Are newborn photoshoots worth it?

When is the best age to take newborn photos, do we really need a professional to do it and what happens if my baby cries?

Thanks for visiting my FAQ blog on: ‘are newborn photoshoots worth it?’

When I first realised I wanted to photograph babies for a living, I didn’t realise quite how much effort would be involved in taking the photo.

I mean, I was told that babies sleep all day long, right? So what can possibly be so hard than to capture just a few shots of Baby sleeping?

If I had a penny for every time Mum told me that their baby is super chilled out, sleeps all the time, will be really easy to photograph…

In the ten+ years I’ve captured little babies on camera, I’ve never once managed to do a full set of newborn photos in less than 2 hours.


If you think that’s long, it used to take me four whopping hours.

Believe it or not, I’ve minimised my workflow as much as possible and made the whole thing as efficient as it can be!!

Here’s why it takes so long… and here’s what all the fuss is about… and perhaps most importantly, to answer this question: are newborn photoshoots worth it?

1. Is it worth getting newborn photos?

I know what you’re thinking. Of course, I’m going to answer ‘yes’ to this question. That’s my job.

But have you ever tried to take a picture of your newborn baby capturing her gorgeous little face, or in a particular sweet mood of hers, but the phone camera just doesn’t do it justice?

The light’s all wrong and you can’t get the right angle… sound familiar?

Smart camera phones are great these days, they’re perfect for everyday snapshots. But if you want a portrait that really captures the essence of your daughter, who she is, her soul and all sides of her personality, then a professional photoshoot is for you.

Not to mention, that time flies so quick with a newborn that one minute she’s tiny in your arms, the next minute she’s crawling about. It’s worth recording the moment professionally so you have something tangible to remember long after she’s grown up.

The Inspire Case has a sliding font so you can change the front image as often as you'd like

2. When should I do a newborn photoshoot?

Big subject! I have a whole other blog post on the best age for photography. So you can work out whether newborn photoshoots are worth it and what age you’d prefer.

Typically, baby photographers recommend that a newborn photoshoot is best done between 7-14 days.

This gives your newborn son a week to adjust to life on planet Earth – and most likely mum’s milk has come in so he’ll be a pro at feeding by now!

Also, it’s in the dreamy sweet spot where your baby boy is literally feeding and sleeping all day long. This means that when he’s in the studio, he’s more likely to settle and fall asleep easily.

Posing him into those gorgeous ‘bare bum’ shots will be easier than if he was more awake and alert.

Having said that, if there’s one thing lockdown taught many photographers, is that it is possible to achieve sleepy shots with babies who are a few weeks old.

When my studio was closed due to COVID-19, I saw many babies a little older than we’d planned – even some as ‘old’ as six weeks. It can take much longer, but it is possible to get the dreamy, sleepy photos at this age.

North London photography involves babies like this one sleeping as well as other images

3. How to do a newborn photoshoot

You’ve got lots of options these days on how you’d like to get your baby photographed professionally.

The first thing you’ll want to decide is whether you want to go into a photographer’s studio, for a controlled environment and a particular ‘style’ to the photos.

Some photographers, myself included, also offer to come to your home to record more ‘day in the life’ style photos of you with your baby girl at home.

There’s no right and wrong here and it’s a matter of what you like best and feel more comfortable with.

Some parents like to coordinate newborn photoshoots with a trip to the park, especially if there are older siblings or pets involved.

Once you’ve decided where to photograph your baby, think about whether you want to be in the photos too. Often this shows a great sense of scale and records a unique time where you are able to hold baby so tightly in your arms.

A mum cradles a sleeping newborn baby during a lifestyle newborn photoshoot, North London

4. DIY newborn photography: how to do it

There are ways you can recreate a professional-look baby photoshoot at home. Let’s say you’ve got a fancy dSLR camera, or just a new smartphone with amazing features on it and you want to have a play!

If your partner is around to help, even better, as they can capture some photos of you with you baby as well.

The most important thing you want to consider is lighting. If you cuddle or play with your baby, make sure you do it near a natural light source such as a large window. You want the light to fall onto Baby’s face so that he’s the most brightly lit thing in the frame.

Equally, lay your son down on the floor on some comfy blankets near a window and make sure there are catchlights in his eyes (reflections of light from the window) – if he’s even awake! If you see them then stand over him and capture some birds-eye-view type shots.

You might find it hard to focus on the eyes with a newborn, as they’re barely able to focus themselves… but maybe go for detail shots like eyelashes or lips.

If he’s really sleepy, lay him in his moses basket and position near the window for some gorgeous dreamy shots. Make sure the light is falling down his nose, not up his face.

A baby girl plays with her daddy during a family photographer north London session

5. How much does a newborn photoshoot cost?

This really depends on the type of photoshoot – and end result – you want.

A family newborn session in my studio is £145. This includes a pre-session consultation where we discuss in detail what you’d like to see as an end result, what you’re going to wear, and how you’re thinking of displaying your images.

The session fee includes the editing of all your images into a mixed black and white and colour gallery, as well as a detailed viewing appointment where you get to pick your favourites on the big screen and work out what you’d like to do with them.

Digital images and prints are then extra to the session fee. All of my clients go home with digital images, it’s just a question of whether you want me to print for you.

Sets of digital images start at £445. 

What most people do is they ‘create their own collection’, where they ask me to print something (this could be one thing, it could be 50 things!) and then they get all the digital images at a reduced rate.

All in all people can spend anywhere between £640 and £2,500 – the choice is yours and there’s no hard sell.

Doing it this way means you get a handheld service on your images, helping you decide what you want and how you’d like to display them.

A stunning collection of wall frames hang over a baby nursery following a Muswell Hill baby photography shoot

6. What to wear to a newborn photoshoot?

Check out this post here. Also, if you’re going to be in the newborn photoshoot, then you’ll need to think about what to wear ahead of the day. This can be a huge question from my clients but is often very simple with just a little bit of guidance!

My style is classic, neutral and timeless. So think solid colour blocks, like light greys, dark greys, creams, denims, dark blues, dark greens etc.

Avoid patterns, big logos or writing on T-shirts.

You don’t need to dress up, unless you want to! Keep it smart/ casual or simply wear what you’d normally wear for more realistic-looking photos. My only criteria is to keep the colour blocks neutral.

What should baby wear to a newborn photoshoot?

And don’t feel you need to match with your partner or baby. Most likely Baby will be in one of my wraps, or he’ll be wearing next to nothing. I normally say to families to work within three colours; e.g. white, grey and navy blue, or khaki, cream and brown.

Definitely don’t feel the need to rush out and buy a new outfit for Baby to wear during the photoshoot; usually I strip him right down anyway so you really don’t have to worry about it.

I’ll of course discuss all of this with you during your pre-session consultation so we can plan out exactly what you’ll wear.

Dad and Mum pose with both their children in a North London newborn photoshoot

______ HOW DOES IT WORK?______

If you’re after more detail on exactly what to expect when working with me at Louisa Peacock Photography, then check out this ‘How it Works’ page.

This page outlines the four stages of coming into my studio for a photoshoot, from the early design and planning through to actually hanging an amazing piece of art on your wall.

When you come to my studio, you’ll feel that everything is taken care of.

Of course if you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me.

6. How long does it take to photograph a newborn?

Parents are often surprised to know that I set aside a few hours for a newborn photoshoot. This is not a 30 minute job and it can take a whole morning.

This is because I build into the process enough time to relax and settle your baby with a feed, as soon as she arrives. This, as many mums and dads will know, can take 45 minutes for a full feed on both sides (or a full bottle).

It can then take another little while to burp your baby, change her if necessary and rock her to sleep.

Sometimes it can be a whole hour before any photographs have even been taken!

Doing it this way means that when she is finally resting on my photography blanket for a snooze, she’s nice and full, has been changed and in most cases, can lay there peacefully in a nice ‘milk sleep’ for a good 40 minutes or so. This is plenty of time for me to move her gently into various poses and capture what I need on camera.

There then might be a quick break while I re-set the backdrops and prepare for parent shots. This part can take another 20 minutes or so.

So all in all, the newborn photoshoot from start to finish is easily two hours.

Babies often curl their bodies up to replicate the feeling of being inside the womb, during a Muswell Hill photography session

7. What happens if my Baby won’t settle?

I’ve not yet had any photoshoots where a restless or anxious baby won’t at some point be able to calm himself and settle into the session. I’ve never had to turn a baby away, even if he starts off crying.

Many parents often remark that I’m a kind of baby whisperer, as in, I know how to settle even the most fractious babies. It’s a huge compliment. I’m a parent myself so I know firsthand what it’s like to hear your Baby cry. (And believe me, I wasn’t always this good at handling babies, it’s something I’ve learned over the past decade and comes from dealing with over 100 newborns!).

That’s why I ask parents to feed Baby as soon as he arrives to the studio, a nice full feed – as long as it takes – to at least rule out hunger. This more often than not sends him into a deep milk coma sleep (you know the look I mean, parents?)

I also set aside plenty of time for cuddles, rocking, holding, whatever your baby needs to feel secure.

I often start photographing your baby in a wrap, so he’s all wrapped up warm and feeling secure. This means he’s less likely to wake himself up during the Moro Reflex (where his arms flap about during sleep). Before long, he’s in a nice, sweet sleep.

Trust me to help you and your little one feel comfortable and relaxed in my studio. The whole morning should be a lovely, welcoming experience, one you can look back on and remember with fond memories.

Often a lovely knitted blanket draped across Baby helps them feel secure and warm during their baby photographer London session

Want more?

I hope I’ve answered the question “are newborn photoshoots worth it” well and in detail. If you have more burning questions or want to find out more about my process, please get in touch.

Also it might be worth checking out my Newborn page. Thanks for reading!

Muswell Hill baby photographer Louisa Peacock

Louisa is the owner of Louisa Peacock Photography and runs an award-winning studio in her own home in Muswell Hill. She specialises in family, baby and newborn photography in the studio or out and about in London’s beautiful parks. Above all her photoshoots are relaxed, fun and meaningful.