Thank you, Little One’s Love, for sponsoring this post. I was selected for this opportunity by Little One’s Love; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. All photographs are provided by Jackie K Photography.
I feel like when it came to picking out a photographer for our newborn’s photos, I did more research than I did with my OB doctor, hospital, and pediatrician combined. I know more about photography and very little about hospitals, doctors, and such so I had more basis to cover. It made sense to me to make sure, at the very least, we would have our memories documented. Documentation is very important to me, and always has been. I want to make sure that I always have pictures taken and stories written down to remember things.
Picking a photographer isn’t always easy, but here are some top things I consider when choosing the perfect newborn photographer.
1. Type of Photos
There are typically two types of styles when it comes to newborn photography: Posed and Lifestyle. Posed newborn sessions are very well known and these type of photography sessions typically take three to four hours due to the need for the baby to be primarily sleeping for the majority of the time. Deep sleep is important for the photographer to pose the baby. These photos include the ever-popular photo where the newborn’s head appears to be held up by their arms and other sleepy poses with hats, bows, bonnets, etc. Typically these photos are taken in a studio where you have to leave your house with a newborn.
Lifestyle photography typically takes less time to shoot and is done within the home. These shots are more “casual” and less staged. Shots including big, bright newborn eyes and the nursery are usually included. This type of photography is more journalistic, showing a family in various rooms of the home and capturing moments that reflect more of an “every day life”. Sometimes photos of diaper changes, feeding, and extra cuddling are included beyond the posed pictures.
For us, our photographer did a blended approach. Although we had some staged and posed photographs taken of Ollie, we were also able to capture those in our home and include his nursery, our guest bedroom, and some of our lives. Regardless of which typos of newborn session is right for you, here are a few things to consider before booking your choice:
- Review the photographer’s website and ask yourself in 20 years from now, will you still love the image, or will you wonder why you choose that type of photography? Basically, will the image be timeless?
- Are there any photographs on the photographer’s website that include the parents? Some photographer’s will only shoot the newborn and will you regret having some photos with your little one?
- If you decide to go for posed photography, ask the photographer if you go to them, or if they come to you.
- If you decide to go for lifestyle photography, look for a photographer that specializes in this style. It is very important that the photographer knows how to pose people correctly, so the baby’s face isn’t always hidden.
2. Packages + Price
We all know that newborns come with a high price tag. Starting in pregnancy, the bills and “things to buy” start racking up. Photography can also be expensive. Obviously, go with a smart decision here and do not break the bank just to make sure that you have the best photographer. Photos are super important and it is even more important to pay for quality work; however, you can find quality photography for much less than one may thing.
When I started searching for photographers, I kept finding that the photographers I liked where thousands of dollars. You heard me right, THOUSANDS! Maybe I have expensive taste, but I definitely was not interested in spending thousands. We just could not afford it. When I finally found others that I liked for under $1,000, I would discover that none of the pictures where included or that it was for one session.
Ultimately, we found a photographer that offered her services at a bundled priced which allowed us to book our newborn, six month, and one year photography sessions all at the same time. She also included all the digital copies of our photos along with the rights to print the photos wherever and however we wanted. This is huge because some photographer will not allow you to print your own photos or charge extra to make copies for grandma and grandpa.
Grow with Me packages are fairly common with newborn photography, but make sure you know and understand what is included in each package and price point to ensure you are making the best decision for your family.
3. Flexibility + Reliability
Babies required flexibility. Experienced newborns photographers know this. They may end up sick on session day or born four weeks early or two weeks late. They may poop, pee, spit up, or all of the above during the session. Your photographer must be flexible with this. Finding this out prior to the session may be hard, but many photographers have social media sites where you can reach out to previous clients or read reviews. Previous customers will be able to speak to this if you are concerned.
Reliability is also super important. Make sure when booking that you have a committed turn-around time for your newborn’s photos and edits. Our photographer returns all of her photos within a two week timeframe, which is perfect. Do not be unrealistic and expect an overnight editing session just for you; however, waiting months and months for your photos is also unacceptable.
Lastly, check to see if your photographer provides props or not. In a posed newborn session, many props are required to get those staged photographs and many photographers will have these in his or her office. In lifestyle sessions, this may not necessarily be the case. For us, we used a combination of her blankets, hats, and cheesecloths as well as mine. Our photographer was able to bring along her favorite props and I hunted for the most perfect personalized hat to add to the shoots. Etsy is such a great place for these types of personalized props for newborn photos. I feel in love with Little One’s Love and her knotted tops! It was perfect for Ollie’s introduction to the world.
Whatever type of photographer, photography style, and props you choose, you are the only one that can make the right decision for yourself. These precious moments already feel lightyears away for us and I am so glad that we were able to capture our little man at such an early age!