Choosing the right photographer to capture your baby’s precious newborn portraits is such an important decision, this time is so fleeting! Here are some questions you may want to ask to help make sure you find the right professional photographer for your family’s needs.
What is their style of photography?
Every photographer will have their own style. Some may provide a more natural style of photography, known as lifestyle photography where they capture every day type of moments. While others love to capture sleepy posed newborn photos in a studio environment using props and a beanbag.
In my studio I focus on capturing posed portraits using softly coloured, classic styled props to ensure your portraits remain timeless over the years.
How many years have they been working as a newborn photographer?
Having many years experience in working with newborns will allow your photographer to be able to pick up on your baby’s cues and use different soothing techniques to suit your baby. Every newborn is different, they will behave in different ways and what one baby likes the next baby may not. A good photographer will always be patient and calm when working with your baby.
With over 10 years experience photographing newborns I realise that some babies like to be rocked, and some like to be swaddled. Some babies will take a dummy and some like to be on their tummy. Some babies take a little more time to get used to being undressed which is why I have developed a workflow to allow them time to get used to being in a new environment before moving onto them being unclothed.
Have they undertaken any newborn specific posing training including baby safety?
Because the newborn photography industry is not regulated and you don’t need a formal qualification, anyone is able to pick up a camera and start photographing babies. It’s a scary thought that you could be handing your baby over to somebody who has zero experience handling babies and doesn’t understand the importance of safe posing. Without the right professional training, a photographer could put your baby at risk. This is why it’s important that the person you hire is experienced and professionally trained.
If a photographer has been recommended to you, you can ask that person about their experience or even check the photographer’s website for testimonials from previous clients. Look at the photographer’s website portfolio. Do the babies look comfortable?
Over the past 10 years I have completed numerous hands-on mentoring with Newborn photographers who teach safe posing and handling of babies. My most recent training was April 2019. I would never put a baby at risk and always use a spotter when needed or digital compositing to achieve certain photos safely as explained below.
Photos taken at my latest one on one Newborn photography mentoring with Little Jeannie Photography
Do they use composite digital imaging for unsafe poses?
It is never ok to put a baby in danger in order to capture a nice image. There are many beautiful images that are created using safe practices rather than putting a baby in a risky position. These are called composite images and they are made up of 2 or more images combined in photoshop.
Here are some examples of images I have created in photoshop to ensure my little subjects are never put in harm’s way.
Can parents and siblings be part of the session?
Some photographers specialise in newborns only, and others may charge extra to include family members. If you are wanting some family photos taken at your newborn session, it is best to clarify how your photographer works in this situation.
The arrival of a newborn is such a special time for all family members and I think it is so important to document this special time. I include sibling and family photos in all of my newborn sessions at no extra cost. In most cases, we will start with the photos that include siblings so that they are able to then go for a drive to the park with Dad or home with grandma as these sessions can be quite long (and hot!) for young children.
Are they currently up to date with whooping cough vaccination?
Whooping cough is a highly infectious bacterial disease and a major worry to new parents, with their babies not being able to be vaccinated until 6 weeks old. It’s a good idea to ask your photographer if they have had their vaccine to ensure your baby’s safety.
For your peace of mind my whooping cough vaccination is up to date.
Do they have insurance?
It is extremely important that your photographer has public liability insurance. This covers you if something unthinkable were to happen. If you are hiring professional photographer running a business as opposed to a hobby-ist, this would be a non negotiable in their business. You may also find that they require you to sign a portrait agreement which outlines the terms and conditions for the session.
You can be rest assured that my business is registered and I have public liability insurance and a working with vulnerable people card.
What is the process and how long between the session and when I receive my images?
The turnaround time will vary between photographers from days to weeks. Some may offer a small preview others may not.
Within 48 hours of your session I post a preview image on my social media, just as a sample of what you can expect from your session and also to share with your friends and family. We know they are always keen to share in this excitement with you! We will then book in your ordering session, where you get to view your images in a large scale slideshow. This usually happens within 7-10 days. Unless you are commencing a payment plan, your purchased digital images will be available to you usually within 24 hours and printed products ready to be collected within 3-5 weeks (some items take longer than others to produce)
What payment options do they offer?
Each photographer will have different policies and payment methods. You should also read through your contract to ensure there are no extra charges and to see what payment options are available.
In my studio, payments can be made at the time of ordering via EFTPOS (debit/visa/mastercard).
There is also an option for a payment plan for all of my packages. A 30% deposit is required on the day of ordering and the balance divided between 12x weekly or 6x fortnightly payments.
Do they have a good reputation and quality testimonials?
What better way to gauge the professionalism and quality of a photographer than the reviews and testimonials from clients who have worked with them? You might find these reviews on google, facebook or their website. Or if you know somebody who has hired the photographer in the past you may ask them.
I pride myself on creating a relaxed and comfortable environment for my clients, and lots of patience and a calm nature when working with their precious babies. You can read numerous reviews on my website under “love notes”.
I hope this post helps you with making the decision on who to hire as your baby’s first Newborn photographer.
If you have any questions at all for me or would like to find out more about my Newborn photography sessions, please get in touch!