Probably one of the most common questions I get from potential clients wanting to book a session is “When should I book my session?” Whether that someone just found out they’re pregnant and wants to book a maternity session to capture how beautiful pregnancy makes them feel, or they are thinking of a newborn session to have those once in a lifetime memories of how teeny tiny and fresh their brand new baby is immortalized in the baby album, or if a parent is wanting to book that fun filled cake smash to celebrate their little one’s first birthday.
Well the simplest answer is “As soon as possible!” Easy, right? Well as a parent and soon to be parent this can be overwhelming. Maybe you want to shop around, or maybe you’re not 100% certain what type of style or sessions you truly want, or maybe it just seems so far away and you have plenty of time to worry about booking it later.
So if you are thinking about scheduling a session because your pregnant, or maybe your little one is already here and his or her birthday is fast approaching, here is a few tips and whys on when to book.
In general and depending on how busy your potential photographer is, it is a good idea to plan to book a couple months in advance. This not only increases the chance you will get on your desired photographer’s calendar, but also means that you don’t have to stress about it down the road closer to the time you want your session to occur.
For maternity, since your session will likely take place between 30 and 36 weeks into your pregnancy, you’re going to want to plan to book a little more than halfway through your pregnancy around the time of your anatomy scan. Booking in advance also means they can better coordinate with their stylists (if it is included or you add it on to your session), and potentially order new maternity gowns, floral crowns and other accessories with you and your session in mind.
For newborns, I strongly recommend you booking at the time you book your maternity session, if you’re having one. Again this ensures that you are on your photographer’s calendar and no matter how busy they get they will make sure your little one has a spot on their calendar when he or she or they arrive. It is also important that you call/email/text your photographer as soon as your little one arrives to finalize the date. Most newborn photographers prefer working with a newborn within the first 2 weeks of life/arriving home.
For cake smashes I generally recommend the session actually occur BEFORE the first birthday. Why? Simply because a lot of parents want to have those images printed up for invitations or as story boards at the party or as keepsakes for guests that come to celebrate that one year milestone. So as to when to book? Give your photographer at least 4 weeks notice, more if it seems like your photographer is ALWAYS working. This gives them time to order supplies, and if they provide the cake, coordinate with their baker.
And lastly a good reason to book early is dollar and cents. Not only are you locking in your photographer’s current pricing, you also have one less expense to worry about down the road before the big event.