You Want Baby Photographs, Now What?
What to look for when planning photography for your baby
Congratulations!! What an exciting time for you! You have learned that at some point in the next 12 months you are going to be a new parent either for the first or subsequent time and you’ve decided that you want to have newborn photographs of your precious new arrival. Amongst all of the exciting new baby preparations you need to do, deciding on a newborn photographer is really important, to have your baby’s early memories preserved in the way that you’d want them to be. This little guide will help you choose someone who will do your beautiful baby justice and why it is important you choose the right one.
1. Book Early to Avoid Disappointment
Your newborn photographer is likely to be booking dates throughout the year meaning that by the time your newborn baby makes their entrance, they may not have spaces to accomodate you at short notice. Cancellations happen but aren’t guarantees and both you and your chosen photographer will be disappointed if you can’t be slotted in. The last thing they would want to do is let you down. You wouldn’t want to miss out on the tiny window to get the best photographs of your newborn baby.
2. What Style Do You Like?
All newborn photographers have a style, either they use an array of beautiful colours, or they use neutral and muted schemes. A variety of vintage props or clean and minimalist. Some offer a mixture too. Have a search in your area or use the BANPAS directory to help find one you like. Have a good look on their website and get a feel for the images in their galleries. What would you like to see on your wall at home? What suits your style? Modern and contemporary? Timeless? Brights? Darks? These totally depend on what you want or like. Lifestyle sessions which are sometimes in your home or studio but completely baby led, offering a beautiful and candid view into life with a newborn baby to treasure. Studio posed sessions offer a number of specific poses with your sleepy newborn to capture how small and wonderful they are, perfectly. Themed sessions can be based on television shows or job roles which add sentimental value to your images. Some are very specific and though you may love their work, you might want something they don’t offer so it is important to do some research early on. Also if you aren’t sure, your photographer will be able to support you to determine what is suitable.
3. Newborn Safety!
Whilst there are no newborn photography and newborn posing qualifications, the safety of your baby is paramount and this should be discussed at length. The BANPAS Directory is an exceptional resource for helping parents find reputable photographers who should be insured and commited to the safety of your baby during the newborn session. A professional will have invested in training to ensure not only high quality images, but safe posing that does not compromise your baby in any way. Some photographers do not do certain poses, if it is something you’d like, discuss it beforehand. Your photographer will be adequately trained to recognise if your baby is unhappy and make changes to ensure your baby is well.
4. Location and Venue!
Have a think about travelling for your newborn’s session. It can be daunting and though you may be well prepared, it is well worth knowing ahead of the day how far you need to travel and of course plan any stops along the way. Is it a cosy home from home setting or a beautifully polished studio? Both can offer incredible experiences.
5. Managing Expectations.
Does your photographer have a plan for sessions that may be more difficult than expected? Not all poses suit every baby and of course, your photographer will know this during the session and will work tirelessly to produce a stunning gallery for you to choose from. Do ask plenty of questions to make sure you are happy before going ahead with the session.
6. Return Viewing and Ordering Sessions or Online Galleries?
Many photographers offer a return visit to sit and help you choose your favourite photographs and decide on how best you want to display them at home. This is usually when you will pay for your chosen images and additional products. Online galleries offer you a chance to look over your images and make a selection online. You would then be prompted to pay for what you have chosen, plus any optional extras. After the session you may be very excited to find out when you will see your photographs, so find out what the turn around time is. Often, your viewing and ordering appointment will be booked at the end of the session or once your gallery is ready.
7. Timing The Session
This is important because it will likely affect the poses that can be done. Your baby is sleepiest the younger they are, however many will still offer you a session as your baby gets older. Typically, the average age for sessions is between 7 and 21 days old. If your little one has had some time in hospital, give yourselves some time to settle in at home and if you can rebook it as soon as possible, do inform your photographer.
8. How Long Is The Session?
It is worthwhile knowing how long you are expected to be with your photographer, so that you can avoid making plans on the same day if your session is expected to be 3-4 hours. Some photographers offer mini newborn photography sessions which are shorter, however may offer a limit to what full newborn experiences have available to you.
What you can expect to pay your photographer will vary greatly from business to business and takes into account a number of factors, including what is offered to you in the collections or packages. Having a think about what you want and your budget will help you find a photographer who will suit your requirements. Investments can be anywhere from £150 for mini newborn photography sessions through to £900+ for added value packages that may include USBs, wall art products or albums. Whilst everybody’s budget is different, you will want to be aware of what the costs are to have your chosen photographer give you an incredible experience and beautiful photographs that you will forever be in love with. Discuss with your photographer how to make your booking and if it is a session fee or deposit. Have clarity on the session for a seamless experience.
If this isn’t your first baby and you’d like to have siblings involved, then it is worthwhile asking whether your photographer offers sibling portrait sessions for you and your family or whether they charge separately for this service. They will likely shoot these photographs at the beginning so that should the children lose interest as you get into the session, they can be taken out with a relative.
I hope that the above tips have been useful in determining how to choose someone to photograph your baby! I would love to discuss them with you and would like to meet you and your newborn baby. Please click below to enquire about newborn photography with me.