Nothing in the world is as special as the birth of a child. Babies grow so fast and change so much and parents don’t want to miss a thing.
How do you preserve the precious memories of your child’s birth? How do you remember the details of their little fingers and toes?
Photographs capture those special moments and preserve them for a long time.
You’ve decided you want to have your baby photographed by a professional. One question still remains. How do you choose the perfect newborn photographer for you?
There are lots of photographers out there. Not everyone will produce the results you’re looking for. Here’s how to choose the right newborn photographer for your baby.
CHOOSE YOUR STYLE
First, decide what basic style of newborn session you would like. Newborn photographers often specialize in a certain type of newborn photography. Because of this, the style you want will affect who you hire.
The 2 basic styles of newborn photography are:
You may want photos that fall into only 1 category. Or you may decide you want a little bit of all 2! Choose a photographer who will be able to provide what you’re looking for.
Posed photos focus on specific poses.
You know the type- naked little babies nestled in baskets, or resting their head on their hands. Often, the photographer will use props like teddy bears, blankets or adorable hats.
These sessions can take several hours depending on the baby’s cooperation. Be prepared to feed and calm the baby to get those adorable relaxed poses.
Lifestyle photography focuses more on real life rather than orchestrated poses. The newborn photographer will give you a bit of direction and posing tips. But the focus is more on real-life interactions between you and your baby.
This type often takes place in your home. The focus is on showing your life and what it was like when you brought your baby home.
This style of photography offers an excellent way to incorporate other children. Even Grandma and Grandpa can get in on the fun! The focus is not so much on the details and features of the baby, but on your family.
RESEARCH NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER STYLES
Now that you have an idea which basic style you would like, it’s time to research photographers.
First, see if your prospective photographer shoots the style you want. Some newborn photographers are happy to offer all two. Others specialize in a type.
Once you’ve found a good prospect, investigate their individual style. That is, the specific look their photos have. Editing styles encompass a huge range of looks.
Some photographers are in love with powerful, contrast black and white photos. Others love bright and airy shots. Some showcase soft pastels and others go strong and bold with bright colors.
Photographers are artists, and as such the photos they create come from the heart. Choose a newborn photographer whose portfolio is full of photos you love. That’s the best way to ensure you’ll love the result.
Research the market
It is potentially quite easy for parents to be fooled into thinking that all newborn photographers are created equal. Let me assure you, they are not!
The newborn photography industry here currently unregulated. That means that there is no specific qualification that a newborn photographer must obtain before they can start offering the service.
So, in theory, even a novice photographer, with zero experience of handling babies, could potentially setup shop and market themselves as a newborn photographer! This is very worrying but, unfortunately, happens a lot. I’ve heard horror stories of things that have gone wrong in newborn sessions, when babies are put in the hands of inexperienced photographers.
If you don’t have a personal recommendation from someone you trust, do your own extensive research before you commit to a booking.
Spend the time exploring the market to find a photographer who can demonstrate a track record of satisfied customers and high standards of professionalism.
Review their website and social media presence
Look for comments and feedback from recent customers and see how they interact online.
Do they seem positive, passionate about what they do, and good with people?
Contact them directly and ask questions.
All this will give you some idea of the kind of person they are and give you an impression of how they conduct themselves and their business.
Beware of cut price photographers
PLEASE don’t be tempted to cut corners by taking on anyone who doesn’t do photography professionally, as their main job, or who offers incredibly cheap prices.
I believe that you get what you pay for in this life. If someone proclaims to offer a newborn session including photos for as little as $50, alarm bells should start ringing in your head!
Choose a professional photographer and someone who is a specialist in newborn photography. If someone is good at their job, and in demand, their prices will reflect that. Cut-price photographers are likely to offer a second-grade service. Would you want to settle for that?
The timeframe is an important piece of the puzzle. How old should your baby be when the photographer comes?
It depends on the kind of photos that you want. Those cutesy, posed photos are only attainable during the first couple weeks of life. It is much harder to keep older babies asleep and relaxed enough to get the poses right.
Of course, you don’t know the exact date your baby will arrive. That makes scheduling your session in advance a little difficult.
Talk to your prospective photographer about their policy. Most photographers offer a penciled-in date but allow you a window of time around it.
Lifestyle session give you a little more wiggle room. In fact, an older, more interactive baby who can smile and even laugh can make your photos much more fun. Plus, you may not be too up for having your photo taken right after the birth.
Not every photographer is a newborn photographer. They may have a portfolio full of gorgeous portraits that you are in love with. But that doesn’t mean you should choose them to photograph your newborn.
Newborn photographers need to know how to work with infants. This is most important when dealing with posed shots. Many of those photos are composites.
Think about it. It’s not safe to hang a baby from a tree branch. Or photograph them with your Saint Bernard. Many of those poses the baby can’t even hold on their own. The photographer will have you or an assistant hold the baby and then photoshop out the arm.
You may have seen examples of newborn photos that you would love a photographer to create with your baby. Make sure you discuss this ahead of the shoot to align expectations. Will your photographer be able to create that specific pose, or not?
Also ask about whether you need to buy and bring any of your own props, or whether this is included in the shoot. Most photographers do have an extensive range of wraps, teddies, headbands etc. but this is worth checking in advance.
Are you also welcome to bring in your own props? You may have a family heirloom or sentimental item that you want included in your photos. Is your photographer happy to incorporate this into the photos? Similarly, if you would rather the photos did not make use of props, do say in advance.
Most photographers will likely aim to create a number of different setups throughout the shoot so there will be plenty of images for you to choose from afterwards, but if you have a preference in regard to styling and colors, do make this known ahead of the session to make sure they will deliver what you hope.
These are important factors that I urge you to consider before choosing your newborn photographer. Only then can you be sure that your photographer will deliver the quality of experience that you desire and that your new baby deserves, and photos that you will treasure for a lifetime.
Should you wish to choose Juodis Photography I look forward to hearing from you. Contact me at any time.
I understand that privacy and respect are very important. And I never share your images on social media for any reason without your approval.