When you’re preparing for the arrival of a new baby, your to-do list may seem never ending. One of the things on that list may include choosing a newborn photographer to capture your baby’s first portraits. This task can be overwhelming, with newborn photography more popular than ever, and your choice of photographers seemingly limitless. Here are a few tips for starting the process so you’ll be better prepared for choosing the best photographer for you and your family.
Start researching early. In my book, choosing a newborn photographer is just as important as picking your wedding photographer. This is an event in your life and your child’s life that happens only once. Spend some time checking out as many photographers in your area as you can. Look carefully at their portfolio and take notes on things you like (or don’t like). For example – do you prefer posed, studio style images? Or are you drawn more towards natural, un-posed “lifestyle” sessions? What types of props or accessories does the photographer use? Each photographer has their own distinct style so starting your search early will help you find and connect with one who’s the best fit for you.
Book during your second trimester. The majority of my clients book sometime during their second trimester (although I’ve had several book even earlier than that!) This is really the ideal time to book because you’re likely over the hump of first trimester exhaustion and sickness and are feeling more like your normal self. You’re also still several months out from your due date and your photographer is most likely to have availability within this window of time. You will have lots of things on your “Preparing for Baby” checklist that can’t be completed until the end of your pregnancy, but this is an easy one that you can check off early!
Ask questions. Booking early ensures you have time to ask your photographer lots of questions – and you should! What kind of experience do they have working with newborns? Do they have a studio or do they travel to you? What kinds of props & accessories do they provide? What products do they offer after the session? I never mind answering these types of questions for prospective clients because the more knowledge they have before hand about how the whole process works, the better the experience is for both of us.
The most important reason for getting your session booked a head of time is making sure you don’t miss that window of opportunity to capture your baby while they are still in that sleepy, curly newborn stage which lasts about 2 weeks. When my clients book ahead of time I reserve space for them on my calendar based on their due date – the actual session is scheduled once baby is born. I limit the number of babies I book each month so that I know I’ll have room on my schedule regardless of when baby arrives. Those first 2 weeks will be hectic for sure, adjusting to this new little person that has joined your family, but I have never had a client say it wasn’t worth it to sacrifice a few hours in those first few sleep deprived days to have their baby’s portraits taken 🙂
So…what does all this mean if you’re 2 weeks out from your due date and haven’t booked a photographer yet? Or if your baby’s already been born? I run into this scenario a lot, too, and my best suggestion is don’t panic! 😉 Sometimes photographers have last minute openings in their schedule so it is always worth contacting a few to see what your options are. If your baby is older than 2 weeks you may need to check with your photographer to see how they go about scheduling sessions with babies beyond that typical newborn window. Regardless of the timing, if you take care to select a photographer who is a good match for you and your family the result will surely be images of your baby you will treasure for years to come.