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How to pick a Newborn Photographer

Picking someone to photograph your tiny new baby can seem like a daunting task. There are likely many options in your area, but how do you decide??

Newborn photography requires a very special skill set. It is unlike anything else in the world and I have photographed everything from sports, to weddings, to real estate. Once, as I was shooting my son's baseball game, someone said "I bet newborns are a lot easier than this, all they do is sleep!" I couldn't help but laugh inside. Newborns are HARD! The only thing more difficult is picking the perfect photographer. Here are some tips to help you make the best and most informed decision for your new bundle of joy.

1.Find your style.

Do you love posed, studio style images or would you prefer someone come to you for a lifestyle session around your home?

There are pros and cons to each, I've got a whole post about the differences in my blog "Your Place or Mine", but mainly posed newborn photography is more baby centric and lifestyle is more family centric. When I go to client's homes I only bring my camera and am a fly on the wall capturing bonding moments of your new family dynamic. Your nursery, your bedroom, the livingroom, pets, siblings- all of it will- be front and center. For posed, I plan a varitey of setups to showcase your tiny new babe and all of their squishy newness. I use studio lighting and plain backgrounds to ensure your baby is the main focus. Find someone whose style aligns with yours.

2. Ask for recommendations and check reviews.

I have a love/hate with social media. I think it's fine to ask for recommendations from people you know, but don't stop there. Go to google, go to their website. They don't have one? That's a red flag for me personally and doesn't scream professional photographer. Compare their website to their social media, do you like what you see? Is the work consistent- as in, does it look like it was all done by the same person? Are there a wide variety of babies showcased? Check their reviews, ask how long they have been handling babies and what training/certifications they have, are they licensed and insured? Ask to speak to previous clients as a reference.

There are times to use someone who is portfolio building, but with your newborn baby is not it. Babies are so delicate.

3. Think of what you want to do with these photos

Are you looking someone to provide artwork for your home's walls, are you interested in something to pass down for generations to come or are you wanting digital images that you can share on social media?

Tangible items like albums and keepsake boxes are making a comeback as we start to realize this upcoming social media generation won't ever know the feeling of having actual photographs of themselves on the walls or in albums for their kids and their kid's kids to see. If that is a gift you're interested in giving to your children, make sure the photographer you love can provide and design high quality, archival artwork.

4. Start looking as soon as possible.

My motto is that it's never too soon to start planning. It can take a while for you to find the best creative and financial match.

I generally recommend clients book in the second trimester if possible, but the time to start looking is as soon as possible! The main reason is to guarantee a spot on your dream photographer's calendar. We all know newborns do what they want and that includes arriving early OR late.... As such, there are a set number of babies we can see to ensure we can adjust if needed. Most photographers I know prefer to see babies in the first three weeks of life if you're doing a posed newborn session to ensure that they are still sleepy and "bendy" so if you wait until the baby has arrived, it may not be possible for them to get an appointment during that time. Planning ahead and booking early will also allow time to plan financially. Keep in mind, you will be out of work for weeks to months, maybe without an income. This leads me to number 5.

5. Budget.

While I have this listed at the end, I know that budgets are important. You may be surpised to learn that an experienced newborn photographers can cost as much as your wedding photographer. Newborn photographers aren't just greedy though! There is a lot of expense associated (props, backdrops, clothing, studio rent, equipment,etc) with having a successful business. I wholehartedly believe that you get what you pay for here. Ask about payment options, most will be happy to extend a payment plan for you to pay toward prior to the session date. Think outside of the box, I've had clients put a session with me on their baby registry so that others are able to pay towards the session. That really is the best gift!

Budget is an important factor, but shouldn't be the most important factor.

I would absolutely love to photograph your baby, but for whatever reason we aren't able to work otgether, my hope is this list will help you make the most informed decision when choosing someone to capture this special time in your life. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below!


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