I get asked this question a lot: How far in advance should I book my newborn's portraits?
The answer is simple... as far in advance as you can. :) Realistically though, I know that finding a newborn photographer is not at the very top of the list for most people. You have to find an OB or Midwife, decide what hospital you want to birth at or if you would like a homebirth, figure out baby's name, etc. And as you get further along in your pregnancy, the to-do list can keep getting longer and longer (trust me, I have 4 kids, and I definitely know how that feels lol)
I also know that once your baby is born, you’ll be so infatuated with him or her and also be focused on resting, nursing, and figuring out how to get into a routine with your new baby and possibly your older children as well. Selecting a photographer might not be first on your list at that point. :)
That’s why it’s best to book your baby’s photo session between two and four months before your estimated due date (and I say estimated because every woman and every pregnancy is different... did you know the average pregnancy is closer to 41-41.5 weeks instead of the "standard" 40 weeks? There is your birth fact of the day.) :)
Booking at least 2 months in advance will secure your newborn on my schedule, ensuring that even during the busy times that you will have a space on my calendar. My schedule is filling up quicker than ever with lots of newborns, and slots are limited because of the amount of time I devote to each session including planning and set-up. I'm even getting bookings for 6-7 months in advance lately, so the earlier you reserve your space the better. I've been fortunate thus far to always be able to have space for last minute bookings, but as my schedule gets filled up I would hate to turn someone away who really wanted portraits by Simply Joyful Moments.
But how do we set up a date if baby's birthdates are so unpredictable? What if baby comes early or decides they want to have an extended stay in Mommy's belly?? :)
No worries... we actually set a TENTATIVE session date. Once your little one makes his or her big entrance, let us know the news, and we will coordinate with you to finalize a day for the photo session. We will work around maternity/paternity leave, work schedules and newborn baby appointments to find a date and time that works best. Family and sibling portraits are included with every newborn session, so we want to make sure Mom, Dad and siblings are all able to attend.
Newborn photographs should be taken BEFORE the baby is two weeks old, and ideally between 7-14 days of age. Babies younger than 14 days old are less fussy, sleep more deeply, and typically are not yet affected by infant acne – making it more likely that you’ll get the results you want. Holding the session after 5-7 days of age allows mom to recover a bit, especially if she had a c-section, and allows feeding to become established. It also helps mom and dad a few days to figure out how to get everyone out of the house within a certain time frame :)
Also, you do not need to pay your entire session fee up front to hold your newborn's date on the calendar. A $100 retainer fee is all that is required to hold your date. The remainder of your session fee is not due until 2 weeks prior to your session date.
Another benefit of booking in advance is that we have time to plan the perfect newborn session specifically tailored to you and your family. I'd love to meet up and have a free planning/consulting session prior to your little one's birth. I like to make sure we have some set-ups that match baby's nursery colors and/or theme as well.
All props and backdrops are provided for you(I have a huge collection... it's SO fun shopping all the littles!) but you are more than welcome to bring any special items you may like such as Army uniforms/dogtags, handmade blankets, special outfits/headbands/hats, sports memorabilia, etc. If I have time to specially order backdrops and props to specifically match your requests/themes, I try my hardest to do so. I want you to have a portrait session that is a perfect fit for your family and your baby, and booking in advance allows me to do this best.
Have any questions about our sessions? Ready to book your session?