The most common question parents have about booking Newborn photography sessions is “How soon should I book?” or “How far in advance should I book a newborn photography session?” Families who are expecting a little one are naturally unsure and curious about when the right time to book their session is.
And depending on who you ask, the answer can vary too! There is a lot of variability with booking newborn photographers and what you’re looking for. Today I’m going to unveil the curtain for you and make this answer and process a bit clearer.
Not All Photos Are the Same
The first question you should ask yourself is what kind of photos do you want? I recommend taking a few minutes to do a quick search on Pinterest for “Newborn Photography”. This will give you a good basis for which types of images really resonate with you the most.
If you find yourself gravitating towards the cute sleepy baby in a bucket or basket, or daintily swaddled or wrapped, this is a very posed style of newborn photography that usually takes place in a studio. Most newborn studio photographers prefer to have a very sleepy, very new baby – so you’d want to book your session as soon as you have your due date and just know that you will be having your session between a few days after birth to just under two weeks old.
While this is not my expertise or style of photography, I can appreciate the beauty in these newborn photography sessions.
Lifestyle Photography – What is it?
I am a lifestyle photographer which means my focus is authentically capturing your family in an artistic way. I will move furniture around to get you in the best light and move out any distractions (like big diaper pails or neon sippy cups) to make sure only your love and connection is front and center and the focal point of the picture. Don’t stress about this, a skilled photographer is going to be looking for ways to perfect a background, image, or moment that they capture before they do so.
If you are interested in this option, I would still recommend booking as soon as you have your due date to reserve the time in a photographer’s schedule. But the major bonus is that Newborn lifestyle photography can truly be scheduled at any time. So don’t fret if your baby has already arrived! There is still time for a newborn session.
In this lifestyle newborn photoshoot I was able to capture this adorable baby at 8 weeks old and she was awake for most of the session. She was interacting and engaging with her mother quite a bit as well which made the session even more special.
Check out this beautiful in home lifestyle newborn session that I was honored to be a part of. At just over a week old, this newborn baby was blissfully sleeping through the majority of the session.. She slept through two diaper changes and an outfit change without really waking up!
Sleepy or Awake?
When it comes to nailing down an exact date for your lifestyle newborn session, I recommend you ask yourself this question (and often I will ask my clients this too), do you prefer to have photos where your baby is sleepy and blissful or photos where they are more interactive, awake, or making eye contact?
A Mother’s comfort is TOP priority so I recommend waiting until after the baby is born to fully decide on a date. All birth experiences and recovery timeframes are different. I pride myself on being flexible to accommodate when you are feeling your best for a newborn photo session. That is the beauty of a lifestyle newborn session – it can be scheduled at any time up to 4 months! This flexibility is often what draws my clients to lifestyle sessions because it allows you to flow with how you, baby and family are feeling in those early weeks of your family expansion.
The Pros and Cons of a Lifestyle Newborn Session at days after birth to 4-6 weeks old
- Baby will mostly be asleep, so positioning or moving them around is easier (crib, bed, with siblings)
- Scheduled at any time of day since their “schedule” is not as formed at this stage
- Mother and Father can have photos snuggling with their baby
- Baby will most likely have their eyes closed most of the session if not all
- Baby will be more mellow and won’t be able to react to its’ surroundings, wiggle around, turn their head, move their arms and legs much
The Pros and Cons of a Lifestyle Newborn Session at 6 weeks to 4 months
- Baby will mostly likely awake for a lot of the session
- You get to see their beautiful eyes
- Smiles as well if they have reached that milestone
- Personality gets to shine through
- Schedules and routines are often more established at this time so we have to work around that
- Baby may be more resistant to outfit changes and swaddling
This adorable baby girl was 8 weeks old at the time of our session together and she was already yawning, and even wiggling a bit too! She was such a sweet baby to photograph and we had a great time!
This baby girl was two weeks old at the time of our newborn session together. She was able to transition from her mother’s arms to the couch without stirring, and I was able to capture the precious bonding with her sister.
Whichever direction you choose to go for your newborn photography session, just know you can’t go wrong! You are documenting their littleness, their petite features, and the beauty of these quickly passing stages. These will be enjoyed for years to come.
Ready to book a session? I’d love to chat with you about your vision! If you’re in New York or looking for a session in that area, let’s connect!
If you’re not local to New York, I’d love to still hear from you and hear what stood out in this blog for you (or if it was helpful!). I’m happy to point you in the direction of a local (to you) photographer who specializes in the style you’re looking for if I am able to.