Can anyone recommend a cheap newborn photographer? Why that’s the wrong question to ask!

April 06, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

Can anyone recommend a cheap newborn photographer?

Why that’s the wrong question to ask!


I despair when I read social media posts where parents are asking for recommendations for ‘cheap newborn photography.’ Of course I don’t blame them; I appreciate that anyone outside of the newborn photography industry may not realise that it is unregulated, meaning that literally anyone with a half decent camera can start calling themselves a ‘professional newborn photographer’ with no experience, training, or insurance.

If you'd rather just skip to the suggestions for finding cheaper professional newborn photography, click here.

I would much rather see parents asking for recommendations for safe and good newborn photographers!

0404 After welcoming a new baby into the world, many parents will want to capture every precious detail with a newborn photography session. I understand this, I really do, and in this digital age and especially during this cost-of-living crisis it can be tempting to opt for a cheap newborn photographer to save money. When it comes to preserving such precious memories however, the price tag should not be the deciding factor. Here’s why:

Lack of Experience and Safety Training: Running a photography business is very expensive. If a photographer isn't charging enough to cover their business costs (see further down), how can you be sure they have invested in gaining the necessary knowledge? Cheap photographers will often lack experience and expertise, especially in the handling of newborns. They may also have no training in newborn safety, which should be a huge red flag. An experienced and trained newborn photographer will know how to soothe your baby, pose them safely and work around their schedule to get the perfect shot. They will also know how to work with light and have the necessary skills to professionally post process the images. Without this experience, you risk subpar photos or, worse, compromising your baby's safety during the shoot.

Quality of Equipment: Professional-grade cameras, lenses, and lighting equipment are essential for producing high-quality newborn photographs. Cheap photographers may have to cut corners by using inferior equipment, resulting in grainy, poorly lit, or blurry images. Investing in professional equipment not only ensures stunning photos but also reflects the photographer's commitment to their craft and your satisfaction.

Lack of Creativity: Photography is an art form, and like any art, it requires creativity and vision. Experienced and trained photographers will understand composition, lighting, and storytelling. Cheap photographers may not have invested in training and could therefore lack the ability to capture the essence of your newborn's personality or the uniqueness of your family dynamic, resulting in uninspired, generic images. 3232

Unsafe Props and Equipment: Many newborn photography sessions involve the use of props like baskets, blankets, or wraps. If someone is charging peanuts for their photography, they may be cutting corners and using props made from low quality materials which could pose a risk of injury if they break or collapse during the shoot. Likewise, will the cheapest newborn photographers be making enough of a profit to invest in regularly sanitising their workspace and washing props to ensure hygiene? Can you be absolutely sure there isn’t a risk of infection to your tiny baby who, after all, may not have a fully developed immune system at the time of the shoot?

Risk of Overheating or Cold Exposure: Newborn babies have limited ability to regulate their body temperature, making them vulnerable to overheating or cold exposure. If you book an inexperienced and cheap photographer they may not have been trained to spot the signs of over or under heating in newborns. If they are charging too little for their shoots, they may also be unable to afford the cost of heating the workspace adequately to ensure baby’s comfort and health.

Business Insurance As already mentioned, running a professional photography business is expensive. Here is a list of just some of the expenses a professional newborn and family photographer will face:

  • Rent of their studio space (for those using a studio);
  • The energy required to heat the workspace for several hours per newborn session;
  • The electricity required to power studio lights;
  • Washing/cleaning of blankets and props ;
  • Their time working during the session (approximately 4 hours);
  • The time and costs involved to professionally process the images or, if they don’t process themselves, the cost of getting 2121
    someone else to do it;
  • Purchase and maintenance of camera and studio gear (one single flash tube costs me £73);
  • Replacement of backgrounds (£200 every few months for me) and props as needed;
  • Business insurance payments;
  • Tax and national insurance payments;
  • Ongoing training costs;
  • Childcare (for those with young children themselves);
  • Petrol, taxes and car maintenance costs for those who operate a mobile service.
  • Admin charges; emails/post/advertising/phone bills etc
  • Prints/Canvasses and other photographic products the client may order

If a photographer isn’t charging enough to cover such business overhead costs, can you be sure they will be properly insured in the unfortunate event of an accident or injury during a photo session? Can you be sure their equipment and props are regularly updated and safe? Can you be sure they have been properly trained in the safe handling and posing of newborn babies?


I wrote a blog years ago about why newborn photography can seem so expensive and received an angry comment from someone demanding to know how I justified charging £300 (my top package at the time) for 'an hours work' doing something that was 'very easy'. He obviously hadn't read the blog properly! One newborn session takes an average of ten to twelve hours when you take into account the session itself and all the post processing, clean up and admin. That's just my time, not to mention the costs incurred with insurance, heating and lighting, washing and cleaning, maintenance of equipment and so on.

So what are you supposed to do if you really want professional newborn photos but money is tight?

Getting cheaper newborn photography in the UK is possible if you're willing to do some research and explore various options. Here are some tips to help you find affordable newborn photography services:

  1. Look for Special Offers and Packages: Many photographers offer special deals or packages, especially for newborn sessions. Check their websites or social media pages for any ongoing promotions. Keep an eye out also for requests for newborn models. We newborn photographers often host newborn training sessions or undertake refresher training ourselves and will put a call out for a newborn baby to be our model on the day. The payment for your services is almost always free images.

  2. Search Online Marketplaces: Websites like Groupon or Wowcher often have deals on photography services, including newborn photography. Keep an eye on these platforms for discounted offers. As always, check out reviews and ask about experience and training before booking.

  3. Ask for Recommendations: Reach out to friends, family, or parenting groups for recommendations on affordable newborn photographers. They might know someone who offers quality services at a lower price.

  4. Check Student Photographers: Photography students or those just starting up their business may be looking to build their portfolio and could therefore offer discounted rates for newborn sessions. Despite their lack of portfolio they may well have undertaken all the relevant training (make sure you double check this with them) and are now just looking to gain experience.

  5. Consider Mini Sessions or a Smaller Package: So you've found a newborn photographer you like, but they seem too expensive. Call them! Consider the options; do you really need their top package? Keep in mind the old saying quality over quantity and think about what set ups you would prioritise in order to have a smaller number of quality images. Is the photographer running any special offers? Many photographers offer mini sessions or smaller packages which are often more budget-friendly. My packages range from just five images up to 30 with prices to suit all budgets.

  6. DIY: If you have some photography skills or know someone who does, consider taking the photos yourself or having a friend or family member do it. With the right equipment and some basic knowledge, you can achieve decent results. Of course this is me, so I'm always going to mention safety first! Have a look at a blog I wrote during lockdown which gives tips on newborn photography at home.

To conclude, while it is tempting to save money on newborn photography, the safety and well-being of your baby should always be the top priority. By investing in a reputable photographer who prioritises safety and possesses the skills and knowledge needed to create professional photographs, you can rest assured that your baby's first photo shoot will be a memorable and safe experience. Please remember, it's not worth risking your baby's health and safety for the sake of saving a few pounds on photography.


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