Congratulations Mum & Dad!
You’re on one of life’s most exciting, life-changing and overwhelming journeys – we know it’s not easy being pregnant and the last thing you need is stress when discovering your perfect newborn photographer. Every expectant mum is unique with different needs and expectations so we’ve put this blog together so you can focus on the important details without the worry of missing anything out.
When To Book…
It’s sensible to book your newborn photoshoot in your 2nd trimester – a common mistake is booking too late, one or two weeks before your estimated due date or once baby has arrived. There will be limited if any availability with your photographer at such short notice and we recommend your baby should be between 1-14 days old. Before 2 weeks of age, a newborn has almost 300 bones & cartilage pieces which start to fuse together into calcified bone at approximately 14 days. It is more comfortable for them to be moulded into those sweet, adorable positions whilst they still have pure flexibility.
How To Select Your Photographer…
Firstly, it’s best to decide how far you’re willing to travel bearing in mind you’ll have a newborn baby with you. Your journey will potentially take a lot longer with pit stops along the way if you decide to go outside of your local area. This is definitely a factor to consider as you’ll all want to arrive at your photoshoot as relaxed as possible – it’s also a great idea to plan a feed just before your session begins. A full belly = a happy baby! If you’re having a newborn photoshoot at home then you’ll want to dedicate a specific area for your photographer to set up.
You’ll probably have a budget in mind but do be open minded – you pay for what you get when it comes to an experienced, professional photographer. If you’re being quoted a bargain price for a 1 hour photoshoot opposed to a photographer requiring 4 hours of your time with a decent booking fee then you want to question their skills and experience. Typically the duration of a newborn shoot will be between 2 to 4 hours, giving you the opportunity to feed, take toilet breaks, attend to your baby and have refreshments for yourself! Your ideal photographer won’t rush you or pressure you to feed in any way other than what you are comfortable with. If you’d like some privacy feeding, ask ahead if they have any private rooms where you can go for some down time with your little one for example, a dressing or viewing room.
Newborn safety is an absolute priority when posing your bubba and creating the shots you have planned – you’ll need a professional photographer with oodles of newborn experience, someone who is fully insured and knows all too well that your baby hasn’t yet developed any neck strength so supporting their head at all times is compulsory in achieving safe and brilliant composite images. You know those gorgeous shots where the baby appears to be holding their head on their hands? Well, this is an example of a composite photo – a number of photos are taken and simply merged together to create the illusion that the baby supports itself.
Learn more here.
Check out newborn photography blogs, search Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook for styles and ideas then make a shortlist of photographers near to you whose work you really love and connect with. Do you want modern, authentic shots which showcase your baby’s natural beauty or do you prefer a shoot filled with fun props, backdrops and multiple themes? There’s no right or wrong, it’s all personal preference and something fun to discuss with your partner! However, don’t forget to arrive open minded, after allyour photographer is very experienced and will advise you on the shots that will get the best end result.
Ideally you want to meet your photographer in person before booking (or at least speak with them on a call/skype if you can’t). This’ll give you a sense of how you feel around them, how approachable they appear and best of all you’ll see the environment you’ll be shooting in. If you’re planning a home shoot, invite them over to see your space and you’ll get a sense of their personality and offering – is this the sort of person you’d like to welcome into your home for your intimate session?
Key Questions To Ask…
Ask and ask away some more – you’re not the only one learning about your proposed shoot… your photographer will be learning about you and your family too!
Here are some key questions to put forward:
- How long will the photoshoot take? Will there be plenty of rest, feeding, fussing, toilet & refreshment breaks?
- Is there anywhere to feed privately if needed?
- What newborn safety experience do you have? Do you have testimonials I can view?
- Are you fully insured?
- Is the environment pre-heated before the shoot so your baby stays comfortable throughout? Do you have white noise available if my baby needs it to relax?
- How flexible is the photoshoot? Can I submit my ideas beforehand and can we discuss them pre-shoot?
- What outfits should we bring? Can I bring sentimental items or special outfits?
- Will we (the parents) have the opportunity to get involved with some of the shots?
- What should we, the parents bring and wear?
- What is the cost of the photoshoot and what product options are available afterwards? Is there a deposit or fee to reserve the session?
- Do we attend a viewing post-shoot? How long do we wait until we return for this?
Tips For Mum & Dad…
You’ll want to be as relaxed as possible when you arrive to your newborn photoshoot – it’s better be a few minutes late rather than rush, argue and be stressed upon arrival. Your photographer will know you are tired and on an emotional rollercoaster, so they should take the edge off by making you feel welcome and comfortable. If they top you up with coffees or delicious herbal teas throughout, all the better! It’s not just about your gorgeous new loved one – you deserve to enjoy this amazing, intimate experience too. Be as involved and as present as you can even though tired and hazy, be open minded and join in with some of the shots – in years to come, your child will love to see you all together at this wonderful time.
Matt Fisher – Director & Master Photographer
Matt shares some all important tips and advice on why he enjoys capturing precious little ones in their newborn photoshoots:
“It’s such a highly intimate time so already the studio will be pre-heated, white noise to hand when I welcome new parents and babies into our studio. It’s so important to let them know, there’s no pressure, just be themselves as I want to capture what they want to achieve. There’ll be lots of pitstops along the way and I’ll be looking to inspire them further on their ideas – why not involve any siblings too? The key is being open minded and trying out different ideas on the day. My favourite aspect about these shoots is often the true realisation of parenthood with such an intimate session, then experiencing them reflecting on themselves in the photos at the viewing. It’s capturing the glint in parents’ eyes, a proud dad, the natural love of a mother. Newborn safety is imperative – always, always choose an experienced professional who can prove and show you their work. There’s a real affinity between the family and the photographer, a real trust that makes the shoot such a truly bonding moment. This is a time mum and dad likely won’t remember… 2 weeks go so quickly and even the size of the baby at the viewing just 7 days later is far bigger! My advice is, go big, cherish the moment – these are timeless photos to celebrate!”