newborn boy on light blue backdrop upright swaddled

How to Choose a Newborn Photographer

Feb 11, 2020

Congratulations! Expecting a child is undoubtedly the most exciting time in your life and you must have a million questions about newborn photography. If this is your first baby – or maybe the first time you’ve opted for professional newborn portraits – you may have questions as it relates to HOW to choose a newborn photographer. Look no further, I’m here to help you navigate the world of baby portraits and what you should be looking for or asking when you’re ready to hire a newborn photographer.

Safety and Experience

With so many options, many often wonder what they should be looking for when selecting a newborn photographer? I personally believe the most important thing to consider when making your selection is safety. When it comes to your brand-new baby, you’ll want to make sure to do your due diligence and research, research, research! Knowing how to safely handle and pose a baby takes time, training and hands on experience.

Your newborn photographer should be able to guide you on some of the basics and help you understand what you can expect from your Charlotte newborn photoshoot. An experienced photographer will be able to recommend the best age for newborn photos or let you know ideal timing of when to book newborn photos.

Don’t be afraid to ask your photographer questions about their experience. There is a large spectrum of where they could land and as a paying client, you have the right to know since they will be handling your baby. Be sure your photographer is comfortable and trained in working with newborns. There are so many factors that go into a session that an inexperienced newborn photographer will miss. Ensuring that your photographer knows how to create a comfortable and safe environment for baby and parents is priority.

Not only have I spent countless hours learning about proper posing to ensuring baby’s safety and comfort but I have mentored with some of the best in the industry to consistently continue growing in my craft.

If you’re looking for some details on my process, head over to my newborn experience page where I lay it out!

Posing and Composites

If posed newborn sessions are important to you, but you’re still not sure what to look for or how to choose a newborn photographer – ask about composites. This is huge. When hiring a newborn photographer, be sure they are trained in safely and properly posing babies. So many of those Pinterest poses you see are composite shots, or 2 images that have been merged together in Photoshop. Hands are on the baby the entire time to ensure safety of the baby first. A good newborn photographer will never sacrifice safety for a pose or force a baby into a pose that causes obvious discomfort.

I always take my lead from the baby boss and gauge their comfort levels with each pose. Every baby is different – some like to lay on their bellies, while others prefer to be on their backs. Some want nothing to do with being naked and would rather a nice snug swaddle. Some want their hands by their faces at all times and others are super laid back and relaxed. As a newborn photographer, you really never know what that baby’s temperament is going to be like until they walk through the door. It’s my job as the professional to be able to adjust and work with all babies to ensure that they’re as happy as can be but also get a gorgeous gallery for parents.

newborn photography safety demo froggy pose

Book Early

I cannot stress enough how important it is to get on your photographer’s calendar early – especially if they’re particularly popular. Many photographers will limit the number of due dates they accept per month to ensure they have enough room for scheduling when babies actually arrive. These sessions are time sensitive and the sweet spot is usually before baby is 3 weeks old. After that, some of those newborn characteristics begin to fade, their features start to change and they are less flexible and struggle to be molded into many poses. Once baby arrives the time really begins to fly, so be sure to secure a photographer while you are still pregnant. Don’t wait until baby is here and run the risk of your photographer of choice being completely booked.

Communication

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and pay close attention to how the photographer responds. You should have a clear understanding of the entire process before you’ve even booked your session. Communication is key and it makes this a smooth process when there is clear conversation and easy access to your photographer.

newborn baby girl in upright bamboo basket

Pricing

Please don’t let price be the deciding factor when it comes to choosing a newborn photographer. The saying goes, you get what you pay for. The photographer with the proper gear, education and experience will likely cost more. Take time to review what they offer for their price. Will you receive digitals only? Do they offer artwork? Are there separate fees for the session and the product? These are all things to consider when going over price and what you want/can spend. Set realistic expectations and understand for a photographer you absolutely love, you may have to save up for a while and that’s ok! When you look at your photos in 10 years, are you going to regret not having gone with the work you loved the most?

Studio Sanitation

Considering the times we live in, this is even more important than ever. Sanitation and cleanliness are at the forefront of the minds of everyone. Babies are born with tiny immune systems that have not yet been exposed to the germs of the world. It’s so important for that little human that they are in a clean environment. Ask about sanitation policies – how are props being cleaned? How often is the studio disinfected? What is the hand washing policy? Are masks required? These are all valid questions and things to consider when you’re trying to decide on the perfect newborn photographer for your family.

Choosing a newborn photographer is a big deal. You only get this period in your child’s life for a short period of time and then it’s gone forever. Think about it, they’ll never be this size or look like this again. It’s best to start by figuring out what you want first, then find someone who can give it to you. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, I hope this helps you narrow down your decision on choosing a newborn photographer; even if it isn’t me 🙂

Ready to talk about booking a session? Need more information? Let’s chat!

XOXO,

Melody

Updated – 04/20/2021

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  1. Thanks for mentioning that it’s smart to make sure that your photograph has experience in taking pictures of newborns and is comfortable with it. My sister-in-law is about to have her first child, and she really wants to do a photoshoot after they are born to make sure she can capture such a special time in her life. I will have to make sure to tell her to choose an experienced newborn photographer so that she can get the best pictures possible.

    • Melody Gravely says:

      For sure! We wouldn’t have an inexperienced plumber come fix our busted pipes! It’s the same here – plus babies are so tiny and precious, there’s just added peace of mind that this person knows what they’re doing and how to handle babies. Thanks for looking out for your unborn niece or nephew! Congratulations auntie!

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