WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING... A NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION: (part 1)
When my families get in touch to ask me about my newborn photography sessions, naturally they have a lot of questions about how the process works. Here are some of the top questions I get asked and my answers. Feel free to add more questions in the comments and I’ll answer them too. The next instalment of this blog post will address further questions on safety, training, props and lighting amongst other questions.
When is the best time to book my newborn photo session?
After your 20 week scan and at least a month before your due date. Newborn sessions are usually held in the first 2-3 weeks of your new baby’s life (and preferably between 5-15 days new). Because I tend to book about 6-10 weeks in advance, it makes sense to book earlier rather than later :-)
How do we know what date to book for when we don’t know when baby will arrive?
Once you book with me, I schedule around 4-5 dates in the diary with you around your due date. Then once your baby arrives we pick one of the remaining dates (or reschedule to another mutually convenient time). I try not to book more than 2 newborn sessions a week, so that there is room for movement. This means that if your baby doesn’t arrive according to schedule (only 1 in 4 do), we can be flexible with session dates.
Why is newborn photography best done when baby is between 5 and 15 days new?
Ideally, new born photos are taken when your baby is around 5 - 15 days new. The lower age is so that feeding is well established before the shoot (this could be slightly earlier if the baby is bottle fed and/or baby is putting on weight well). After about 15 days new, babies tend not to sleep as long as in the first few weeks (which is more ideal for the images), and are less used to being curled into the womb-like positions which are recreated in some of the shots. If your baby is a touch older, don’t worry; it just might mean that we don’t get all of the curled up poses. Babies who arrive early, can also be photographed later than the 15 days with more ease, and in fact I recently captured newborn photos with a 6 month old (adjusted age; baby was born at 23 weeks). By capturing your baby's images so early on means you can keep a permanent memory of those fast-changing features of a newborn baby.
Do you come to my home or do we come to you?
I usually offer newborn photography in the comfort of my studio (though I can also come to you). I have a variety of props and backdrops which we pick from for your session. In my studio everything will be available for you to look through on the day and you can treat my studio somewhat like a home from home. Rest assured that when you come to my studio there is everything there that you could need - so if you run out of nappies, wipes, formula or just need a really strong coffee (or a herbal tea) - you won’t be caught short.
Take a look through these images of my bright and airy, comfy studio so you can see a a bit of the environment as well as a snapshot of the props, headbands and backdrops I have available.
Where do you set up if you come to our home?
Usually I set up in the living room or a room which we can heat up, with about 3 x 3m that I can work in. Here’s a couple of shots from me set up in various clients homes (with thanks to my families for sharing these photos).
How much equipment do you bring with you?
My equipment usually fills the boot and back seats of my car. (Bear in mind there is a child seat in there too :-)) Mostly there is a box of fabric backdrops, one or two bowls / baskets to pose your baby in, a long rolled up studio backdrop, a huge bean bag to pose your baby on and then some other bags with lighting equipment and of course my camera bag.
Do you have an assistant?
There are only a couple of occasions when I need a second pair of hands, and so I like to ask for parents to be involved in the session at those times. I love the idea that as a parent you can be instrumental in achieving your baby’s newborn album. But don’t worry - it’s not all hands on for you - hopefully you’ll get time to kick back and relax too. (Feel free to read, watch YouTube videos, snooze etc!)
Hope the information is helpful for you when considering a newborn photography session. Please comment with any other questions you have, and I'll be sure to answer!