Having a baby for the first time is such a special and monumental event in couples lives. Carrying a child is life changing and holding that little one for the first time is breathtaking.
Being able to photograph these changes and developments for my clients is something I take great joy in and I wanted to give you some advice for photographing expecting mothers and little ones.
Timing with Maternity Photography I like to schedule clients between 30-35 weeks pre term. Before that, they may be showing their bump but it may not be incredibly pronounced. And after 35 weeks they may be too pregnant to pose comfortably and entertain you in their home. That said, I have photographed a woman who was due the next day and she looked ready to run a triathlon.
Timing with Infant Photography Ideally you want to let the parents settle into a routine with the new baby before you photograph them all together. Basically, anytime in the first month is a good marker but I try to shoot for 1-3 weeks old.
Meet and Greet A Maternity Session can serve as a meet and greet in the same way that the engagement session can before the wedding. It is a chance for you to determine if you wish to work with the clients again and likewise, for them to determine if your style and personality fits with theirs.
Baby has Arrived Check in around their due date and do not be surprised if you do not hear from them right away. Although an infant does not do much, they also cannot do much for themselves and therefore their parents have to feed and change them every few hours at first-- which really takes some getting used to.Make Yourself Comfortable Be prepared to stay a while. When it comes to infants you are on their time. If you usually book 60-90 minute sessions, be prepared to be available for 120 min or more. The baby may need to eat and be changed, eat and be changed again in between your taking magical photos of the baby miraculously not crying. Have patience.
The Set Up Natural light is best and so using a bobby to prop up the baby and a blanket as a backdrop and base near a window may be all you need. Babies are not a huge fan of being changed so if you want a photo of the baby in nothing but their diaper, have mom change them and then feed them. After that the baby may be sleepy enough for you to photograph. A space heater can be a life saver. Make sure that the baby is kept warm in the environment that you are working in. This will assist in keeping a happy subject.
So have fun, be creative and plan your time accordingly.