As I’ve perfected my niche in newborn photography, I often get a plethora of questions from other photographers seeking to break into the specific photography industry. One questions I often see repeatedly asked is… How do I book my newborn sessions?
It can be tricky because you know, babies have their own schedule and all! However, I’ve found a tried and true method that has worked well over the past couple of years for me and my business.
Because this is a question I’m often asked, I decided to break it down in bite-sized pieces of how I not only book newborn sessions, but also handle my inquires.
P.S. If you are seeking even more information on all things newborn photography, my newborn courses is opening soon. Click here to join the waitlist and have access to the course at its lowest-ever price!
The very first thing I do when I receive an inquiry is add the expecting mama’s info to a Google Spreadsheet. I do this even before I send my response email to her. Because, let’s be honest… how many times to do we say we will input something into a document later and then get distracted by another business task? I’m definitely guilty of this.
The last thing I want is for an inquiry to go cold or completely forget about it all together. By immediately putting the potential client’s name on my inquiry spreadsheet, I avoid this from happening.
And, wanna know a secret about my inquiry response email? I don’t send any pricing info or even book clients until they reach their second trimester! This is because my rates can change often and I want to make sure I always send the most current pricing info.
If you’d like access to my Google Spreadsheet template, it can be found in my Photographer Prep Guide.
Since I don’t book clients until they reach their second trimester, I have a waitlist that expecting mamas can join. In doing so, there is absolutely no obligation to book once they are added.
I color code my waitlist and will begin reaching out to moms when I start booking for their particular due date month. Anyone that is on my waitlist will have first dibs when I open bookings. I do give them a 48 hour response time before I reach out to the next potential client.
So when it is time to reach out to moms who are in their second trimester, how do I know how many newborns to book for that particular due date month? This answer is going to be based on your personal preference. For me, I like to keep 6-8 total sessions each month and this includes my maternity sessions. I usually will only take on 3-4 newborn sessions per month.
As I mentioned above, babies are on their own schedule and because of this, I don’t book more than two moms who are due around the same timeframe. For example, if I have two moms due mid-February then I won’t book another mom who’s also due mid-February. I would still be comfortable booking an early or late February due date mom.
Once I have 3-4 clients booked for a single month then I will close my bookings.
I love using 17hats to stay organized when it comes to all of my bookings. The client’s estimated due date will be on my 17hats calendar to remind me not to take more clients who are due around the same time.
Once baby makes his/her debut, I’ll have one of the parents email me within 24-48 hours and I’ll offer two dates that I have open for them to choose from.
Fun fact: I only offer weekday morning sessions when it comes to my newborn sessions. I also recommend 7-10 days after baby is born before having their newborn session.
For the moms who have a scheduled c-section, I do allow them to schedule their newborn session date before the baby is born, if they wish.
Of course, there are the scenarios where a baby may be born very early and need to stay in the NICU for awhile. I always work with my clients when this happens. Once baby is released to finally go home and the mom is ready, we will schedule their newborn sesssion.
I know this is A LOT of info in one blog. And, believe it or not, I dive even deeper into all things regarding scheduling your newborn sessions in the course I mentioned above.
Newborn photography, for me, is such a rewarding job and I’m blessed by all the families that trust me with their little ones! If this is a niche of a photography that you are considering, make sure you also check out my “For Photographers” page on my website.
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