When Should I Schedule A Newborn Shoot?

I’ve learned a lot from being a newborn photographer in Norman for the past 8 years. Some expectant parents eagerly book their session in their second or third trimester, and I can easily accommodate them (and sometimes reward them with a discount!) Other parents contact me after Baby is born and I may or may not have availability. Still others have unexpected NICU stays or complications, and Baby comes in a full month after his or her birthday. How does a newborn photographer handle all of these different situations? Keep reading for more info on when to schedule a newborn shoot.

1. Scheduling vs Bringing Baby In For Photos

“Scheduling” a newborn shoot with me means that I’ve collected your deposit and I’ve cleared my calendar for about a month before and after your due date. But babies can’t read calendars! I encourage parents who have scheduled their newborn session with me to contact me after Baby arrives, even before they leave the hospital. This allows me about a week to gather props and backdrops that fit with Mom and Dad’s color and style preferences. It also allows me to prepare in other ways, like arrange childcare and make sure I have new, sterilized pacifiers, and a disinfected studio space. Scheduling early also benefits my clients because….

2. The Early Bird Gets The Discount

I offer a $50 discount for parents who book with me before their 28th week of pregnancy (I require a $150 deposit to hold the date range.) Scheduling this early gives me time to order custom, handmade props for Baby’s newborn photography session. Some examples of props that I’ve planned for specific shoots are pictured below. They include a mini pillow, a sparkly crown, a Valentine’s Day outfit, and a patriotic set-up for a July 4th baby!

Moore Newborn Photographer (Mary Thomas Photography)

Newborn Photographer in Oklahoma City, OK (Mary Thomas Photography)

OKC Newborn Photographer (Mary Thomas Photography)

Newborn Photographer in Norman, OK (Mary Thomas Photography)

Baby Is Here! Is Everyone Healthy?

Even parents who schedule their Norman newborn shoot well in advance of Baby’s birthday might hit a few snags. More on this later. If everyone is healthy, the ideal time for a newborn shoot is when Baby is 5-17 days old. If Baby came early, you have a bit more wiggle room and can bring him in when he is as “old” as 1 month. This is especially true for twins, who often spend time in the NICU. For the best possible shoot, bring a NICU baby in for photos right after their NICU stay! It sounds crazy, but he will be used to loud noises, bright lights and constantly being prodded! Here are some sessions I’ve had with “old-borns” (babies who are more than 2 weeks old):

I was finishing quarantine when this sweet boy arrived, so I had to postpone…

Posed Norman Newborn Photographer (Mary Thomas Photography)

These twins needed time in the NICU before they came to see me…

Moore Newborn Photographer (Mary Thomas Photography)
Norman Newborn Twins Photographer (Mary Thomas Photography)
Norman Newborn Photographer (Mary Thomas Photography)

This little guy had jaundice and needed time under the lights…

Newborn photography near me (Mary Thomas Photography)

Cold/Flu Season

I will NOT have a newborn in for a Norman newborn photography session if I am not feeling well! I will either reschedule or refer my client to another photographer. If you schedule your newborn session early, we will have more wiggle room if anyone is unexpectedly sick! If a client calls 2 weeks after Baby arrives and I have a fever the day before the session, we will all be scrambling to get Baby in by week 4! What happens if you miss the magical window for newborn photography? Good question…

What If My Baby Is Too Old For Newborn Photos?

The “twilight zone” for baby photography sessions is about 6 to 12 weeks after Baby’s birthday. During this phase, Baby is more alert, does not sleep as deeply, is not as moldable, BUT is also not yet interactive. If you miss the window, I would recommend waiting until age 3 months or even 6 months to bring Baby in for his session. Here are some older babies who were able to interact for their Norman baby photography sessions!

Norman Baby Photographer (Mary Thomas Photography)
Norman Baby Photographer (Mary Thomas Photography)

Norman Baby Photographer (Mary Thomas Photography)
Baby Photography (Mary Thomas Photography)

Photographer Norman, OK (Mary Thomas Photography)
Norman Family Photographer (Mary Thomas Photography)

So there you have it! Plan ahead for more options and more of a “cushion” if the unexpected happens. And don’t be discouraged if you miss the window for your Norman newborn photographer session! We will work together to capture beautiful memories of your baby at any age!

Do you still have questions about how or when to schedule a newborn shoot?

Are you ready to schedule a newborn shoot?