When you are pregnant you have plenty of things to organise. You might still be at work trying to get everything sorted out before you head off on maternity leave, or you might simply be one of those people who doesn't want to 'tempt fate' by booking their newborn session before baby has been born. (I say this as one of those people myself - I didn't buy anything for any of my three babies until at least a week or so before they were born!)
I absolutely understand all of the above. I can understand that when you are pregnant, booking your baby's first portrait session could well be the last thing on your mind.
However, the reason for my blog post today is this. I have had to turn down so many new parents over recent weeks because they have waited until after baby has been born to book a newborn portrait session. I hate doing this, I hate disappointing people and not being able to give them the photographs they so desperately want.
I have discussed the situation with some newborn photographer friends of mine and discovered that they, like myself, are more and more frequently finding themselves in the horrible position of having to turn people away. As parents ourselves and, of course, photographers wanting to do the best for our clients, this makes us all very sad.
Newborn photography has become so popular recently. Everyone wants the gorgeous newborn photos they see in the press and on the internet but too many people are leaving it too late to book in with the photographer of their choice.
In order to avoid disappointment it is never too early to make that call and get your due date entered into your chosen photographer's diary! Many of my clients book in just after their 12 week scan! A newborn photographer will only be able to take a set number of bookings per month, as newborn sessions take a while and are carried out within a certain time-frame (usually within the first two weeks of birth). Early booking is therefore vital if you want to guarantee a session with a particular photographer.
A word about your baby's safety. As newborn photography is getting more and more popular, it is even more important to choose the right newborn photographer for your baby. This should be someone whose work you like, who perhaps has been recommended by a friend, but most importantly someone who will work safely with your newborn.
Unfortunately there are people out there who will buy a half decent camera, set up a free web site and call themselves a photographer without having undertaken any training or had their work assessed. I am not saying this to be critical of such people, after all we all have to start somewhere, but newborn photography is a specialist area requiring a special skill set and I would urge all parents seeking a newborn photographer to please be very careful of who they are booking.
I wrote an article for the Small Steps Parenting Community about choosing a newborn photographer which can be read here.
When considering a newborn photographer for your precious baby, a good starting place would be the Baby and Newborn Photography Association (BANPAS), an Association whose members are amongst the UK's leading baby and newborn photographers. The Association promotes safe working practices and are dedicated to ensuring your baby's comfort and safety takes priority whilst our members create beautiful images for you to treasure.
To summarise; If you have fallen in love with the newborn photographs you've seen and are keen to have your own new arrival photographed, please do your research early and don't leave it too late to make your booking!
Thanks for reading!