CHOOSING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER

Choosing a Photographer is a difficult decision these days, you only have to do a quick search on Google to see how many of us are out there! Bombarding you with gorgeous images of sleepy curled up babies in hats and posed in various cute baskets! The majority of these images are taken in the first two weeks of a baby’s life. At this age most babies are completely oblivious to what’s going on around them and most often sleep through the entire session. It is still possible to achieve the newborn poses after this time but babies do tend to be more awake and less curled up, so it is less likely that those newborn poses will be achieved.

What sort of Newborn Photography would you recommend?

There are two different types of newborn photography, Lifestyle and Posed.

Lifestyle photography captures people in their own homes and everyday life. The primary goal of a lifestyle photographer is to tell a story. The images would be about you and your  baby in your own surroundings.  As a result lifestyle sessions are generally done in your own home and you will have a larger window of opportunity, due to the less styled nature of the photography. Photographers doing these sessions may often bring studio lights or they may just use the natural light available in your home.

Posed newborn photography, the type of photography you see on my website, should ideally take place in the first 2 or 3 weeks. Most babies at this age are oblivious and often sleep through the entire session. After this time baby acne may be an issue and babies tend to sleep less deeply so it is less likely that all those cute newborn poses will be achieved after this time. However don't forget that all babies are different so there's no hard and fast rule.

If you have set your heart on a lifestyle shoot, please do get in touch, I can recommend an excellent newborn lifestyle photographers in the Essex/London area.

Photographers for both these genres of photography need to be completely flexible with dates, because as I'm sure you are aware only a small percentage of newborns actually arrive on their due date.

When should you book?

When you book is totally dependant on you, and how organised you are. I would say if  you leave it too late you may not have as much choice, as some photographers are booked up months in advance. 

So where do you start?

  • Obviously the Internet is a great place to start, and my advice would be to find a photographer in your geographical vicinity. After all you’ll have just had a baby so you won’t want to travel too far. To narrow down the search field add a location to your search, ie the nearest big town or city, or if you wish to broaden your search your county is a good start. Make yourself a short list of 3 or 4 if you are lucky enough to have that many in your area.
  • Whilst Google is a great source of information, I would say that word of mouth is an even better way to get recommendations, and talking to someone who has already used a photographer and is happy is even better!

Once you have narrowed down the list of your preferred photographers there are a few more things that you should consider when making your final choice.

  • I would suggest making tentative enquires to see if any of the photographers on your short list have availability around your due date. The sooner you start your search, the more choice you will have. Most newborn nhotographers recommend mummies-to-be book around their 12 or 20 weeks scan. Babies are rarely born on their due date so this means that photographer's need to allow lots of wiggle room in their diaries, which is why their diary’s fill up fast!
  • Do they have a studio, would you need to travel to them or would they come to your home? Both have benefits, it’s up to you to decide what’s best for you.
  • Do you love their images, are those the sort of images and style that you would like to have as art hanging on the walls of your home? Do they have a varied portfolio of different images and poses and do the babies look comfortable? Most photographers have a website, a blog or a Facebook page, some have all three, are there client reviews on their website?
  • It’s always a good idea to touch base with a photographer and ask them about how they approach the safety of your newborn and what training and experience they have had. Some of the poses that you see on photographers websites are actually two images that have been merged together, these are called composite images, this is done so that the baby is supported at all times, those supporting hands are then edited out using software such as Photoshop.
  • Most photographers are happy to organise a pre-consult, I personally love to meet clients before they book and am always happy to show them the studio and the products that I offer. It gives you an opportunity to see if you are comfortable with the photographer. Newborn photography is the only genre of photography that I can think of that is so hands on. Therefore it's essential to feel confident with your choice of photographer.

Final Images

Find a photographer whose images you love, don't settle for second best. You need to be able to visualise those images hanging on the walls of your own home. Do the babies look comfortable and relaxed? Are there client reviews on their website so you can gauge how happy their clients are. Ask to see a full gallery of images, so you can get an idea of the type of images you'll be receiving. Do you love their use of colour and style of images. There are so many choices out there that there is someone to suit everyones individual tastes.

Products

I always think that until you see your gallery of images it's difficult to envisage what kind of products you would like. But most photographers would be able to supply you with a myriad of options for wall art. They'll also be able to advice you on styles and sizes to suit your home.

Please remember that if you are looking to purchase digital files they are a luxury product, you aren't paying for the USB you are purchasing bespoke wall art that is unique to you and your family. Most professional labs will only deal directly with professional photographers and high street developers do not recreate accurate colours nor do they guarantee archival quality prints. On most occasions the photographer will retain the copyright, but you would be granted 'printing' rights.

Last but not least is cost! I am a great believer in “you get what you pay for,” but what exactly are you getting? It is worthwhile considering what goes into the overall cost to understand what questions to ask your photographer.

  • The main point I wish to make is when you are considering cost, please take into account that when you purchase digital files or any products for that matter, you are not paying for the physical disc, USB print or frame you are purchasing bespoke unique artwork that has been created especially for you. Images that you and your family will love and cherish for many years to come.
  • What training and experience your chosen Photographer has. How long have they been working as a Photographer?
  • A session could last up to four hours to maximise the chance of catching those “perfect” images and ensuring that your baby is at ease in their new surroundings.
  • Your Photographer will have spent time before the shoot preparing the environment and also limiting other shoots to accommodate date changes.
  • Newborns can sometimes be a little jaundiced or require careful editing so they look their best, this takes time, skill and specialist training.
  • The photographer requires specialist equipment and props to capture your Newborn in a comfortable, safe and yet individual environment. (Not to mention the laundry post shoot :-))

Special Offers

Beware of deals that are too good to be true. This is where I insert my favourite quote:

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” – Benjamin Franklin. 

If a photographer you love is running a special offer then I would say go for it. But it's not a bargain if you end up with images you don't like.

A legitimate photographer, running a business, has invested in expensive equipment and pays insurance and  tax. Professional Photographers prices are backed up by careful calculations based on sound business analysis, and don’t forget they purchase their products from professional labs and not from the high street.

All photographers have their particular niches, characteristics and styles. Hopefully this blog will help you navigate through your decision and ensure you have a rewarding time that results in capturing images that you’ll love!

Here are a few of the information pages that you might find useful.

I hope you've found this information useful and informative. If you have any thoughts please do drop me a line via my contact form below.