One question which I’m often asked about newborn photo shoots is how you go about booking them as you don’t usually know exactly when your baby is going to arrive.
So a newborn photo shoot needs to take place when your baby is between 5 and 10 days old and definitely within the first two weeks.
There’s a bit of an exception to this, in that if your baby arrives early, then you have a little more time. So for single babies who can’t wait to meet you and twins and multiples that generally arrive before their due date you could stretch the timings to 3 weeks, maybe 4.
The problem with newborn photography – which is also kind of what gives it its appeal – that it can only take place in this tiny little window. Those sleepy, tucked up days are really very fleeting and your little one transitions surprisingly quickly from a ‘newborn’ to a ‘baby’.
Therefore, to go back to the original question of how you book, here’s what I recommend.
Book while you are pregnant – any time after your 20 week scan is perfect.
We book the session for your due date plus seven days and then we just adjust the appointment as required when your baby arrives, be it early, on time or a little bit late.
There’s two reasons for this being a great idea.
The first is that, although photography is my full time job Monday through Sunday so I have more availability than folk who only do it a couple of days a week, there is still a limit to the amount of sessions I take on. They are demanding sessions for the photographer so I would never take more than one a day. The best results are achieved with a session that starts at 10 or 11am and I do other sessions types (such as family portraits, cake smashes and older baby photography) so I don’t have availability every day. When I have a newborn session booked, I know that I need to keep a weather eye on my availability so I can make adjustments when I need to. That means that late bookings can’t always be accommodated – I’m not being precious and I’ll always do my best to make space for you but I do occasional run out of calendar space.
The second reason is far more important than the vagaries of my scheduling system. New babies make everything crazy for the first few weeks. When you get home from the hospital, you slip into the ‘new baby bubble’ with a whole new routine to get used to and to learn about. So it’s pretty easy to get to the end of your first month before photography even hoves into view on your ‘to do’ list and by then, it’s too late for newborn shots. That’s not to say that there aren’t great photo memories to be made, but they are undeniably different to those sleepy early days moments. Getting it booked when you are stick rocking the bump means that it’s done and out of the way.
This leads me to my ‘secret’ and favourite third reason to book your newborn photography while you’re still pregnant. You will have a ton of items on your ‘getting ready for a new baby’ checklist and when you’ve booked your photo shoot, you get to tick one off. I gain a great deal of satisfaction from ticking off so that seems like a great reason to me!