How do I choose a newborn photographer?

How do I choose a newborn photographer

Choosing a newborn photographer can seem overwhelming! Every day we see people asking for referrals for photographers. We usually trust our friends, cousins, neighbors, etc. to tell us who to go to, but, when you’re choosing a newborn photographer that question gets a little more tricky. Choosing the right photographer to hand your brand new, itty bitty, baby over to is a bit more complicated. So, we’re going to cover some questions below that maybe you didn’t even know to ask!

How do I choose a newborn photographer

1. Have they taken any classes on posing newborns?

  • Newborn photography isn’t something you can major in, in college. (wouldn’t that be nice though? lol) In this field, aspiring newborn photographers often seek out seasoned, established, professional newborn photographers to teach them via a workshop. This typically consists of learning posing techniques, soothing, transitioning, styling, marketing, lighting, camera settings, editing and, of course, safety! You have spent, usually, the last 40 weeks growing that tiny human and you don’t, and shouldn’t, want to just hand them over to any random person you find on Facebook or craigslist. Don’t be afraid to ask if they’ve taken workshops. You would be surprised how many have not had any sort of structured learning in order to be certain that they can safely work with your most precious little person.

2. Do they know what a composite is and can they do it? What instances do they do a composite image for? 

  • A composite image is where we take multiple images and merge them into one, like magic! (a little photoshop magic lol) There are various different poses and shots, in newborn photography, that may require us to do a composite image. Sometimes we need someone to keep hands on baby for a pose, such as the froggy pose, posted below. Or, baby is in a prop where there is even the smallest chance that they could tip or fall. In these instances we keep an assistant or mom or dad holding onto baby or the prop to ensure that baby is safe. Getting beautiful images of your newborn is important, but, their safety, while doing so, should come first.

3. Ask for reviews and/or references. 

  • Any photographer worth their salt should have reviews available online for you to read over. If they have their reviews disabled on their Facebook business page, this may be a red flag; not always though so keep reading. Check out google reviews for them as well. You should be able to access reviews for the photographer that you’re researching, somewhere. If you really cannot find reviews anywhere, proceed with caution. If you find reviews and there are more bad reviews than good ones, be cautious. That’s not to say that sometimes you’ll run across a photographer with one or two negative reviews, but, if the overall consensus isn’t a positive one then you may want to keep looking.

4. Talk with them about their pricing and collections that they offer. 

  • Be cautious if their prices are rock bottom. An experienced newborn photographer, running a legitimate business, will not be cheap. If you’re wanting to save some money, this is not the session for that. I understand budgets, we have one too! Just be careful about who you choose because handing over your tiny baby to a person who is not experienced and trained could have tragic consequences and nobody wants anything to happen to your little one!        How do I choose a newborn photographer

  • Choose a photographer that is experienced and has the images, and the reviews, to back that up and who can answer any questions you may have. A quality newborn photographer will be in high-demand and their prices are going to reflect that. Many professional newborn photographers will offer a full-service experience. This means they will speak with you to plan your session, do a gallery reveal and offer a variety of quality products to display the artwork they will create for you. Photographers have access to many products that their clients would, otherwise, not be able to purchase. This means that you purchase quality products meant to last a lifetime. If only digitals are being offered, be aware that you won’t have access to the same quality products that other photographers may have and you may be left on your own to try and find ways to display your art that still have quality and are made to last.

5. What age do they prefer to do sessions with newborns? 

  • Most experienced newborn photographers will tell you that there is definitely a preferred age range to capture those sweet images of your baby. However, if you were a little late to the game and didn’t schedule a photographer in advance, don’t panic! An experienced newborn photographer will often still get you into the studio and talk with you about expectations for the age they may now be at and how they can ensure you still get gorgeous images of your little one.

6. Where will the session take place? 

  • Some photographers have a store front studio and some have a studio permanently set up in their home. Do not let this deter you either way. There are amazing photographers who have store front studios and amazing photographers who have in-home studios. There is also the flip to that. Just because someone has a store front studio does not make them an experienced newborn photographer. Ask to see pictures of their studio. Does it look clean? Organized? Do they have plenty of items on-hand for your little one?

7. Availability and booking policies. 

  • Ask how to reserve a session since, we all know that, babies typically arrive on their own schedule. Most newborn photographers will tell you that a retainer may be required to ensure that they will have availability for your little one, but, your actual session date won’t be scheduled until your itty bitty arrives.

8. What is their specialty? 

  • Photography has many genres; wedding, seniors, children, newborns, families, products, commercial, etc. All of these genres are very different! The equipment needed, the supplies and props needed, the lighting necessary, backup equipment, style of shooting, etc. I specialize in maternity, newborn and your little ones first year, but, I am definitely not a wedding, commercial or fashion photographer. lol. Photographers who specialize in related genres, in general, tend excel at that genre above those that do a bit of everything.

9. What is their turn-around time?        How do I choose a newborn photographer

  • Quality newborn photos require a bit of editing. While, most newborn photographers, want to ensure that they don’t change the things that make your baby unique and special, there are some things that we often want to take care of for you such as: baby acne, bruises, scratches, clogged tear ducts that make the eyelashes goopy. Those things can take time and a 2 week wait for a gallery to be completed isn’t unusual. Every photographer will be different with their scheduling and how long it will take them to complete your gallery. My newborn galleries are usually completed within 48 hours after the session, but, I’m a little crazy that way. If your wait time is going to exceed a few weeks to a month or more then you may want to take that into consideration; especially if you plan on ordering birth announcements. Your little one could be 2 months old before you ever get a chance to order your birth announcements.

10. Visit their website.         How do I choose a newborn photographer

  • View their work. Do you like their work? Is it consistent? If it is all over the place or poorly lit, babies poses look like they aren’t done properly or they seem to just be starting out then, please, refer to number one on this post.

11. Are they licensed and insured?

  • Your photographer should be running a legitimate business and they should  definitely be insured. It not, please keep looking. If they are not an insured, tax-paying business then it is likely that they do not possess any sort of training in the handling of tiny newborns.

12. What happens if they are ill?

  • Photographers are human, just like everyone else, and sickness happens. I promise they don’t enjoy it anymore than you do. Being sick is no fun for anyone, but, any newborn photographer who values their tiniest clients and their families will reschedule your session for when they are well. Most will even send you referrals for other local newborn photographers, if time is a factor, in order to keep your baby safe. Your babies health and safety should be their priority and they should never risk handling your little one if they are sick.

13. Does the photographer provide the props and outfits or do you?          How do I choose a newborn photographer

  • Most newborn photographers who specialize in this genre provide everything for your session, from tiny headbands and bonnets to buckets and wraps. Newborn photographers spend a great deal of time, and money, purchasing just the right items for their studios. They know what will photograph well, what fits babies and accentuates all of their sweet features without overwhelming baby and taking away what should be the focus of your pictures; your baby. Those that specialize in newborn portraiture will typically have a large variety of items to customize your session and you will not be responsible for finding and purchasing items that may or may not photograph well.

How do I choose a newborn photographer

Newborn photography is a very specialized genre. It is so important to speak with, and ask questions to, any potential photographer you may consider hiring. Quality newborn photography isn’t cheap, but, this really isn’t the photo session that you want to cut corners for. Email or call various photographers and ask everything that you feel that you need to. There are always more questions to ask, but, this is a good start to help you decide who might be the best fit for your family.

How do I choose a newborn photographer

How do I choose a newborn photographer

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