When to schedule for maternity & newborn photography shoots

Over the next few posts I am going to try to answer questions the studio receives a lot and hopefully help make scheduling your maternity & newborn photography shoots easier. A few weeks ago we touched on why digital files suck and photographic prints are like sex. This week we’ll talk about when to schedule maternity sessions and newborn shoots.

schedule maternity & newborn photography shoots

Georgetown maternity session

How early is too early to book your maternity photography shoot?

It’s really never too early to book and start thinking about your maternity and newborn sessions. Those nine months of pregnancy go quickly so its great to have some time penciled in to capture your beautiful pregnant body early on. Once you decide on making photos then it’s time to figure out what date will be about your 30th week prego (give or take a few weeks). This time frame is nice, because you are beautiful and round, but still feeling good and comfortable. Later in the game things may become more challenging and poses may not be so comfortable in front of the camera. This week is nice too because you and your lover can still hug and kiss with out feeling like you’re on separate continents.

Don’t forget to schedule photos for the newborn

Once you have the maternity session worked out, that’s a great time to also just plan for the newborn session. Some photographers will offer discounts on booking joint sessions as well. The newborn session is best to work in around the 7-14th day after the due date, and about 3 months after the maternity session. If your baby is on time, maybe the following weekend or two would be a beautiful opportunity for some new family bonding at the studio. We always make that time super comfortable for mommy to relax and rest while we make a few images in that first few days after of sleepy baby’s arrival. Babies grow and change so much after just a few weeks, so it’s really nice to capture those brand new little lovers. They also do like to sleep a lot in the beginning which makes life really easy in front of the camera. As late as 3 months old will still ultimately be fine and might be the only option for some families.

If you did forget to schedule a newborn shoot…it’s not too late…

If things don’t work out in the first few weeks to schedule, sometimes waiting a few months is best. A nine month old baby is adorable too and once a little one can start sitting up on their own things will never be the same and that’s also a special time to preserve. Never worry you can always wait until later in the first year. Some studios offer packages for four sessions…maternity, newborn, nine month and 1 year. I would recommend something like this. That way you really capture all of the mile stones your sleep deprivation may prevent you from fully enjoying. Those moments captured in an album or few matching canvases will pull you through the toddler years with a fond memory of that simple sweet new baby smell.

Are you expecting and want to talk about what week to book the studio? Have other questions about newborn shoots visit our client info page or let us know:)

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Benefits of prints

In the age of digital files why would anyone ever want to purchase a printed photographs or an album of photographs? Well the answer is, for exactly that same reason. We live almost entirely on our cellphones and screens. We see digital imagery constantly and it can be annoying. The beauty of a photograph can only truly be experienced as an object that you can adore, touch, hold and consider licking. Printed photographs are better than digital files. Sally Mann describes the moment of discovering her film developed as an aphrodisiac. And I would agree. Printed photographs have the same appeal as sex. Seeing images on paper or canvas or in an album feels like sex, it’s exciting. Watching students processing film for the first time and seeing their expressions proves this point and I always have to hold back from exclaiming “it’s like sex, am I right”. Lol.

Why Digital Files are Lame

How many of us have hired a wedding photographer only to be left years later with a folder of digital files we have no idea what to do with. Either the photographer didn’t have time to sequence an album for you or didn’t want to, instead saving time by providing a “digital album option” that you frankly just didn’t know how to print. Wedding day events are sitting on couples hard drives in every home office, rarely ever being enjoyed by the couple. Years ago wedding photographers would laugh if someone asked for negatives. Not only because they were one of a kind, but because unless you were a printer they were worthless. Although digital files can be duplicated, unless you understand how to manage and work with the files they’re essentially worthless. Even if you are familiar with Snapfish or Nations Photo many of us do not have time to design albums or work images up for canvases.
Printed Photograph

Home office. Happy place. This image of the boys is a constant reminder of why I do what I do. Printed photo on large 40×30″ canvas.

Why I don’t include digital files from sessions (because printed photographs are better)

A few years ago I only offered digital images from sessions. I did not want to be hassled with helping clients chose their favorite images, and more honestly I did not want hear about how horrible they felt they looked in an image. I was afraid to feel like a failure and had let someone down on how they wanted to be photographed. I was scared to admit that the light was not perfect or the expression was off, revealing all of my short comings as a photographer. Every session has flaws, and I am my own worst critic. I can deal with the mistakes I see, but the idea of others pointing out my mistakes was terrifying.

What I found was that my clients were then overwhelmed when I dumped 100 photos in their laps with no guidance on what to do with them. They sat online and as long as there was a link to the online album they felt their needs were fulfilled.

Often I would return to clients homes and see awful collages they had made from 4×6 images. Or terrible inkjet prints still sitting on their home office printer. It was pathetic. It occurred to me that I need to face my fear and sit down with families to review the photos. And ever since I have done this I have not turned back. In fact I’ve found this experience to be the exact opposite from what I would have imagined. The clients oooh and awe! Seriously its the most exciting sounds I hear. Like my students they are amazed and excited to envision the photos on display in their home for all of their loved ones to see and enjoy.

It’s so true

Yes albums and wall art are expensive. However, it’s worth it to get to enjoy something everyday that when you first discovered made you moan with adoration. If you are looking for images to brighten and inspire your home send me an email about scheduling a shoot at the studio. Or if we have already had a session and you are still interested in an album or canvas of the images please let me know.

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Baltimore Band PhotographyIndole Baltimore BandIndole Baltimore BandIndole Baltimore BandIndole Baltimore BandIndole Baltimore BandIndole Baltimore BandIndole Baltimore BandIndole Baltimore BandIndole Baltimore Bandband portraitsStudio photographyBand Indole in Baltimoreband photographyIndole Baltimore BandIndole studio photosBaltimore Band Photography

I really love this band and was so excited to have them visit the studio. Getting six people together in front of the camera doesn’t just happen it can take years of planning. Thanks to Joan this scene came effortlessly and the energy was amazing. Working to narrow these down to nine photos, it’s really really hard so just leaving them all up for now until I can handle the cuts. Tried again and still can’t pull more. Hope you enjoy the many sides of Indole as much as I do. Really looking forward to hearing more Indole and seeing them onstage soon. Check them out on Soundcloud down below. You’ll be glad you did.

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Part dream, part memory, part mourning, part longing, the paintings also address the issues of survival and authenticity in a new culture. In her artist’s statement, Deeb asks: “What does it take for a person to persist from one time to another, that is, for the same person to be real at all the times?”

~ Lucy Chumbley


Family Flavours magazine in Jordan just featured a beautiful article written by Lucy Chumbley about artist Manal Deeb, a beautiful painter who works out of Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA. I was so excited to be involved in this great collaborative story, sharing the work of an artist who has been featured in the Washington Post and will soon have an exhibit at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts in May. The way Lucy describes Manal’s artwork is as beautiful as the work itself so you should really check out the story (and photography:)

Here are a couple of spreads from Family Flavours

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Love this beautiful mommy and family of four. So excited to meet another Konstas boy and to see a new big bro for their newborn session. Enjoyed this studio session so much and the cutest booties ever.

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