What’s the Difference Between Birth and Newborn Photography?

Birth and newborn photography both play an important role in capturing the most precious moments in a family’s life. But what exactly sets these two types of photography apart? Whether you’re a new parent or a soon-to-be parent, keep reading to discover the differences between birth photography and newborn photography!

There are three main differences between birth photography and newborn photography: timing, setting and purpose.

1. The first difference is timing.

Birth photography:

Birth photography revolves around the pregnant person giving birth. Your birth photographer is on-call to meet you at any hour–day or night! Next, a birth photographer is present during labor, delivery and immediate postpartum to capture the raw and emotional moments of the birthing process. Think images of your partner supporting you through a contraction, you holding your new baby for the first time, your baby being weighed or your reaction in realizing that you just did that!

Newborn photography:

Newborn photography takes place much later after the baby has been born. Typically newborn photography is recommended to be done in the first 10-15 days of baby’s life, if you want that “fresh” look.

However, many parents get newborn photos up to 3 months after their baby is born. In fact, babies that are just a little bit older have a tiny bit more weight on them, making them look so adorable!

As a Seattle newborn photographer, I recommend doing what is most realistic for you! Often, new parents are exhausted and overwhelmed with learning how to care for a new baby. So if you feel too overwhelmed to do a newborn session in the first few days of your baby’s life, don’t force it. Wait another month or so, and these newborn photos will be just as beautiful and amazing.

2. Another difference between birth photography and newborn photography is setting.

Birth Photography:

Birth photography takes place in the baby’s birthing space. This can be located in various settings, such as a hospital, a birth centers, or at home.

Newborn photography:

Newborn photography takes place in your home or a studio. As at matter of fact, I’m a sucker for in-home newborn sessions because I love lifestyle photography!

Sidenote, taking photos in the comfort of you own home, helps your family to feel more at ease. It also helps you to remember your home and stage of life when you look back at the photos. And (more importantly) you don’t have to load everyone up in the car and deal with the stress of trying to remember to bring all the things! (extra diapers, outfits, snacks for the older sibling, etc.)

3. The final difference between the two types of photography is purpose.

Birth photography:

Birth photography involves capturing the special moments of childbirth that you probably won’t remember. A birth photographer documents the labor and delivery process, including the anticipation, excitement, pain and joy experienced by the parents. They capture candid and raw moments that reflect the emotions of the birth experience in a beautiful way. This is so important because your memory fades. As much as you think you will remember all the details, you will truly appreciate the photos! (I know this firsthand!)

Some examples of moments that a birth photographer captures includes things like the mother’s expressions, the partner’s support, the medical team’s actions, and the first moments of the baby’s life. Birth photographers are storytellers, and aim to tell the story of the birth experience just as it unfolds.

Newborn photography:

Newborn photography aims to capture the baby and their family by showcasing the interactions, emotions and connection between family members. These photos often include the baby in their nursery, being held by family members, breastfeeding, and other candid moments that reflect the family’s dynamics. In addition, lifestyle newborn photography captures the love, warmth, and intimacy of the newborn’s early days.

Even though they are different, both birth photography and newborn photography preserve some of the most precious moments of a new family’s life!

Although my speciality is birth photography, I also absolutely love doing newborn sessions as well! In fact, you can bundle both birth photography and newborn photography together in one of my birth packages. Now you can get the best of both worlds!

Ready to book a birth and newborn session?

Fill out my form to start the process and check availability in my calendar for your due date! (I take a limited number of births each month.) After that, I will contact you for a no-pressure phone or zoom call to answer any of your questions, and to see if we are a good fit!

And if not, I’m connected to several other local Seattle professional birth photographers that I can recommend. Finally, if you are located somewhere other than Seattle and the greater Puget Sound area, check out the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers (IAPBP) to find a birth photographer near you!

Want to know more about why in home newborn sessions are the best? Check out my colleague  Tessier’s post to learn more! newborn photography Ottawa

  1. Love how you used photos to illustrate the difference between the two. Both types of photoshoots are so valuable but they are different. Thank you for the great info!

  2. Jaime King says:

    I would have loved having birth photos done. This is a great blog explaining the differences!
    Beautiful work.

  3. Neyssa Lee says:

    Such a great post full of info!

  4. Ashlie says:

    Love that you covered the differences between these two types of sessions. So helpful and informative. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Shannon says:

    I had newborn photos with mine but this makes me wish I had birth photography, as well!

  6. Hard to choose just one! Love the raw emotions caught with birth photography.

  7. Aleah says:

    This is a great resource for understanding the difference between birth photography and newborn photography, especially because many moms don’t know! I love that birth photography is becoming more popular.

  8. Such a great post! Thanks for sharing. ♡

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