One of the most common things my clients say (as I am frantically trying to fit them into my schedule) is “OMG! I didn’t know I had to book a newborn session so early”! Yes! For example, I am currently booking newborn sessions with due dates into late October (and it is mid-May!).
Here is my take on “when to book a newborn photographer”: I recommend booking as soon as you decide that you want a newborn session and you are past the first trimester. Professional, high quality newborn photography is a niche. Experienced, qualified local newborn photographers are often booked up for months in advance. Think about the process of booking a newborn photographer the same way you would approach booking a wedding photographer! You wouldn’t want to wait until the night before the wedding (or the day of the wedding) to find a wedding photographer, right? Now, I am sure you can probably find a wedding photographer – but, most likely, he or she won’t be exactly what you are looking for in terms of style, photography, quality of work, experience and expertise as well as pricing. Same logic applies to hiring a newborn photographer! Newborn photography is at least as important as wedding photography; having a newborn is truly a once-in-a-lifetime event, whether you are looking to photograph your first baby or your fourth!
So, if you are pregnant and you want to capture your baby’s newborn-ness, get online and research local newborn photographers! Some keywords I suggest are “newborn photography studio” or “professional newborn photographer” coupled with where you are located – either your city/town name, or, if you live in a metropolitan area, your general area name or a county name (For example, I am in Reston, so clients looking for a “Reston newborn photographer”, or a “Fairfax county newborn photographer” or a “Northern Virginia newborn photographer” will find me with ease). If you search for more generic and less precise terms, you will come up with results that are not as relevant (for example, “baby pics” or “newborn photos” without further specifying the location or that you are looking for a photographer).
I also strongly encourage you to try and get an understanding for different styles of the portfolios you are looking at. Are you looking for a “lifestyle”, unposed portraiture? Or are you looking for a more deliberate, traditional, posed session? I would recommend doing the former on location or at your home, and the latter at the photographer’s studio where there are plenty props, blankets and necessary equipment. Just remember, newborn photography is not all the same! With this in mind, do your best to figure out your “likes” and “dislikes” and contact the photographers whose work you love and admire. And, hopefully, book one of them!
Here is a little bit of my own behind-the-scenes workflow when booking newborn clients: I only book a certain limited number of newborn clients per time period (based on my overall weekly/bi-weekly/monthly commitments) to allow for scheduling, session time, editing, ordering and working with each client individually. Once I book that “certain number” of newborn clients, I close my calendar to booking newborn clients for that time frame. I recommend scheduling newborn sessions within about 2 weeks of birth for the sleepy, posed, curled up images similar to the ones in my galleries.
This said, I always encourage last-minute clients to contact me and see if I have an opening! As we know, babies almost never arrive on their due dates. Quite often they arrive somewhat before or well after their due date and when that happens I have a last minute opening in my schedule and I can take a last-minute client!
If you like my work and want a photo session for your newborn baby, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.orgÂ or call me at 202-251-6368 to schedule your session! I have years of experience photographing newborns and babies and I guarantee youâ€™ll love the photos! For more examples of my work, please see newborn galleries on my website: http://www.chasingmoments.com