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Capturing the Moment: A Guide to Choosing the Best Time to Book a Baby Photographer

Updated: 2 days ago

mother holds baby boy in her arms in summer flower garden

Baby Photography: You're Expecting Baby and Can't Wait To Meet That Little One... But Not Sure How To Navigate Pregnancy & Newborn Photography. This is for you, Sis!

Whether you've always wanted to be a Momma and your journey has been long in the making or just had the surprise of a lifetime, there is nothing quite like this time in life. Adding a new member to the family is a crazy wild ride and one of the biggest adventures in life!

You know it really is a shame that just a few decades ago, Mommas were hiding those beautiful bellies under boxy clothes and shoulder pads instead of embracing the fleeting curves that come and go in a flash. Today - thank goodness - Motherhood has changed. Celebrating everything from the news of pregnancy to a gender reveal and all the way through birth and their 1st birthday is now a very real thing and Mommas are no longer hiding their pregnancies from the world but embracing them all out. Wearing the cute curve hugging dresses, working in to corporate world baby bump there and powerful, working moms, stay at home moms and all the others in between.

Uhhhh - it's just SO good.

expecting mother and father hold pregnancy belly with hands stacked and their wedding rings featured

And let's be honest here... even though it's exciting it can all also be overwhelming. The nausea, the hormones, the body changes...and if you're a first time Momma... the learning curve on gear/needs/wants.

So when it comes to photography Sis - let's make it REALLY simple. We walked through the DIFFERENT TYPES OF NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY HERE but today let's chat about WHEN you want to reach out to photographer if you're wanting to shoot a baby Announcement, Gender Reveal, Maternity Session or even lining things up for a Belly to Birthday package that captures all the milestones from belly to birthday cake.

Ready? Let's do it...

Looking for the quick and dirty? Skip ahead here.

Baby Announcement & Gender Reveal Photography

Baby Announcement Sessions are a fun way to either share the news with friends and family and can be shot as soon as you are ready to invite a photographer in on your secret.

If you know when you’d like to announce it publicly, keep in mind that it takes between 3 and 4 weeks to get your final images back, so doing some backwards math may be required if you’re heart is set on a specific reveal date. (That said, many recommend waiting until your 12 weeks before taking the news public).


Gender Reveal Photography Sessions are similar sessions in that the baby bump may or may not be present yet. Typically parents can find out the baby's gender during the 18 week ultrasound, but with so many couples opting for genetic testing, it is possible to learn the baby's gender MUCH EARLIER. So whether you're 8 weeks or 18 weeks, once you have the gender appointment set, it's open season on photographers. lol.


Whether you're looking to do a Baby Announcement or Gender Reveal, reaching out to your favorite family or newborn photographer after the first ultrasound is a great time to chat and start working out a time to shoot. That said, these types of sessions aren't typically more than an hour long, so sessions are often able to be scheduled more easily and on a shorter timeline then all out newborn photography.


Pro Tip: Consider bring these items with you to Announcement or Gender Reveal Photo Shoot

  • Baby Shoes (gender neutral or a great way to share boy vs girl)

  • Sonogram Photo or Photo Roll of Sonogram Print

  • Sentimental Items from your childhood: vintage book, special teddy bear, crochet slippers/mittens, etc.

  • Clean Wedding Rings (a toothbrush and toothpaste cleaning does wonders!)


Baby Bump Maternity & Newborn Photography

Baby Bump Maternity sessions are SUPER popular with families that are both welcoming their first child or welcoming another child to their midst.

These sessions are best shot between 34 and 36 weeks of pregnancy, when belly is close to it's finally size and is beautifully round. Targeting this time in your pregnancy will also help to avoid the heavy fatigue of 38/39 weeks that often sets in due to baby maxing out in size and space.

Additionally, shooting for the 34/36 week mark also means there is plenty of time weather reschedules before induction dates sneak in.


Newborn Photography sessions are also SUPER popular with families. We walked through the different types of these sessions here in another post. But in terms of WHEN to reach out to a photographer if you know you're going to want a newborn shoot a good rule of thumb is the sooner the better.

Newborn Sessions are often shot as much larger time blocks (2hrs+) with many photographers limiting how many newborns they take on per month due to the unpredictability of due dates and baby's arrival.

Jumping on a your favorite photographer's schedule sooner, rather then later will give you the most flexibility in who is available to work with as well as to decide what type of newborn session (in home lifestyle, baby in a bucket, traditional studio, etc.) is the best fit for you and your family.


Pro Tip: Biggest Take Aways For Newborn & Baby Bump Photography

  • Maternity Baby Bump Photography is ideally shot at 34/36 weeks

  • Choose the newborn style that fits you best: in home lifestyle, baby in a bucket, etc.

  • Newborn Sessions are often limited due to due date flexibility. Reach out sooner, rather then later to your favorite photographers to chat.


-The Whole Enchilada - Belly to Birthday Packages & Milestone Sessions

Okay... now my FAVORITE...

Belly to Birthday packages are just what they sound like. You and I team up during your pregnancy to become baby BFFs and work to capture everything from that beautiful baby bump through baby's 1st first birthday and everything in between. ...and I'll freely admit, this is by FAR one of our more popular packages and one of my personal favorites because it lets us REALLY get to know each other and live life together, not to mention getting to see and be apart of baby's growth as he/she hits their major milestones.

For HTM clients, these packages specifically look something like this... Momma /Daddy chooses:

1x Baby Reveal, Gender Reveal or Baby Bump Maternity Shoot

1x Newborn Session (in home lifestyle newborn -or- studio session

3x Milestone Sessions to capture baby as they grow: 4/8/12 months old!

See why they're my favorites? lol. That's 5 sessions - 5x we get to hang out, snuggle baby and watch them grow!


And that's the gest of it Sis. The who, what(s) and when(s) of pregnancy and newborn photography. Easy as pie, right?

From pregnancy to first birthday and everything in between I've got you Sis. Feel free to shoot us any of your questions here or just to chat about scheduling your own baby session here.

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.

Dreaming of your own little sweet pea arriving soon?


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