Whether you are expecting a new addition to the family or just had one, we know it is one of the most exciting times!
Regardless of whether it is the first newborn child or the last, holding that baby right after it has entered the world is an extraordinary moment. And as you admire their little features, we understand the need to quickly capture that cuteness in a photograph forever. After all, they grow up really fast.
If you have been contemplating getting a photographer for a while, allow us to remove some of the confusion. Hiring the right person to do this job is important, which is why we are here today with a short guide on choosing a newborn photographer.
Choosing a Newborn Photographer
Research is key! It goes without saying, but allow us to emphasise this for a bit. It does not matter when you start – could be before the baby arrives or right after. But, it is vital to go through multiple newborn photoshoots by different photographers to get an idea of what you like.
We understand that you might already have a concept or theme that you are looking for, but it helps to keep an open mind in this situation. Photographing newborn babies may not be something new, but has undoubtedly gained popularity in the last few years. This has opened up the gateway to a plethora of ideas that people are implementing all over the world.
Apart from this, there are a few more things that one can keep in mind while choosing a newborn photographer.
1. Fixing A Budget
First and foremost, decide on your budget. Much like any professional shoot, a newborn photographer will have varying budgets for different needs and concepts. Depending on the image quality, props required, customer service, duration, number of photographs and other related factors, there will be a vast price range to choose from.
It is essential to narrow down what you need to put a price on it accurately. It will help to have a talk with a few shortlisted photographers to get an idea of whether they can capture your vision within the budget that you have set.
That being said, it is not impossible to find someone to do what is envisioned on a lower budget. However, in those cases, there is no guarantee about the quality of the image or the service provided. So, it will help to keep an open mind and not choose someone just because they charge less.
2. Ensuring Safety
The safety of your baby is essential to consider when choosing a newborn photographer. We understand how fragile and precious your little one is. That’s why we want to talk about how to determine whether a photographer is trained and can safely handle the baby.
Since there are no official qualifications required for newborn photography, it is important to do some background research on the photographers themselves. Have they done any training sessions or short courses that increase your confidence in them? If not, do they speak about baby safety on their website, or on blogs and articles?
If you do not have the time to research, speak to them about any concerns. We advise asking them first about their comfort in settling the baby (or babies if there are more than one). Additionally, ask about prop safety, safe poses, studio cleanliness and how they manage difficult poses. It is important to ensure they are not forcing the babies to bend in different ways.
Additionally, to ensure that the whole process is safe for the baby, it helps if the photographer has an assistant who can assist them if they need another pair of hands at any point. However, this is only needed if you are not comfortable assisting the photographer.
3. Duration Of The Photoshoot
This might not seem very important at first, however, it is crucial to inquire about this. You do not want a photographer who barely spends any time and tries to get the job done quickly. Not only will this be a waste of money, but it can also be potentially unsafe for the baby.
All good things take time, and that is why it is ideal if the photographer spends a decent amount of time for the photoshoot, even if that means getting only 20-25 photos out of it. On average, experienced photographers spend about 3-4 hours on the photoshoot.
This gives them enough time to take multiple good quality pictures, place the little one in safe poses and experiment with a fair amount of baby-safe props. The only thing to be kept in mind here are settling techniques for your baby throughout the photoshoot. Your baby should be well-fed and rested, as that helps avoid the possibility of them getting cranky.
4. Studio vs Home Location
There is no denying that doing a photoshoot at home might be more comfortable for the baby. It is a familiar surrounding and if it is uncomfortable, then settling it will be easier. However, having the shoot at home also means there will be a lot of cleaning up to do before and after the shoot is over.
If the photographer has a studio, it will help to check it out beforehand. Firstly, it clarifies how far the studio is from the house and other things like parking and accessibility. Plus, you and your baby will be spending a lot of time over there, so it is crucial to check that the studio space is comfortable, warm and homely.
Additionally, it will help in answering any questions like if other family members can come to the shoot. It is also important to enquire about feeding/changing rooms, whether there are ramps and elevators for baby strollers and judge the cleanliness of the space yourself.
5. Picking A Style
As we mentioned earlier, there are many different styles around these days since newborn photography became popular. And no one style is right or better than the other – it all depends on perspective. The only thing that is important in this case is to ensure that you have an emotional connection with it.
While picking out a style and poses, it helps to find something funny or cute your baby does. This can be simple like maybe them putting their foot in their mouth, or laughing when you make a funny face. It is precisely actions like this that will make the photos personalised and special when they are looked at years from now.
Other than some simple poses, you and the photographer can narrow down on a few complex ones you love. Going for a creative approach with complex poses usually the way to go, but it will involve ensuring your baby is in a deep sleep.
6. Hiring Someone You Love
At the end of the day, what matters is that you hire someone who puts both you and the baby at ease with their work and personality. Have a look at their portfolio and see if anything resonates with you. If you are going with a blank slate, pick out a few poses and styles that stand out and work with the photographer from there.
While you determine whether a photographer is the right fit based on their work, also look at how the baby responds to them. The baby (and you) will be spending a lot of time with the photographer, so it is vital to make sure that the person is pleasant to be around.
Firstly, timing is everything in these shoots, so try to book well in advance. Typically, photographers prefer the babies to be around 10-15 days old as at that age tend to sleep through anything, making the whole process easier.
Another thing to remember is to talk about when the photos will be available to know exactly when to expect them. People have waited for months before hearing back, and that can be frustrating. So be sure the photographer has a clear timeline before you finalise a shoot with them.
And finally, remember to ask a bunch of questions and do not hesitate to tell the photographer what you want. If you want to use a specific prop like a family heirloom, ask about how they can implement it in the style you have decided on. If there is a specific colour palette you want them to use, make sure that they can deliver accordingly.
Choosing a newborn photographer is a challenging task, but once you hire the one that ticks all the boxes, it is all going to be worth it. These memories will last a lifetime, so do not hesitate to invest your time and money in it.
We hope this guide on newborn photographers has put you at ease and made the path to hiring your perfect photographer even clearer. We will be back soon with more such informative guides.