How to Choose a Newborn Photographer

January 02, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

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If you have come to this blog because you are expecting a baby, many congratulations!

If you are looking for a newborn photographer what is the best way to choose someone who will work safely with your precious baby while meeting your family's requirements and producing photographs you will cherish for a lifetime?

You may have done a Google search or had lots of different photographers referred to you by friends, now it's time to whittle down the list and make your final choice. I hope the following tips are of help in your search.

Money, Money, Money

Cost will of course be a consideration. These days everyone is counting the pennies and looking for a bargain, and there will always be someone out there promoting what looks like a fantastic newborn photography deal. I advise caution at this point; please look beyond the temptation of a cheap price because the safety of your newborn is, I am sure, your main priority.

Did you know that our industry remains unregulated? This means that anyone with a camera can set up a website and call themselves a professional newborn photographer with no safety training, no insurance, and no experience. Think about that for a minute – would you hand your newborn baby over to someone who potentially has no idea how to safely pose a baby without causing discomfort, pain or worse?

Research is Key!

  • Have a look at each photographer’s website and social media; you should find information there about their safety training and experience.
  • Do they talk on their website/blog or social media pages about safety training or the use of safe practice during their sessions for example, do they use composite imagery and ‘spotters’?
  • Do they show behind the scenes photos of how particular shots are set up using safe ways of working? Have a look at their portfolio – do the babies all seem comfortable in their poses?
  • Compare the work on their website – is it consistent? Can you trust that all the photos have been taken by the photographer in question? I hate to include that last part but unfortunately, I know of several photographers (me included) who have had their work stolen and accredited to someone else.
  • You might want to see if your shortlisted photographer is a member of a professional photography association. In particular, if they are qualified with a professional body such as the BIPP (British Institute of Professional Photography) or The Guild of Photographers, they will have demonstrated the ability to create a professional standard of work and be required to abide by that body's professional code of conduct, which includes things like having the correct insurance in place to run a photography business.
  • Never be afraid to pick up the phone and speak to your potential photographer in person, a professional newborn photographer will absolutely understand your need to ensure safety and will never resist answering questions on the subject. Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question where your baby’s safety is concerned!

A Question of Style

After safety and cost considerations, have a look at your shortlisted photographer’s style to ensure they match your preferences. Are you looking for very posed images (for example, the froggy pose) or are you looking for more of a lifestyle approach with very few poses? Some parents love the use of brightly coloured props and busy backgrounds, does that match your style or would you prefer simple shots of baby with limited distractions? What about colours? Does your photographer’s portfolio show a range of colour schemes you like? If you don’t see the kind of images you want in your potential photographer’s portfolio, please do give them a call, its always worth asking the question and discussing in person whether or not they can meet your needs.

Who Let the Dogs Out?

Do you have a four legged member of the family who you would love to include in your newborn images? Does your potential photographer allow dogs in their studio or agree to photograph animals? Do they do this safely using composite imagery? As much as we love our pets, you can never be 100% sure how they will react to flashing lights and a new environment so once again look for a photographer with demonstrated experience and training.

Location, Location, Location

Consider where you would like your session to take place. Some photographers work solely from a studio while others are mobile and will come to your home. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, some of which I list below. I am a studio photographer myself and you can read more about my reasons for this in an older blog I wrote here.

Studio Photographer

Positives:

  • Studios provide a controlled environment where lighting and temperature can be precisely managed ensuring consistent high-quality images.
  • Studios are equipped with various backdrops, props and lighting setups giving a wide range of choice
  • Studios enable new parents to get away from home for a while and relax away from the piles of washing and visitors at home.

Negatives:

  • Clients need to travel to the studio, which can be inconvenient when adjusting to life with a newborn, especially if the studio is a considerable distance away.
  • Clients and children may not feel as relaxed as they would in their own surroundings.
  • Some studio photographers do not allow animals in the studio (I do), so family pets cannot be included.

Mobile Photographer

Positives:

  • No need to travel with your newborn to a studio, which may be better if you’re still recovering from childbirth or have other young children at home.
  • Your photographer can take photographs around the home making the experience more personal, and any older children will be surrounded by their own toys and home comforts so will be more relaxed.

Negatives:

  • Your photographer will be reliant on natural light (not always great in the UK!) or portable lighting equipment which may not be as precise as that which can be achieved in a studio. As they need to travel to you, they may also be limited with regard to the number of props they can bring.
  • You will need to consider the space where the photos are to be taken; is it tidy enough? Will you need to clean the house and remove any distractions before the photographer arrives? Can you heat the room to the temperature required by the photographer?

When to Book?

When you've finally made your choice, when is the best time to book? You may have heard that it is best to book your chosen photographer early whilst still pregnant. As a newborn photographer myself let me explain; I have a limited number of newborn slots per month, as babies are notorious for arriving earlier or later than expected and I need to ensure I can fit everyone in before their baby is past the ‘ideal’ newborn photography age (typically before two to three weeks of age for full term babies). I usually have to juggle my diary around to ensure I can accommodate everyone and therefore, I always advise that clients book in advance to ensure they have a spot in my calendar. If your baby has already been born however don't panic! It is always worth a call to your chosen photographer because the uncertainty of a baby’s actual birthday can work the other way too meaning that a slot can sometimes becomes free last minute.
 

I hope this blog has given you some ideas of what to look for when choosing your newborn photographer. Thanks for reading and all the best for your little one's arrival!

 

Lorraine Jardim LBIPP QGPP

Ellie J Photography.

Newborn Photographer Coventry and Warwickshire


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