Welcome! I am so glad you are here! If you are anything like me, you love having choices, but sometimes too many options can be overwhelming and daunting, especially if you aren’t entirely sure what you are looking for. If you have just started looking for a newborn photographer, you know there are variations in photography style and products and services offered. This is the beauty and “burden” of hiring a creative professional. I am here to help you navigate finding the best newborn photographer for YOU and your family. And I have created a list below of the most important factors to consider when hiring a newborn photographer. For each of them I expand on key questions to ask yourself, and give some ideas on the differences between photography experiences.
When it comes to Newborn Photography, we can all be coming from different perspectives. Some of you have seen your friends’ newborn images, and thought, “Oh I guess this is the thing I am supposed to do.” And others of you have had your newborn session planned out before you found out you were even pregnant; you have pinned images like a mad-woman (or man) with all your must-have Newborn poses and ideas. Don’t worry, no matter where you fall on the continuum, this post will be helpful to you. Feel free to dig in or skim over these questions to consider.
First thing’s first:
Why do I want Newborn pictures of my new addition?
What are my plans with the final images I receive?
We all choose photography for a different reason. Perhaps you want someone to capture this super short newborn phase that can potentially be overshadowed by sleepless nights (and demanding siblings). Maybe you have prayed for your kiddos your whole life, and you want to slow down time and freeze this moment with your new addition, because you understand the fleeting nature of life’s phases. Maybe you want to do a shoot because you think you “should” and it’s the “thing” to do. Maybe it’s all the things listed above, or maybe it’s none of them. Let’s be real here, newborn photography is not a necessity, but a desire. But I will say that I have never had a parent tell me, “I wish we wouldn’t have taken pictures of our newborn”, but I have heard people tell me “I wish I would have done newborn pictures with my other kids.”
Does this newborn photographer match my style?
Would these images look good in my home?
Am I looking to do lifestyle newborn photography or posed newborn photography?
Do I like the style and the colors this photographer uses?
Does the photographer provide everything we will need?
It is important to find a photographer who’s style you like. It’s like going to a Mexican restaurant and ordering pizza; they might accommodate you and throw some cheese on an open tortilla with some salsa, heat it up, and call it a pizza. But it’s basically still an open-faced quesadilla. (Or is that called a tostada?) I digress. Anyway, by all means order what you want from a newborn photographer, but stick to the style of portraiture they offer. If you want bright, vibrant, newborn images but the photographer’s blog and social media accounts show mainly neutral, simplistic images, this may not be the photographer for you. This is a big investment; it’s imperative you invest in someone who’s style you consistently like.
Besides style and type of photography, personality is also important to consider.
What do my friends and/or reviews say about her?
Is she patient?
Do our hopes and visions for the shoot coincide?
Is she easy going and flexible?
Does (s)he respond to my emails in a timeframe that works well for me?
Do her images seem consistent?
Newborn photography requires a patient person. Sometimes babes don’t want to cooperate, and are needing to eat more than normal, or older siblings are hyped up on sugar and showing disdain for the new addition. You want someone who is calm and will be patient with your newborn (and other kiddos).
Is the newborn photographer professionally trained in Newborn Photography?
How many newborn sessions have they done?
Do they keep your newborn’s safety as the number one priority?
Do they have an assistant?
Do they have business insurance should (God-forbid) something go awry?
Do they invest in quality equipment?
Do they respond to your emails in a timeframe that works for you?
Have you ever been to a restaurant and you loved the food, but hated the service? Well similar to that, I believe it is important to have an all-around positive photography experience in which you love your final images as well as your interactions with the photographer.
Your newborn is naturally precious and delicate, so you want to entrust him/her into the hands of someone who is confident in handling a newborn, who is experienced with newborns, and is mindful of his/her safety.
What are my hopes and expectations for this experience?
Do I prefer a photographer who will come to my home?
Am I hoping for a studio experience?
Do I want someone who walks me through the experience?
Do I want someone who offers their talents in displaying the images in my home?
Like all things, there are pros and cons to both in-home and studio experiences. The pros to studio sessions are that everything is all set up and ready for your new addition, making the transition from setup-to-setup faster and easier. One of the cons is you have to get yourself and your new addition (and potentially their siblings) ready and drive them to a studio hoping that you packed up everything you will need.
A perk to having a newborn photographer come to your home is that it saves you time and energy from having to pack up your whole clan. You can rest comfortably in your own home, and your other kiddos can take their afternoon nap in their bed during part of the session. A con is that the newborn photographer has to change the set ups making transitions a bit longer for your new addition.
How many digital images do I want?
What will I do with the digital images I receive?
Do I want fine art images to hang on my wall, or a newborn album on my coffee table?
Do I want someone to design and order my birth announcements?
Will I make the time to order quality prints and products, or would I rather just have someone do that for me?
Everyone is so very different. That’s what makes this world so beautiful. Some families are ordering prints and products as soon as they receive the digital images. They know who their favorite vendors are and know exactly what size images, and framing styles they will hang on their walls. Other families will let the digital images sit on their computer, and hope to one day get around to ordering them. There is nothing wrong with either of these scenarios, but knowing yourself will help you determine the type of photographer you are looking for. If you’ve been married for years, and never got around to creating your wedding album or printing prints for your wall, you may prefer to have a personalized, custom experience, in which someone will help bring your ideas (and images) to life and help you hang them on the walls.
The truth is I don’t know that there are necessarily “wrongs” here, but more so what is right for YOU and your clan. I’m confident that you will find a great match for your crew, in which your creative vision and personalities align resulting in a positive and beautiful photography experience.
Wondering if Stefanie Jayne Photography is the right newborn photographer for you?
Happy Photog shopping!