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I’m sure you are weighing a lot of information when searching: newborn photographer near me. These are once-in-a-lifetime photos, and you want to make sure they are perfect. Here are the 7 things I consider top priority when choosing your newborn photographer.
In-home or at a studio? Packing up your family for a big outing 1-2 weeks after having a baby may seem daunting. If it’s a reason that keeps you from booking a newborn photographer, definitely look for a photographer who offers in-home lifestyle newborn photography.
Or the idea of getting your family ready for photos and your home cleaned and photo-ready sounds like an awful idea; look for a newborn photographer who has a studio.
You might know already, but I’m a newborn photographer with a studio located in Salem, Oregon. I have everything we will need for the session there. I photograph with studio lighting making my work very consistent. What you see on my website, you will be getting for your own photos.
You want to make sure it’s straightforward. A confusing price sheet can lead to disappointment later on. I’ve seen many newborn photographers post in a Facebook group saying they don’t know what to do because their client thought they were getting X, Y, and Z for agreed upon price, but they were getting X. It’s no fun for you as the client or the photographer to navigate a conversation like that. Make sure your photographer is clear and upfront about all pricing. If something needs to be clarified, be sure to ask before booking.
The two main pricing structures most photographers follow are all-inclusive and package methods. With the all-inclusive, you pay a more significant upfront investment, including the session fee and an agreed-upon amount of digital files and/or products.
The package method is split into two payments. The first is the upfront session fee to secure your session time, not including any products or digital files. The second payment is the package you order after seeing your photos. Typically photographers have 3-4 packages on their price sheet.
I follow the package method. This gives my clients more control over their purchases. Also, it’s easier to know what you want after seeing your photos.
Experience matters. You need to be able to trust your newborn photographer to handle your newborn and create stunning heirloom portraits. I started photographing newborns in 2009.
An experienced newborn photographer will have a deep understanding of newborn behavior and needs. They will know how to soothe a fussy baby, pose them safely and comfortably, and have the technical skills to create beautiful photographs. An experienced photographer will also be able to anticipate potential issues that may arise during the session and have the knowledge to address them right away.
Also, an experienced newborn photographer will have a well-established workflow and processes in place. They will know how to manage their time effectively, communicate with parents clearly and efficiently, and deliver high-quality images in a timely manner. They will also have a well-equipped studio with all the necessary gear, lighting equipment, and backdrops to make sure you are getting the best possible product.
Lastly, experience brings professionalism and expertise that is hard to replicate. An experienced newborn photographer will have a portfolio of past work that showcases their skill and style. They will also have built a reputation within the industry and with clients, which is a testament to their quality and reliability. Make sure to check out what others are saying on their Google Reviews to verify their reputation.
Some newborn photographers are very stringent about taking photos during the first two weeks; if your baby is older than two weeks old, they will not do them.
I don’t adhere to this. I tell my clients that photographing their newborn at 1-2 weeks old is ideal, but it is NOT a hard and fast rule. I have done countless newborn sessions up to 8 weeks old that are still beautiful, precious, and perfect!
I’ve written more on this topic before; please check out these posts:
In general, if all goes well at birth and mom is feeling better, I like to photograph newborns at 1 to 2 weeks old. This is when they are the sleepiest, and baby acne has not set in yet, they are super curly and will never fit in the palm of your hands quite like they do right after birth.
There are several legal requirements that a newborn photographer should have in place to operate their business legally.
Oregon requires all businesses, including newborn photographers, to have a business license. This includes businesses that are home-based or operated from a commercial location. Oregon law requires anyone in any business activity to register with the Oregon Secretary of State and obtain a Business Registry Number. You can search for any newborn photographer you want to book here on the Oregon Secretary of State website.
Oregon does not have a sales tax, but many other states do. Make sure the photographer you are hiring is collecting the appropriate tax.
Is your photographer insured?
Newborn photographers need to be insured for several reasons. First and foremost, insurance provides protection and peace of mind for both the photographer and their clients. The two main types of insurance for newborn photographers are liability protection and equipment coverage.
Liability protection: Newborn photography involves working with delicate and vulnerable subjects, and accidents can happen despite the photographer’s best efforts. Liability insurance can provide coverage in case of accidental injury or property damage caused during a shoot. This can help protect the photographer’s business and personal assets and reassure clients that they are working with a professional who takes their safety seriously.
Equipment coverage: Photography equipment can be expensive to replace, and photographers need insurance in case of theft, loss, or damage. Equipment coverage can help cover the cost of repairing or replacing gear, which can help keep the business running smoothly and minimize disruptions.
Your photographer should have you sign a contract. A written agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of the photography services, including the scope of the work, payment terms, and cancellation policies, can help prevent misunderstandings and protect both the client and the photographer.
Newborn photography requires careful consideration of health and safety measures to ensure the newborn’s well-being and provide a comfortable and secure environment for the family. I’d argue even more so than any other type of photography. Here are some of the health and safety measures that your newborn photographers should have in place:
By implementing these health and safety measures, newborn photographers can create a safe and comfortable environment for the newborn and provide their clients with peace of mind that their baby’s safety is the top priority.
The photographer’s artistic style is probably what attracted you to their website or Instagram page in the first place.
Props or no props – Do you love a baby in a bucket, or are you looking for a simpler and minimalist approach? I’m all about your baby, not the props.
Lighting – light and airy or dark and moody? Many photographers use natural light, and while natural light is gorgeous much of the time, it’s often unreliable, especially here in the pacific northwest. My work is on the light and airy spectrum, and I use studio lights to make sure I deliver the same product again and again.
Colors – I like light and neutral for newborns, but some newborn photographers and parents alike love bold colors. Make sure you know what you are looking for and that the style you are after is what your photographer offers.
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