I want to talk a little bit today about questions you should ask your Newborn photographer when you are searching for one and why actual prints and investing in the right photographer is so important.
I love this quote I heard someone say once "The prints and the albums aren't for you they are for your children and your grandchildren" and that is so true! Imagine if your parents hadn't printed any pictures or if they had just left the images on a cd collecting dust in a drawer. (now I know cds weren't around when you were little at least not when I was haha) but floppy disks were and I have no clue how you would get anything off of those now. I would have no childhood pictures to look back on they would be stuck on this black square that is now essentially useless, but trapping my memories. That is why I have now changed my collections to where my clients get both prints/and or albums and digitals with their sessions, and encourage them to invest in wall art for their walls.
Justine Smith with Fluttering Shutter Photography wrote a blog discussing the importance in investing in your Newborn photography with her permission I will do some summarization of it, but if you would like to read the entire article you can find it on her blog here
"I wanted to write a little bit today about what you should look for in a newborn photographer. This market, especially Northern Virginia, is saturated with photographers, so how do you make a decision?? Many people are tempted to go with the cheapest photographer they can find because they only want a few pictures or because they feel that most photographers are too expensive in general. But picking the photographer with the lowest rates won't always guarantee the most beautiful results. Don't get me wrong, everyone starts somewhere! I fully support new photographers and encourage them to build their client base in the best way possible, but I want clients to consider a few things as they choose who will be handling and photographing their precious new addition:
Becoming a newborn photographer is not as easy as picking up a camera and buying props. Working with newborns there is a primary rule that every one of us should follow: Safety first! Our littlest clients are so fragile and need to be handled with the utmost care.
Due to the high need for safety when it comes to newborn photography, we also need to have insurance.
Is this their first newborn or their 50th? Photographers all start somewhere and it's important that you know where your photographer stands in terms of experience. How many newborns a photographer has worked with will tell you where they are in the learning process. Photographing newborns is an entirely different session than photographing weddings or families.
While scrolling through a massive amount of photographers in your area, it's important to pay attention to whose work catches your eye. Who has images that you wish you could have on your walls?
You need to make sure that the photographer that you love will be available to photograph your newest addition. For a photographer, it's so hard to turn away sessions especially after you have gone through the trouble of finding us and telling us that you CHOOSE to work with us. I always recommend booking a newborn session while you are still pregnant so that we have time to prepare and plan for you.
I'm listing this one last, because I truly think that it should be the last thing to be considered when choosing a newborn photographer. There are so many things that are taken into consideration when photographers set their pricing, but here are a few things that come into play: education, training, equipment, equipment insurance, liability insurance, business licenses, taxes, cost of goods, travel expenses, editing time, software, hardware, etc., etc. All of these things add up to our cost of doing business. That helps us to determine what our pricing needs to be in order to be a successful business. This makes newborn photography an investment not only financially, but personally. When you choose a newborn photographer, you are trusting them with your newborn. You are trusting them to provide you with a positive experience and beautiful images of your baby. You are investing in THEM. That's not to say that expensive photographers are the best photographers, because I've seen so many photographers who are priced WAY below what they could be charging and are phenomenal at what they do. I've also seen photographers who charge a large amount of money without having the education, experience or insurance that they should have."
Best time to book is when you're still pregnant!
Lastly I thought I'd end with some questions ever parent should ask before they book their photographer
1. Is your photography business licensed in our city? Yes it is
2. How many years’ experience photographing babies /children do you have? I started my Photography business in 2010 and have been full time for 2 years now.
3. How many newborns have you actually photographed? 70+ and counting
4. What methods of sanitizing do you use to ensure the health of my baby? I wash all the blankets and wraps used after each baby. A lot of times parents stress that their baby pooped or peed on one on my blankets and I tell them that it's no big deal I would have to wash it even if it looked clean.
5. Where did you get your training on how to safely handle a newborn for photography sessions? I have no formal training, but safety is always my top priority. Some poses may look unsafe but they are composites of more then one picture in order to have hands on baby at all times during those poses to ensure babies safety.
6. At which photography school or photography studio did you receive your training? I am self taught. I spent many many hours learning my camera, and following and learning from many other photographers online.
7. Can you provide a copy of your business insurance certificate? yes
8. Are you licensed by the state to collect sales tax? yes
9. Can you provide the testimonials of five former clients? yes
10. Do you have professional grade photographic equipment, cameras and lighting equipment. yes
11. Do you have a backup camera just in case of equipment failure? yes
12. Do you shoot in raw format as most professional photographers do? Yes
13. Can I pay you with a credit card? yes
Example of a composite image. This was two images in one to insure dads hands were always on the baby.