Do you know the moment when you first met your baby? When you finally got to hold her in your arms? Like all of your insides had been hugged, like all the empty spaces got filled, like you found the answer to the questions your soul had been asking.
The love that we have in our hearts for our children is special and powerful. It is a beautiful treasure when we are able to have that photographed and preserved for forever.
Newborn photography is a once in a lifetime thing. I’ve had clients call my studio when they’ve had a bad experience with another photographer and by the time they know the images aren’t any good, it’s too late to truly capture that newness. Even at three weeks, your newborn is going to look so different, and they won’t curl up as they did when they first entered the world. If that was your vision, you can’t go back again. Here are some questions to ask a photographer before reserving your session with them.
1. How much experience do you have photographing newborns?
The answer to this question doesn’t have to be a specific length of time, but how many newborns they’ve photographed. You can also tell if a photographer has a great deal of experience by their posing. You want to see that newborn expressions are not strained and that their hands and feet look comfortable and cozy.
2. Have you taken courses in baby posing or newborn photography?
Reputable newborn workshops contain information about newborn safety. The approximate weight of a newborn’s head is 25% of their body weight, meaning that newborn babies are quite top heavy. When photographing, professional newborn photographers use weights in the bottom of their buckets or bowls, counteracting the weight of your new baby’s head to reduce any possibility of injury.
If you see images on a photographer’s website that you’re questioning the safety of, politely ask them how they were done. Many are composites and a professional newborn photographer will be happy to put your minds at ease.
3. How long do your newborn sessions typically last?
It’s very important not to be rushed during your newborn session. If the room is quiet and calm, your baby will be more likely to sleep and be calm as well. You must have time to listen to the cues your baby gives during your session. For example, rooting. Rooting is when your baby will turn his or her head and open their mouth searching for food. If your baby is doing this, you will need time to feed him or her.
Also, not every baby will do every pose you’d like. Every newborn is different and comfortable in different positions. A professional understands the cues babies will give and will encourage and help you to care for your newborn during your session. Professional photographers range in the amount of time they need to photograph, but I typically need 1.5 hours to achieve 25-30 unique images. This includes family members and light, baby-led posing. Professional photographers may ask you not to schedule appointments immediately following their session, so if they need more time, they have it.
4. Do they provide digital files only?
I believe in a tangible photography experience. Every client I service receives a wooden box of proofs, their digital image files, and two 5x7 deep matte prints, matted and ready to frame. I realize the value of high quality, printed pieces, and the fact that our portraits can't live forever on a USB. There's no way to guarantee a digital file, it's as simple as that. They can corrupt at any time. The only way we can ensure that your baby sees these images many years from now is to print them. Giving you just the digital image files is a dis-service to you, so I you won't find that option in my product menu.
5. Do you have references?
Many professional newborn photographers have testimonials on their website, but feel free to ask for references from parents of other babies they’ve photographed. When it comes to professional newborn photography, there are no official guidelines or skills required to start up a business. To ensure you’re working with someone who is committed to proper business practices, I suggest asking the photographer you’re considering if they’re an active member of the Professional Photographers of Canada.
You want to work with a photographer that will provide a space that is safe and calm for your newborn. By asking the right questions, it helps you get to know who you’ll be working with and whether they are a good fit for you. It matters that you are comfortable and at ease.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Ask away.
When choosing a newborn baby photographer, please consider the professionalism and experience they have above all else. Style is important too, but without professionalism, you won’t look back at the experience fondly.
When you hand your newborn over to someone you don’t know, you want to feel confident that they have your whole world in their hands, and that they’re going to treat it with the ultimate kindness and care as they soothe, care for, and photograph your precious baby.
Choose someone who will be professional, who you can trust and who will carry out your vision.
As a trained professional, I put your baby first, above all else, achieving images of the highest quality and they’re yours to cherish, from that day forward. I want to create you beautiful images that capture this precious time in your life as a parent and their lives in as they enter their first few weeks in this world.
Are you expecting a baby? Click these links for more information on having your own maternity, newborn, baby or family portraits created. Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara Region maternity photographer specializing in natural light maternity, newborn, baby and family photography.
For best results, call 905 309 5000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your session while you’re still pregnant. This ensures a place for you in my schedule, allows you plenty of time to review your photographic options, and gives you peace of mind to know that it’s all taken care of.
Karen of Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara Region maternity photographer located in Southern Ontario, also specializing in family, newborn and baby photography in Oakville and Toronto.