Choosing the right newborn photographer
If you’ve just found out that you’re expecting a baby, a very big congratulations! What an incredibly exciting time for you and your family! You won’t need me to tell you that life is about to change pretty significantly (for the better, of course!). Becoming a parent is a huge, huge blessing!
Among the decisions you’ll soon need to make as a parent-to-be is, ‘Who will you choose to take professional photos of your newborn once they arrive’?
In this article, I am going to share with you my top tips on how to choose your newborn photographer. I’m also highlighting key things that you should consider as you go about trying to find the perfect newborn photographer for your family.
1- Start Researching Baby Photographers Early In Your Pregnancy
If you know that you’d like to have some professional baby photos taken of your newborn when he or she arrives, then it’s a great idea to start researching your options early in your pregnancy. They’ll be more likely to have availability if you’re contacting them well ahead of your expected due date.
I am the only photographer here in Marshfield WI who specializes in newborn, so my schedule fills up quickly! There are other photographers within a hour radius of Marshfield who also specialize in newborn, who's schedule also fills very quickly.
Many families book late on in their pregnancy but then struggle to find someone with availability in the weeks after their baby is due. While I try to accommodate these families the best I can. It isn't always possible.
My advice would be to choose your photographer around the time of your 20-week scan to avoid being turned away from your preferred photographer later on in your pregnancy.
My newborn sessions are booked off of your tentative due date, meaning these dates are always subject to change if baby arrives earlier or later.
2- Seek Out A Safety-Trained Newborn Photographer (And Someone You Like!)
I CANNOT stress this enough... look for a photographer who has experience photographing newborns.
You’ll want to find the perfect photographer for your family because you are entrusting that person to handle your new bundle of joy when they are just a few days old. You must feel that you can trust your chosen photographer to handle your baby safely. Have they been trained in newborn photography? Just because someone can capture your baby doesn't mean they should.
There are several photographers in my area who occasionally capture newborns, but they don't handle babies often enough for your to completely trust them.
Someone who is untrained in newborn photography doesn't understand the implications that certain positions carry or physical markers to look for if/when a infant may be in distress.
I am personally APNPI certified and have gone through newborn safety training to ensure I handle your newborn properly!
3- Consider Your Budget For Photography (But Don’t Make Your Decision Based On Price Alone)
Some families may have a limited budget and are looking to hire a photographer in their price range, accepting that they may not be able to afford the best in their area. Other families are less price-conscious and are more driven by factors such as image quality, excellent customer service, and the range of wall art products that the photographer offers.
The challenging part is that those photographers prices who are lower, are low for a reason. They are likely just starting out, and have limited photography experience overall, let alone newborn experience.
Newborn photography is tends to be more expensive for a multitude of reasons. Newborn sessions tend to take longer than normal sessions. There are props, wraps and outfits that are invested in. And, if you have chosen a good photographer, they have invested in continued education and training to ensure your baby is in the safest hands and producing the best quality images. Just because a photographer is cheap, does not mean they are going to be the safest person to handle your baby.
4- Hire A Photographer Whose Work You Love
Once you start reviewing the newborn photographers in your local area, you’ll find that the style of photography varies a lot between them. For example, some photographers like to use a bunch of props, floral arrangements, and accessories.
It’s important to decide what style of newborn photography you like, and that you only consider hiring photographers whose work you love.
First place to look is their website- do you like what you see, do you like their style? Photographers styles tend to stay the same for every session, meaning they are not likely to change how they do things for your session only.
My personal style is simplistic, elegant and minimalistic, meaning I put more of the focus on your beautiful baby than all the fluff in the background.
5- Look At Their Studio Space (If They Have One)
Not all photographers have a private studio space.
Some photographers come to your home and set up a "studio" there. These photographers typically bring a limited range of props and lighting equipment. Others, like me, have a dedicated photography studio where I do all portrait sessions, and where I have everything that we may need close at hand.
So, when you’re deciding which photographer to choose, think about whether you’d prefer having the session done at home or whether you’d prefer the convenience of going to a photographer’s studio.
There are pros and cons for each, but with a visit to a studio you won’t have to worry about tidying your house beforehand or clearing up any mess afterwards!
If they do have a photography studio, feel free to ask to view it before you book so that you know what to expect on the day of your baby’s photoshoot. I invite all of our prospective newborn and family photography clients to our studio in advance as standard. Please get in touch with me to express your interest and I’ll arrange a convenient date and time for your design consultation and visit to Mueller Moments Photography Studios.
There are other factors to consider when hiring a newborn. Newborn's have one of the most complex skin tones and textures out there. They have acne, flakes/ dry skin, and their skin is often has red, purple and grey tones. A photographer who does not capture and edit newborns often, are going to find it extremly difficult. I have perfected the art of fixing your baby's skin, while leaving their natural skin teaxutre intact!
Additionally, unless you are frequently photographing newborns, even if it is a lifestyle newborn session, they are not going to know the appropriate angles, or positions to place the baby in to create flattering imagery.
There are SO many factors that you as parents-to-be should consider when looking for a newborn photographer. In a nutshell, please book with a photographer who regularly handles babies! Not only will your baby be so much safer for it, but your images will turn out far better!