Top 5 Tips for Choosing a Newborn Photographer | Plano Newborn Photographer
So you are having a baby, and made a great decision to capture the first fleeting moments of your new one's life. This is probably one of the best decisions you can make. These little ones grow so fast. In fact, after the first two weeks of life it starts to become more and more difficult to photograph them in the sweet little curly poses you often see. You have such a short period of time to capture these newborn moments. This is why it is so important to make sure you choose someone who can not only create those beautiful images, but can do it safely!
Selecting a newborn photographer is something you should focus on early in your pregnancy. I typically recommend booking towards the end of your second trimester. If you wait too long, you run the risk of your photographer of choice being booked. This is especially important to consider if you are due during the holiday season of October - December.
Every photographer is different, and it is important to ask plenty of questions and really get to know them before handing over your most precious bundle. My goal of this blog is to provide some insight that I have based on my years of experience and expertise as a newborn portrait specialist. These are the questions I suggest you ask every potential newborn photographer you are considering before making any booking decisions.
TOP 5 TIPS FOR CHOOSING A NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER
1. RESEARCH THE MARKET
It is easy to think that all newborn photographers are created equal. This couldn't be further from the truth. The photography industry is currently unregulated. That means there are no specific qualifications or trainings that a photographer is required to obtain before offering their services. So that means that Sally down the street who just got her new camera could set up shop and market herself as a newborn photographer, even though she has zero experience with babies or understanding of how to safely position babies in those poses. Without the proper training and education, she could be putting your baby at risk!
If you don't have someone you already trust, then ask your family and friends if they have someone they could recommend. But don't stop there. Make sure to check them out. Spend some time researching the market to find a photographer that can demonstrate a track record of satisfied clients and high standards of professionalism.
• Review their website and social media presence.
• Look for comments and reviews from previous clients and see how they interact online.
(Here's a link to some of our reviews: CMP REVIEWS)
• Are they readily available to you so you can ask questions or voice concerns?
• Do they seem positive and passionate about what they do?
All of this will give you an idea of the kind of person they are, and how they conduct their business.
2. ASK WHAT PROFESSIONAL TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE THEY HAVE RECEIVED
While there are currently no regulations/qualifications for newborn photographers, any newborn photographer who takes their job seriously will have received proper training and education before setting up their business to take on paying clients. Don't be afraid to ask what training they have received.
Experience is equally important! An experienced newborn photographer will be confident and capable of handling your baby, even if baby is fussy or fidgety. They will have worked with enough babies to be able to safely pose and position them, and understand soothing techniques to settle baby. You may even pick up some tips and tricks from them on how to settle your new little one.
3. BEWARE OF CUT-PRICE PHOTOGRAPHERS!
PLEASE don't cut corners. Don't be tempted to hire someone who does not do professional photography (more than just a hobby), or offers incredibly cheap prices. Just like with most things in life, you get what you pay for. If someone is charging as little as $200 for newborn portraits, alarms should be going off in your head. Choose a professional photographer and someone who specializes in newborn photography. If someone is good at their job, and in demand, their prices will reflect that. Cut-price photographers usually don't have the experience or training, and normally don't specialize in newborn photography. You are taking a chance that the quality will be subpar, and while you can hire someone to correct this mistake, it will end up costing added expenses, and you run the risk of missing the newborn window.
4. WHAT SAFETY PROCEDURES DO THEY HAVE IN PLACE?
Safety should be the newborn photographers NUMBER ONE CONCERN! There are complex poses that must be done safely in order not to risk harming baby. Ask how they achieve these poses. Experienced and professional photographers will be able to provide examples of how they create the complex poses like the image below. They should be willing, able, and open to discussing newborn safety and what they do to ensure your baby's safety.
Ask if they have an assistant or a spotter. It is always important to have an extra set of hands near baby at all times. Newborns have a startle reflex so having someone close by during posing is crucial for safety, especially on or in props. Not all photographers have an assistant. If they do not, make sure to find out who will help out during the session. You, as the parent? If this is the case, make sure you are comfortable doing this. If you would rather not, the solution is simple: choose a photographer who has their own assistant. You will probably find it is much more enjoyable to sit back and watch the process, rather than playing an active role.
BONUS: Ask if they are current on vital vaccinations.
Newborn babies have not yet built up their immune system. You may or may not choose to vaccinate your little one, but it is important that those that come into contact with your baby have the proper vaccinations to ensure the health of all babies they come in contact with. The top ones I am currently vaccinated for are pertussis (whooping cough), meningitis, and flu.
5. THE PHOTOGRAPHY SETTING
Where will your session take place? In your home? At the photographer's home? In a professional portrait studio? If it will take place in the photographer's studio, check to see what it is like before booking the session. If it is a studio in their home, you will want to make sure the environment is clean, inviting, and conducive to a newborn photography session.
Photographers understand that the environment for a newborn session is very important. It should be relaxed, warm (baby will be naked or just have on a diaper most of the time), and welcoming. It should be a quiet, relaxing place for both you and baby. After all, you will probably be there for a few hours.
There are numerous other factors to consider:
• Where is the studio located, and how far will you have to travel?
• Do you know the way and how long it will take to get there?
• Where is the best place to park?
• How easy is the studio to access?
• Is the studio clean and organized?
• Is there comfortable seating for parents and anyone else who is coming along?
• Are siblings welcome, and if so, what is available for them?
• Are refreshments provided?
• What baby changing and feeding facilities are available?
Take a look inside CMP's studio:
FINAL THOUGHTS -
This is a special, important time in your family's story. I urge you to carefully consider your photographer choice. These moments are short and memories fade fast. Once captured you will always have a way to go back and remember the chubby little fingers and toes and the small innocence of your newborn baby.
Should you wish to consider Courtney Morgan Photography, I would love to hear from you. I offer a complimentary studio tour design consultation where we can sit down and get to know each other and plan out your session. You can contact me through email: PhotographybyCourtneyMorgan@gmail.com
or by phone 940-206-1928.