Q: I’m due in the middle of July, and I’ve started researching newborn photographers in my area. There are so many different options! What are the things I should be looking for?
A: B’sha’a Tova! That’s so exciting!
This is a really great question, and there are several important things you should be on the lookout for when choosing a newborn photographer.
First and foremost is safety. You want to make sure that the person who will be handling and posing your brand new baby knows what they’re doing. You can ask them if they’ve trained with anyone to learn the safest ways to pose a baby and/or if they’re safety certified. Not every photographer is a newborn photographer. Just because someone does an awesome job at weddings or on family portraits does not mean they know how to safely pose a baby! It’s more than just knowing the proper way to use a camera; it’s also about the art-form of newborn-posing, and making sure to do that in a totally safe way.
The second thing you want to look for is the type of newborn photography that appeals to you. There are so many varieties, such as posed, baby-led posing and lifestyle, just to name a few. I am a posed-newborn photographer, which means that I pose babies in curly positions, either on a beanbag or in a variety of buckets, bowls and crates. Baby-led posing is where the photographer lets the baby “pose” themselves and shoots at different angles to capture all the sweetest of details. These photographers will often shoot on white backdrops and do lots of black and white images. Lifestyle photographers will shoot in their clients’ home and capture the baby in his or her natural environment. This is always a plus if you have a beautiful nursery!
Once you’ve narrowed down the style of newborn photography you want, you can start contacting photographers in your area to find out more about them. I’ve had clients drive up to 1.5 hours to come to my studio because they just loved my style!
Now what does style mean exactly? It can mean several things. What colors do they use for sessions—neutrals, pastels, bright or bold colors? Do they use a lot of digital backdrops or pose everything as is in the studio? Do they have a more bright and airy way of shooting and editing their images, or are they more into dark and moody shadows? I personally tend to stick with softer colors and stay far away from digital backdrops, and I love good shadows, though from time to time I’ll change it all up just to break out of my comfort zone! You can pick up some amazing differences between photographers if you only know what to look for!
Another important thing to think about is what you hope to gain from the session. My clients know that I’m passionate about having all their beautiful images printed, and therefore, I don’t have any “digital only” packages. If you are a person who only wants digitals (please make sure to print your images!), then you need to find a photographer who offers them.
Also think about who you want to be in the images. If you have other children, or if you and your husband want to be in the pictures, then make sure that the photographer you choose will accommodate that! Most photographers will, but there are some photographers who will only photograph the baby, and then you missed out on a wonderful opportunity to be in some pictures! As moms, we are the ones who are always taking the pictures, and it’s rare that we’re actually in them. This is why it’s so important to take advantage of every opportunity you get to be in pictures!
I hope this helps you in your search for the best newborn photographer who will fit your needs!