How to choose your newborn photographer
Newborn photography is now very popular in the UK and as a result, creating an unprecedented demand, which in turn has lead to an increasing number of newborn photographers offering this service.
So when new parents come to selecting their newborn photographer, someone who is going to handle, move and pose their precious baby what will be their decision factors? Will it be price? Number of images provided? Or should they be considering a lot more?
Scarily, there is currently no official qualification that a photographer offering a newborn photography session needs to achieve, unfortunately the industry is currently, and shockingly, unregulated*. To make it very clear, anyone with a camera could potentially claim that they are a newborn photographer, and I know for certain that there are a lot of people doing that. Offering sessions at a cut price to cash in on the current demand.
Speaking as someone who has completed, and still continues to maintain, a lot of specialised training in the area, just being a woman does not qualify you to safely pose a baby. It takes a lot of practice and understanding of all of the safety elements needed to produce the images you see.
I dread to think what these people are doing to the poor babies to force them into poses that they may not be capable of doing. Whenever I have a newborn session I actively encourage the parents to watch me so they can see how I work with their most precious little one. I never rush, I never force a baby into a position they are uncomfortable in and I am 100% confident that every family I have worked with will testify to that.
I have been asked to do certain poses in the past and have been completely honest with the parents if I believe the baby will not be comfortable. Of course I want to create images they will love, but I want all involved, especially the baby, to enjoy the session.
I know I have blogged about this before, and I constantly share composite ‘before & after’ images on my Facebook page but it is a subject I feel very strongly about.
How can someone offer a newborn session (which can take up to 3/4 hours) for £50 with all images on a CD?! In my opinion (and I could be wrong) you get what you pay for. Would you place your precious newborn in a car seat that cost £20?
While I appreciate I may not be the photographer for you, I hope I have given you some food for thought and here are a few tips to help you choose and be comfortable in your choice:
- Firstly you should look at location. Will you have to travel to the photographer’s studio or will she/he come to you. There are advantages to both, so this is down to personal preference. When searching in Google, narrow the criteria as much as possible to county or even town.
- Do you like the photographers images? Do you like how they pose the baby? Use lighting and props? Does the baby look comfortable and well posed? If siblings are included, is the baby safe in all poses? Check out the photographer’s website, blog and Facebook page. Read reviews and blog posts, these are normally the most up to date place with images and comments.
Once you have narrowed down your choice, there are a few more things to consider before making the booking:
- Does your photographer have availability around your due date? This can be confirmed with a quick email or phone call to most. A popular newborn photographer may be booked up months in advance but you may find they have a slot just when you need it!
- Word of mouth is a priceless commodity. Are you a member of an NCT group, have any of your friends had a newborn session? Ask for recommendations.
- The most important of all…. newborn safety. When contacting your potential photographer ask them how they approach newborn safety. What specific training have they had? How long have they been posing newborns? What associations are they registered with? BANPAS (The Baby And Newborn Photographers Association) being one example. BANPAS are an association whose members are amongst the UK’s leading baby and newborn photographers. The Association promotes safe working practices and are dedicated to ensuring your baby’s comfort and safety.
- Ask to see composite images (examples below).
Now the serious stuff is over….. here are some gorgeous newborns I have photographed recently…. cuteness overload warning!
If you think I could be the photographer for you, please pop me a message. I would be more than happy to discuss your newborn photography session and any questions you may have.