Tell me when to book my Newborn Session!
When to book is probably one of the questions I hear the most.
And the answer is simple; as soon as you can!
I’m guessing that you are choosing a quality photographer here, not a ‘£50 for all your digitals on CD’ type. The type that uses styled & bespoke products, a variety of backgrounds & poses instead of a plain white backdrop. A photographer who will sit and hand edit every single one of your images to perfection. If you are choosing one of these photographers chances are they have very limited availability.
Limited availability here will be due not only to demand, but also to the time that is allocated to the ‘behind the scenes’ element of your session – things such as editing. For example I limit my shooting time to three sessions per week, that’s it – absolute maximum. That’s because I know that I will spend only 1/3 of the time I have allocated to you on shooting your session. The other time is dedicated to editing your images, resizing for product purchases and all of the minute details that go into creating beautiful, timeless wall art.
So back to the question at hand, when should you book? So you have a photographer who limits their availability, and who is in demand…you can see how we book up months in advance, especially at peak weekends!
A rough guide is as follows:
Maternity Portraiture Sessions are best captured anywhere from 30-37 weeks. You should aim to book after your 20 week scan but because the session is relatively short and you have a bigger time window to capture the shots, you should be OK with 4-8 weeks lead time.
Newborn Portraiture Sessions get booked for your due date. We aim to get these images within baby’s first 14 days. Most reputable photographers will only shoot one Newborn Session per day (allowing t-i-m-e to take the session at a pace suitable for a cluster feeding baby and brand new, sleep deprived parents!). Book your session after your 20 week scan and you’ll likely get a spot with your favourite baby photographer.
Baby Portraiture Sessions are a bit more flexible. It really depends on which stage you want to capture? Do you want the ‘rolling baby holding their toes’ photo, or the ‘smiley baby sitting in a cute romper’ photo? Every age has its own adorable characteristics – as with a Maternity Session, because the session is shorter and the time window is quite lengthy a 4-8 week lead time tends to be OK.
Now this one you want to get booked in well in advance – a good 3-4 months, for a couple of reasons really. Not only do you want to get the session as close to your babies birthday as possible, your photographer has a fair bit to do to prepare for your session, and they need to liaise with their cake supplier. The session and set needs to be designed and made, the cake design goes through design & proof stages, a theme may be incorporated and special props purchased…..and this is the service you should be expecting from your photographer!
Portrait photography may seem expensive, but when you consider all the time elements that go in to providing these images for you you should feel like you’ve received value for money. Things from training, equipment and insurance to software, client management systems and hosting sites (things that you may not even think about) to props, outfits, blankets, studio space and backdrops (the things you may notice), add in to that the time devoted to you and you will hopefully see the value in your purchase.
An insider piece of info for you to consider is this: per session a rule of thumb is 1/3 of the cost goes to ‘pay’ the photographer (our hourly rate if you will – all time devoted to your session; planning, shooting, editing, ordering etc), 1/3 immediately goes into the tax & NI pot and the last 1/3 pays for the products within your package.
So, as you can see, you need to get in there quick!
Peace & love