8 Questions to Ask Your Newborn Photographer
When it comes to choosing a newborn photographer to capture your new baby’s precious first days, you’ll no doubt find a huge array of options – from photo shoots where the photographer brings their studio to your home, to those with studios, to photographers using lots of props to those who use none.
There are also other factors to consider – from the photographer’s expertise, to costs, style and timing.
So how can you be sure that you’re choosing the best newborn photographer for your baby?
In this article I’ve outlined 8 key questions to ask your newborn photographer, so that you can be sure you make the right choice for your family.
- 1. What Training Do You Have?
- 2. How Many Newborn Babies Have You Photographed?
- 3. What Safety Measures Do You Have in Place?
- 4. At What Age Do You Photograph Newborn Babies?
- 5. Do You Use / Provide Props?
- 6. Are Family/Sibling Photographs Included?
- 7. How Much Does It Cost?
- 8. How Long Does It Take for the Images to Be Ready?
- Have More Questions?
1. What Training Do You Have?
It might surprise you to hear that newborn photography is completely unregulated, and there are no set qualifications or standards that you need to meet to call yourself a newborn photographer.
Of course, the vast majority of photographers will have done some training in newborn photography, but sadly not all photographers have the right training and some are not posing babies safely.
Whilst there aren’t any formal industry standards, there are a huge number of training opportunities available to anyone wanting to become a newborn photographer – from in-person workshops and courses, to online video training. And if I wanted to have my baby photographed I would be looking for someone who has completed a variety of different training courses and attended workshops with multiple photographers, and who is committed to continually learning and developing their skills.
In my own experience, learning from many different photographers has been hugely beneficial. I’ve attended group workshops 1-2-1 mentoring sessions with some of the top newborn photographers in the world and completed hours and hours of online learning. What I found is that every teacher has a different style and will focus on different topics in their teaching; by learning from a wide range of teachers I could learn all of their best practices and incorporate them all into my work.
2. How Many Newborn Babies Have You Photographed?
Newborn photography is unlike any other genre of photography – not only do you need to know how to take a good photograph, you also have to understand how to take care of and safely pose newborn babies.
This is the one time where experience is a critical factor, and hiring your friend who happens to be a photographer, or your wedding photographer may not be the right choice. Afterall, you can’t rewind the clock and go back to the precious first weeks with your baby if you don’t like the photographs.
Seasoned newborn photographers have the skills and experience to safely create beautiful photographs of your baby, and the equipment to do it.
Of course you can ask your photographer about how many babies they’ve photographed, but you can also check their newborn photography portfolio and read their reviews – does it show that they have photographed a large number of babies, and a consistent quality of work?
3. What Safety Measures Do You Have in Place?
Although we briefly touched on safety in question one, it does deserve a bit more attention.
Your baby’s safety should be a top priority during a photography session, and there are several things that a photographer can do to make sure they are. They should be proficient in safe posing techniques, have a cosy and hygienic studio environment, and make sure that all props and equipment are sanitised as a minimum.
You can find out more about what to look for when it comes to safety in newborn photography here: Is Posed Newborn Photography Safe?
4. At What Age Do You Photograph Newborn Babies?
The ideal age for capturing adorable, sleepy newborn portraits is typically within the first 14 days of life, but every photographer will have their own preferred window.
For me, it’s 5-14 days but I also photograph older newborns up to 8 weeks in an adapted older newborn session. For other photographers the window could be 10 days or 21 days – everyone will have their own optimum window and reasons for choosing it.
Ask your photographer about their preferred age range for newborn sessions so that you can make sure you don’t miss out! As the window is usually very early in a baby’s life it’s usually best to schedule the session before your baby is born.
Related Article: What’s the best age for baby photography?
5. Do You Use / Provide Props?
As you’ll no doubt find when you start researching newborn photography, there is a style out there for everyone – from heavily stylised photography with babies in props and outfits, to natural newborn photography with no props.
If you would like to have props and outfits in your session I highly recommend talking to your potential photographer before you book to talk about what they offer and what they can provide.
If you want props, it’s best to find a photographer who uses props extensively in their portfolio and is experienced at creating this kind of photograph. Similarly, if you don’t want props, look for a newborn photographer who doesn’t use props in their work. As they will be the most experienced and able to create similar photographs for you.
6. Are Family/Sibling Photographs Included?
Most families that I meet also want to include a few family photographs, and sibling photographs if they have older children in the photo shoot. As a mum I completely understand how important the arrival of a new baby is to the whole family, and so I allow time for family and sibling photographs in every session.
This isn’t always the case – sometimes photographers might only photograph the newborn baby, or have some packages that include the family and some that don’t. If family and sibling photographs are important to you it’s best to confirm the possibilities and costs beforehand.
7. How Much Does It Cost?
You probably know somebody who has a horror story about excitedly going to a super cheap photo shoot, only to find out that buying the photographs afterwards is completely out of their budget. Thankfully these stories are few and far between now, and most photographers publish their pricing on their website.
However, just as there is in any other industry, you’ll find photographers with a range of experience, offerings and prices. So it pays to discuss the photographer’s pricing structure, including session fees and any additional costs for prints or digital files. Be sure to ask about payment options and any potential hidden fees. This will help you select a photographer whose services align with your financial plans.
8. How Long Does It Take for the Images to Be Ready?
Once you’ve had your newborn photo shoot, you’ll no doubt be incredibly excited to see the final images, share them with your friends and family and get those birth announcements sent out!
Your photographer will likely have their turnaround time specified on their website and in the contract, but if they don’t, do ask so that you have a complete picture of how long you will need to wait.
Have More Questions?
I hope that this article has helped you to choose a newborn photographer that is the right fit for your family, and will create photographs that you love. Although it might seem a lot of research now, it will be worth it when you can look back at a beautiful set of newborn photos that you love!
If you have any other questions please feel free to leave me a message in the comments.
To find out more about booking your baby’s newborn session with me you can click on the link below: