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How to choose a newborn photographer
Congratulations on your new baby! This is an exciting time in yours and your newborn’s life, so of course you will want to document it. Now you’re wondering how to choose a newborn photographer? Get comfortable, I have advice for you.
Questions to ask a newborn photographer
There are several different things to look for in a newborn photographer. The most important of these is safety.
- Has the photographer been trained how to handle a baby safely?
- What poses do they know how to do?
- What kinds of props do they use?
- What temperatures do they keep the studio spaces at for comfort of the babies?
- Are they insured?
All of these factor into ensuring the comfort and well being of your baby.
There are no formal accreditations or government regulations for newborn photographers in the USA, but there are many different classes, both online and in-person, from established and well known baby photographers such as Ana Brandt or Kelly Brown. Find out if the photographer has taken classes and from whom. My training comes from an in-person workshop with Ana Brandt and from numerous online classes from Kelly Brown, Ana Brandt and Julia Kelleher. Choose a newborn photographer.
Ask the photographer what poses they know how to do safely. How often have they attempted those poses? There are many poses that are safe to do with newborns, such as “Tushy up”, “Taco” or “Huck Finn” and a few that should only be attempted as the result of a composite.
You may have seen images of babies dangling in a net or wrap from a branch or perched on a swing? Those are examples of composites. A composite is where the photographer takes an image of the prop, such as the branch with an empty net, and then another images of the baby in the net, but settled safely on a posing pillow. The two images are then combined in Photoshop during post processing.
At no time should a photographer ever attempt to take an image like that in a single take.
Ask about the props they use. Acceptable materials such as wood or metal should be smooth to the touch and free of any snags or sharp edges. Props made from other materials should be firm. All props must easily support the weight of the baby and should be of sufficient size to accommodate their body.
Newborn babies cannot regulate their temperatures, so studios should be kept at about 72-75 degrees to ensure baby’s safety and comfort.
All professional photographers should have a business license and, at the very least, liability insurance.
What should I look for in a newborn photographer?
Now that you have verified that the photographer is trained and uses safe practices, other items to consider are photographic style, availability, and price.
Every photographer has their own style, a way of photographing and editing images that is unique to them.
- What is the photographer’s style?
- Do they shoot posed or lifestyle images?
- What is their editing like?
- Does their editing match what you’re looking for?
The best way to answer these questions is to look at their work on their websites. Do you love their work? Is it consistent throughout their portfolio?
This question is pretty self evident: do they have time to do your session? Most newborn sessions can take from two to four hours, so hopefully they are not trying to book too many shoots into one day. I book only one newborn session per day to ensure each client gets the time they need for amazing images.
There is a reason that price is listed last. It should be the least important consideration when choosing a newborn photographer. While price for most is very important, making sure you have the right photographer will save you money in the long run. Choosing a cheap photographer will, most likely, get you poorer image quality. Your newborn is only little for a little while, invest in someone who will provide a quality experience and quality images. Choose a newborn photographer that you resonate with.