Hiring the best newborn photographer may seem like a daunting task, am I right? There is a wide spectrum of varying prices and skills offered and everyone says “they” are the best option, so where does that leave you? I’m here to help you navigate through some of the important things you should consider when looking for a newborn photographer.
I think that when searching for a newborn photographer, you should factor in their professional experience. Not just as a photographer, but specifically as a newborn photographer. It is best practice to look for someone with at least 2 years experience in this genre as it is very different from other types of photography. Hiring a less experienced photographer may result in inconsistent looking photos.
In the age of the sophisticated camera phone, photography is practiced by many but mastered by few. Check accredited sources for good photographer referrals like findaphotographer.com
Most new photographers have not yet refined their “style” as this is something that takes years to do. Correct posing and lighting also comes to mind when thinking of the photographer’s experience. You only have about 2 weeks from baby’s birth to capture that “new” newborn look before their looks begin to change. By 3-4 weeks old your baby will be more alert, rounder and more difficult to pose and possibly fussier. It is important to get your newborn photos done early (between 5-10 days young).
Choosing someone with many years of newborn photography experience speaks to their level of dedication to this craft. That being said, they will likely be an expert and if you like the examples of their work you will probably love the photos they create for you too.
The photo on the left is from my very first newborn session over 7 years ago. The one on the right is from September 2021 – experience matters!
This part is best summed up by the old adage, “You get what you pay for” and I am a firm believer in it. This also ties into the above statement about a photographer’s experience level. There are many new photographers charging modest prices between $100-$250 come to your home and give you all the digitals. Sounds like a great deal, doesn’t it? I’m not here to knock that if that is the best your budget will allow, but hear me out. Many who are clamoring for your business at that price are viewing the opportunity as “practice” or another addition to their growing portfolio. Be careful with too good to be true deals or specials. The biggest problem with hiring a new, affordable or cheap photographer are inconsistent results. Also, a “new” newborn photographer may not be well versed in posing safety (see below). Sadly by the time you view the photos and decide you don’t like them, your baby will be well past the newborn stage. Your options for re-doing them will be limited to how well another photographer can work and pose an older baby.
When you consider your budget, you should also consider the keepsakes you will order. Do you want wall art? An album? A few prints? There are a couple of ways photographers will share your photos with you. Some will charge a minimal sitting fee for the session and then invite you back to the studio to order your products. Others will put all the JPG images in a gallery for download and some just email directly.
Prices vary tremendously when you start adding in prints or digitals. Many clients first inquire asking if I provide digital copies and I don’t believe that the sun rises and sets on digital files. Sure, it is nice to have digital copies but imagine viewing your newborn photos on your small phone’s screen. Now imagine viewing your photos in an artfully printed leather bound book. Yes, two very different experiences I am sure.
The other thing nobody tells you about digital files is that there is no guarantee for them. I can guarantee printed artwork won’t fade if properly cared for, but I can’t guarantee that your digital files won’t corrupt.
Newborn safety is a huge deal! Making sure that your baby is secure at all times is my top priority. Hands are always on the baby and the head is always supported.
Every parent wants great newborn photos of their baby. Be prepared to spend about $500 on the low end for a minimal amount of prints and digitals with an experienced photographer. Prices can easily go all the way up to 4-5K for large wall art installations or a special album.
I hope that these tips give you some insight on choosing the best newborn photographer for you and your budget.