How far in advance should you schedule your photoshoot?
Well if you want Christmas cards in time, or have a deadline for the Highschool Yearbook committee, then timing matters.
Here are suggestions when to schedule based on what style of shoot:
Boudoir - 3 months out
You want to have enough time to book hair, makeup, and nails. Also, if it's a gift, you may want to order prints or an album. If you're only delivering it in a digital format, then check the current editing timeframe.
High School Senior / Graduates - 3-6 months out
Schedule for what season you want as your backdrop, factor in current editing time, and how long you'd need to get invites/announcements made.
Also make sure to check when the digital images are due for yearbook and/or graduation ceremony.
Maternity - 3 months out AND for when you're between 32-36 weeks along
Usually, you're not too uncomfortable when between 32-36 weeks along. Your belly is usually at it's best (not too small, but obviously there).
Newborn Lifestyle - based on due date; book 3 months in advance
Plan to book around your due date, and remember this is a flexible booking since baby may arrive early/late.
Christmas Cards - 3-6 months out
This is one of the more popular requests for sessions, so securing a spot early is best. You'll need to consider when you want your images done by so you have enough time to make/order Christmas cards and then get them mailed out if needed. Make sure you're factoring in the current editing timeframe.
Weddings - 1-2 years in advance
On average, couples book their vendors, photographer, and venue 1-2 years in advance.
All other sessions/events: I'd suggest booking 3-6 months in advance
What if it's a spontaneous shoot, such as family came into town or
we just got engaged?
I completely understand that you cannot predict the future. There are still plenty of open dates/times for shoots such as Surprise Proposals, Engagements, Elopements, Family shoots, Trash-the-Dress, Boudoir, BFF, Business, Glacier Landing's, etc. The above is just suggestions for sessions that if you can book it in advance, here's when I'd suggest booking by and why :)