When mums and dads speak to me, they often have lots of the same questions, so I thought I would give you a little bit more information about how session works, what to expect from your newborn session and when to book!
When To Book
The best time to photograph a newborn is within the first ten days, ideally around the 7 day mark. Now this might seem very scary, bringing along such a small baby, but this is the time where (usually) they are at their sleepiest and flexible, allowing us to mold them in to those lovely sleepy poses you see. Don’t get me wrong, we certainly have some flexibility, but as a general rule, this is when best to aim for.
This is why I always recommend to my mums and dads that they book their session before baby arrives, as a busy photographer may well struggle to fit you in at short notice if you call once you’re home from the hospital. Don’t let this put you off though, if you are reading this, and sat with your new bundle of joy, then please do always give us a call, we’ll always try to fit you in where possible.
So once you’ve had your 20-week scan, and you have your due date confirmed, give me a call, and we’ll book you in. Don’t worry, we don’t choose a date there and then, I’ll pop your due date in to my diary, and then when baby arrives, I just ask you or your partner to send me a quick note to let me know, and then we look to get you in within the next ten days or so. I always hold space for my mums that have booked ahead to guarantee they’ll get a space within that time.
How to know which photographer to choose
Well, how have you found me today? Google, maybe a friend’s recommendation, maybe I’ve popped up on your Facebook page? There are many ways to find a photographer, but the best way is ask around, do you have friends who have had this done? Is there a local Facebook group that can recommend someone? Look out for reviews on photographer’s websites and Facebook pages, these will give you a guide to how much people enjoyed their experience. Have a look through their sample images on their website and social media, are these the sort of images you are looking for? Does the photographer specialise in newborn photography? These photographers, like myself have often invested and trained specifically in the art of newborn photography, completed baby safety training and will know exactly how to look after your new baby.
Studio or Lifestyle Imagery
This is entirely up to you! Many parents I talk to are petrified of needing to take a trip with their newborn in the first week or so, whilst others can’t wait to get out of the house! I know myself I found every excuse to be out and about when my little girl arrived! It’s absolutely what you feel comfortable with.
If a photographer comes to you, they will ask you to crank up your heating, and when they say, make it warm, they mean – if you’re not breaking a sweat it’s not warm enough! You need the room to be around 25 – 28 degrees, a cool house it one of the main reasons that baby won’t settle. More often than not they’ll bring a little space heater too.
Having images at your house is also great if you have older children that you want involved. If you come to the studio, a photographer will often ask you to bring a sibling along to either the beginning or the end of the session, as kids (especially toddlers) will find it very difficult to sit still for 3 – 4 hours in a very hot studio!
Studio sessions are great if you are looking for the more posed style photography, newborn photographers will have their studio space designed specifically for that purpose. They will make sure it’s set at a constant temperature, and will have a large range of beautiful props, backgrounds, outfits, headbands and hats for you to choose from. Going to a studio also gives you the chance to sit back, relax and let the photographer work their magic, whilst you sit on the sofa, drink tea and relax (3 things you won’t get to do very often when your baby arrives).
What to expect from your session?
Don’t feel bad about asking lots of questions before your session, we photographers want you to come away having loved your experience and looking forward to seeing your images.
The majority of the time sessions will take around 3 hours – this will all depend on settled baby is, you should get plenty of time to feed and settle your baby and make sure they are comfortable.
The room will be kept between 25 and 28 degrees throughout your session, so wear layers, nearly every person that comes in to my studio is surprised by how warm it is (even though they know this before they get to me) – think getting off the plane in Mexico warm!
Photographers will generally have a flow that they work to, this will be to make the most out of the time they have shooting and to avoid moving baby on and off the props all of the time. Many will start with poses on a giant beanbag (studio session), then move on to a couple of buckets or props, then finish with parent shots.
Babies will pee, poo, sick, hiccup, burp, cry and do all of the things you might be worried about, this is totally normal. It’s rare for me to get through a session without a baby going to the loo on something (usually me – or quite often Dad)!! Please don’t be nervous about these things, it’s all part of what we do and believe me none of us are worried about it.
Again for studio shoots, all you’ll need to bring is milk, milk, milk and more milk, oh and a dummy if baby is using one! Everything else will be supplied, of course if you have something special that you would like photographed along with baby then please bring it along. I’ve had everything from drums, firemans outfits, to christening bonnets and booties.
Your photographer should give you an idea of how many images to expect at the end of the session, somewhere between 20 and 30 is normal. It’s likely that you’ll be invited back to view your images a week or two later – this gives us time to go through all of the images taken and choose the best selection of images to present to you, we will spend some time editing them, removing skin blemishes, any dry skin, and enhancing them ready to show to you.
Safety is paramount to a newborn photographer, I especially know how precious these little lives are, so at all times we make sure the safety of your baby is the most important thing.
After Your Session
As I said above, you’ll usually be invited back to view your images a week or two later. This is where you will choose what you would like, and will have chance to talk to your photographer about all of the packages available.
Be wary of photographers offering rock bottom prices, these photographers are generally (not always) untrained in newborn photography.
Once you have chosen your images, most photographers will want to share your little bundle of joy either on their website, and/or social media. This is the best way for them to advertise and for people to find out more about them. However, if you are not comfortable with your images being shared, make sure you discuss this with your photographer at the start of the session.
Tell your friends, and ask your photographer if they run a referral scheme. Most do.