Hi! In case we haven’t met, I’m Kelley Hoagland a maternity and newborn photographer in Chattanooga, TN. In today’s post, I want to share some tips for planning your photography sessions. My biggest recommendation is to schedule maternity and newborn photography sessions at the same time. Meaning, when you’re scheduling your maternity session go ahead and get on the photographer’s books for the newborn session too! Why? Let me explain.
1) The newborn weeks can be hectic.
I’ve experienced it myself and seen it happen with clients. They schedule a maternity session which turns out beautifully. They have every intention of scheduling newborn portraits too, but don’t quite get around to doing it before the baby arrives. Once Baby arrives the sleep deprivation, frequent doctor appointments, possibly lactation appointments and general struggle to adjust to this new season of life sets in. At the blink of an eye, the baby is now 4 months old.
My point? Make life easier on yourself and knock two things off of the to-do list at once! Go through the process of scheduling and planning both sessions with your maternity and newborn photographer at the beginning. It will make actually completing the portrait session within the newborn window much more likely.
2) Your maternity session is like a warm up for the newborn session!
Scheduling with the same maternity and newborn photographer will make the newborn photography session run so much more smoothly. When I used to photograph weddings, I would explain to my couples that engagement photos were like a warm up or practice for the wedding day. Together we could figure out what poses felt most natural to them and get comfortable with one another. The same is true for maternity and newborn portrait sessions! During the maternity session, we can get into a good rhythm. Then during the newborn session, even though the parents will be sleep deprived and the baby may need attention and comforting throughout the session, posing will come with more ease. In general, the whole experience will flow more naturally because there’s already a relationship there.
3) Choose in the same maternity and newborn photographer should result in consistent photos.
There are lots of different styles of photography out there. Photography is art and every artist has their own unique voice! Take the time to find a photographer who’s work speaks to you and aligns with the decor of your house (especially if you plan on investing in wall art). Look for a photographer whose work is consistent in style and tone across sessions. Booking maternity portraits and newborn portraits with that same photographer should ensure that your images turn out cohesive and will pair nicely on your walls or in an album.
4) Don’t forget later pregnancies!
I have found that a lot of families only do maternity portraits during their first pregnancy. I get it; subsequent pregnancies are different. Mamas have other children to chase and tend. You’re more exhausted this time around. It’s not just a matter of getting yourself ready. You have to plan outfits for your children now too. BUT- if you can muster the energy to pull off a maternity photoshoot during your second, third, fourth pregnancy the result is magical. Not only do we document your excitement, but the sweet anticipation of the future big brother or big sister as well.
Wondering when to schedule with a photographer?
This will somewhat depend on how popular your desired photographer is and how far he or she schedules out. Many mothers reach out to me near the middle or end of their first trimester. This gives up plenty of time to plan the details of a maternity session throughout the second trimester when mom is hopefully past her morning sickness and has more energy. Maternity sessions ideally take place between weeks 30-34 of the pregnancy. Obviously, the actual arrival of the baby can be unpredictable. I personally make note of the due date and limit the number of newborn sessions I schedule per month. The actually session date is confirmed once a delivery date is set or once the baby arrives.
Some photographers offer full 1st Year Memberships! I’ll just go ahead and warn new parents: You will want more photos of your child after the newborn phase. They grow so quickly in the first year and every stage is so precious. I will never forget laughing at my husband and how he constantly took snapshots on his phone of our first born child. Before she was born, he rarely took photos of anything. When she arrived, he just couldn’t stop himself.
Want to do something a little different?
Are you expecting and looking for a unique way to document this special season? As a Chattanooga Maternity Photographer, I highly recommend scheduling a session with a luxury gown! Even if you pick a gown from your own closet or from my client closet, a stylized maternity session will result in portraits you will never forget!
Your Growth Is Worth Documenting
I realize that lots of moms can feel somewhat self-conscious about all of the changes the human body goes through during pregnancy. For me personally, it certainly wasn’t an easy road during my 3 pregnancies. I also suffered through pregnancy-long morning sickness that left me zapped of energy. However, what a mother’s body does is truly is amazing and beautiful! Your body is literally growing another person. Furthermore, this season is such a fleeting one in the grand scale of your life. Give yourself the gift of images to look back on years down the road.
Your Children Will Want to See These Images
Speaking as a mother rather than a luxury Chattanooga Maternity Photographer, I can tell you that your children will likely find images from this season magical. Showing them maternity portraits and discussing the time of preparation leading up to their birth is such a great way to show them how loved they were before they were even born! My own children love to revisit photos from this season of our family’s life over and over again.
Why a Luxury Chattanooga Maternity Photographer?
Curious what luxury maternity photography even is? Consider it a fully “done for you” service. Not only do I guide you through choosing locations that offer ideal lighting, I also assist you in choosing appropriate wardrobe. This may include selecting a gown from my client closet that I know will photograph beautifully. Looking for something more dramatic like the images featured in this article? I also assist clients by offering access to luxury maternity gown rental services that are available to professional photographers only. Following your session, as a full service maternity photographer, I offer a variety of archival print product options that will display your image for decades to come. These fine art products range from wall art to leather and linen bound albums.
Consider a Studio Photography Session!
Not interested in an outdoor maternity photography session? Perhaps you will be in your 3rd trimester in the dead winter or the blazing hot height of summer. If you would rather not deal with the weather, we can always create a studio style photography session. This is also true of newborn sessions if you don’t want an in-home session. I can set up backdrops and help design a studio session that fits with your style!
Curious about my Chattanooga Maternity and Newborn Photography?
I hope you’ve found these tips from your friendly Chattanooga maternity and newborn photographer helpful! If you are in the Chattanooga, TN area and would be interested in a membership or simple scheduling a session, let’s connect! I would love to schedule a quick phone call to learn all about your unique vision and answer your questions. If you’d like to see more, you can see my latest work on my Instagram. Let’s create something beautiful together!