No doubt, there’s a ton of conflicting information about everything if you go digging around in the internet long enough. Before being a newborn photographer photographer myself, I had no idea what to expect from these types of sessions – let alone when to schedule one. Which leads us to the looming question – when to take newborn photos? What is the ideal time to book your session? How old should your baby be for newborn photos? How do you even book a photographer? If you’re looking for a run down on what to expect when preparing for your newest family member’s first professional shoot, you’re in the right place.
What do you want to walk away with?
This may seem silly to some, but it’s a valid question. Every photographer runs their business differently – meaning you need to define what it is you’re hoping to gain. Are you the type of person who only wants the digital images to print on your own later or would you prefer a full service experience where the photographer handles everything from start to finish? Life changes fast, especially with a newborn. The last thing on your mind or to-do list is printing photos. I always recommend moms seriously consider a photographer that offers print products as a solution. Enjoy snuggling with your baby and let someone else deal with your portraits. This allows you to start enjoying your investment sooner rather than later. Once you’ve determined your “what” – it’s time to think about your “when”.
Lifestyle or posed?
A major factor to consider when thinking about booking newborn photos is the style or type of session you’re after. If you’re more laid back and would prefer a lifestyle session in your home – there’s a little more leeway. Since baby won’t be being posed or tightly swaddled by your photographer, the timeframe to get these done is typically wider. That’s not the case with posed newborn sessions.
If you’re leaning towards posed newborn when trying to decide when to book newborn photos, sooner is certainly better. We want baby to be super sleepy and still bendy and curly – similar to their positioning in the womb. The closer to birth, the more likely baby is to be less alert and spend more time asleep. It’s recommended to have your posed newborn session completed before the baby is 3 weeks old. (remember – this is a preference and recommendation, NOT a requirement. Posed newborn sessions can happen after 3 weeks of age, but you need to be mindful that your baby may not go into those squishy, curly poses. Your photographer should be able to help manage your expectations regarding their abilities and what they feel they can get from the photoshoot.)
Booking your newborn session
While I can’t speak for every photographer, I can say that I fill my newborn calendar 2-3 months in advance. I encourage any mama interested in booking to reach out close to the end of their second trimester or beginning of their third. This will secure your spot on the calendar and ensure that I can get you into the studio within baby’s first 3 weeks of life. As much as I’d love to accept every newborn session request that comes my way – I want to ensure that each family I work with gets a high level of attention and a hands-on experience, meaning I limit how many babies I take on each month to safeguard the experience provided.
I do try to leave wiggle room in the calendar for reschedules, early arrivals and late arrivals – and sometimes do have unexpected openings. Always reach out just to be sure if you’re on the fence!
What if my baby is early or late?
When booking, I’ll note your baby’s due date on my calendar and leave enough “padding” around the date to ensure we can still get your little one in studio before they are 3 weeks old. That’s the beauty of booking early and securing your spot – you and your baby take priority in the schedule, no matter when they make their arrival.
My baby is already here. Can I still book?
While I can’t guarantee last minute availability, I do build in buffers to accommodate my scheduled due dates. Please contact me if your baby is already here and we may be able to fit you in.
Ready to book? Still need more information?