The Best Time to Schedule Newborn Portraits
The First 10 DaysAs a professional photographer, I recommend my clients to schedule their newborn portrait session within the first 5-10 days of their babies’ lives. During this time newborn babies make the ideal models because they are:
- Sleepy enough to tolerate being hovered over and re-positioned
- Free of rashes, blemishes, baby acne, and colic (which tend to develop after the first two weeks of life)
- Able to stay curled up in “womb-like” poses in which they neatly fold their precious limbs into their chest
Newborn FeedingsAs a whole, newborn sessions tend to run a bit longer than sessions for older babies and kids. Caring for a newborn requires frequent feedings, diaper changes, and soothing which take priority over taking photos. Plus changing settings, and settling into new poses also take time.
Morning & AfternoonGiven that newborns have a blatant disregard for time of day, the ideal scheduling time comes down to the photographer’s availability and the quality of natural light. Ideally sessions are scheduled during mid-morning or late-afternoon, when natural light is soft, warm, and at it’s most photo-friendly.
- Hospital Stays and Early Arrivers There are, of course, special cases in which newborns simply don’t comply with our adult version of an ideal timeline. Sometimes their birth comes unexpectedly or their kept under close watch in the NICU long after the window of opportunity has passed. If that’s the case, don’t fret. Simply give your Washington DC newborn photographer a call and schedule as soon as possible.
- Circumcision For parents planning on circumcising their son, it’s best to schedule the procedure shortly after the birth or shortly after the portrait session. It generally takes 5 days for the child to heal completely and posing a baby during that time period can cause discomfort.
- On the Move/ Cluttered Home When it comes time for a newborn photography session, many of my clients fret about whether their house is clean or cluttered. Most sessions take place within your home and it’s understood that you’ve just had a baby – the mopping, dusting, and putting away is just going to have to wait. And the good news is that no one will ever know. I’m an expert at identifying key corners of your house for photography and much of what we’ll do will be in close up. So moving boxes or loose toys are the least of your worries.
How to Schedule Your Newborn Photo SessionIf you or someone in your family is expecting a new arrival, it’s best to give your newborn photographer a heads up before the baby is born to ensure that 1) he/she is in town around the estimated due date and 2) he/she can accommodate another client. After the birth, pick up the phone once again to nail down the final time, date, and location of the shoot. Some photographers will establish a time/date based upon the due date, while others prefer to wait until the baby is born. In my case, I ask clients to put me on their contact list of people to notify when the baby is born. I usually receive the big group email along with all their family and friends and then make sure I get in touch with them to finalize the time and date. Bringing a new baby into the world is an exciting, exhausting, and emotional time. Working with an experienced, professional newborn photographer allows you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your baby is in good hands and that stunning portraits are on their way.
About the Author:
Julie Kubal is a child and family portrait artist and photographer serving Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. She is passionate about creating warm and meaningful artwork through modern portraits and lifestyle photography at a location of your choice!