Whether your much-anticipated bundle of joy is finally out in the world (congratulations!) or still on its way (hurry up!), you will want to remember those first days and moments forever. Those tiny fingers (those tiny fingernails!) get a little bigger each day, and you know that time is running out to do the research you need to find the perfect baby photographer… But where on earth do you start?!
These days there are an overwhelming amount of people out there with a camera who will offer to take these images for you but your baby is only this little once so you really want to make sure you get this right! You won’t ever get this time back!
So whilst it is easy to be overwhelmed, the most important thing is to find a photographer who has a style that you LOVE, has EXPERIENCE in photographing newborns and someone who fits YOUR needs….after all, you have just had a baby!
As all of this is clearly easier said than done, Elle from Always Belle Photography (www.alwaysbellephotography.com.au) has put together some important tips and information to consider when choosing a photographer who is right for you.
You love their work
You’ve looked through their folio and you love the photos they’ve taken. You can see so many different newborns posed creatively and adorably. You love the way they use lighting, and you start thinking about your own newborn and how you would like to capture their early life as you’re looking through the photographer’s folio. Whether you want baby awake or asleep, solo or with family, posed or more natural, your photographer’s folio should show that they can do it all. Your photographer’s folio should inspire you!
Looking past the posing (and all of those adorable newborns), is the work itself quality? The photographs should be framed correctly; you don’t need to be a photographer to tell if you feel like you need to step back because the proportions are wrong, or tilt your head because the shot is crooked!
Are they the real thing?
We’ve all aimed a camera before, but would you call yourself a photographer? While there’s no substitute for passion, there’s also no substitute for professional experience and demeanour. A good newborn photographer will be up-to-date with their vaccinations and know what is and isn’t safe for your baby through years of working with newborns. You want your photographer to enjoy their work, but you also want to know that they actually have the technical skills and equipment to do their best work.
Loving babies is not the same as being good with babies. Look through that folio again: do the babies look comfortable? Do you want to see your baby peaceful and asleep, or with scrunched up fingers and ankles stuffed uncomfortably under their body? Babies are adorable, but someone who does this professionally will know how to look after your baby as well as capturing how beautiful they are.
Being a paediatric nurse for nearly 10 years, Elle can ensure your baby will be safe at all times.
It’s an unfortunate fact, but people can say whatever they want on the internet. A professional takes their work seriously: they have a professional presence such as a website and a dedicated photo studio. They will have a varied folio to show you the work that they do and what they’re capable of, and their testimonials will reflect the experience that you want to have. If they don’t have all of these, steer clear! Don’t waste your money and newborn baby photo timeframe on someone’s hobby.
You can also gauge experience by the information posted on their website. A professional, experienced photographer will provide a price range, and explain that their fee includes. They will also know approximately how long a session will take and convey that information confidently. A good newborn photograph puts baby and their needs in charge.
You have a good feel for who they are
You wouldn’t hand your baby over to a stranger, so make sure you know your photographer. Has a friend of family member recommended them to you, or did you just find a Facebook page with a list of prices and dates? A good photographer knows how to put you at ease, as well as knowing their profession, so do your research, and don’t be afraid to make some phone calls. Have a look at their website or online profile, and see what they tell you about themselves, their background and their experience. A good photographer should answer most of your questions without needing to pick up the phone, so if they think cagey is cute, start looking elsewhere.
They can say no
Can you come to my house? Can you squeeze me in this afternoon? No, no, no! A professional photographer, who cares about their work and clients, will not compromise their standards just to make a quick dollar. It might not be as convenient, but a photographer willing to say no is a photographer who cares about the quality of their work and their client.
Your investment – how much are your images worth?
Let’s get down to business: there’s a wide variety of prices you can pay for newborn photography, from very cheap, to eye-watering. But consider this: the best time to photograph a newborn is within two weeks of birth, which doesn’t give you much time to take chances. By the time you get photographs back from a sub-standard photographer, it’s too late to reshoot. Good photography can be expensive, because most of the work is done without you there. All of the training (never mind the equipment and studio costs), the behind-the-scenes work that happens when you and baby leaves the studio, it all takes time.
Babies are born and grow up a little each day. When you pay a professional newborn photographer, you are not only getting their skills and experience, but you’re also receiving their promise that they will provide you with beautiful photographs of your baby. Photographs that, when your children show them to their own children, will still make you smile, even after all those years.
A true photographer knows that when you book in for newborn photography, it’s not just the prints and files that you want, you’re also paying to preserve a moment in time. Make an investment in your memories, and remember that while you can’t buy happiness, you can pay for quality.
Products on offer
What do you want to do with your images once your session is over? Whether you want to display them on the wall or keep them in a beautiful keepsake box, make sure your photographer can offer this! Don’t choose a photographer that only offers digital images, these files can become corrupt over time or end up on devices that become useless over time…..remember floppy disks?! Ensure products are high quality and archival so that these memories outlive us all and generations to come can enjoy them too.
So please take your time when looking into newborn photographers and take into consideration who will be the best fit for you and your family.
If you have any questions after reading this and want to know more about newborn photography or enquire about a session, contact Elle at Always Belle Photography who will be more than happy to help!
Moonee Ponds, Melbourne