It may seem like there are so many things that need to be done before baby arrives... your home may need to be redesigned/organized, their nursery needs to be designed, crib needs to be purchased, clothing, diapers, blankets, burp clothes, changing tables, diaper bags, strollers, car seats, the list goes on... When you actually think about it though - what do you actually NEED to care for a newborn? For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a baby sleep in a bassinet in the parents' room for at least the first 6 months, or ideally even the whole first year! (Obviously, there are a lot of different factors that play a role in when this transition happens, so please do your own research!). So... is a crib even necessary right away?! Yes, a car seat and probably a stroller are most definitely necessary, but really stop and think - what do I actually NEED?
So, to relieve some overwhelm, make two lists: "things to do before baby is born", and "things that can wait."
If photos are something you've thought about - add it to the "before baby's born" list. You'll be happy to have it done and planned before that little one arrives. Here are the top 5 reasons why these sessions should be booked BEFORE your baby is born:
1. TIME FRAME FOR SHOOTING.
To ensure those cute curly poses, it's best to have your photo session within the first 2 weeks - I aim for exactly 1 week after birth (or 5-10 days old). We don't want this to be a surprise for you! Babies under 2 weeks of age are more likely to roll up into those adorable womb-like poses, to stay asleep for longer (or more soundly), don't mind being unclothed, and will likely have somewhat of a set feeding schedule. They also tend to get a little more colicky after 1.5-2 weeks and may show more baby acne as well.
Now, if those curly poses are not important to you, not as big of a deal. Newborn sessions can be scheduled later, after the first 2 weeks, just know that the poses may be a little different. Newborn sessions after the first 2 weeks of age tend to focus more on baby dressed or wrapped, tucked in, awake, cuddled in a basket or hand held. Still beautiful imagery, just a difference to be aware of.
And either way, whichever look you're going for - a photography session is something that is ideally arranged for prior to birth so that you at least have the option! And, so that the photographer can get the information you need to get the most out of your session.
Once that baby is here, your whole world changes. There are SO many things going on with a new little baby in the mix! And wow how the time flies! There are distractions up the wazoo - phone calls from family and friends congratulating you on your new addition, friends and neighbors just popping by, "what's that bump on baby's face?!", doctors visits, "a shirt? What's that? I don't even wear one anymore cause I'm nursing ALL THE TIME!" Early mornings, late nights, predawn nursing sessions, pumping, baby's crying, mom needs a nap, is it bedtime yet?! (at 9am!). You get the point?! After baby arrives life can get a little hectic. And preparing for a newborn session in this state can be a bit overwhelming. (And, if that overwhelm doesn't go away, bringing that anxious energy into a newborn session is just dooming it for failure!).
There is a lot that goes into a newborn photography session - and a lot of information to pass along... which leads me into reason #3.
Preparation for a newborn session is critical to it's success. And, parents can have a lot to do with how it goes. Preparing the parents is part of the photographer's job, and is as critical as having that newborn present to photograph!
A photographer who is designing the session around you will likely have a pre-consultation. This is a time to figure out what it is you're really wanting to get out of your session. (And maybe you don't know yet - and that's totally fine! That's one of the main reasons this consultation takes place!). It's during this conversation that we'll discuss colors, likes, dislikes, poses, home decor, etc. etc. to make sure that we create something you LOVE, and want to display! If you're wanting wall art, or an album, for example, we may shoot your session differently, for that particular product. There are also helpful tips and tricks to get across from photographer to you as the client, in order to make the most out of the session. There are things that you can do to help things go smoothly. And, if those tips and tricks are given ahead of time, they may not seem so overwhelming.
One of the really important aspects involved in the prep includes mom's diet (if she's breastfeeding). This is something that needs to be considered for the days leading up to the session - so not just on the day itself! If mom eats acidic foods in the 48 hours prior to our photography session, this could actually still cause upset in baby's tummy. Yes! Up to 2 day later! What mom eats is directly transferred to baby via her breastmilk, so this is really important to be aware of to ensure a successful session.
4. FINDING THE RIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER FOR YOU.
Finding the right photographer for you may take time. And, there are lots of things to consider: style, props, colors, expertise, service, do they have a studio, cost etc. etc. This is likely going to be a bit of an investment, and you want to get something that you love. To find someone who fits within your style and budget may take some research - and who has time for that once baby is born?! (go back to #2 if you need more explanation!).
And, last but definitely not least - you finally found the perfect photographer, your heart is set and... they're completely booked up! No more openings!
Booking your newborn session in advance (2nd trimester is suggested), will likely ensure you get the photographer you want. Please do read their booking suggestions though, because they very well may book up even sooner!
So, all in all, booking your newborn session in advance can have you fully prepared for your session, and avoid a lot of extra overwhelm to an already chaotic first week or two of baby's life. Not only will you be relieved it's done and set, it's nice for the photographer to get some time to prep as well!
Interested in finding out more? Reach out, and let's set up a time to chat!