When you’re expecting a baby there are so many things that you need to plan, think about and prepare. Where will the baby sleep, which nappies will you use, how should you prepare for the birth…..whether to book a newborn photo shoot?
One of the things clients are often not sure about is when to book their shoot – after all, if you’re not entirely sure when you’re baby will arrive, how can you book a photo shoot for them? In this guide I’ll explain why it’s important to schedule newborn sessions in advance, and the best time to do this.
When Is the Best Time For A Newborn Photo Shoot?
The best time for newborn photos does depend on the style of photo shoot you decide to have. Generally speaking there are two styles of newborn photography:
Studio / Posed Newborn Photos
This is what I specialise in – and is the style of photography that most people think of when they think of booking a newborn photo shoot. This style of photography results in those sweet, sleepy photographs of your baby in lovely curled up positions, and to achieve these results babies usually need to be less than two weeks old. The reason for this is that after two weeks, babies tend to become much more alert and awake, and start to stretch out which makes these poses much more difficult to achieve.
I prefer to schedule newborn sessions when the baby is between 6-14 days old. This gives the parents a few days at home to recuperate and adjust after the birth, and by this time they are usually ready to start making trips out and about. Importantly, it also means that we catch the 14-day window.
Lifestyle Newborn Photos
The other style of newborn photography, which is also becoming popular is lifestyle newborn photography – these sessions typically take place at your home, and the focus is on capturing moments between the new baby and their parents, and the new baby in their surroundings.
The timing of a lifestyle newborn shoot really depends on each photographer. Each photographer will have their own style, and to achieve that style will specify a ‘best age’ for the session.
So in summary, which style of newborn photography you choose will govern when the photo shoot needs to take place. This brings us onto the questions of when to book your shoot and for the remainder of this article I’ll focus on the studio style of newborn photography that I specialise in.
When To Book Your Newborn Photos
Because newborn sessions take place so early on in your baby’s life, I recommend booking them well before your baby arrives – not only because you risk not being able to secure a spot in your chosen photographer’s diary if you don’t, but also because once your baby arrives it will be easy for the task to drop down your to-do list.
I advise expectant parents to book their shoot just after their 20 week scan. This allows plenty of time to secure a spot in your chosen photographer’s diary, and to think about any preparations you want to make before your baby arrives.
What if My Baby Arrives Early or Late?
One of the most common questions from my client’s is what happens if your baby arrives early or late? If the two week time slot is so important, but we don’t know exactly when your baby will arrive, how can we know when to schedule the shoot?
When you book a newborn session with me we won’t actually schedule a date in the diary, unless you are having a planned cesarean and know the date that your baby will be born. Instead, your booking guarantees a place in my diary, and we will schedule the exact date once your baby is born. All I ask is that you give me a call as soon as you can after your baby arrives so that we can confirm a date for the session.
My Baby Has Already Been Born. Have I Left It Too Late To Book?
If your baby has already arrived but you haven’t booked your session then I recommend getting in touch as soon as you can to see whether I have availability. If one of my client’s babies has arrived early or late it’s possible that I may have space for an extra session.