So you’re expecting a baby – congratulations!
Right now I’m sure you have a thousand and one things on your mind but have you thought about organising to have newborn photos dones? If not, don’t worry you are not alone as many of my mums don’t contact me until just before or soon after baby has arrived. However it is worth bearing in mind that the best time to photograph your new baby is within the first 10 days after birth, as this is when they are sleepiest and most happy to be posed.
Like many newborn photographers I only take a set number of newborn bookings each month to ensure that I can fit them all in, as babies rarely arrive when they’re meant too so my diary has to be fairly fluid. While I am generally booked up 3-4 months in advance I do occasionally have spare sessions where babies have arrived very early or are refusing to come into the world yet – so it’s always worth checking.
So you’ve now decided to book a newborn photographer – but how do you go about choosing one? A quick Google search will no doubt bring up many photographers in your area either specialising in or offering newborn photography services. How you go about deciding which one to book is of course up to you, but here are a few things to consider.
1) Training & experience
Every newborn is precious and it is vital that they are handled correctly so that they aren’t hurt and are completely safe during the photoshoot. It’s for that reason that my top suggestion is to check what training and experience a photographer has. Have they trained with any professional newborn photographers to learn how to handle and pose babies safely, and in a way that won’t hurt them? How much experience in photographing babies do they have? Do they use composite images? Some images are actually more than one photograph merged together in Photoshop, as the baby was fully supported by someone’s hands throughout the pose (see the below images for an example). No professional newborn photographer will be insulted by you questioning their training and experience, as we take your baby’s safety as seriously as you do.
Next on my list of things to consider is style. Do you like their images? Do they have a varied portfolio showing different images from different sessions, poses, colour and black & white, different props etc? Also most importantly do the babies look comfortable? Most professional photographers have a website, blog and Facebook. They are most likely to post their recent work on their blog or Facebook page, so be nosey and check out what they’ve been up to recently to make sure you like what they do. You can check out my Facebook page by clicking here.
Also do you have any particular wishes or things you’d like incorporated (e.g. a special toy) and will that photographer work with you to include your ideas?
Consider how experienced they are in photography in general. Often photographers will have an ‘about me’ section on their website and this is worth checking out as it will give you an idea of what their skill level might be. You can find out all about me by following this link.
Photographing newborns is a real skill and doesn’t end when the session is over. Very rarely do you get a newborn with perfect skin. They can be jaundiced, red and blotchy, have milk spots, marks from their nappy or have scratched themselves right before the session. Does the photographer have the skills to correct all these things?
Ok so this is the most controversial topic. Prices can range from £100 with all images on a disc to £200-300 just for the session. I totally understand that for some people their decision will be led by what they can afford, and let’s face it we all love a bargain. However this is one area where I completely believe that you ‘get what you paid for’. The question to ask yourself is whether you believe that someone who offers ‘all the images on a disc for £100’ is really going to put their heart and soul into your photographs. Will they spend the time needed to ensure your baby is safe, comfortable and settled at the session – most professional newborn photographers will tell you that most sessions take up to 4 hours. Will they spend the time individually editing your images to a high standard to ensure they are the best they can be? Your baby is only tiny for such a short space of time and my heart breaks when I hear of people regretting their choice in ‘reasonable/budget’ photographer because the images weren’t what they’d hoped for.
5) Qualifications/awards & memberships
If you aren’t sure about the level of experience of the photographer you are looking at try checking their website for any qualifications or photographic awards. Many photographic origanisations/societies have a qualification system or run monthly competitions where a photographer can prove their level of expertise. This isn’t of course a manadatory requirement but can give you an idea of their level of skill. You can check out my awards here.
The Baby & Newborn Photography Association is certainly worth checking for a photographer in your area. This is a specialist organisation which promotes safe posing and handling. All their members must also be fully insured and must sign up to their code of conduct. Of course not every newborn photographer is a member but it’s a good place to start.
At the end of the day there are photographers out there for everyone’s needs and budget. Obviously I’d love for you to book with me and you can find out what my previous clients think by clicking here. However if you choose not to book me I hope this blog post will help you to select the best photographer you can.
If you’d like to know more about my packages and prices please follow this link.