Choosing your newborn photographer
Choosing a newborn Photographer
Newborn photography takes place in the first 14 days of your new baby’s life – that is not something to be taken lightly!
When choosing your photographer it’s not only important that they have the style that you are looking for, but it’s also vital you ensure your baby is going to be safe. Anyone can buy a camera and call themselves a newborn photographer!
Good, safe, photography equipment, training and the correct insurance and environment for a newborn session is expensive. So if you are spending less than £300 on your session then the correct equipment or experience may not be present, which is why the session is ‘cheap’.
To give you an idea of the costs for newborn photography I’ve listed the main things below, this is by no way an exhaustive list but starts to give you an idea! This is without any time spent planning, delivering or editing your session, ordering your prints and running a business. so I hope you can see why newborn photography is in an investment when it’s done correctly!
Remember you also pay for experience, results and the service you receive.
Having several years experience focussing mainly on newborns also means that I am confident at getting your baby into a deep sleep for some, if not most of the session. It can take a lot of experience to understand not just how to ensure your baby is comfortable and calm for the session, but also to ensure there is still a good outcome if your baby doesn’t go into a deep sleep immediately. Some babies are naturally more alert and harder to get to sleep, some babies are touchy and easily woken whereas some will sleep the whole session. The more experience the photographer has with newborn photography, the better your results will be.
I go with the flow of your baby and ensure that we maximise the whole session, if your baby is awake then I will get photos of their gorgeous eyes, I will keep them calm and continue the session using my experience to get the baby back to sleep. I will also not rush you or them, if the session takes 4 hours then that is ok with me, as long as you, your baby and me are all relaxed and calm then this is much more important than the time!
Because I offer you photo packages, this means that my results have to be the best they can be. If you don’t like the photos then you will not buy them, so this process not only makes me work harder at being a better photographer, but it also carries less risk for you as you are not left with 20 poor/average digital images for £200. Don’t forget, in the age of digital photos we think more is better, but in reality 15 absolutely amazing photos of your baby is worth so much more than 50 that aren’t great!
A lot of people also look specifically for a photographer who offers just digital images, not realising that this often means the photographer doesn’t understand how the images they are giving you will even look when they are printed. It might not be until 6 months later when you go to get them printed that you realise they are in the wrong format, or they are not true to colour or too dark/light as the photographer’s screen wasn’t set to match the printing process, . Most professional photographers, will only offer you packages that include prints, and many people think this is just a way for us to make money, but it isn’t! The reality is I would make way more money if I didn’t sell prints, it takes time, puts people off booking and the margins I make on prints are tiny.
The main reasons professional photographers want to provide you with prints are:
1) We know how to make the print look how it was intended, high street printers are low quality and images can be compromised and end up on your wall or in your album not looking as they are meant to.
2) We want you to have images you will treasure, not just jpgs you rarely look at and could lose. How many photos have you got sitting on hard drives/CD’s/old phones that you have lost or never look at?! Most of my clients have just had a baby, and with the best of intentions, most people will not get around to ever printing the photos they get on a memory stick.
The prints I provide are the highest quality, on paper you will not get on the high street and your images look stunning!
So when choosing your photographer –
-Make sure they have training and experience; both for newborn posing and safety as well as technical photography training. If it’s not on their website then ask them about who they trained with, they might have only watched online courses and practised with a few friends children so this is really important.
– Make sure they have insurance and a risk assessment – ask for evidence of this if you want to be sure
– Ask to see the results from a full session so you can ensure you will be getting a good variety of images (websites and instagram usually show you one or two images from the session)
– Don’t assume that digital only is the best option!
The newborn photography industry is not regulated, if you see any kind of logos on a photographers website relating to newborn photography, they are membership associations i.e. the photographer is paying a monthly fee to use the logo, but they do not need to have any qualifications or meet any minimum standard to join.
I hope this information is useful when selecting your photographer, if you want to discuss anything further please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Here is list of just some of the expenses of a newborn photographer…
- Photography training i.e. lighting, photoshop £thousands!
- Specific newborn training £800 £1000 per year
- First aid training
Photography and editing equipment
- Camera £2500
- Lens £600
- Flash light and trigger £220
- Light stand and softbox £170
- Photoshop licence £120 a year
- iMac for editing £3000
- Wacom tablet for editing £65
- Newborn wraps, outfits, headbands, bonnets and hats (all handmade) £hundreds!
- Safe newborn props £20 – £150 each
- Real sheep furs £75 each
- Photography backdrops and floors (one floor £130)
- Light meter £220
- Photo prints
- Income tax