Questions to ask Your Newborn Photographer

January 06, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

7 Questions to Ask Your Newborn Photographer | Central NJ Newborn Photographer

Newborn baby girl on tan background blanket dressed in ivory outfit with matching lace bonnet posed on belly in a NJ photo studio.

Expecting a baby is one of the most exciting and joyous times in your life! No doubt you have a million things to think about and prepare for the arrival of your little one. The last thing you want to worry about is who to hire to take those first portraits of your baby. The newborn stage is so precious and it goes by like a blink of your eye. Your precious newborn will never be this small, or this sleepy again so make sure you hire the right photographer to capture these precious moments in time is essential.

Here are 7 important questions and factors that I urge you to ask before choosing your newborn photographer. Only then can you be sure that your photographer will deliver the quality of experience that you desire and that your new baby deserves, and photos that you will treasure for a lifetime. 

 

1 ) HOW LONG HAS THE PHOTOGRAPHER BEEN WORKING WITH NEWBORNS?

Any professional newborn photographer will tell you that every newborn is different. Some like being bounced, some like being rocked, some will take a pacifier, some enjoy being on their tummy, some like to be swaddled – and some will fuss no matter what you try! Having the experience of working with many, many newborns gives professional newborn photographers the knowledge and experience to soothe babies, to understand how to pose baby in multiple poses & when to move on to something different if baby isn't having it. Good newborn photographers are patient, kind, and gentle with your baby. A good start would be at least 1-year of photographing newborns full time. I personally have now been photographing newborns in NJ for over 10 years & I have always loved working with babies & children before that via daycares & pediatric dentistry. You can learn more about myself here.

2) HAS THE PHOTOGRAPHER TAKEN ANY WORKSHOPS OR HAD ANY SAFETY TRAINING IN POSING NEWBORNS?

With the availability of low-cost digital cameras and the overabundance of websites devoted to photography, it’s hard to know the difference between a professional photographer and a hobbyist. Many photographers are self-taught, but those skilled in newborn portraiture have taken the time to learn newborn posing and how to safely handle these tiny subjects. Newborn portraiture is a specialized field. If someone is just starting out or hasn’t taken any specific training with regard to newborns, be very careful.

Look at the portfolio of the photographer you are considering. Do they have a diverse portfolio of babies and poses? Are the photographs in focus and well lit?

I personally have had the chance to learn from some of the best known, well established newborn photographers from all over the world when they have toured the tri-state area. I love finding new workshops to attend and continue to learn from the best of the best.

 

3) CAN THIS PHOTOGRAPHER PROVIDE WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR?

You may have seen examples of newborn photos that you would love a photographer to create with your baby. Make sure you discuss this ahead of the shoot to align expectations. Will your photographer be able to create that specific pose, or not?

Also ask about whether you need to buy and bring any of your own props, or whether this is included in the shoot. Most photographers do have an extensive range of wraps, teddies, headbands, hats etc. but some do not.

Are you also welcome to bring in your own props? You may have a family heirloom or sentimental item that you want included in your photos. Is your photographer happy to incorporate this into the photos?

Does the photographer ask your preference in regards to styling and colors?

4) WHY ARE SOME PHOTOGRAPHERS WAY CHEAPER THEN OTHERS?

It is potentially quite easy for parents to be fooled into thinking that all newborn photographers are created equal. Let me assure you, they are not! 

The newborn photography industry here in the United States is currently unregulated. That means that there is no specific qualification that a newborn photographer must obtain before they can start offering the service. 

So, in theory, even a novice photographer, with zero experience of handling babies, could potentially setup shop and market themselves as a newborn photographer! This is very worrying but, unfortunately, happens a lot. 

If someone proclaims to offer a newborn session including photos for as little as $200 or less, alarm bells should start ringing in your head!

Without the right professional training, a photographer could put your baby at risk. So I urge you to be vigilant and only use a reputable, experienced and professionally trained photographer. 

Do your own research before you commit to a booking. 

Spend the time exploring the market to find a photographer who can demonstrate a track record of satisfied customers and high standards of professionalism. 

Choose a professional photographer and someone who is a specialist in newborn photography. If someone is good at their job, and in demand, their prices will reflect that.

  • Review their website and social media presence

  • Look for comments and feedback from recent customers and see how they interact online.

  • Contact them directly and ask questions.

  • All this will give you some idea of the kind of person they are and give you an impression of how they conduct themselves and their business. 

5) CAN THIS PHOTOGRAPHER DO DIFFICULT POSES THAT REQUIRE PHOTOSHOP COMPOSITE SKILLS?

No doubt you’ve seen photos of babies hanging from tree branches, curled up in sports helmets, sleeping on top of tall chairs, etc. and think, “I want a picture of my baby like that!”

What you don’t see is the process behind creating those images. Any image where a baby is on top of a prop or hanging from something should be done as a composite. That means sometimes the photographer takes multiple photos of the setup and then merges them together in Photoshop. The most important detail in creating these images is that there is an assistant or a parent holding the baby the entire time when required! They should never be put in anything glass and if they are inside any type of bucket or basket, there should be an assistant or parent near the baby when the photographer is out of reach.

If your photographer does not know what a composite is or how to achieve it, consider that a red flag if those are the types of images you are looking for.

6) DOES THIS PHOTOGRAPHER HAVE A LOCATION AND FEES THAT SUIT MY NEEDS?

Popular newborn photographers get booked up months in advance. Don’t fall into the trap of identifying the perfect photographer only to discover that they have no availability in the weeks after the birth of your baby. As I said previously, book early to avoid disappointment – as soon as you’ve had your 20-week scan ideally, if not before. 

Finally, do also consider the photographer’s studio fees and the cost of their photo products. Prices can vary a lot so be sure that the photographer you pick has prices that you can afford. 

Many photographers charge a session fee, but please note that the photos are charged in addition to this. You should expect to pay five hundred dollars as a minimum with the most high-quality newborn photographers if you want to have several images to take home and have prints made for your walls. 

Do also establish if there is a minimum spend required and are you comfortable with potentially spending more than this? You may well fall in love with your photos once you see them all! 

  • Where is the studio-based and what distance will you need to travel? 

  • Is there parking on-site or nearby? 

  • How easy is the studio to access (you’ll be carrying a baby in a car seat or stroller)?

  • If it’s not the ground floor, is there a an elevator you can use? 

  • Is there comfy seating for parents and any other family members who are coming along?

7) IS THIS PHOTOGRAPHER INSURED AND HAVE A LEGITIMATE BUSINESS?

This is a big one – any photographer who works with newborn babies should have business and liability insurance, as well as a current business license. These items mean that you are dealing with a true professional and not a fly-by-night hobbyist. A professional photographer should also provide a contract agreement for you to sign that documents all of the key terms and conditions for the session. You should feel comfortable handing your precious baby over to your photographer and trust that they have done everything possible to protect your child.

Newborn baby girl wrapped in while swaddled laying in a tiny crib with her golden doodle looking at her on an all white background.

I hope this list of questions to ask your newborn photographer to ensure that their work is outstanding and you can trust them with your precious newborn.

Should you wish to book with Sarah Dipity Photography please contact me from my website or email me at [email protected]

 


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