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How Far Out Should I Schedule My Photo Session?

The MEP Experience

How far out should I book my photo session?

How far out should I schedule my photo session? This is probably a question I get asked a lot. My husband Zach and I were just talking about this last night, and he suggested I write this post! How far out to schedule a photo session in his mind compared to mine were completely different, so this will hopefully be helpful!

To get straight to the point, schedule your session 6-8 weeks prior to the session date. Basically, the earlier, the better! This is ideal for a few reasons.

Mother, father, and two daughters walk together at the DAR Constitution Hall

My availability

First, I book out my calendar a couple months in advance and sometimes I simply don’t have room to squeeze in another session (especially in fall!). Fall is always the busiest time of the year, so I recommend scheduling your fall family photos in summertime, at the latest!

If you are expecting, scheduling your maternity and newborn sessions early will be one more item off your to-do list, especially if baby comes early. I hate turning away mothers who didn’t schedule sessions far out and then unexpectedly have their babies early. With parenthood, you just never know what’s going to happen!

I try to leave room in my calendar for one or two last minute babies being born, but I try to prioritize time with my own family. Once my calendar is full, it’s full.

Expecting mother and her husband sit on steps in front of the National Arboretum Columns during their maternity session

Securing details

Second, once you book your session, we’ll have a planning appointment to chat about all of your session details. I usually schedule these about 4 weeks before your session.

It is important to have a few weeks between your planning appointment and your session date because we may need to take care of details in between – such as obtaining a photo permit, reserving a floral bouquet, scheduling hair and make-up, etc. If we wait until the last minute, many locations, my hair and make-up artist, and florist will no longer have availability.

Wardrobe selection

Third, this allows you enough time to perfect the wardrobe. You will have an opportunity to try on the dresses from the wardrobe in advance and make changes if needed. We can then coordinate the rest of your family.

New mother sits in front of her window holding her newborn baby

Prepare the family

Fourth, you will be able to prep your family (especially little ones and dad!). There are many things you can do to prepare your little ones for photos. The more prepared your family is, the smoother your session will be!

Finally, I want you to feel comfortable, confident, and stress-free going into your session. Allowing enough time to prepare will always set us up for success.

New father leans over his wife's shoulder to kiss his newborn baby.

Washington DC Family Photographer | Marie Elizabeth Photography

Marie is a Washington DC Family Photographer specializing in a luxurious, full-service portrait experience. From planning your session to delivering custom fine artwork to your home, Marie takes care of all of the details. All Marie Elizabeth Photography clients are pampered with included professional hair and make-up and an array of whimsical dresses from the client wardrobe. Marie then will create exquisite works of art, such as heirloom albums and fine art matted prints to grace your home and lay your legacy.

Interested in multiple family sessions over the course of a year and a half? Marie offers a luxury membership to best document this fleeting season with your family. With perks such as holiday cards and album credit, the luxury membership is the perfect way to remember this special time. Reach out to learn more.

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