You’ve just welcomed a new baby into your family and want to document this special time for you and your loved ones. You’re wondering what to look for when looking for a newborn photographer. Google is normally the first place to start but how do you know what photographer is right for you. I’ll go through a few steps that may make it easier for you. Hiring a newborn photographer is one of the best decisions you will make.
1) Your photographer should have experience photographing newborns. When hiring your newborn photographer, you may want to look for the experience they have. Even if they’re just starting out, they may have taken in-person classes or one on one training to know how to handle your precious newborn. I know when I was first starting out, I took all the safety classes and posing classes available to me. I did in-person workshops and one on one training. I also did model call sessions for friends with babies so I could practice specific poses with them. When looking for a photographer, even if they’re slighting new to newborns, safety is key. Most, if not all newborn photographers take in-person workshops, one on one mentoring sessions and subscribe to newborn courses online. All these things combined make for a great combination when it comes to finding the right photographer to hire for your newborn session and for beautiful portraits.
2) Deciding on Lifestyle or Studio Photography. When hiring a newborn photographer you may want to consider what style of images you would like. There are a few different options when deciding what type of images you want for your newborn portraits. Lifestyle photography can take place in the comfort of your own home, with little to no posing, but lots of cuddles from mom, dad, siblings, and furbabies. When considering lifestyle photography one of the biggest things to look for is lighting in your home. If your home is dark and doesn’t get much light, lifestyle photography in your home may not be the best choice for you. But, fear not, more and more photographers are setting up “lifestyle sets” in their studios. This can be a bed, crib, and rocker chair for you to take those natural-looking images with your newborn. If you want posed images with baby’s bum up and wrapped in a prop, then studio photography is just for you! For studio photography, newborns are posed in different positions and sometimes placed in buckets, beds, and heart-shaped bowls to get those adorable newborn portraits that we see so often when searching “newborn photography”. Studio setups can include different styles of flash lighting or natural light from a large window.
3) Products vs Digitals. When hiring a newborn photographer you may want to ask about prints vs digital. Some do one or the other or both. I personally want printed tangible photos of my daughters to display everywhere. However, if you’re like me, you know you won’t have time to print your images, let alone make an album, get pictures framed and on the wall, and out to relatives. If you want albums, wall art, and pictures for family and friends, then a photographer who offers products is the best way to go. From start to finish they walk you through every step and hold your hand as they design artwork for your home. They aren’t just photographers, they create Art! Photographers who offer digital packages are also amazing, and you will be able to download all your images from an online album. Just remember you are in charge of getting those images printed, sent out, and put on your walls. If you’re someone who is on top of that, great! If not you may lose those images as digital files go on a hard drive, and 10 years from now you don’t know where they are. I’ve had so many clients come to me from when I just gave digitals asking them for their files from 4 years ago because they’re finally just now getting to printing their child’s newborn photos and can’t find the images they had. So, just make sure you know what kind of person you are. Are you going to print out those images, or do you want someone to take the lead and do it for you? Looking into a full service portrait photographer may seem overwhelming and a bit expensive, but trust me, 10 years down the round you’ll be glad those pictures are on your walls, and in albums instead of a dying computer.
4) Budget and everything that goes along with that. When hiring a newborn photographer It’s always nice to have a budget, but I absolutely implore you to think about what you’re asking when you say you want a “cheap” newborn photographer. You are putting your newborn into someone else’s literal hands. Sometimes they’re some of the first people to see your newborn. You want someone who is educated, skilled, insured, and a licensed business. (You can search for their business on your state’s business page.) All these things cost a photographer money. Not to mention continuing education, safety courses, props, wraps, lighting, camera equipment, website payment, or if they pay rent on a studio or building. All of these costs add up, and so asking someone to photograph your precious newborn for 100.00 is well, doing a disservice to your newborn images and possibly experience. I always say these images will be around for the rest of not only your life but your child’s life. Upping the budget for a photographer who really knows how to take care of your newborn in the session, but also their images afterward, is something you should budget for. If you are on a really tight budget, ask a photographer if they need a model, or sometimes award-winning, world-renowned photographers are looking for newborn models to teach students in your area. We had the hardest time finding newborns when famed newborn photographer Ana Brandt came to town, and I couldn’t understand why more people weren’t jumping on the opportunity to have their newborn photographed by this amazing photographer but also, for free. (this was pre covid). I know I’m not for everyone when it comes to budget, but I always try and help people find their perfect photographer, even if I’m not it, (but, I want to be!)
So when searching for the perfect newborn photographer in your area what you expect may be a little different from your first initial thinking. The experience of having someone capture your newborn is something that may only happen a few times. Make sure you are well taken care of.