The first thing to decide is to do something, it's an incredible journey and you only have one chance to capture it. These pictures will last a lifetime and it's worth investing the time and money.
A lot of you will have a bad experience with baby photography because you assume its doesn't differ between photographers.
You'll end up in the back of a department store with someone who's had a weeks training, who doesn't have any passion and doesn't want to be there. You'll find yourself actually ending up spending the same amount of money but for really flat and uninspiring pictures.
Likewise not all photographers are good at photographing babies. You have to specialise in it. I photograph around 500 babies a year and I still think they are amazing. I have spent thousands of hours (and pounds) investing in myself to be the best baby photographer that I can be.
I meet so many parents who say they wished they had got round to it but kept delaying. Sadly, life can sometimes get in the way but if you are organised then the following maybe of help.
Never book a baby session towards the end of the day as it will be a disaster . A tired and hungry baby doesn't equal good pictures.
Generally babies tend to be happier in the mornings.
Again never book a photography session after injections baby may associate the bright lights with the doctor's surgery ! Also it can take some babies up to a week to settle back into their routine.
If your looking to get new born shots you need to be in contact with the photographer before the big event, bump shoots are great fun so you may want to consider doing that with your partner. It will also give you the chance to get to know and trust the photographer before your new baby arrives.
The ideal time in terms of getting great new born pictures is between 7- 11 days. Newborns tend be most settled at this point with little or no skin complaints and can be more easily positioned.
After 12 days, Newborns become less flexible so we would advise waiting until baby is 3 to 4 months .
At this point you will get smiles and hopefully some tummy shots.
My favourite age is when baby is between 6-7 months. (Again you want baby to be able to sit unaided)
Its also a great time for a family shot as well.
Finally another great opportunity is when your baby is about to start walking. Normally this is when they start doing 'the sofa shuffle' as I describe it. Often you can get lovely pictures of them holding a chair or inside a wooden box.
Once they start walking it's extremely tricky to get a beautiful shot even for me and I do it every day.
I hope that these few simple pointers will enhance your experience, should you choose to opt for a professional photographer to capture those treasured moments of early life.