One of my most frequently asked questions is when to book your newborn session. It’s kind of like asking “When is the best time to announce your pregnancy?” That answer is different for every person and every situation. However, there is some general advice for booking a newborn session.
I recommend starting to research newborn photographers whenever you feel ready. Start asking questions. If you find someone you know you want to book with, I would definitely suggest doing that between 15-30 weeks. To be honest, the earlier the better. Most newborn photographers only book a certain number of newborn sessions a month. This is to make sure that they have the flexibility in their schedules for an early or late arrival.
Plan Your Newborn Session
The reason you want to book your session early is because then you (and your photographer) will have time to plan your session. You can review the prep guide and think through what colors you might be interested in. You can ask any questions and prepare family outfits, Finally, you will have time to follow their work to get an idea of what your final images may end up looking like. I always recommend that clients book early so that I can shop in advance. I provide all the props, outfits and wraps and I want to make sure there is plenty of time to order what I need. If I know that I have 4 newborn girls coming in March, I will plan accordingly. I pride myself in customizing all of my newborn sessions, so booking early just gives us extra time before your final trimester to chat.
Get on the Radar for the Ideal Timeframe
I had a mom reach out to me last June and ask when the best time to book her newborn session. I gave her my recommendation, asked her due date and she answered that she already had the baby. That is TOTALLY fine, and we were able to get her on my schedule. By getting on the calendar early, you will make sure that your photographer is available. There is always the off-chance that the prime newborn window (between 5-12 days after birth) coincides with your photographer’s vacation. There is also the chance that there are already too many other newborns booked that month. It never hurts to reach out early, at least to get on your photographer’s radar.
If You Miss The Ideal Timeframe
If you reach out *REALLY* late, like your newborn is actually a two-month old, this tends to be a different kind of session. Because babies are more alert at this age, it’s more challenging to swaddle them, get them into a deep sleep and fit them into certain props. It’s definitely a possibility and many parents chose to do 3-month sessions after the Covid pandemic instead of a traditional newborn session. You just need to be aware ahead of time that these sessions are a little different and you can talk to your photographer about different options at that point.
2020 was a tricky year for booking newborns because so many new moms had an incredible amount of unknowns. Many were first-time moms that were hesitant to book a session not knowing what the world was going to look like after their little one arrived and I totally get that. If it assures you at all, I promise all of my new moms that once their little one is born, if they feel at all nervous about Covid and want to forfeit their session, I will be happy to give them back their full retainer. I can’t even begin to imagine how nerve-wracking it is to be pregnant during a pandemic (I thought I was stressed and there wasn’t a global crisis happening!) and I am here for you, no matter what. No worries, mama – you have enough on your mind!
The Final Word: When To Book Your Newborn Session
The moral of the story is any time between 15-30 weeks is the ideal window to book your newborn session. Obviously, if you prefer to lock in your due date earlier or later, that is always a possibility, you just may be taking a gamble if you wait too long and may need a back-up plan. Planning your newborn session should be a fun, exciting experience and booking early helps it to be just that.