Choosing a newborn photographer can be an exercise in confusion. There are a lot of people offering newborn photo sessions and it can be difficult to figure out just what you’re looking for. So I’ve put together this guide to help you make the best decision for your newborn photography session. Below you’ll find some questions to ask a newborn photographer as you make your decision.
1. Do you have training to handle newborns safely?
I list this first because it’s the most important. Newborns need special care and touch, and your photographer must have experience (and preferably training) to handle your baby safely. A photographer should never do “stunt” photos or pose your baby in a way that could harm her. (You’d be surprised the stories I hear).
This point is especially important to me because I am a mother of two. I have been in the field for over 20 years, handling babies on an almost daily basis for 15 of those, but I see plenty of new Dallas photographers who enter the field without learning about safety. One thing I recommend and have done myself is to work with a NICU nurse to learn how to move and lift tiny babies without risking harm. Safety first.
2. How many years have you been working as a newborn photographer?
It’s pretty easy to call oneself a photographer. A decent camera, some lights, a backdrop or two, a Facebook page, and you’re in business. But not all photographers are created equal. Years of experience really do matter in this business, particularly when it comes to newborn safety (see above) and the quality of pictures you’re going to get during your newborn photo shoot. Most photographers can get a handful of good shots from a session but you want a variety of looks and poses and should be able to expect that every photo is excellent. I typically provide 80 final images to choose from and they are all keepers! Also, an experienced photographer knows what angles work best with a sleeping baby, how to coax out smiles, how to gently pose your baby, the best times of day to schedule…the list goes on and on. I recommend you find someone with at least five years of experience, and be sure you’ve seen an extensive portfolio before booking.
3. How will you keep my little one comfortable?
Whether you choose a one-week session, or one month, your baby needs special attention. For example, newborns don’t have much body fat or the ability to well regulate their body temperature, and they’re often not wearing much, so they require a warm studio for their photo shoot. It should be around 80° or even warmer, with blankets and other cuddly things to keep them cozy.
They’re also going to be sleeping for much of the shoot, so your newborn photographer needs to have experience handling sleeping newborns. Slow, easy movements and gentle positioning is key, as is a quiet, comfortable studio.
When tiny babies do wake, they are likely to poop or eat, so make sure your photographer has allowed plenty of time in the newborn photo session to do change dirty diapers and feed your little one. You don’t want to feel rushed.
4. Will we discuss my newborn photo shoot before the actual appointment?
Newborn photos are an investment to be treasured for many years. Both you and your photographer should put some thought into what you want to achieve before the actual photo shoot. One of the questions to ask a newborn photographer is if there is communication about the session before your actual appointment. This can be a phone call, email, or in-person meeting to discuss expectations, what to bring, time allotment, etc. The better your communication, the more likely you are to feel happy with your results.
I hope these questions to ask a newborn photographer have been useful. If you are interested in finding out more about Miette Photography, please contact me today.