You can expect your newborn photography session to last between two and four hours.
When people ask me how long a newborn session takes, this is usually my standard answer. While I can only speak for myself, this timeframe is roughly the same for every other newborn photographer I know around the world.
There are a number of reasons some sessions can go for longer than others. The newborn photos that you see online usually consist of perfectly sleeping little babies, posed to perfection. But behind the scenes there has sometimes been a great deal of work to get the baby to that point.
Babies aren’t always fast asleep with a perfectly serene look on their face. This is no surprise to anyone. Having said that, I have had numerous photo sessions where the baby was extremely happy, sleepy and settled and it really only took a bit over two hours to take a range of beautiful shots.
Here is me, in action. You can see the final edited version of the photo I was taking below.
In a perfect world, it is logical to expect that with the right environment for a newborn photography session, together with a happy and fed baby and a skilled Photographer, the session shouldn’t go for too long at all.
But we don’t live in a perfect world. Of course we cannot predict what a little baby may or may not need on a particular day. They may just want extra feeds or cuddles. They may have a very full tummy or even a sore tummy. When you are only a couple of weeks old, every new feeling or sensation must be daunting and no doubt some babies are more sensitive than others. Just like us adults.
Things that happen during a newborn session include –
- Parents feed their baby
- Cuddling and settling of baby
- Changing nappies or wraps/ blankets
- There will most likely be wee or poo on wraps, blankets or parents at some point and this is normal
- Helping baby’s parents and other family members pose in a flattering and natural way
- Watching unposed, candid moments unfold and photographing those moments too
- Photographing siblings or helping parents negotiate with toddlers (or pets!)
- Repeat all of the above 2, 3 or many more times
All of this while making sure baby is photographed in a range of positions and with significant family members. Significant family members can sometimes include toddlers or pets which adds another dimension.
The images I am sharing here in this blog post are actually from a newborn photoshoot that went for a bit over 3 hours.
I loved this photoshoot! It was a lot of fun. One of the reasons it went for a bit longer than normal was that Charisse and her husband Rob were such lovely people, we literally sat around and talked at the end of our session while beautiful little Evie was asleep in the basket. It seemed a shame to move her and we were happy taking a break, chatting away.
Like many of my clients, Charisse and Rob arrived with their first “baby”, in this case an adorable Pomeranian named Brandy. You can see gorgeous Brandy sleeping in the background in the photo below. That is not a soft toy, it is in fact a real live dog enjoying a little nap in my studio. She was so sweet and she made me seriously clucky for another dog!
A little extra time was required to take some shots that included beautiful Brandy. She was quite compliant in the end, but it took a bit of convincing (ie a few rewards) to stay still long enough for me to get some shots.
What I especially love about photographing families is that every situation is different. It is fun getting to know people and I enjoy the challenge of photographing children of all ages (or pets) and incorporating them into the shots in a way that suits each family.