So, your dreams have come true and you’re expecting a new little one in your life soon! Congratulations! You might be wondering when you should be scheduling any newborn photography sessions to capture the new life you are bringing into your life, and do not worry about not knowing the specific timing; this is a very common question! An added complication is that unless you are having a scheduled cesarean section, you will not actually know when you will be going into labor.
Because of this complication, many newborn photographers are more than willing to work around your delivery and ensure flexible scheduling for close to your due date. They can do this by ensuring that they are only scheduling one or two newborn shoots a week. If your photographer tells you that they have more than that scheduled, you might have to wait a little longer for your photos if needed. Additionally, make sure your photographer is willing to schedule the entire day. There is no way to know when your new bundle of joy will be sleeping, happy, screaming its head off, or any other myriad of moods he or she might be in. A full day shoot will enable you and the photographer to get the shots you want without having to rush things or settle for less than great photos. You should also begin the search for your photographer while in your second trimester to make sure that you have time to meet your photographer, view his or her work, and read reviews from previous clients. This is also the time in which you should have a better idea of when your due date will be which can make scheduling easier.
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But What Is the Best Time for the Photos?
This question is one that you will have to ask yourself and your partner. Younger babies tend to be great at the curled up and cozy photos, while older ones might be more expressive. Are you comfortable with a photographer coming into your house and touching your newborn a few days after birth? Do you want the sleepy pictures that come with newborns, or the slightly more active 1 to 2 month-old babies? Are you completely unsure of what to do? You’re in luck! Below are some pros and cons for the most popular periods in which people have newborn photos taken.
Two Weeks or Younger: Most photographers will tell clients that the best time for newborn photos is before they are 10 days old, especially if the expectant parents are looking for that cozy, sleepy, and curled up posture. Babies that are between five and ten days old stay asleep for longer, do not mind having their clothes removed, and have their feeding times on a tight schedule which makes planning for crabbiness much easier. Eating schedules can also ensure that your baby might be in a “milk coma”, making it infinitely easier to put him in different poses and postures without undue amounts of stress for the infant.
Two weeks or older: This age can also be great for newborn photos! This age can also represent different challenges than the younger babies due to the fact that babies that are two weeks or older may not want their clothes to come off, may not want to stay in a specific position, and are in general more wiggly. The benefit of waiting the two weeks or longer is that you may get a larger range of photos. Babies at this stage are awake more, more interested in their surroundings, and so you might have some pictures where baby is still cute and sleeping and also some pictures of baby awake to see his beautiful eyes.
This age group does also allow for different poses. Instead of the curled up “womb-like” pictures of the super newborns, this age group allows for pictures of Mom and Dad holding baby, the baby tucked in a basket, pictures taken from above, and pictures of baby dressed in adorable outfits. This activeness and need to switch up positions will only increase with age, so most photographers will ask that you not schedule a session for newborns past the first month or so. Instead, schedule a general baby session!
5 Tips for a Successful Photo Shoot
Now that you have more information on when to schedule the photo shoot for your new little angel, we thought we would include some tips to help ensure the best photo shoot possible!
1. Keep your baby warm!
- Newborns have difficulty maintaining their body temperature, and while those naked pictures are adorable, your baby might need to be covered with a blanket in-between shots. Keeping the photo space warm will help the baby sleep better as well, making those cute sleepy pictures that much easier to obtain.
- One of the best things you can do to help your photographer prepare for photos is to feed your baby right before the session begins. If the baby becomes restless and hungry during the shots, you should have formula or breast milk prepared to ensure a quick feeding and then the photographer can get back to work.
3. Stay calm and relaxed!
- Babies, particularly newborns, are able to notice other people’s energy easily. If you are nervous, anxious, or stressed, the baby will definitely sense it and mimic those feelings. To ensure a happy, healthy, photo shoot, try to remain calm and as laid back as possible.
4. Be safe!
- We all want those perfect newborn photos, but there are several safety things that both you and your photographer should follow while taking photos. Someone should always be close by to spot the baby if he is lying down by himself, or being held up. Gentle movements are key, and if your baby does not like a specific position, you need to come to terms with it and move on to the next one. Also, ensure that hands are being washed in-between touching the baby, and that no one is sick.
- Having your baby’s photos taken can be anxiety causing, but have trust in your photographer and in yourself as a parent and enjoy the moment! Not only will it make for happier photos and a happier baby, but also it will serve as a great memory for the rest of your life!