Most newborn photographers aim to get parents booked in for their newborn session within the first 2 weeks.
I personally book newborn sessions in working around 8-10 days from mum’s due date and tell parents that the sooner they can come in within the first 2 weeks the better.
However, I appreciate this is not always possible for a number of reasons:-
- Mum has to stay in hospital and doesn’t feel up to coming for a newborn session
- Parents didn’t consider having a newborn session until their baby was a few weeks old.
- Parents knew they wanted a newborn session but didn’t know you could book in advance and change the date when their baby arrived. Late booking may therefore mean less availability.
What difference will it make if babies are older?
So how different is it photographing a 5 day old baby to a 5 week old baby.
In general the younger a baby is the more sleepy he/she will be. They will be much more squishy and pliable for the curled up poses you see when you search for newborn photos.
As your baby gets older, generally after 2 weeks old, they start becoming more alert and will be awake for longer periods. They’ll also be getting stronger and the curled up poses will start getting harder to achieve.
All this said, I have photographed 5 day old babies and 5 week old babies and achieved the same poses. Whilst younger babies may have been easier to settle, on some occasions, I have photographed plenty of babies at 5 weeks old who have been equally as easy to pose. Likewise, I’ve photographed older babies who have been alert and younger babies who have been equally as alert.
This is because no two babies are the same. From the day your baby is born they are an individual.
What if your baby is awake during the session?
I will still photograph babies awake – parents love the awake shots too!.
So the first thing is not to worry. Don’t feel bad and don’t feel that your newborn session isn’t going to plan.
With a little patience and time most babies do eventually go to sleep even if it’s for a short period of time.
I allocate up to 3 hours for a newborn session to reassure parents that I don’t expect their baby to be be sound asleep for the duration of the session and if their baby needs feeding or settling, there’s plenty of time to do this.
Whilst we newborn photographers do our best to prepare for a newborn session by creating the right room temperature and atmosphere, a baby could simply be having an awake day when they come in for their session. After all, they weren’t to know that a sleepy set of photos were planned for them and if you’d have been at home, you wouldn’t have thought twice about your baby being awake for a hour or so.
I certainly remember my son having days where sometimes he slept after a feed in the day and other times he didn’t (more the latter if I’m honest!). In photography forums, the most talked about subject is the possible reasons a baby was awake during a session so, as I said, it happens and please don’t worry.
When to book a newborn session?
If you would like to ensure a photographer is able to allocate you and your baby for a newborn session, book as soon as possible after your second scan and before your baby arrives. Your date is provisional and will be rescheduled if necessary when your baby has arrived.
If your baby has already arrived, don’t hesitate to contact a photographer to enquire of availability. Due to babies arriving early and late all the time, newborn photographers diaries change regularly so it’s most certainly worth getting in touch.
I hope this has answered any questions you have regarding a newborn session and if you have any others, please get in touch.
You can view my own newborn portfolio and if you like my style of photos and would like to book a session with me, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org If you have a friend expecting a baby, why not share the post using one of the social media links below.