Once your sweet baby arrives it’s all about much less sleep, non-stop cuddles and nothing resembling a schedule at all. Coordinating a portrait session will probably be far down your list of priorities. This is why many photographers recommend booking your session 2 to 4 months prior to your due date to make sure everything is set up ahead of time and you don’t have to spend time frantically searching google and emailing photographers to see if they can “squeeze you in”. Due to the unpredictable nature of when your baby will actually arrive, and the importance of how old your newborn ideally will be at the time of the session, many photographers will only book a certain number of newborns sessions a week or month to make sure that they are flexible enough to accommodate these factors. If you book in advance, all that’s required is for you to get in touch once the baby is born to find a day and time that works for both your family and the photographer.
Newborn sessions are best scheduled with in the first two weeks of life (ideally between 6-10 days old). This ensures that your newest family member is still sleepy and squishy and curling up like they did in the womb. Images will capture that soft baby fuzz, sweet flaky baby skin and that downy baby hair. They grow so rapidly in the first months of their lives that this tiny newborn stage is very brief, and can sometimes be hard to recall.
If you’ve missed the 2 week window, you can still get great images of your baby. You just need to be aware that baby will likely be more awake and alert and will generally not be able to achieve those really curly traditional newborn poses.
Come to your session prepared to feed your little one as often as is needed, and remember to bring diapers, wipes, and the pacifier. The morning of your session try to keep your baby more awake and stimulated, so they are tired out when you arrive. Dress your newborn in something simple that can be removed without going over their head and make sure that clothing and diaper is loose enough to avoid red marks on baby’s skin.
During the session, most newborn photographers will keep the studio quite warm to keep baby cozy and comfy. Newborns get cold quickly, especially when unclothed, so we need to be sure that they are kept warm at all times. You may want to dress in layers so that you are comfortable as well. Session length will vary from photographer to photographer, but average session times run between 1 and 4 hours. I never put a time stipulation on newborn sessions because you never know how long it will take baby to settle, how often they will need to eat or have their diaper changed. Be prepared to just go with the flow and know that some things can’t be rushed.