Choosing A Newborn Photographer
Choosing the right photographer for your family is a BIG decision.
Photographing newborns is my passion! While I wish I could photograph every baby there is simply not enough room in my schedule. Clients usually don't book with me for one of two reasons: price or availability. It is especially hard, when I see that potential clients have chosen someone who not only doesn't specialize in newborns but has no idea how to properly pose a baby. Your little one's safety is of the utmost importance and should always been taken into consideration when choosing a photographer! There are several wonderful newborn photographers in our area besides myself so I would love to educate you guys on what to look for when choosing a photographer so that you know you are putting your little one in experienced and capable hands!
Do you prefer Lifestyle or Posed photography
The first thing to know when choosing a newborn photographer is whether or not you like posed or lifestyle images. Lifestyle newborn photography is done in home and captures the everyday moments involved with having a newborn: feedings, naps, nursing, etc. Posed photography can be done in home but is mostly seen in studio and features the use of props, outfits, backdrops, and skillfully maneuvering your newborn into the poses you will see covered in this blog.
How long has your photographer been working with newborns? How many newborns have they photographed approximately? Are they comfortable with the setups you have in mind? An experienced newborn photographer will know all of the industry secrets about posing, soothing and most importantly safety for your newborn. There are many workshops and newborn photography courses that are available for photographers that cover topics like safety and comfort of your child during the session - why not ask where they learned their skills from? This is an important question, and will help you decide if they are right fit for you.
Do the babies in your photographer’s images look comfortable and not strained? A strained face, furrowed brow, colour change in the face (towards red or purple) or claw like fingers can be indicators that babies are experiencing various levels of discomfort though sometimes they can simply be characteristic of a baby in particular. Seeing a few of these characteristics in your photographer’s work is expected, but if the majority of their photographs look this way you may want to think twice.
The most important thing when choosing a photographer is finding someone who is safety conscious with your new little one. Newborn safety is my number one concern when attempting any pose. Composites and parent spotters are a couple ways that I ensure that! Below are just a few examples.
The froggy pose should NEVER be done without a supportive hand on the baby at all times. This image is successfully achieved by merging two images in photoshop like seen below. Please note that the fingers are applying pressure only on the sides of the baby's head, no pressure is put on the soft spot at the top of the head. Another important thing to look out for is that baby's wrists are never turned inward with the chin resting on the tops of the hands. This can cause hyperextension and is a common mistake made by beginner photographers with this pose. Not every baby will or can do this pose and no little one should ever be forced into it.
Another pose that I always do with hands on babies are suspension poses in wraps, slings, or swaddles. At no time should you trust the security of fabrics to hold your little ones no matter how sleepy they are or how firm the fabric.
I love capturing the bond between big siblings and their new brother or sister. Toddlers however can be a bit unpredictable. Whenever I am posing with younger siblings I like to have parents standing by ready to grab baby. I simply crop them out of the photo so you never know they were there!
A few more important things to look for are warmth and circulation.
Warmth: For a new baby especially premies warmth is especially important. Parents are often surprised at how warm I keep the studio. It is important to remember that babies come from a 90 degree temperature environment and are unable to regulate their own body temperatures. Cold babies are not able to settle into a deep sleep. Their skin will often become splotchy or mottled.
Circulation: If at any time fingers, toes, feet, etc start turning purple, it’s because the baby is not getting proper circulation in the pose they are in. This is especially something to watch for in premies.
Babies should also never be left in facedown positions on the beanbag or in buckets without proper head support. If you see any of these things happening with your little one please alert your photographer immediately.
PROPER POSING TECHNIQUE
This is a bit of a big one for me. While I am by no means the best in my field I greatly pride myself on being able to properly pose my babies. I am consistently taking posing courses and investing time into bettering my poses and mastering my craft. A good way to spot an experienced photographer is how effectively they master these poses. Im going to use some of my very first images vs my images now to demonstrate what your should look for!
The Froggy Pose
Chin On Hands
Potato Sack Wrap
Style is another factor to consider when choosing a photographer! We all use different lighting techniques, editing styles, props, etc. My personal goal is to create one of a kind fine art newborn portraiture. I do not use items like store bought headbands, crochet outfits, tutus, etc. All outfits, head pieces, and props with the exception of heirloom and personal items (helmets, sport related items, military apparel, etc) are provided myself in order to ensure the highest quality and organic products go into the making of your images. I generally like to edit bright non matted images and only do simple touchups on babies like removing acne and blotches.
And of course the dreaded word, budget. If you notice the tab my packages are listed under on my page is listed as investment NOT pricing. Thats because that is what I consider these images, an investment in your memories. Although cost is a factor and rightfully so, try not to make it the only factor. These photographs will be in your family for generations, you cannot get these moments back. Newborns only look this way for such a little while. They are new, fragile, and priceless. Please choose a professional newborn photographer that will provide you with stunning, safe, images that you can't live without. I offer military discounts, payment plans, and gift certificates so that even my largest packages are attainable for my clients.
I hope this helps you all understand what you are looking at the next time you are browsing through a photographer's portfolio and helps make the decision of who to hire for your newborn photos a little easier!