Choosing newborn photographers these days is almost as involved as choosing pediatricians. You ask around to your friends to find out who they use. You talk to your parents and go online for hours looking at pictures, but what should you really look for in a good newborn photographer? What attributes and policies should they have and how do you tell if they have them? This list should help out in finding the right person who will document the memories of this special moment in your life.
This is a top ten list. There may be more things that are important to you. Here’s a tip first and foremost, make your own list. Use some or all of these suggestions and then add to it with things that are important to you and your family. It is also important to note that just like finding true love and that perfect pediatrician, you may not find everything on your list. So be sure you know what is most important to you and what you would be willing to get “close enough” to or to sacrifice all together. Again this all comes down to how you feel, so be sure you feel comfortable!
The top ten things to look for in a newborn photographer are:
- A Plan
- A Home Option
- Digital Skill
- Adequate Time
Now for a more detailed explanation. I’ll start at the top.
- Attention- You want to look for someone who will give you their full attention. What I mean by this is that there should absolutely never be anyone else scheduled for that photographer’s time on the same day as your shoot. Your shoot may only be two or so hours, but it is not going to help anyone if your photographer is preoccupied thinking of other clients. You should be their top priority.
- How to tell: It is totally okay to just ask if you have a question so that is what you will do in this case. Simply ask your potential photographer if they schedule multiple shoots on the same day. You could ask this in email, over the phone, or at their studio if they have one. That goes for the rest of these “just ask” answers. Don’t be afraid, I can guarantee they are used to answering questions like these.
- A Plan- An important thing to understand in a newborn shoot is efficiency. Babies of any age don’t much like to be dressed, undressed, and changed, over and over again. It is important that your photographer have at least a rough plan or pattern to go by on what shots to get in which order. On that note however, it is also important that your photographer know how to deviate from the plan effectively when an opportunity for a good shot presents it’s self.
- How to tell: This is another “simply” ask answer as many of these will be. You can just ask your photographer, “Do you have a plan or try to get certain shots in any particular order?”
- Meeting- Look for a photographer who would be willing to, or better yet suggest a meeting with you. This serves as a great opportunity to get to know your photographer and for them to get to know you. I can tell you right now when your photographer has met you face to face rather than just through an email or phone call, it will come through in the photographer ben photographs. During this meeting you get a chance to let them know your style, your personality, and even some concerns you may have. This is also a great time for the photographer to present their pricing, show you products they can offer, have the contract signed, and to get any deposit paid.
- How to tell: Contact the photographer and tell them you are interested. Then ask if they generally like to meet clients before the shoot. Some photographers may even say on their site that they will meet with you.
- A Home Option– The best time to take newborn portraits is before two weeks of age. When your baby is that little, taking them to an unfamiliar environment like a studio is not ideal. Look for a photographer who will come to you. Your photographer should feel comfortable in your home and should be able to get beautiful intimate photographs both with background equipment and in the settings for your own home.
- How to tell: Ask where the photographer normally takes newborn photos. Then when you meet with the photographer, if possible, meet in your home. This may not always be possible, but it is good to ask because seeing your home gives the photographer great insight into who you are, your personal style, and the overall feel of what makes you comfortable.
- Patients- Anything can happen on a newborn shoot. Your photographer should understand this and have the utmost respect for yours, and most importantly your baby’s comfort. If your baby needs to eat, feed them. Your photographer needs to understand and encourage things like feeding breaks, changing breaks, and even small breaks just because if the baby needs time. This patients comes from experience which is a sort of sub point to look for. Your photographer is the absolute last person who should get annoyed, frustrated, or unhappy with your baby. I would say that even if you get annoyed the photographer’s job is still to be calm, collected, and even try to be sure you know that everything is going to be just fine.