You’re looking for a newborn photographer: someone who will capture your new little bundle of joy in a way that you can cherish forever. It’s a big decision! Before you hire your newborn photographer, make sure you’re asking the right questions so you’ll have an experience you’ll love.
Question #1: What Experience Do You Have?
Sure, your sister’s best friend is trying to break into the photography business, or your friend from church has taken a few graduation pictures that you really like. When it comes to photographing your newborn, however, you want to be sure that it’s done by someone with some experience! An experienced newborn photographer will be more likely to keep your baby safe as well as capturing great images from your session. You can’t get these days back, so make sure you hire the right person to take care of your pictures.
Question #2: How Will You Keep My Baby Safe?
Newborns are fragile, and when you’re the new mama, you want to know that your baby is well protected throughout their session. Will your newborn be held throughout the session? Will there be hands on your newborn at all times to help protect against falls from wiggly little ones? Make sure you know exactly how your photographer will help protect your newborn during your session.
Question #3: Where Will the Session Take Place?
There are plenty of different places for newborn pictures. Some newborn photographers prefer for you to come into their studio, where they can control the environment. Others want to come into your home, where you will be more comfortable. Talk with your newborn photographer about the atmosphere that they prefer and where they’ll be taking the pictures, and make sure that it agrees with where you’d like to have the session. If it doesn’t, ask the photographer to explain their reasoning. You may find that you agree with them more than you thought!
Question #4: How Much Time Will You Set Aside for the Session?
Newborn photography is unlike any other type of photography for one simple reason: newborns are highly unpredictable. They may need to be cuddled for a little while in the middle of the session, or it may be time to eat when you least expect it. Your newborn photographer shouldn’t be cramming in your session between other photo shoots. Instead, you should have plenty of time to keep both you and baby comfortable throughout the session while still capturing the range of images you love.
Question #5: What’s Included in the Price?
Don’t go in blind when you’re paying for your newborn pictures. Instead, make sure you know what the session fee includes. For example, most photographers won’t release unedited images. Others only upload their photos to their websites, rather than providing a disc after the session. Check into whether or not your payment includes digital rights to your photos and what’s included. Ideally, you want to be sure that you pay for everything that you want, rather than ending up in a sticky situation once the newborn session is over. After all, you’re going to want all those pictures you’ve fallen in love with—and you don’t want cost to stand in your way!
Question #6: May I See Some Examples of Your Work?
You have a picture in your head of exactly what your newborn photo session is going to look like. You’re imagining your newborn in perfect poses, whether they’re surrounded by soft blankets or posing in their birthday suit. Make sure your photographer is able to match your vision! Take a look at their past work to see what the photographer can do and what their creative vision looks like. Make sure you take a look at more than one session to get a better idea of what your photographer is able to do.
Question #7: What Training Do You Have in Posing Newborns?
Newborns are incredibly flexible, since their skeletons haven’t yet fused as much as an adult’s. That doesn’t mean, however, that they can be put in just any position. If your newborn photographer doesn’t have experience working with newborns, make sure they do have specialized training geared just toward posing those precious babies. This will help keep your little one safer and more comfortable during their session.
Question #8: What Props Do You Have on Hand?
Many of the best newborn photo sessions include fun props that help add personality and style to your shoot. Talk with your photographer to learn what props they already have on hand and how they often use them as part of their newborn sessions. There may be hats and costumes, baskets and trucks, wings, and many of the other props you’ve seen in the gorgeous newborn sessions splashed across social media. Have a specific idea in mind for your session? Ask specifically about that prop to be sure that it’s available.
Question #9: Can I Use [X] in My Newborn Photo Session?
Chances are, you’ve spent some time browsing through newborn photos, imagining which ones you’d like for your little one as you picture your precious baby in those poses. In many cases, however, the props used in newborn photos are specially chosen to keep your baby as safe as possible. When you ask the photographer to introduce an unknown prop into the session, it may be more difficult to keep your baby safe and secure. If you have a specific prop you’d like to use, whether it’s a special blanket or a piece of sports gear, make sure you talk to your photographer about it ahead of time. Often, they’ll be willing to work with you to make it happen—but not with no warning.
Question #10: Who is Included in the Sessions?
Some newborn photographers love working with parents and siblings as part of capturing those important newborn moments. Others prefer to work exclusively with the newborn themselves. Depending on what you want from your newborn session, make sure that your photographer shares your vision. If they are willing to work with siblings, make sure you know any policies associated with extras in the studio, too. Some photographers may want you to have an assistant just for the other kids, who can take them out when their part in the session is done.
Booking your newborn photography session is an incredibly important step in welcoming your baby home. These are pictures that you’ll cherish for the rest of your life—so make sure you’re happy with the images you get by asking these key questions of your photographer before you begin.