How far in advance should you book a newborn photography session?
Many people ask me, when we first communicate, how far in advance they need to book a newborn photography session for their soon-to-be-born children. I’m going to answer based on my experience and on what some fellow photographers have told me in the past.
Ideally, you should contact a newborn photographer right after the 12-week pregnancy mark. Preferably no later than three months before the due date. And why is that?
We need time to prepare everything
Most newborn photographers limit their sessions to a specific quantity per month. It has to do with all the preparation required by this type of session. I’m talking about cleaning the studio physical space, washing clothes and props, creating scenarios, assembling and organizing sets. Not to mention administrative tasks like sending contracts, analyzing the style questionnaire, and putting actual face time with the clients.
Right after mommy and/or daddy choose me to photograph their baby, sign the contract and pay the invoice, I book their date and begin to work. My sole purpose is to create a customized newborn photography session that will fulfill the parents’ expectations in the best way possible. That includes special requests that I often receive from them, which require the purchase of new props and accessories. And, since most of the vendors are artisans, sometimes it takes time to have those beautiful pieces ready.
What if the baby is already born?
When parents reach out after their baby is born, the only option is having a much less customized session. In other words, they must pick from whatever the photographer has available at that moment. That is true both for accessories and for time slots. I might be fully booked during that ideal small window of 5-15 days of life in which your newborn is ready to rock as a photo model. So, basically, coming at the last minute may lead to not being able to customize, to shoot all cute poses (as those require the baby to be very young), and to make special requests. Of course, if you are reading this post and your baby is already born, it will be my true pleasure to photograph him or her. But knowing the limitations will help you adjust your expectations for the session.
In the end, everything works fine
Having said that, I guarantee you’ll have amazing newborn photos to remember this delicious time you’re going through with your baby. And those memories will last for many decades. The essence of a newborn session is recording a precious reality that vanishes so quickly, as our beloved children grow very fast. Scheduling your session in advance brings peace of mind to everyone involved. The parents avoid accumulating one more thing to worry about when there’s so much happening. And the photographer has the time to design and prepare a truly unique session.