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Guide To Baby & Maternity Photography | Indiana Photographer Shares Insight | Baby Photography 101



Photography Options When Expecting Baby


Expecting a new addition to the family? Whether it's your first or your a pro by now, adding to your family is def. a unique and exciting time.


If you're a 1st time mom...


you've probably figured out there that is no end to the "helpful" advice everyone is willing to share. lol. Who knew people would so FREELY give their opinions on everything from parenting styles to how/what you should expect of YOUR body, which is now spoke about so FLIPPENTLY. lol. I remember those days too.


Or maybe you're journey has been through adoption...

And not only are you excited for baby but you are also already up to your eyeballs in paperwork. Or lastly, perhaps you're already a pro having gone through this before and have decided to add a new sibling to the mix. Either way, all families are welcome here. So let's dive in. Shall we?


Types of photography for families who are Expecting A Baby


Expecting a baby comes not only with a wave of emotions but also an unending lists and quite frankly being a mom myself I have a VERY short attention span (haha!) so here's the "quick and dirty" of it all...



I've gone ahead and linked these all up as well so you can click on what you're most interested in and FW to that section for the skinny.


I. Announcement of Pregnancy or Gender Reveal Photography Session




Want to announce that you're expecting in a sweet way that also captures the emotion for years to come? Baby Announcement or Gender Reveal Sessions are the perfect fit.


These sessions are often shot similarly to a couple's engagement of family photo session and are typically pretty easily to book with minimal lead time.


Session Focus

You as an expecting parent/couple. Shots often include cupping of a (not there yet) baby belly, couples kissing, baby accessories/details, use of confetti cannons, etc.


What To Expect Expect anywhere between 15 to 90 minutes, depending on the package and photographer you've chosen. Also usually available as event photography as well.


Additionally, these sessions can be shot as early as you'd like, although we suggest somewhere between 15 and 24 weeks. Long enough to get your feet under you and have a check in with the doctor as well as having enough time to not only SHOOT the session but have the images BACK when you're ready to announce.


Location Setting

The setting of your baby announcement or gender reveal is primarily effected by the style of photographer you hire. Some photographers offer only studio services, others shoot primarily outside. When booking this style of session be sure to ask your photographer what they would suggest to ensure it fits with your vision.


Consider Bringing Different photographers will recommend different items to bring to a pregnancy announcement or gender reveal session. I advise my clients to consider bringing:

  • 2D sonogram picture (or uncut sonogram reel)

  • Baby Shoes

  • Clean wedding bands

  • Any sentimental or heirloom item(s) they'd like to include



II.

Maternity Photography



Session Focus

Exactly what you think it is. Photography session for expectant mothers and their partners focused on the size of belly and the connection between the couple (together) and their soon arriving baby.


What To Expect Most photographers suggest shooting these sessions once you are 30 to 36 weeks pregnant. This allows you to show off belly without being too close to your due date incase baby comes early or bad weather requires a session reschedule.


Be sure to keep your photographer looped in on how the pregnancy is going as you get closer to your due date so they can recommend the best time to shoot based off your individual needs and doctor's recommendations.


Location Setting

The setting of these sessions is primarily effected by the style of photographer you hire. Some photographers offer only studio services, others shoot primarily outside. When booking this style of session be sure to ask your photographer what they would suggest to ensure it fits with your vision.


Pro Tip: In hot summer months, I always like to encourage pregnant mommas to consider a creek setting to help keep them cool as Indiana's summers are often humid and unforgiving.


Consider Bringing Different photographers will recommend different items to bring to a pregnancy announcement or gender reveal session. I advise my clients to consider bringing:

  • 2D sonogram picture (or uncut sonogram reel)

  • Baby Shoes

  • Clean wedding bands

  • Any sentimental or heirloom item(s) they'd like to include


III.

Labor & Delivery Documentary Coverage


Session Focus

Story of mom's labor in the hospital (or at home), the support of family members and the actual arrival itself of baby.


What To Expect These sessions are often harder to book as there are less photographers who tend to shoot them. Also due to the "on call" nature of these sessions, birth photographers typically take a limited number of clients any given month to ensure two of their clients aren't due or go into labor around the same time.


Pro Tip: Ask your photographer how many due dates they juggle and how closely they book them together. As well as what the back up plan is should they be sick OR should another client be in labor the same time you are.


Location Setting

These sessions are shot where ever labor and delivery is intended and includes long hours of coverage. If laboring at home be sure to make your Dula or midwife aware of your plans to include a photographer during your labor.


If your plan includes labor and delivery in a hospital setting, be sure to ask your provide and the hospital about their child birth photographer policies.


Pro Tip: Be sure to ask about BOTH natural delivery and C-section rules, so everyone is clear on what's allowed and as births sometimes do not go as planned.




IV.

Fresh 48 Hospital Visit


Session Focus

The settling of baby with their family in the delivery/recovery room setting. Extra focus on baby's features and setting details.


