So, you are about to begin one of the most fascinating and unbelievable times is your life – you are having a baby – and you want someone to capture your new little love. But, how do you go about finding the perfect newborn photographer to do this for you? Never fear – I am here to help you out!
With an industry that has become so over saturated with photographers, and in particular ‘newborn photographers’, it is so important that you, as a client do your research. I see so many so-called photographers that have recently purchased a fancy camera and dare to call themselves ‘newborn photographers’ without ever having an ounce of training in this highly specialized niche of photography. Let me be the first to tell you that a photographer who does ‘everything’ is probably not trained in the handling and safety of newborns. I consider myself to be a Newborn Posing Expert. What does that mean exactly? It means that I am highly trained in the safe posing of newborns in the ability to achieve those unique, artfully posed newborn images, while keeping baby safe and completely comfortable at all times.
Before even considering booking a newborn session, please do your research. I seriously cannot stress this enough. I love it when my clients come to me after spending time researching. When they tell me my work is unique, one-of-a -kind, and it stands out from the crowd, I know that they know what they want and have actually taken the time to educate themselves in true newborn photography.
The newborn stage literally goes by in an instant. Within 10-12 days, your baby will no longer be this tiny, sleepy, or curly EVER again. So make sure you are hiring the right person to capture this once-in-lifetime moment.
Here are some tips to help you find an awesome newborn photographer, while looking through their portfolio:
Posing a newborn takes very specialized training and LOTS of practice and experience. Chances are that someone who has not attended any training does not know how to correctly pose a newborn. Here are a few little tips to keep in mind while looking through a newborn photographers portfolio:
A properly trained newborn posing expert knows how to safely and correctly pose a newborn!
Ok, so this is a BIG one!! Look through all of the newborn photographer’s images on their blog, website, facebook page, etc.
Are their images overexposed and really bright? Yes, you want the images to be light and airy but not so bright that you need sunglasses to look at them. When an image is overexposed and too bright, the baby’s face will be completely blown out and and it will have lost all detail in the baby’s tiny beautiful features.
Are they underexposed? There is a difference in an image being horribly underexposed and one that is edited to look dark and moody.
Also take note of the light. A trained newborn photographer will know how to properly work with light and it’s direction so that the images look soft and the baby’s features look natural.
Yes, art is subjective, but it is also very technical. You want your newborn images to look soft, just like your sweet baby. You don’t want an image over-exposed and over-processed to the point is is glowing (and not in a good way!)
Posing and clicking the shutter button is only a part of what a trained newborn photographer does. It is in the editing that the images really shine. You’ll notice in the above image that the top image is what a newborn photo looks like straight out of the camera. Baby is a little bit red and also has some jaundice. A professional newborn photographer knows how to edit newborn photos to remove the redness and the jaundice all while keeping the skin tones looking soft and creamy. Yes, every newborn photographer has their own style, and that’s awesome. But when it comes to newborn images, they should be soft, clean and almost serene looking. I don’t think you want to remember your sweet brand new baby’ skin looking super bright white, yellow or neon pink. Natural, beautiful, creamy newborn skin is my absolute favorite feature. I work very hard in camera and in post processing to keep it that way. I want you to remember exactly how your baby’s skin felt and smelled when you look back at these photos years from now.
I also am very picky about making sure the background blankets are very smooth and not wrinkly or lumpy. I want your eye drawn to the sweet, beautiful baby in the image, not a wrinkly background. Also wraps used on the baby should be nice and tight, not loose and sloppy. A trained newborn photographer knows how to safely and properly wrap a newborn so they look like they are ‘snug as a bug’.
So many times I see newborns drowning in props. Props should be simple and not completely overpower the beautiful baby in the image. Are the props coordinated well or are they just a variety and mish-mash of different colors? Again, every newborn photographer has their own style. I like to coordinate my sessions keeping the props in my newborn images very soft and simple and with consistent colors throughout. I want your gallery to flow beautifully from one photo to the next, so it doesn’t look like there is a different baby in every image.
This is also an important one. You should see consistent posing and editing in every image in a newborn photographer’s portfolio. This means that they are experienced and well practiced in the art of newborn posing. Yes, not all babies will do every pose, but they will do the majority of them and a trained specialist will be able to consistently achieve most poses.
You don’t want a gallery of images where your baby look so different in every image that it almost looks like a different baby in every picture. Yes, newborn photographers get better and improve, but you want someone who’s work remains consistent.
Oh boy, here we go! This is a crazy touchy subject, but it is very important. A newborn photographer does not charge ‘outrageous’ prices. A ‘newborn photographer’ that charges $150 for the session and all images on a disc, is not someone you want handling your precious new baby. There, I said it! They are obviously not running a business and have no formal training in handling and working with newborns. There is no way they can charge this amount and still be able to provide you with stunning images. It’s just not possible.
These photos of your brand new baby are going to last a lifetime, while those $100 jeans or that $150/month smart phone bill won’t. You will toss those jeans in 6 months guaranteed! Good photography with a trained professional is worth every single penny invested!
I have had so many new moms and dads contact me after having a poor experience with another ‘newborn photographer’ who just plain did not know what they were doing. You want newborn photos for cheap? That’s great! But just so you know – you get what you pay for! Sadly, by the time you contact me after the fact, it is way too late. You CANNOT redo your newborn session. After 10 days, your newborn is no longer sleepy enough or curly enough to achieve correct posing. I will not even attempt to pose a baby after the first 10 days.
As a client, you have the right to ask questions of your potential newborn photographer. Ask to see their studio, ask to see sample products and galleries. Do they have an up-to-date website? Do they even have a website (they should)? Please don’t just hire someone because they are cheap and have one or two good photos. These pictures of your brand new baby are so worth the investment and are pictures, that I promise, you will cherish forever.
It is my hope that this post was educational and has given you the resources on how to choose the right newborn photographer for you and your precious new or soon-to-be brand new baby.
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