If you're reading this you're likely expecting the newest member of your family soon or know someone who is. I thought I'd write about how you can choose your photographer carefully because it shouldn't just be about the price.
The best time to research for a newborn photographer is during the second half of you pregnancy. I recommend spending a good amount of time doing this. For me, newborn portraits are arguably the most important photo’s you will ever have because those little details like wrinkly hands and feet, scrunched up noses and fluffy hair very quickly fade and you start to forget just how tiny they were. Before you know it they’ll be crawling, talking and walking so capturing the newness of a baby is priceless. However, the newborn photography genre is like no other. Why? Because your photographer will not only be taking amazing images of your little one but they will also be handling and caring for your baby for a large part of your session.
So with that in mind, lets consider a few things that should factor heavily in your decision making
You’ve not long left the hospital, exhausted but on a high. You walk out of the hospital doors wondering why the midwives have allowed you home without supervision. The ride home is like no other. Every car is too close and you’ve told your partner to slow down a thousand times, after all you’re transporting the most precious cargo in the world and you're protective! Now imagine walking through studio doors and handing over your 6 day old baby to a complete stranger for the next few hours. You sit there watching, anxiously waiting to have your baby back in your arms. Just because a photographer has listed newborn photography on their website doesn’t mean they know how to handle your baby, sooth them or pose them safely. Have you asked your photographer what safety training they have received? Have they been trained in newborn posing by a professional. Are they insured?
There are some poses that should only be achieved as a composite image, meaning, more than one photo that is merged in photoshop to create the final result. Yes, they can be complicated and time consuming to both create and edit afterwards but that extra few minutes is well worth it if it means that baby is kept 100% safe. I have trained with some of the best photographers in my field. I am fully insured and a member of The Baby & Newborn Photography Network (used to be BANPAS) which is an amazing organisation that is constantly promoting and training photographers in newborn posing safety
Now you know what questions to ask, do you like the photographers style? There are no right or wrong styles in newborn photography and this is something deeply personal and completely different for everyone. Viewing a photographers portfolio will confirm your choice so if you can’t see their work online ask to see examples or pop into their studio and ask to see some. Another good idea is to ask to see examples of a full gallery from one session. This will show you whether the quality of their work and the effort they put in is consistent. You’ll get a good feeling as to whether or not they’re for you and it's really important to get it right because this is art you want to proudly display in your home for years to come, which leads me on to my next point
A good photographer will spend time planning your session to your specifications. A questionnaire prior to the session will allow the photographer to get to know you better and to gage what it is you want out of your shoot. Information on how to prepare for your session, what to expect and guidance on what to wear should also be shared with you in order to create a successful shoot
The most common question I get asked is: “When is the best time to have my new baby photographed?” Newborn babies change so quickly in the first few weeks of life so it’s important to capture them earlier on. My preference is between 4 and 14 days old whilst they’re squishy, easy to pose and super sleepy. The second most common question asked is “How do I book in when I don’t know exactly when my baby will be born?” The answer to that is very simple. I only take on a certain amount of sessions a month so I can guarantee, whether baby is born early or late, I’ll have both the availability and the flexibility to get you in at a time that suits you
Talking money is always tricky and prices for newborn photography vary greatly. There are many factors to take into consideration though. The studio, session duration, the photographer’s experience, their level of training, quality of the props and equipment used. It is also important to remember that the photographer will put much more into a session than just the time spent with you. They will have spent a lot of time planning and preparing, afterwards there is inevitably laundry to do and then there are the many hours of editing. A photographer running a legal business with insurance, lots of training and other business expenses will almost always be more expensive.
So choose wisely. They are only this tiny once and remember, you get what you pay for!
If you have any questions or would like to book a newborn session with Jemma Slater Photography click here