East Valley Moms contributor, Chauncey, and I were recently sharing holiday photos from last year with each other and it was so fun to see just how big her little guy had gotten since last Christmas. And, it was wild to look at my maternity photos in a Christmas tree lot. Time sure flies, right?
Both of us are big “picture people.” We love photos and take so many photos of our Mavericks (yes, both our sons share a name). During our conversation, Chauncey mentioned she wished she had done newborn photos, I had the same feeling, as I missed out on those photos, too.
For me, towards the end of my pregnancy I was so overwhelmed with all the other preparations (like not freaking out about the labor and delivery part of pregnancy), that I didn’t have any brain space left to try to figure out how a newborn photoshoot works and to coordinate one.
In an effort to help other mamas not miss out on these cherished newborn photos, I asked local family photographer, Bailey Wilson, to help de-mystify some of the road blocks that stopped both me and Chauncey from scheduling newborn photos.
We hope this helps new moms feel confident in booking a newborn session, and there’s even a discount code on the bottom of the page for any family photo sessions booked with Bailey Wilson!
How far in advance should I book a newborn session?
I love to know a mom’s estimated due date by around 30 weeks. I just ask that clients text me occasionally towards the end of their pregnancy if there are any sudden changes and to touch base with me when baby arrives. From there, we set a firm date for our session anywhere from a couple days after delivery up to around two weeks after.
How many days old is ideal for newborn shoots?
This can change based on the baby and the family’s needs. Ideally we’d pick a date within the first two weeks, though I’ve had clients book later as well. I like to be as flexible about timing for two reasons: First, I never want a family to feel like these sessions are a burden, and sometimes there are things postpartum that just need to be worked out before a family really feels relaxed about photos. Second, my sessions are in-home and less posed, so they don’t require the oh-so-sleepy brand new, flexible baby that posed studio newborn sessions sometimes require (but these are so cute, too!)
How long does a newborn session typically take?
I typically block out 2-2.5 hours for a session. Newborn sessions are almost always my longest, it’s important to hold space for these families to truly capture what those first few days and weeks feel like with baby!
I don’t know if my baby will be awake or sleeping, is that ok?
Totally fine! It’s not expected that your baby will have a schedule at such an early age. If baby is awake when I arrive, we roll with it. Often, baby will sleep later in the session.
Do you bring props or do I need to have items we want in the photos?
I don’t bring props with me, but I often talk with the family about what items they want baby to wear. I typically recommend a swaddle or baby gown plus an outfit or two that they really like or has special meaning.
I just had a baby…I don’t feel photo ready, any tips?
My favorite thing about these slow newborn sessions is that they can be as relaxed or polished as you want them to be. I want you to be able to look back at these images in one year, two years, even ten years from now and be able to remember how it felt to be a new mom (or a seasoned mom with a new baby), and your outfit doesn’t have to be Pinterest worthy to create that.
What if my house isn’t photogenic?
There is almost always at least one room that we can work with! If a family is nervous about this, a quick video chat can give me an idea of the space. If it’s just not possible for whatever reason, this kind of session can be done outdoors as well.
Am I going to be in the shots?
For this kind of newborn session, yes!
Do I need to turn up my heater for the shoot?
You definitely don’t NEED to, but you would be welcome to if you thought it would help baby sleep better and were trying to get lots of sleepy baby photos.
What safety precautions are you taking during COVID?
I always sanitize before entering a home, even pre-COVID, and I leave my shoes at the door. I always confirm prior to the session if the family wants me to wear a mask and I stick to verbal prompts for posing so I can keep my distance.
Do you have your TDAP shot if you’re going to be around my newborn?
I’m up to date on my TDAP since I have my own little one, and I would never attend a newborn session if myself or anyone in my home was feeling under the weather.
Thanks so much, Bailey!
If I had known these little insights before having my baby, I think scheduling a newborn shoot wouldn’t have been as daunting.
For any family sessions, from minis, to newborn, to anything else, Bailey Wilson Photography is offering $20 off if you mention East Valley Moms!