Your precious little one will never be younger than they are as a newborn. It’s such a sweet, quickly fleeting stage that deserves to be captured with a newborn photography session. It can also be an exhausting and overwhelming stage, even if it’s your second or third time around. Therefore, I’ve started a blog post series for the purpose of helping make the scheduling of your newborn photos as easy as possible; whether your baby is due in 2 months or was born a week ago. For this first post, I tackle the topic of scheduling Chattanooga newborn photos.
Before I lay out my recommendations, I think it only fair to share that my journey as a family photographer (which was never part of my life plan), started when I became a new mother. My firstborn was about a week and a half old; I was sleep deprived; and nursing was going horribly when my mother asked me if I scheduled newborn pictures. “Wait, what? Was I supposed to do that already? I think I want those?”
I contacted the first few local Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain photographers that popped up in my google search. Most informed me that newborn pictures really needed to be completed in the first 2 weeks following birth, but that they were unfortunately scheduled out for the next 2-3 months. Another started asking me all sorts of questions about the light in my house (I get why now) and recommended planning for a 3+ hour session. I felt completely overwhelmed and ended up taking the photos myself.
I decided it was time to learn how to really use my camera. This desire to capture pictures of my kiddos without the stress, slowly blossomed into a passion and business I never expected.
1. My ‘Ideal’ Recommendation For When to Schedule a Newborn Session:
Traditionally, newborn photography sessions are scheduled within the first two weeks of life. During this stage, your infant still sleeps a lot and generally remains undisturbed by being handled and positioned. Rashes such as baby acne also don’t usually make their appearance until after these early weeks.
2. My ‘Real Life’ Recommendation for When to Schedule a Newborn Session:
Sometimes scheduling in those first few weeks can’t happen. Maybe you stayed in the hospital longer than expected. Maybe you just lacked the energy to deal with an in-home photography session. (That’s how I felt with baby #3. I rejoiced at getting a shower with some regularity.) Don’t worry! You haven’t missed the opportunity.
Sessions with slightly older newborns simply move at a slower pace and take a little more time and care. Instead of lasting an hour, they might take two and require more breaks for feeding and rocking. Your baby may not re-settle as well from wardrobe changes so we can choose to limit those or do them very strategically. If your baby’s skin has broken out, I can smooth it during the editing process if you so desire and I’m happy to provide you with examples from previous work.
3. My Recommendation for Time of Day to Schedule a Newborn Session
When considering what time of day to start the session, I recommend late mid-morning. Newborns usually take a good nap at this time of day and you have hopefully gotten the chance to get dressed yourself. Older brothers and sisters are typically in a good mood at this time of day too! (For tips on preparing older siblings for the session, check out this blog post.) If possible, feed your infant right before the session so that we can get some bright-eyed shots before the sweet babe drifts into a good nap.
BONUS- What I’m doing about COVID-19.
When planning a session with me, know that I now always wear a mask when entering client’s homes. By mid-March, I will be fully vaccinated due to my other role as a pediatric occupational therapist. If I (or anyone in my household) begin to experience any symptoms of illness, I will notify you immediately and we can come up with a plan to reschedule the session if necessary. When it comes to your comfort level with the amount of handling/positioning I preform with your infant during the session, I follow your lead.
If you prefer to do an outdoor newborn session during the warmer months, I can certainly accommodate that and provide recommendations specific to that scenario.
I hope you find this information about scheduling Chattanooga newborn photos helpful in the planning process. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns. More details about sessions with me can be found here. To schedule a newborn session with me, find my contact form here.