When to Book Photo Portrait Sessions


Schedule baby photo sessions in advance

when to book newborn photographyIn order to not miss out, the best time for booking photo sessions is during pregnancy.  Your estimated due date will be reserved and put on the calendar with the idea that newborn baby will come sometime around that estimated due date.  The session time will be flexible so that should your baby boy or girl decide to arrive early, or late, that is okay too.  I limit the number of bookings to ensure that I have availability for all newborn photography clients whether their baby come before or after that time.  Photos of newborn babies in the studio typically take place 1-3 weeks after delivery, while Fresh 48 sessions take place the day after delivery.  Book your session now, contact Jennifer McNeil Photography or call (714) 758-5366.

While you are in labor, the more I am in the loop on your delivery date the better I can reschedule my week to accommodate your new bundle of joy. I always do my best to accommodate this time frame even if you go into labor earlier or later than expected so long as you keep me posted.

Already delivered your newborn?

For those families who find a need for newborn photography later in your pregnancy, or perhaps after your beautiful baby is born, keep calm and call me.  The keyword to remember is “earlier.”  The earlier you contact me for newborn photos, the better my availability will be for your photography session.  Because I space out my photo sessions based on my client’s scheduled deliveries, there may be time to schedule your beautiful baby boy or girl to make it into my professional studio.  I book last minutes sessions up to a week in advance so that I am sure not to take availability away from those who have already reserved my time.  I’m overjoyed to have new clients and the earlier you contact me, the earlier I can start creating memories. It’s not too late to schedule a session for newborn photography, contact Jennifer McNeil Photography.

3 month old newborn photo

What if my baby is older than 3 weeks?

Three weeks is just a reference point for when I complete MOST newborn sessions.  If you have not pre-booked, it is possible that time will fly so fast that you haven’t even found a photographer before your baby is 3 weeks old – and that’s okay!  We can’t go back in time, but I can create a session tailored to you and your baby at any age.  Lifestyle newborn photos usually take place from 3-12 weeks old, but I have also created beautiful studio portraits of babies this age with a similar approach as I would use during a newborn session, but the understanding that more alert, growing babes may not pose and sleep in the same manner as a fresh newborn.


When should you book a maternity or pregnancy photographer?

Call to book a session as soon as you have decided on a photographer. The best time to actually take the photos is about 4-8 weeks before your due date.   Any closer to your due date and you are more likely to go into labor.  Much further away and we lose a little bit of your rounded out baby belly.  The 32-36 week mark is a good buffer for both concerns.  As with all photographers, contacting me earlier gives you more opportunity to set the desired date and time for your session.  It also allows us to be more creative and find the right location, gowns and themes for your photos.  Most clients book maternity sessions in their 2nd trimester so that we can schedule the session for the 3rd trimester.  I love being creative with new ideas, dresses and locations.  Don’t hesitate to throw out some interesting concepts you have seen.  After all, these are going to be shared for many years to come.  Begin planning your maternity session now, contact Jennifer McNeil Photography.

What about documenting my entire pregnancy?

progress pregnancy, pregnancy timeline, belly bump pictures, pregnant photography, maternity photos, oc photographer, orange county photosIf you would like to timeline your pregnancy with photos, it is best to contact me between 12 and 14 weeks.  Progress pregnancy timeline photos typically begin at 16-20 weeks and we schedule a short shoot every 4 weeks to capture your belly growth.  These studio pregnancy photos are then stitched together to create one piece of art showing how your amazing body changed to make a home for your baby.  We can even end with a photo of you holding your newborn when you come in for your newborn portrait session.

How to choose a location or studio setup:

The choice of a studio session or on location session depends on the type of session you have booked and your personal preference.  The pros of a in-studio maternity photo session are that the light, temperature and background can be controlled.  This also allows you to be in a private setting, away from the general public and curious on-lookers.  The on-location photo session is affected by the time of day, weather, seasonality and actual spot where you are taking photos.  We can take photos in the middle of an open field or beach, or create your images in a more secluded area.  We will talk about any of your hopes and concerns for the location of the session at your pre-session consultation.  Jennifer is able to properly prepare to capture amazing photos of your baby bump no matter which location you choose.

What to wear during the session:

studio maternity picturesPeople ask all the time what colors they should wear, or if shoes are required.  It depends on you!  When you have your consultation with Jennifer McNeil before your maternity photos, you will discuss these items with her.  She will ask you what you feel comfortable wearing and how that can work into her existing gowns and props.  You may even try on one or more of the gowns in the studio to see what works best.  While most people choose at least one gown look, it is also an option to wear something you bring in.  Jennifer will talk with you about what types of clothing work best for a pregnancy photo session.  It would also be a good idea to coordinate the outfits of any addition people who are going to be in the photos with you like dad, grandma or children.

 When to book a family photo session?

Most family portraits with Jennifer take place on weekday evenings.  Scheduling based on your family’s timetable is the best way to make a photography session successful.  Make some phone calls to ensure everyone has 2-3 common days and/or times available to do portraits.  Then contact Jennifer McNeil Photography to see if any of those dates will work.  Some weekend and weekday morning/afternoon sessions are also available depending on the location preference. Work closely with your photographer to find the right balance of time, location and lighting to make your photography session a success.  Start your family portrait booking now, contact Jennifer McNeil Photography or call (714) 758-5366.

For more information, visit Session Information, Newborn and Maternity Photo StudioStyling Your Session, Questions & Answers, and Soothing Baby During the Photo Shoot.