So you have found out that you are pregnant! It is such an exciting time for everyone involved, and after the announcement is finally made and the morning sickness is hopefully subsiding the planning for your new arrival begins.
For first time parents this is probably more overwhelming than if it was your second, third or fifth pregnancy. Newborns require obvious purchases including cute little baby clothes, socks and singlets to nappies, change tables, bassinets and a pram. But at what stage should expecting parents think about booking newborn photography?
And what are the most important factors when choosing the right newborn photographer for you?
When to book
Simply put, as soon as possible, and definitely by the time you have had your 20 week scan.
Generally speaking, photographers, including myself, only book a limited number of newborn photography sessions per month. So while you may be lucky to book a last minute slot once your beautiful baby arrives, you should plan well ahead of time and secure your session so that you’re not disappointed, photographers can book out months in advance.
What should I look for in a photographer?
Apart from the obvious, like being drawn to a photographers cute newborn photos, there are a few other factors to consider.
Do they have experience?
While it may seem like a good choice financially to go for the cheapest option, this for me can also ring alarm bells.
A good newborn photographer needs a lot of experience and training to know how to confidently and safely pose your new baby.
Many newborn photography poses look as though they are supporting themselves, or as I will put below, are being held in positions that would actually be dangerous to your new baby if done as they appear to be.
I’ve heard many times, new photographers attempting these poses, without knowing they are composite (blending of two or three images) or trick images and that baby is actually being held safely at all times. As you can imagine holding a newborn baby in an unsafe pose can have disastrous results.
The image below looks as though this baby (my youngest child Jake) is being held in the air (a bit of a lion king moment).
The image below shows he was actually laying flat on a beanbag and being held safely at all times by my husband.
And yes, if you look closely you’ll see little Jake has needed a nappy, oops. This is what happened two seconds after the finished image was taken. I think I like the image better, my husband didn’t find it as hilarious as I did. Haha.
When is it best for my baby to be photographed?
The best time for photographers to photograph a newborn baby is generally before they are 14 days old. This is because babies are more sleepy then, and can curl into womb like poses more easily.
But this is not always possible. Your baby may be premature, or may need to spend time in the special care nursery and may be a little older for their newborn session.
Make sure your photographer will accommodate for this possibility, have they had experience photographing ‘older’ newborns?
At Moss & Ivy Photography I feel strongly that babies should all get their chance at a newborn style photography session and I have photographed many babies up to six weeks of age, and a couple were eight weeks!
Below is a image of beautiful Ada from her photography session- her Mummy said she didn’t like being wrapped and would not sleep for me. She was amazed at how smoothly her session went. (And how quickly she fell asleep!)
It may be that some poses are best avoided as your older baby is more alert and is stronger, but it is certainly possible, if you have a ‘older’ newborn to achieve amazing results, Ada is eight weeks old in this photo.
What about immunisations?
Be sure to ask if your photographer is up to date with their immunisations.
I am fully immunised, have whooping cough vaccinations and flu vaccinations on top of the normal immunisations. It is very important I make sure I’m not passing anything to your baby. I also will not work with your baby if sick, or have been sick prior to your session, even if its just a sniffle. Hand sanitiser, high cleanliness and sanitisation of all props and outfits is also a must.