Shopping around for professional baby pictures? Which photographer to go with is a big decision. But don’t worry, I’ve put together a list of the top 5 things to look for in a newborn photographer to help you through the process!
1. Experience as a Newborn Photographer
Your little one is precious! One of the top 5 things to look for in a newborn photographer is their experience with babies. A good newborn photographer will have invested time and training into their profession and will know how to work with and pose newborns safely. Ask how many years they’ve been photographing newborns, specifically. Take a look at their social media and see if they consistently produce quality images that you love. Check out what other people say about them. And of course, keep health and safety in mind. Don’t be afraid to ask them if they’re up to date on vaccinations, and check what precautions they’re taking during COVID. An experienced newborn photographer will expect these questions and be able to give you answers that set your mind at rest.
2. Posed vs. Lifestyle
The two most common types of newborn photo sessions are posed and lifestyle.
Posed sessions generally take place in the studio, where baby is snuggled on a blanket or in a prop, highlighting just how tiny and perfect they are! It’s important that babies are nice and sleepy to ensure these sessions go smoothly. Most newborn photographers will schedule these within the first two weeks of life (my preference is between 7 and 14 days). Posed sessions can be long (mine run between 2 and 3 hours) to allow time for feeding and soothing the baby. After all, we want this to be a good experience! The investment in time may seem like a lot, but the images are definitely worth it!
Lifestyle sessions often take place in your own home, generally when baby is under 4 weeks of age. This type of session tends to be very relaxed, with natural posing in the nursery or on a bed. At home sessions also make it really easy to include parents and little ones! These types of sessions usually run 1-2 hours, depending on the photographer. I don’t offer lifestyle – but there are many local photographers who do, including the wonderful Jill Mills of Heartlove Photography who very generously shared these images for this article.
Along with session options, you’ll want to consider the pros and cons of each location. While a lifestyle session may be easier for new parents, it can also limit your styling options. You may also have the added stress of having to clean and stage your home to get ready for the session. If the photographer you’re considering has a studio, check if it’s within easy driving distance. While it can be worth it to drive out of your way for a photographer you really love, there’s also something to be said for convenience! Both lifestyle and studio options can be great choices–it just depends what’s right for you.
4. Photography Style
We all have our own preferences when it comes to style, so make sure you’re a fan of what your newborn photographer has done in the past. Most photographers have a portfolio on their website, so be sure to review it and see how the images fit with your own vision. There’s no right or wrong with this one: it’s purely a matter of personal opinion. Some photographers edit their photos for a darker, cozier feel. Others create light and airy images. You may notice that one newborn photographer specializes in posed studio images rather than lifestyle pictures. It’s best to pay attention to what a photographer’s specialty is and work within that specialty for the best results.
This may be at the beginning of your list of top 5 things to look for in a newborn photographer, but it really should be the last. While budget is important, it should be something you consider after you’ve looked at the other elements listed above. Newborn photos are an investment, and you want to be absolutely in love with your finished images. Price doesn’t always equal value, so make sure your newborn photographer fits all the other criteria before looking at cost. Check out their portfolio and packages, and consider spending a bit more if necessary to get photos you will treasure for years to come.
I hope these tips have been helpful as you look at newborn photography options! Feel free to explore the site for more information about my work with newborns–and don’t hesitate to reach out with questions. I’m here to help!