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Why does it take 4 hours to photograph a newborn baby?


Professional Newborn & Baby Photography in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK

When you book your newborn photography session with me you will be advised of the amount of time the session will take, you will need to set this time aside as a newborn session can not be rushed. Sessions last on average around 4 hours. Occasionally, I hear the question “Why does it take so long?!” Here’s a breakdown of why the session last this amount of time.

Newborn | Baby | Photographer | Hatfield | Hertfordshire | 23.55.44

  1. Everything happens slowly

Your baby has just been born, after spending 9 months comfy and tucked up inside the womb being gently rocked to sleep. In the first few weeks “out”, all your baby will want to do is sleep and just like us all they want is quiet undisturbed sleep, during the newborn photography session, we will be putting them in to various different positions, possibly wearing different head attire, being wrapped, unwrapped and maybe even outfit changes. Each and every time we change or adjust their positioning, get them changed, fed this disturbs them and will stop them falling in to the lovely deep sleep that they long for and we need in order to capture the lovely sleepy newborn baby photographs.

Think about it, how would you feel if every time you were just nodding off someone kept moving you about. After disturbing them constantly some babies will get frustrated, its only natural. My aim is to make every transitions as smooth as possible in order for your baby to stay asleep, this does take time. It can take 20 minutes plus to pose a baby, to get their little fingers and feet in the places for the best results. This takes patience, not only patience from me and the baby, but also from the parents, you are more than welcome to bring a book, magazines or anything that will help you get through this time.

  1. Your baby needs to eat!

During the 4 hours your baby will most likely feed twice. Once when you arrive and then again when they become unsettled, although this sometimes does become three times, so if you are bottle feeding you do need to make sure you bring enough milk with you.

Babies are clever little creatures, they can sense your mood easily, feeding cannot be rushed, try rushing their feed and they wont be impressed, this will make the photo session a lot harder. Imagine eating your sandwich at lunchtime with your boss leaning over your shoulder tapping their watch, you’d be pretty miffed wouldn’t you?!

During the shoot I allow babies as much time as they want and need in order for them to get a solid feed, and a bit of snuggle time with their parents.

  1. Your baby will most likely wee or poop on someone at some point

I always always advise my clients to bring a spare set of clothing (or two), most babies are photographed nuddy at some point during the session and they will wee or poop on someone during this time, it happens in 99% of my sessions and there is no need to feel apologetic for this, it’s completely normal.

  1. You NEED to have a photograph with your baby

You know, I get it, you’ve just had a baby, you’ve spent the last week being up day and night and you probably havn’t had time for a shower, you’re not feeling your best right now, I get it, I’ve been there. If this is your first baby nothing and I mean absolutely NOTHING will have prepared you for the shock of actually having a baby no matter how much antenatal you’ve taken in, no matter how many blog posts you’ve read, nothing. This moment in your life will never happen again. From now on most of your phone storage will be photos of your baby, not with you, but by themselves, or maybe with daddy.

Take this opportunity to have a photograph taken with your little one, if you would like me to, I can make you look a bit more human with the help of Photoshop and if you really hate the photograph then you never have to look at it again once you have buried it in the loft. At least you are giving yourself a chance to have this photograph and trust me, your child will thank you when they are older.

For these reasons I only book one newborn session per day to allow parents and babies to have a relaxed photography experience. I also only take on a certain number of newborn bookings per month, so that I can accommodate every client and allow for date changes because let’s face it, babies don’t usually arrive on their due dates.

The four hours is benchmark, your baby may be done sooner, or may take a longer, each is fine with me. I strongly suggest that you don’t make any plans afterwards as if your baby falls in to a deep sleep 3-4 hours in to the session then we can continue the session. I always make sure I have as much time as needed to capture beautiful images of your baby. Babies are just mini humans and sometimes no matter how much time we give, it is just not their day and that is fine, I will never put any pressure on your baby to do anything that they don’t want to. In these instances, we will choose another day to finish the session.

To get the best results from your newborn photography session, I strongly suggest a full day for your shoot, a day where you will not have any time restrictions.

If you have any more questions, or to book, get in touch: [email protected]