How to choose your newborn photographer?
Expecting a new baby can be overwhelming, having to re-organize your home for the new arrival, getting all the necessary bits and bobs, and getting ready for the birth is a lot to think about in the months and weeks leading to the big event. Finding the right photographer only adds to the pile!
So what is the best way?
I suggest you start looking for your newborn photographer fairy early, after your first scan is the best as you still have plenty of time so you can do your research.
1. First thing you look for is the style - browse the internet for photos you like.
Decide if you prefer lifestyle or posed photos, or maybe a mixture of both?
Do you prefer colourful or toned down images? Once you are clear on what appeals to you you can start looking.
2. Find local photographers. I suggest no more than an hour away from you, as the baby usually sleeps in the car and you don't want your baby to sleep too long in the car as she won't then sleep in the studio, which is necessary for the posed photos. Our studio is located just outside Banbridge.
3. Check which of them can work in the style you like - it's best to check their websites and social media for their latest work.
My lastest work can be found here
4. When you narrow down the list of possible photographers check their pricing to make sure they fit in with your budget.
There are 3 types of pricing:
a. small or no sitting fee to 'catch' the client, with no product price list available or clear before booking, only to find out what it's going to cost you after the session.
b. all in packages - you may have to decide to purchase products you don't want or need in order to get those you do want.
c. sitting fee and full price list available for viewing before booking, so you can assess your budget and plan accordingly.
Please contact me for more info on pricing.
Newborn photography is a very specialized genre, most good newborn photographers spend years learning and perfecting their craft. You should expect to pay at least several hundred pounds for a quality service (including some products).
Good newborn photographer (any good photographer for that matter) is registered as business, pays taxes, insurance, has paid hundreds, if not thousands of pounds for training, spent as much on their studio and props, and more on the equipment, and has fairly substantial overheads just to be able to stay in business.
As with anything: you get what you pay for, only it's almost impossible to 'redo' a newborn session, as the time is so limited (best time for newborn photos is at 1-3 weeks old, sometimes possible a little later)and the good photographers are booked up and there isn't always a chance to book at the last minute.
5. Book as early as possible!
The best time to book is after the 'big scan' at around 20 weeks.
I will pencil in your EDD and ask to keep me up to date - if the baby arrives before EDD I ask to be informed within 48 hrs, if the baby hasn't arrived before EDD I ask for a little message every couple of days, and again to be informed within 48 hrs when the baby arrives, so I can keep some slots open for you. I will give you 2-3 available dates to choose from, so you can make sure you don't have any other appointments that day, as the session can take anything from 1.5 to 4 hrs (usually starting at 10am).
Booking after the baby is born is sometimes possible, but you may find yourself having to book with a less experienced photographer, or someone who's style is not necessary your first choice as your preferred photographer may be fully booked at such a late notice.
In the past year I have been entering The Guild of Photographers' Image of the Month competition with my maternity, newborn and baby photos. Over the months some of the images were awarded Bronze and Silver Bars.
A few weeks ago I received and email from the Guild:
On behalf of the Guild of Photographers I am delighted to advise you that as a result of your consistently high standard entries into the Image of the Month Competition you have earned the right to honorary life membership of the 'Photographer's Bar'!
Less than 100 photographers have achieved this in the 3 years since its inception so you are now part of a very distinguished group.
We hope that you are attending the Guild's Awards night on 6th February so we have the privilege of presenting you your well-deserved certification in person.
It is also fair to say that having achieved this you must have one of the higher scores in the Guild's Photographer of the Year Title Chase, and therefore you are a contender to become one of our 'Top 10' photographers in Newborn and Baby category. Who has actually achieved this will be revealed at the Awards Night with the relevant certificates and trophies being presented to those people. It would be great if you could join us!
Once again, please accept our congratulations and good luck in the 2016 competition!'
Unfortunately I could not attend the Awards Night, but on the night of the Awards The Guild provided a running commentary from the event, and I was delighted to find myself in a company of the most talented Newborn and Baby photographers in the country!
Today I received my Certificate, and it tells me that in fact I came 5th! Such a wonderful surprise! I was not expecting this!