For most of us, when choosing a photographer for any special milestone, and any service for that matter, most decisions are made based on one factor: budget. 90% of the time, the first question I get is: "How much do you charge?"
As someone who is self employed on a part time basis, and a mom of three children, a budget is the first and foremost thing on my mind in every scenario as well! I understand, and respect, each and every budget!
When choosing the perfect photographer for your perfect little one's first moments, here are a few other key aspects to take into consideration before entering into a financial committment with anyone! Whether you choose us (and we hope you do!) to document baby's most perfect and important moments, please take time to take a few additional items into consideration:
- How long has the photographer been in business? This is important for many reasons, but just make sure you are choosing a reputable photographer. I have heard many horror stories over the years of clients pre-paying and never receiving their images, amongst many, many others.
- How many newborns has your photographer worked with? When your baby makes their debut, it is amazing how instantaneously we come protective over our fragile little ones. Keep in mind you are going to be entrusting the safety and comfort of your babe to someone you have never met. The most important part of being a newborn photographer is WORKING WITH NEWBORNS and working with and soothing babies is a large portion of every session. When shopping around, try to pay attention to some of the following: Do the babies in the sample photos you see look peacefully posed, or awkward and uncomfortable? Look at their facial expressions. If many of the photos you see are of babies with tense expressions, there are very good changes the session was not a great experience for baby. Look to the details!
- Ask them if they were trained to work with newborns? Seriously. Any trained photographer will not be offended by this question! Again, you are entrusting the most precious part of you to the hands of a stranger. In many poses, baby may be elevated off the floor or in a compromising position that without proper training, or a spotter involved, can be detrimental to baby's safety. Also, there are a few popular poses for baby that are, in fact, composite shots. This means that at no time during posing was there not hands on the baby. Two shots were taken, and composed in Photoshop. This is for safety reasons. Baby should never be unsafely supported for the sake of a photo. Nor should they be placed in any kind of prop that is unstable or unsafe. If it can break, it is not safe!
- Does your photographer carry liability insurance for their business and/or clients? Make sure you and your little are protected!
- Are your photographer's vaccinations up to date?
- Is the photographer's studio safe (clean) to bring baby in? How many people (germs) are in and out of the shooting space? Your little one has a very immature immune system, and sure, they are going to be exposed to bugs and germs (you just left a hospital, am I right?), but that does not mean you have to unintentionally expose them if it can be helped. At our studio, the only people that come in and out are clients....that's it. After each session, ALL items used during that session, as well as the seating area, is cleaned and disinfected. I do not schedule sessions if I am not feeling well, which fortunately, is super rare!, and have been known to wear a medical mask when I deem necessary. Your baby's health and safety is my utmost priority!
- Does the photographer's style match yours? Sometimes it is just hard to know what questions to ask! You are looking for a newborn photographer. You get a recommendation, you see some of their newborn photos on Facebook (keep in mind this is typically ONE photo per session....and can be misleading), you like them, you book. There is nothing wrong with asking to see a photo gallery of an ENTIRE session. This helps you in many ways: it shows the typical number of set ups to expect, it shows you the approximate number of proofs you can expect, it gives you an idea of how they style their sessions, and it shows you the consistency of their work.
- Do they provide items for the sets or do you have to bring in your own items? Our newborn sessions are completely all inclusive! All you have to do is show up with your baby on the day of your session. We provide: wraps, hats, headbands, outfits, props, prop fillers, backdrops, set decor, etc etc etc. Those items are all thoughtfully compiled and designed based around a set of preferences that YOU give US! Our goal is to provide the easiest, most stress free, custom experience possible! But also one that flows in style and is consistent in color scheme.
I hope this information has been insightful and helpful! While I hope that ALL potential clients that inquire ultimately end up choosing me to be their photographer, I understand in some circumstances, there may be a better choice for you. I hope that choice is made with informed knowledge about the person handling your little one!