How long does a newborn photo session take?

August 8, 2022

One of the first questions I get from new clients is, “How long does a newborn session take?” The short answer: it depends. Newborn sessions go a lot faster when baby is asleep, so the length of your session depends on how long your little one sleeps and how often they need changing, feeding, and soothing.

If your baby arrives asleep and stays asleep, we could finish in 90 minutes! But, in all my years as a Los Angeles newborn photographer, I can count on one hand the number of babies who have arrived at my studio asleep and stayed asleep for the duration of their sessions. More typically, babies need to be fed when they arrive or will wake up mid-session and need feeding and soothing. 

I can tell you that most of my newborn photo shoots take between 2 and 3 hours. I never put a strict time limit on my sessions, but I try to keep them under 3 hours. Why? Because parents of newborns are TIRED!

Close-up portrait of sleeping newborn

What can we do to keep my baby asleep during their newborn session?

I say we because your newborn’s portrait session is a team effort. We’ll be working together to ensure a smooth and swift session.

Sleeping newborn baby close-upDon’t watch the clock

There’s no time limit on your session, and newborns don’t run on schedules. If you can relax during your session, your newborn will too!

Relaxed sleeping newborn baby from up close

Take your time during feedings

If your baby takes 45 minutes to nurse, that’s fine! I’m expecting downtime during your session, and I promise no one is outside the door tapping their foot. It’s essential to give your baby a full feeding so they can drift off to sleep comfortably. 

Black and white portrait of small baby

Rely on me

As I said, this is a team effort! I have plenty of experience in soothing newborns and will use the same newborn soothing techniques you use at home. If your baby isn’t falling back to sleep quickly, a swaddle usually does the trick. I play white noise during the session and ensure that baby is comfortably warm. If your baby uses a pacifier, we can also use that. 

I love nothing more than cuddling newborns, so feel free to sit down and have a little snack while I pace with your little bundle. You may as well enjoy a break!

If you’d like to book a newborn session, please get in touch!

big sister and newborn

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I photograph maternity, newborn, baby, and family sessions in and around Los Angeles. If you're interested in a session, please get in touch.

Ariel Cannon Photography | Los Angeles

Newborn Baby with arms overhead
Baby girl portrait on bed

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