Nicole O'Neil Photography
Everyone loves a super cute newborn photo. That sleepy baby while he or she is still (usually) tiny (I've seen some big babies!). It used to be that you'd have to pack up the baby and bring him/her to a studio for some basic shots. Now, many photographers offer in-home sessions that may be all posed on blankets and in baskets or they may be complete lifestyle, just capturing what you do daily (feedings, changing, holding baby), or a combination of the two. I do the latter mostly as that is what most of my clients prefer. It allows you to stay home in the comfort of your home which is a big deal in the days after giving birth to a tiny little human. But, when should you book a session and when should it take place?
It is ideal to book your session 2-6 months ahead. This allows a photographer to make time in his/her schedule and ensure you get a date in the ideal time frame (I'll discuss that below). That's not to say that if time has gotten away from you that you should not still try if it's 2 months or less (or if your baby has been born already), but most people aren't even aware they should book it early. I usually end up finding ways to get last minute people in, but there are definitely times, especially during my busiest months that it's not possible, at least not in the ideal time frame.
Now, WHEN should your session take place? They should be within 4-7 days of birth and can potentially be up to 14 days in some cases (ideally). Why is this?
1. Newborns are still VERY sleepy (most. I've had some awake babies too) and easily posed. They tend to fall into a deep sleep so they can be moved around/changed/posed without waking and needing to be soothed again. This is most babies. There are exceptions of course, but the best chance you have of the sleepy posed shots is when their very new.
2. Even awake, they are easier to take images of. As newborns get older over days and weeks, they start to move their arms and hands more and not stay as still (again, every baby is different). They are more likely to stay swaddled as well.
3. BABY SKIN. Babies start to get drier skin and baby acne not long after birth. While this can be corrected if needed in editing, it can be difficult if it has gotten too bad and sometimes cannot be fully removed/smoothed out.
4. But the cord hasn't fallen off! NO worries. I rarely have images that show the cord (and only if the parents have said they want it). I used diaper covers/wraps/blankets to hide the cord. And when naked, they are on their bellies mostly so we are sure not to take shots of their private areas, so again, no cord showing.
So, don't despair if you're late to the game! Contact me regardless. I just had a baby yesterday who was older and very big, but managed to a least get a couple of sleepy shots. BUT, keep in mind if you are having a baby or if you know someone you want to get a gift certificate for, to book it in advance to ensure you get the awesome newborn photos you want to enjoy now and when your little one grows up. :)
Newborn Session info is here: Newborn Experiences