Scheduling Your Portrait Session
Hello again! I wrote this blog a year ago, but I think that it's SO important that I decided to tweak it a little bit and repost it. Enjoy!
It's the very beginning of a brand new year, so I wanted to talk to all of you about when you should be scheduling your sessions. The answer varies depending on the type of sessions, so I've broken it down a bit according to which session you are booking.
If you are looking to have portraits done for your holiday cards, I recommend that you follow the "Early Booking Rule". What I mean by that is that you should book approximately 4-6 months prior to when you will need your portraits available to use. Fall (especially fall in the DC metro area) is an exceedingly popular time for family portraits. Find your photographer and book them early. If you can book them in February for an October session, do it. This ensures you a spot on the photographers calendar and makes it one less thing that you have to remember during the hustle and bustle of the beginning of the school year! Please keep in mind that because fall is the most popular time for sessions to occur, you may have a harder time booking with your favorite photographer if you procrastinate. Every year I see people posting on Facebook mid-November desperate to find a photographer for their holiday photos and by that time, most Loudoun County photographers are booked solid. So, do yourself a favor and book EARLY. If something comes up and you can't make that specific date, your photographer will likely be able to work with you a little bit, since you were already on the books. However, if you know that you can't do October 15th because it's your Great Aunt Tilly's 90th birthday party, don't book that date just to have a date booked. Pick a date that you're pretty sure will work and go from there.
I prefer to have maternity sessions done around 28-32 weeks. Your belly is usually showing enough to photograph beautifully and you usually have enough energy to do an hour long session. Try to book these sessions when you're between 24 and 26 weeks. It will give your photographer time to plan your session and discuss the details with you. I've done sessions with women that were anywhere from 24 weeks to 39 weeks and 1 day. Baby bellies are beautiful, no matter how far along you are.
Photographers vary on when people should book their sessions, but for me, I like to have your newborn session booked prior to delivery. This is the easiest way to definitely be on my schedule for our session. If you decide to do a newborn session after the birth of your little one, I recommend that sessions take place before they are two weeks old. Why is that? Newborns have just emerged from a very small, very secure space where they have been all curled up and warm. They are the most flexible and the most sleepy directly after their birth.
As a photographer, I am looking for them to be content, sleepy and flexible during our session. Can I photograph them without them being content, sleepy and flexible? Yes, but we may not be able to get the newborn images that you are looking for. Can babies still be content, sleepy and flexible outside of that two week age? Yes, but it's less likely. Will I still work with you if your baby is over two weeks old? YES! We will still be able to capture beautiful images, regardless of their age. If you're struggling with picking a newborn photographer, read this blog post, as it has some advice for how to choose.
** For boys, specifically, if they are being circumcised, I prefer to do their sessions at least 3-5 days after this procedure. It is more comfortable for them to be on their bellies when they have had some time to heal.
Children and Family Sessions:
Family sessions definitely follow along with the early booking rule. Children's sessions may require the early booking rule, but they may also be flexible. It depends on the purpose of the session. Do you need some tips for your family session? Read this blog post.
The bottom line is that you should always try to book your sessions early. By doing so, you are able to secure your spot in your photographer's schedule and you (and your photographer) are able to prepare for the session in terms of both planning and finances.
I hope that this has given you some good guidelines for planning for your portraits this year and I'm looking forward to all of the beautiful moments that we are going to capture together!
Keywords: Leesburg, Loudoun County, Sterling, birth, booking, children, family, holiday, maternity, newborn, photography
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