If you’re thinking of choosing a newborn photographer, this blog post is for you!
Here are some questions you may want to consider when you are booking a newborn photographer. Selecting a newborn photographer is a very personal and important choice. You want to get it right because those images will become such special memories.
Choosing a photographer should be something you focus on fairly early in your pregnancy. I recommend making a booking after your first scan to ensure that your photographer of choice has availability.
Choosing a photographer can be a lot of fun! Every photographer is different and you will find that there are so many options to suit every style and pocket.
7 QUESTIONS TO ASK NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHERS
Here are seven questions that based on my experience as a newborn photographer are useful to research when you are booking your photographer
1. Tell me about your fees?
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!
Custom photography is expensive. Time, effort, planning and creativity goes into each of the images created and believe me – you get what you pay for. 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. Custom photography is an investment.
Ask your photographer about how they structure their fees.
Some photographers are all inclusive and there is one rate that includes everything. Others are a la cart and there will be a session fee plus fees for digital images and printed products.
Find out if there is a minimum spend requirement.
Most photographers will ask for a deposit up front to secure our slot in their schedule. In the majority of cases the deposit will be non-refundable. If you are unsure, just ask.
If having digital images are important to you, find out if the photographer offers these. Not all photographers do.
2. Where are you based?
Consider how far you are willing to travel for a session. You might have found a photographer and fallen in love with their work and are happy to travel an hour or more to get to them. If you would rather not leave the house, try and find a photographer that can come to you. Some photographers will offer home visits but find out if there are extra charges.
You may prefer to attend a studio for your session. Find out where the studio is and what parking is available.
3. Tell me about your training?
The newborn photography industry is 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.
Without the right professional training, a photographer could put your baby at risk. So I urge you to be vigilant and only use a reputable, experienced and professionally trained photographer.
If you don’t have a personal recommendation from someone you trust, do your own extensive research before you commit to a booking.
Ask questions about how the photographer practices safe posing. No photographer should ever force your baby into positions which make them uncomfortable or put them in danger. No baby should ever be suspended from a height or put in a basket or box which could topple over. The baby should be relaxed and comfortable at all times, and 100% safe.
Spend the time exploring the market to find a photographer who can demonstrate a track record of satisfied customers and high standards of professionalism.
Equally important is experience. An experienced newborn photographer will be very comfortable handling babies (and twins or triplets!). They will have worked with tens, if not hundreds of babies, and so will know how to safely and comfortably pose your baby, and techniques to soothe even the most unsettled newborn.
You may even be surprised at how easily they can lull your baby to sleep!
4. What age of baby do you prefer to working with?
It’s critical to establish if the photographer you are considering has a preference in regards to the age of the baby.
This may sound silly as we are talking about newborn babies aren’t we?!
Yet, some photographers may well have a preference since after the initial couple of weeks after birth, babies start to sleep less and begin to stretch out more. So, some photographers prefer babies to be aged under two weeks old in order to get the curled up baby poses that are so popular. Others will happily have babies in much older than this, sometimes up to 8 weeks old, although probably under the proviso that these shots may not be possible.
Is your photographer also comfortable working with premature babies, who may be significantly smaller than the average newborn? You won’t necessarily know if this is going to be important in your case until after the birth, but it’s a good question to ask just in case.
5. Can you accommodate my expectations?
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, hats, 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.
You may also have a specific theme or colour scheme in mind. You can find out whether the photographer can customise the styling to meet your expectations.
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 regards to styling and colours, do make this known ahead of the session to make sure they will deliver what you hope.
6. How long will it take to see my images?
Most photographers will spend time editing and perfecting your images after a session and they should be able to tell you how long it would take before you will see a gallery to review and make your selection. If it is important to you to have your images very quickly, discuss this with the photographer and find out what is possible.
7. Do you have availability for my due date?
Popular newborn photographers get booked up months in advance. Don’t fall into the trap of identifying the perfect photographer only to discover that they have no availability in the weeks after the birth of your baby. Book early to avoid disappointment.
These are seven important factors that I urge you to give good consideration to 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.