What To Expect This style of photography has your photographer visiting you in the hospital typically 12 to 24 hours AFTER baby is born. Focused on the new bond being built, the photographer will be working within your delivery/recovery room setting and is typically focused on emotional and physicals details.


ie. Mom with baby on chest. Dad rocking baby with hospital bracelet on. Baby in the clear hospital bed with anklet or socks. etc.

Location Setting

This speaks for itself, but it's where ever delivery recovery is occurring. If a home birth, then that would likely be in your master suite, or if in the hospital, your recovery room.


Pro Tip: If in a hospital setting, be sure to inquire with your provider AND the facility regarding photographer visit polices especially during the winter months.



V.

Posed Newborn Photography



Session Focus

Baby portraits, family portraits and baby's fine little details.


What To Expect These are typically shot within 14 days of baby's birth but can be done later, depending on the preference of your photographer. During posed newborn sessions formal portraits are taken of baby, the family and typically siblings as well.


For these sessions think colorful blankets, props, hats and headbands.

Location Setting

Newborn photographers typically either have a studio they have you come to or some photographers offer in-home posed newborn sessions as well. Be sure when booking to clarify the setting your photographer prefers and if any travel fees will be required (if they will be traveling to you).



VI.

Lifestyle Newborn Photography



Session Focus

Baby portraits, family portraits and baby's fine little details.


What To Expect These are typically shot within 14 days of baby's birth but can be done later, depending on the preference of your photographer. During posed newborn sessions formal portraits are taken of baby, the family and typically siblings as well.


Location Setting

Lifestyle newborn photographers typically have you come to their styled studio setting or they may travel directly to you and shoot in your baby's nursery, master suite or livingroom.


Pro Tip: These sessions are great for families w older siblings or are super sensitive to new places as it allows them to stay in a comfortable area with their own world around them, being brought in and out of the session as need be with minimal disruptions to their routines and play.






VII.

Milestone Photography




Session Focus

Capturing defining moments within baby's 1st year of life.


What To Expect These are typically shorter sessions that are focused on only baby or baby and your family, depending on the photographer's style. At HTM we recommend these sessions be shot during baby's 4, 8 and 12 months. This allows you to capture some of the biggest milestones for baby including: pushing up, sitting up, arrival of teeth, trying to walk, etc.


Location Setting

The setting of your session can vary greatly depending on you wants and your photographer's style but usually is shot as either an indoor studio or an outside session. Due to their short and sweet nature they are rarely offered as a combo of both.


Pro Tip: Parents come dressed to be included in milestone sessions, just incase baby has a hard time of it. I can't tell you how many times mommy or daddy has been roped into holding baby to get them comfortable or to provide extra body support for a shot.



VIII.

Cake Smash Sessions


Session Focus

Baby's 1st birthday celebration and (perhaps) their birthday party theme.


What To Expect These sessions are typically pretty short and may include some prior milestone portrait coverage before diving into the messy cake. They are also typically either done in a themed studio setting or outside in nature.


Be sure to clarify with your photographer WHO provides the cake AND décor for these sessions as the answer can vary greatly from photographer to photographer.


Planning For It's Success !!!!

Make sure the cake is ROOM TEMPERATURE before the session or baby will want absolutely NOTHING to do with it and you'll walk away frustrated and likely disappointed with their reaction to cake.


Pro Tip: You can also "prep" baby before hand by allowing them to play with whip cream or CoolWhip in their high chair in the weeks leading up the session.




IX.

Event Photography: Baby Showers, Gender Reveals & 1st Birthdays


Session Focus

Coverage of the people, events and details you're hosting or enjoying. The goal is to document the overall event to preserve the memory for a later date.


What To Expect The amount of time and style of coverage can vary greatly from photographer to photographer. Be sure that your contract includes the amount of time they are there shooting, how many images are included in the gallery and what the back up plan is should they be ill or can't attend.


Location Setting

Pretty obvious here, but it's the location of your event itself. Be sure to ask about any additional travel fees that may apply.




Hey You... Let's Be Friends, K?!


Hey there - I'm Chelsea! A coffee worshipping Hoosier native, just trying to raise a kiddo and capture vivid memories in central IN for my families & brides. To see more of our work, make sure to FOLLOW us on Facebook and Instagram & sign up for our VIP club to get first dibs on open session date! Curious about me? Dive into my story of how I flushed my comfortable Fortune 500 Marketing Career to take on the life of a SMB owner at Hashtag Memories Photography!


Or maybe the idea of photos stresses you out? Check out this blog post where I get REAL about how shooting a session of my own kiddo taught me how to help YOU mitigate Mommy Session Stress - or this one where we share basic planning tips & FAQs to help set you up for success on your next shoot.



Interested in learning about our Indiana Maternity and Newborn packages? Download our Free Guide Here.



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