When Should I Book a Newborn Photographer?
When should I book a newborn photographer? That is a great question! Let’s be honest…there is so much about having a baby that no one ever tells you about. I mean, without resources like What to Expect When You’re Expecting, so many of us would be completely in the dark about things like episiotomies, mucus plugs, and the magic of lanolin. Even after having two babies, I still find myself constantly learning new things about childbirth and child-rearing, having thoughts like, “So that’s what a doula does!” and “Who would have ever thought to take a newborn to the chiropractor for things like reflux, colic, and ear infections?”
Just one of the many mysteries for expecting mothers seems to be figuring out how and when to reach out to a newborn photographer. You see the most adorable portraits of babies all over your Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages, and you realize that you want images like that of your own baby. Maybe you’ve even heard that “it’s so important” to get newborn photos taken in the first couple of weeks, but how can you possibly schedule a photo shoot with just a due date when your baby could come weeks early or weeks late?
So let’s clear up the mystery because the last thing you need when you are figuring out how to adjust to life with this new baby is to be trying to reach a newborn photographer to get on her schedule within the next few days!
Here are the answers to the three most frequent questions I hear as a newborn photographer in regards to booking.
When should I book a newborn photographer?
The ideal time to book your newborn photographer is during your 2nd trimester. You’ve made it over the hump of the 1st trimester with its elevated risks, and it’s time to start really preparing for this baby’s arrival. I recommend securing your photographer in your 2nd trimester so that you can cross it off your “To Do” list and not even have to think about it again until the baby arrives. You can absolutely book later, but the risk with waiting until the 3rd trimester (or after the baby arrives!) is that the photographer you really want may be completely booked and unable to accommodate you. I personally will take as many last-minute newborn bookings as I can manage with my schedule, but sometimes it’s tough to be able to squeeze someone in.
How do you schedule a newborn session when you’re not quite sure what day the baby will be born?
I can’t speak for all newborn photographers, but I know that many of us have a similar procedure when it comes to booking for newborns. When you book with us, we will mark your due date in our schedules, which will give us a general idea for when we need to be available for your newborn session. However, we won’t actually schedule your photo session date and time until you contact us to let us know the baby has arrived. Once baby is here, we’ll schedule your photo shoot for sometime within the next week or so. There’s no need to worry if baby comes very early or very late. We’re pretty accustomed to their unpredictable nature!
Why do you have to schedule newborn sessions when the babies are so young?
Every photographer has a different “sweet spot” for newborn ages that they prefer to photograph, and many photographers will refuse to book a posed newborn session after a certain age. I promise, we are not doing this to try to make your life more difficult! There are several reasons why this “perfect window for newborn photos” exists.
- First, the younger that babies are, the sleepier they are, and sleepier babies are much more likely to cooperate when getting them into the perfect poses.
- Also, as babies spend more time outside the womb, the sensory nerves in their skin begin to develop rapidly, which means that “older” newborns are much more receptive to touch and likely to wake from slight pose adjustments.
- Finally, the longer they spend outside the womb, the less curly babies get, so if you really love the poses that capture how flexible and curled up babies can be, those poses will be more uncomfortable for babies as they approach the 1-month-old mark.
The general rule of thumb for the “best” time to schedule a posed newborn session is around 7-14 days old.
Hopefully these explanations help you to feel a little more enlightened and prepared for your newborn portrait session! You will have plenty of things to stress over as you get ready to bring your little miracle into the world, but making sure that you have someone ready to take gorgeous portraits of this fleeting time in your little one’s life should not be one of them!
I am more than happy to answer any other questions you may have about the newborn photography process if you want to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article provided by Emily Novak of Emily Novak Photography. She specializes in infant photography as well as maternity, children, family and princess photography.