When searching for a newborn photographer, what is most important to you? What helps you make your decision? Is it the cost, the photographer’s editing style? Maybe the location of the photographer’s studio or how many years of experience the photographer has under their belt? I run into a lot of people who are just unsure of what to look for, what is important, and they simply make their decision based on price and sometimes regret the outcome later on. I want to go over what you should know before hiring a newborn photographer. Newborn photography can be an investment, and I want to help guide you so that you are better equipped in making the best decision for your family. Interested in getting some information on what I offer and how I can help your growing family? Contact me today for a free consultation! I’m excited to chat with you about your needs.
1) Newborn Safety
I think we can all agree that safety is number one. But what does that actually mean? First off, there are currently zero requirements or regulations to become a newborn photographer. Sometimes I’ll come across some photographer social media accounts or websites with notifications that claim the photographer is one of the “only ones in the state certified in newborn safety”, but that doesn’t mean much when the state doesn’t regulate the industry. How do you ensure the person you are bringing your precious baby to understands how to pose them safely? Let’s reflect:
- Newborns cannot regulate their own temperature. Wrap a newborn too tight, and they can get overheated and even develop a heat rash. Posing them naked on a beanbag without having the studio heated properly, or have a fan nearby for added heat, can result in a failed session because your newborn is cold and uncomfortable. A photographer that pays attention to these cues and understands how to keep your little one comfortable is extremely important.
- A newborn isn’t strong enough to hold up their own neck or control their body movements. A skilled and experienced photographer will understand how to properly support the back of the head/neck and will make sure every prop that is being used has enough stuffing for the safety and comfort of the child.
- Your little one is brand new, which means a weak immune system. Your photographer should be sanitizing their studio, their hands and their props and washing wraps in between each session. Cleanliness and newborn safety comes hand in hand, there is no other option.
2) Session Type and Styling
There are two types of styles available when it comes to newborn portraiture: lifestyle and posed. A lifestyle newborn session is more laid back and baby-led. Lifestyle newborn sessions are typically done in a bedroom setting, usually in the client’s own home, and involve very little baby posing. Typically, props are not used and baby stays in a swaddle or newborn outfit which eliminates the need for longer session times. The other style is called a custom posed newborn session. These are typically done in a studio setting, either natural light or using strobes, and the focus is getting baby into many different types of adorable curly positions. Some photographers will also spruce up the session by using flowers and decorations and other beautiful props to put around baby. Posed sessions take a lot more effort, which increases the time of the session. When doing your initial research, it’s good to know which style is your favorite. That will help you narrow down a photographer since not every newborn photographer offers both styles.
3) Budgets and Realistic Expectations
Before I became a newborn photographer, I thought it was going to be a walk in the park. I mean, how hard could it be? They are tiny and will fit into all the props, sleepy and won’t cause any trouble. Boy, was I wrong. Starting my business has been a wild ride, and it made me realize that newborn portraiture is probably one of the hardest types of photography to master. It takes years and a lot of money and effort to understand and master lighting, posing and angles, and even things like composition and post processing. When you’re doing research online and looking up different photographers in your area, keep this in mind when reviewing pricing.
No matter the budget, a lot of photographers offer incentives when booking multiple sessions (such as maternity and newborn) and many now even offer great payment plans. There are also many opportunities for portfolio building and model calls, where new photographers offer free sessions. We all start somewhere, and there is always something new to learn, even for the seasoned photographers. But when working with photographers who are very new to the industry, it is important to not try and recreate poses that complex and should be left to those that have taken workshops and have many years of practice. It’s never worth it to put your baby at risk just to save some money, and many have made that mistake before. There is a photographer for everyone and all it takes is a bit of research!
I hope this information has been useful and that it helps guide you to make the best decision for your family. Hiring a newborn photographer can seem daunting, especially for a brand new parent. With the right photographer, the entire process can be simple and seamless and you will be left with gorgeous photos and priceless memories that will last forever!