When should I book my newborn photography session?

When should I book a newborn photography session?

I often have newborn clients tell me that they are not sure when they should book a newborn photography session. Especially if this is their first baby, or their first time hiring a newborn photographer. There isn’t a set answer for when to book. There are a variety of factors to consider when planning ahead for booking a photographer for a newborn photography session. Early is always better, when exactly when can be more if a gray area. Let’s take a few minutes to discuss when you should book a newborn photography session and common questions that come up related to newborn photography sessions.

The most popular question, when should I book a newborn photography session?

It is always best to book your session early. I recommend sometime around your second trimester or right at the beginning of your third trimester. Booking you newborn photography session around this time give you time to look for a photographer that you love, and also helps assure they have openings on their calendar for a baby around your due date.
Since babies can arrive early or late, I make sure that I book limited newborn photography sessions each month. That way I can easily fit in babies after their births. Sometimes I have a group of babies born late or early, and it opens up spots on my calendar for last minute newborn photography session bookings.  I can’t promise that I will have room for a last minute newborn photography session, but I can from time to time.

Can I wait until baby is born to book a newborn photography session?

I know moms-to-be have a lot going on, and booking a newborn photographer isn’t always at the top of the list. I do my best to fit in last minute newborn photography sessions when I can.
It is recommended to book your newborn photography session early, but I also know that is not always a realistic option. Sometimes baby is here, and you are in a panic to book your newborn photography session. I do my best to fit in those last-minute newborn photography sessions, but it is not always possible. If I can’t schedule a family for a last-minute newborn photography session, I have a list of photographer friends that have a little more availability that I will gladly refer you to. I have a great group of local photographer friends that I can refer prospective clients to if needed. Don’t feel like you have waited too long if baby is already here and you haven’t booked a session yet. If I can’t photograph your newborn photography session, I will do my best to help you find someone that can.

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I’m not sure when baby will be born, so how do I know when to schedule the newborn photography session?

Babies run the show, and we don’t plan many details of the photography session until they are here in terms of the session date and time. All of the other stuff can be preplanned, like colors, props, poses, and more items related to planning the specifics of your newborn photography session. Since babies are born on their own timeline, I let them dictate when we will schedule the session. That way we don’t have to guess when baby will be here, and also lets account for some flexibility after baby is born, on the chance mom or baby needs a little extra recovery time. Even when babies are scheduled to be delivered via c-section, I advise to wait and schedule. They way I have my newborn photography sessions set up, it is a two-step process. First you book me, meaning you counted as one of the newborns on my calendar for the month of their due date. Secondly, once baby is here, you can reach out and let me know how everyone is feeling. The actual session date and time will be decided on once baby is here. I send out a calendar to parents once baby is here so they can pick their session date and time. I now those first few weeks with baby can be busy with visitors and baby checkups. That way parents can easily add themselves to the calendar without a bunch of emails and phone calls back and forth with me.

Why do photographers take limited newborn photography sessions each month?

Newborn photography sessions are some of the most time-consuming photography sessions for studio portrait photographers. The newborn photography session itself can last two to three hours. Babies are the star of the show, and we need to plan for lots of time to let baby settle and fall into a good sleep. Most of the requested poses I do, are ones that require baby to be in a deep sleep.
We also have to plan for babies being babies, which means diaper changes and feedings too. While the common poses used in newborn photography sessions are not painful for baby (they actually mimic ways babies move on their own), all of the fine details of posing can take a while to get right. On top of the newborn photography session lasting up to 3 hours, the editing involved can be very time consuming too. Babies can really vary in color, from overly red to yellow from jaundice. Evening out skin colors, editing out baby acne, editing out flaky skin, and other edits can add hours onto the work required for newborn photography sessions. With newborn sessions taking up the most time, both at the newborn photography session itself, and with editing the session, many photographers limit how many babies they photograph each month to assure they have more than enough time to assure all newborn photography session clients get an amazing experience and product.

What if I want to add a maternity session on to my newborn photography session?

If you are considering adding a maternity session into your photography plans, it is important that you have enough time to schedule that session before baby is born and we skip right to your newborn photography session. Babies come on their own time line, and some like to arrive early. I recommend having your maternity photography session take place between 32-36 weeks. That gives us a good window for when you have a nice full baby belly, but are also not completely uncomfortable yet. If you had waited until late into your pregnancy to book your newborn photography session, you might miss that window for a maternity session too. Booking early give you time to consider booking a maternity session, and still have plenty of time for the session to take place.

What is the difference between a studio newborn photography session and a fresh 48 baby session?

There are a couple differences between studio newborn photography sessions are more lifestyle or fresh 48 sessions. Studio newborn photography sessions take place in the studio when baby is 2-3 weeks old. It is a more planned session, with specific poses, colors, and props in mind. A lifestyle or first 48 newborn photography session is the opposite. They happen with baby is just days old, and can be in the hospital or at your home. They are a great way to show the family’s connection to it’s newest member, while not using any props and poses. The baby and family are the focus. If you are interested in booking a fresh 48 session instead of a studio newborn photography session, I do recommend booking early. That way I can plan for being available around your due date. Since most fresh 48 sessions take place in the hospital in the day or days after baby’s birth, it is best to book these sessions early. I sometimes have commitments out of town, and want to make sure we don’t have any potential conflicts with babies arrival and my calendar.

While there isn’t a set date or time range for when to book your newborn photography session, there are things to consider. If you want to make sure I have openings on my calendar for your baby and add on an optional maternity session, the earlier you book your newborn photography session the better.

Minneapolis photographer for newborn photography session


To book your newborn photography session, contact me today.  Use the contact form, or email me at Info@StephanieBennettPhotography.com. You can also check on recent sessions on the blog, or follow me on Facebook or Instagram to see what’s new.

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