Your new baby will not be a tiny newborn for long. Many parents want to take lots of pictures of their precious bundle in those early days to capture the first moments when they are so little.
Anne Geddes is an artist that has made a living out of taking beautifully artistic photos of babies for years. Her stunning imagery has inspired other photographers to learn the art and offer it to new parents.
Now, there are lots of studios that offer newborn photo shoots. This article is based on what I learnt from my experience last time with my son and what I am doing differently this time with my daughter.
Bump 2 Baby (with Noah)
With my first pregnancy, almost 5 years ago, I bought a coupon voucher for £30 for a bump to baby shoot at Baby Art Uk by Taylor Made Portraits. It included the studio time and the first picture free.
I had this shoot when I was 36 weeks pregnant. The photographer provided all the accessories and had lots of ideas on what to do. My husband doesn’t like his picture being taken but he got involved for me.
If I had known what I know now, I wish I had bought a nice maternity bra for the shoot. I’m not a fan of the pictures with my bra in it.
The best time to have a newborn shoot is when the baby is a few days old (1 to 14 days old). This enables the baby to be positioned for the artistic shots. The photographer provided all the accessories and had the scenes set up. The shoot took 4 hours to allow for feeding and getting the baby to sleep. Noah was exactly 1 week old in his pictures.
If I had known what I know now, I would have gone with some premixed formula as this enables babies to sleep longer than breast feeding. We nipped out mid shoot to get some. I was worried that it might affect breast feeding but it didn’t.
I thought £30 was a great price until we had the shoot. The studio charged quite a lot per image, i.e. £60 a picture or £250 for 5 pics on a USB. I was heartbroken. I couldn’t afford that on maternity pay! They took pity on me and sold me the presentation video of the images and I took screenshots to get images to print.
If I have known what I know now, I would check the additional costs associated with the shoot as this is often where the photographer makes their money.
All inclusive package
This time I have booked with another studio that charges £250 (and I’ve paid the 10% deposit of £25). This is an all inclusive price and will include all the images taken during the 4 hours on a USB. We will have a family pic and then the artistic shots whilst my little boy & his dad go stretch their legs. I can then print and share the pics as much as I like or ask the studio to print for me at their prices.
I like an all inclusive price because I can budget for this and won’t be disappointed. I can’t wait to share the pictures.
There is now a wider choice of options too:
- Bump (watch me grow) – This is a shoot that will involve you visiting the photographer a few times to get the same picture taken to illustrate your bump growing. You will need to choose an outfit you can wear throughout your pregnancy and will need to start seeing the photographer from around 12 weeks pregnant.
- Bump shoot – this is where you get pictures of your pregnancy bump at about 30 weeks+. The photographer usually offers a maternity gown and organza to get some pretty pictures. You can also take scan pictures or items you have bought for baby like tiny shoes.
- Newborn shoot – This is when you get pictures of your baby taken when they are only a few days. Have a look at the photographers album to see if they do the baby art style pictures or not.
- Little sitter – This is when your baby is able to sit independently from around 6 months old. You will need to choose the outfit for your little one to wear but the photographer will provide the set and props, although you can bring props too i.e. a favourite toy.
- Cake smash – This is often added onto a package for newborns to encourage parents to return when their child is one year old. It is their first birthday picture and involves them getting in a mess with a beautiful cake.
Often studios will offer the above shoots as packages with a saving. For example, Bump 2 Baby (will be a bump shoot and a newborn shoot) or My First Year (could be a newborn shoot, little sitter and a cake smash). Some studios offer loyalty cards to encourage their customers to return for other milestones.
If I have known what I know now: This time I have booked an all inclusive package with a studio that has a loyalty scheme. So, if I wish to return I can collect discounts for being a returning customer. I like this no pressure approach and feel in control of how much my photos are going to cost me. The studio were upfront about pricing that I feel assured I won’t get a nasty surprise on the day.
It is best to book your photographer as soon as possible. For a maternity shoot, you will need to book the shoot for the stage in pregnancy you wish to capture – the more time you give the photographer the more likely they will have availability for the week you need.
For a newborn shoot, you book the photographer before your baby arrives. Photographers who specialise in these shoots know babies rarely arrive on their due date. They will make a note of when you are expecting and keep some slots free in their diary around this date. This time I booked the studio when I was around 24 weeks pregnant.
Once the baby arrives, call your photographer as soon as you can to book the date at the studio. With Noah, I called the studio the morning after he was born from the hospital.