reality. We’re really breaking things down and setting the record straight! Remember how we just discussed that it takes time to get the baby to sleep? Babies also like to eat and pee and poop and cry…you get the idea! Also it takes time to transition from set up to set up. Most newborn sessions are around 3 hours long. If you have a unicorn baby it can be a little shorter. Once you add in parent and sibling photos there’s no way it’s less then 3 hours.

I also like to tell parents that there is no pressure, no rush. Moms and dads are tired! They don’t need added stress or pressure in their life. If baby doesn’t’ listen right away, that’s ok! I’m super chill and that sets a relaxing tone for everyone during the session. And because we’re not rushing, that also takes time.

Newborn Photography Expectation Vs. Reality #3 : Anyone can take Newborn Photos

Ummmm, nope! I’m not just saying that not any person can take newborn photos, also not just any photographer can take newborn photos! Newborn photography is a special skill. The photographer needs to be trained in newborn safety and posing. It takes a special skill set and patience to work with babies. So if you’re looking for someone to do newborn photos, make sure it’s someone who specializes in them! There are so many classes that I’ve taken both in posing and in newborn safety, so I actually know what I’m doing. So many images you see out there, are actually composites. No, the baby is not supported her head on her wrists, that’s extremely dangerous!!

I could probably do an entire post just on newborn safety (I think I have actually, but you can never have to many!) so we’ll save the details for those! But this Newborn Photography expectation vs. reality myth has just been busted wide open! Just make sure that when booking a photographer, you choose someone with experience and ask them about safety. That’s actually one of the first things I tell new parents; your babies safety is my number one priority!


If you live anywhere near Silver Spring, Maryland (including but not limited to DC, Potomac, Rockville, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Kensington, NOVA) think about booking a session with Yaffa to make sure that you can get the best possible photography experience possible. Let Yaffa help you print your photos and make it all a painless experience.