A baby’s birth is a memorable event for the parents’ life.As a newborn photographer, it’s always an honor to be a part of that memory.
Normally, we all know thatthe magic window of taking newborn photos iswithin 2-3 weeks of age. But the answers might vary for every baby.
So if you want to get a clearer concept about scheduling photography sessions for the newborn sweethearts, dive right in.
When to Schedule Newborn Photos and Why
It’s best to schedule the session withinroughly 14-22 days range after childbirth. Although that doesn’t mean that any photo after that mark will turn out to be unsatisfactory. Or that you shouldn’t go for any time beyond that.
Now there are a couple of reasons to back this opinion up. And that is why we have handpicked some of the factors you should carefully scrutinize to understand when to schedule a newborn photoshoot.
Things to Consider When Scheduling Newborn Photos
Here are the factors that you should take into account before scheduling newborn photos.
Avoid the First 12 Days
Babies that just stepped into the world need some time adjusting to their environment. That includes the weather, the food they are consuming, etc.
Around the 8-12 day mark, babies also tend to be more cranky than usual as they require more attention during that time. It can also be due to the growth spurt they are undergoing or because they need to be fed regularly as well.
Not only for the baby, but the first 12 days are also crucial for the mother to rest and recover from post-birth stress.
As a worst-case scenario, if you need to schedule a shoot during that period, consider asking the mother to stay home. If required, seek help from your assistant or the father, and let the mother rest.
Wait for the Babies to Return to Their Birth Weight
Babies tend to lose about 8% of their birth weight after being born. And that range of time is not suitable for a photoshoot. Wait for the child to regain his/her birth weight(usually 9-12 day mark) before scheduling a session.
And babies that are starting to regain their birth-weight are also capable of regulating their internal temperatures according to the environment. This means that they are ready to come out of the house. So make sure to use that as your cue.
Make the Best out of the ‘Sweet Window’
‘Golden hours’ and ‘sweet windows’ are common terms in photography, and it doesn’t need explaining that the same goes for infant photography as well.
The sweet window for a newborn photo shoot is considered to be within 2-3 weeks of age. Here are the benefits you can leech off of the window.
- During this time, babies tend to be asleep most of the time. Therefore, it’s easy to pose them according to your need.
- The umbilical cords of the babies will have fallen off by the 2nd week.
- Most babies lose the yellow discoloring of their skin by this point.
- It’s also before the baby acne arrives, which means there’s less hassle of post-production work.
- Both the baby and the mom feel healthier during this time, and that is quite important as well.
Delay and Adjust Schedules for Babies Born before Their Due Date
Babies born before their due date tend to be underweight, and they might need more time to regain their normal weight back. They might also have a hard time regulating their body temperatures. As a result, you may have to delay your photo shoot until they are at least 3-5 weeks old to adjust to the early arrival.
Make sure to adjust your gears accordingly, too, as most babies of any given age would not feel comfortable with loud and bright flashes. Consider using an umbrella or softbox for newborn photography to obtain the best results.
This adjustment is going to be crucial to the baby’s health and the output of your work.
How Late Is Too Late?
If you’re looking for a margin after which it’s too late for infant photography, then the answers might vary. Normally that marginal time is when the baby is about 4-5 weeks of age.
Most photographers say it’s when the baby doesn’t like being unclothed for longer periods or when you can’t naturally get them to curl up ‘in-womb’ and other common poses. Now that shouldn’t stop you from taking a session with the infant.
Remember that every subject is an appropriate subject as long as you have the skills and know what you’re doing. Also, be prepared to take a lot of awake shots of the baby because older babies tend to stay up longer.
How to Deal with Clients while Scheduling
In this case, the clients are mostly the parents of the baby. Many photographers tend to miss the forest for the tree by ignoring client management when scheduling a photo shoot for newborns.
We urge you not to make the same mistake. Ask the client to inform you as soon as the baby is born and to stay in constant communication regarding the whereabouts. This will help you schedule the best time for the baby and will also give you the benefit of proper preparation.
Help them to get familiar with all the factors related to scheduling. So they can support you with your schedule arrangement as well.
Don’t Sweat Scheduling for Newborns Anymore!
There’s no hard rule of thumb for scheduling photography sessions for newborns.
A good photographer never calls off a session just because the ‘golden window’ has passed. Be prepared to make the best of your skills. Use our guidelines as references for smooth schedule setups—best of luck!