Every new mama has been there. You’ve just given birth and you’re (trying to) relax in your recovery room – when you hear the subtle knock at the door and see a young woman (or male – but not likely) enter your room with a camera. They start with a congratulations and ask if you’d like photos of your newborn. Well of course you do! Your mind is racing, you have 17 things to do before leaving the hospital, you just birthed a human and thus far, you’ve only captured cell shots. While they’re toting a professional camera, here’s why it’s beneficial to skip the hospital photographer and hire your own.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the hospital photographers rarely have any experience. Contrary to popular belief, being a “professional” newborn photographer isn’t as easy as everyone thinks. It’s not as simple as having a fancy camera do all the work. My 5 things to consider when hiring a newborn photographer post only scratches the surface, but it’s a good start to get an idea of what to look for.
I did a little research and from what I can tell, neither of the major companies that operate within hospitals require their photographers to have any actual photography training or experience. Yes – you read that right. They don’t need any experience to apply for the job. They do, however – require experience in sales. Meaning the hospital photographer standing in your room is more concerned with selling to you than capturing your memories.
Newborn photos are hard enough without the struggle of trying to learn your camera settings at the same time. Hospital rooms don’t always have the best lighting and space is limited. It takes someone who understands how to manipulate and use light (and how to properly use flash) to get it just right.
With experience comes quality. They really go hand in hand. You can’t expect professional level quality from someone who is unfamiliar working a camera. Not to mention, angles are EVERYTHING when it comes to photographing infants (or any person for that matter). These are all things that experienced photographers have learned over the years and apply when in sessions.
Your customization options are limited with the hospital photographers. If you’re big on props and backdrops, colors and patterns – hold out, mama. Oftentimes, hospital photographers will prop your baby on a white sheet, snap a few quick photos and head out of the door.
Choosing Your Own
When you hire your own photographer, you know what to expect and you know exactly who you’re getting. You’ve had the opportunity to comb through their portfolio, review their pricing, talk about timelines, etc.
You’re familiar with their style and how they setup sessions and there should be no major surprises or concerns when you receive your images back. It’s also important that I note here, your ideal photographer just might offer fresh 48 sessions – which are in hospital! Get the fresh new baby feel, with the photographer you know and trust and the experience you an count on.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I highly recommend and encourage all of my clients to research, research, research! Tear the websites apart. View all the portfolios. Check out the blogs. Read the pricing pages. Know exactly what it is you’re getting. I want each and every mama and family that I photograph to be completely satisfied with not only the images they receive back, but the experience along the way.
Sweet Souls Portrait Design specializes in maternity and newborn portraits. We offer studio newborn, outdoor maternity and limited outdoor family sessions in Charlotte, NC and surrounding areas. Contact us for more information or booking!