When Should I Book My Lifestyle Newborn Session?

I get asked this question very often! Since I started focusing on lifestyle newborn photography sessions instead of sleepy-baby super-posed sessions, it's become a bit more relaxed in terms of how long we can wait to do photos after your baby has arrived. I still believe that the sooner we do your newborn photos the sleepier they tend to be, and the easier the session flows for mom and dad. However, I typically photograph newborns in their homes up to one month old. Every baby is different, of course, and it also depends on how early or late your baby made their debut. 


Newborns are best photographed between 4 and 14 days old.


Lifestyle Sessions -babies can be photographed up to one month old.


Pro tip: I recommend keeping the heat cranked in your home, or if it's summer turn the A/C off, during your in-home newborn session. 


As tempting as it may seem to be all about the baby at first, I believe it's not JUST about the baby! While I love nothing more than a super-adorable babe wrapped in a swaddle blanket with her hands on her cheeks, all cozy and cute, I think you must be in the photos too! This is a time that goes by SO fast and you're going to want to look back, when the moments may be a bit blurred. Your baby will love looking at the photos while growing up, and will greatly appreciate those photos when they are all grown up.


When Should I Book My Maternity Session? [Chicago Maternity Photo Tips]

Tips for mom-to-be on what to expect from a maternity session.

I’ve been photographing expecting moms for almost a decade now and it’s one of my favorite kind of sessions to document. Don’t get me wrong, I love photographing those squishy little newborns but there’s something so beautiful about maternity photos that gets me so excited. Maybe it’s because moms are glowing and so excited to meet that little life growing inside of them, or because I just love any kind of love so much. Or maybe it’s because I love that I’m giving these babies a glimpse of their beautiful mama at one of the most exciting times in her life. I never knew what my own mom looked like when she was pregnant with me. I think there might be one snapshot that I remember from a baby shower but otherwise, I have no idea what she looked like when she was pregnant with me and that makes me a little sad. Some might think maternity photos are a silly splurge, but I think it’s just as important as any other celebratory photo shoot -you’ve got the glow going and want to remember how beautiful you feel! You created a life and that’s kind of a big deal in my eyes!


I’m often asked “When should I book a maternity session with you?” While every body and every pregnancy is unique, I recommend scheduling your maternity session when you’re around 30 weeks or 7-ish months if you’re expecting just one baby, when you're still feeling comfortable and can move easily. If having multiples (!) aim for 26-32 weeks as they tend to make an earlier appearance. You want that belly to be in the spotlight, but not so much that you’re not able to move from swelling & general aches & pains! Life happens, though, and sometimes I photograph maternity sessions sooner or even later. The biggest concern when waiting too long is that your little one might arrive sooner than you were planning & you might miss the opportunity to get a session in. 


Keep in mind the season also. Most Chicago sessions are done outdoors so weather plays a big factor. Most people do their sessions in the warmer months but I will never ever turn down a snowy or chilly maternity session. In fact, you’ll have a built-in little heater to keep you warm so it’s a win for you! Your home is also a great location! Studio options are available for an additional fee.


Ok, but what do I wear? You’re not restricted to the number of outfits in a session so bring a few options if you’d like! I recommend something tight and stretchy to show off your bump if you’re having an outdoor session. Long, flowy or form-fitting dresses are great and really help accentuate that bump. Blouses, button-down sweaters and men’s dress shirts can also make for cute photos but you’ll just want to be careful to not cover the bump too much and make sure they’re not too bulky. Studio sessions can be a little different and more revealing if you’re not comfortable showing skin in public places. I highly recommend getting your hair and make-up done no matter which kind of session you decide on. If not in the budget, though, your date-night look will be just fine! If you DO get H&M/U, then you can use it as an excuse to go on that hot date after your photos!


As always, partners, kiddos (if this isn’t your first rodeo) & dogs are welcome too!