You are expecting a baby soon and you want to hire a newborn photographer, but the amount of photographers out there is overwhelming. How do you choose? Do you want posed images or lifestyle? What is lifestyle anyway? Are digital images included in the package? How many? What if you want printed portraits to hang in the nursery? Or an album? Does a particular newborn photographer come to you or do you need to pack up and head to their studio? So many questions and you are probably just too tired to think through it all. So I’ve summarized some important points to help you through this process.
First, look at each newborn photographers’ portfolio and blog and decide if you like her style.
A photographer will only post pictures that she feels are in line with her style. Think about what you like and if a particular newborn photographer shows those types of images, then you’ve found a good fit. Here are some things to look at:
- At first glance, do you like the images?
- Does the portfolio include muted earth tones, bold and colorful images, or a lot of black and white?
- Does the photographer use more natural posing on blankets or lots of props (ex: putting baby in baskets)?
- Are the images mostly posed or lifestyle? Stay tuned for another post explaining lifestyle photography.
Tip: Lighting and editing are an important part of newborn photography. You’ll want photos to have a natural, soft look without any harsh shadows. If you notice dark shadows especially on the baby’s face or if the baby’s skin color doesn’t look warm and rosy, the photographer may be a bit inexperienced with lighting and editing.
After you’ve decided whether you like a photographer’s style, there are some other important details you’ll want to ask.
Newborn photography is a specialized area and it requires training to do a good job. We have practiced things like lighting and how to make the baby look the best, how to wrap the baby, and how to safely handle a newborn. Safety should be of the utmost importance when working with a newborn. In my sessions, you will never see me leave your baby even for a moment. If a baby doesn’t want to do a certain pose easily, we will skip it. For certain poses an adult spotter is required. Of all the things you should know about your photographer, this is probably the most important!
Will the photographer come to you or do they only do studio work?
There are pros and cons for both. I prefer to shoot on-location at your home for a few reasons. Mostly, I feel it makes you and your new baby more comfortable to be in your own surroundings. You don’t need to pack up all your stuff and get out the door a couple days postpartum. Secondly, it gives me the opportunity to shoot some lifestyle images. Most of my sessions will include both posed and lifestyle images.
You’ll then want to find out what’s included in a package and whether you can buy products from your photographer.
Many photographers, myself included, do digital packages now. This is what many customers prefer. But when it comes to your newborn photos, you do not want to leave those images on a disk somewhere. A full service photographer will help you order products that are perfect for you, whether it’s large canvases or albums. But not every photographer offers every product out there. Have an idea of what you might like and make sure she offers it.
Lastly, when you decide to book your session, make sure your newborn photographer provides you with a written contract. This may seem obvious, but I have an acquaintance who is still trying to get her son’s newborn photos from another photographer almost 3 years later. If she had signed a contract, she could take legal action. Here’s a more in depth explanation, if you are interested.
Do you have more questions? I’m happy to answer them for you. Or are you ready to book a newborn session with me? Just fill out my contact form and I’ll get back to you shortly.