Searching for a newborn photographer is not a task that most people do every day. Honestly, it’s probably not something that many people have ever thought about and only a select few have done or will do it. Searching for a newborn photographer is typically done by expectant parents (mostly mothers but I’ve had dads reach out!) or loved ones like grandparents/sisters/friends who are either doing the research for their expectant family member/friend or who will be gifting the session to the lucky recipient.
I’ve actually had quite a few people contact me searching for a newborn photographer to gift a session and it’s the most lovely experience because it’s such a thoughtful, incredibly kind gift! I’d like to talk today about the kinds of things you should look for when searching for a newborn photographer.
The first thing that people consider in their search for a newborn photographer is price. Price is an extremely important factor for most of us so of course we’re going to be looking for someone who falls within our budget. Now – and this is very important to consider – in newborn photography, you *definitely* get what you pay for.
Let me explain what I mean by that. If you find the name of a brand new photographer, you scope out their website and see that their pricing is $X (on the very low end of the pricing spectrum), and you don’t see much in the way of pictures of newborn babies (or what is there doesn’t fill your heart with joy and expectation), you probably want to steer clear even if this photographer falls within your budget. Read that again. Low budget photographers are *typically* not going to provide you with good results, even if your bank account will be happy.
While most of us want to save a buck where we can, it’s important to remember that photography is a luxury item and that the newborn stage is very fleeting. If you scrimp on quality in an effort to save money, will you be sad down the road when you get your pictures back and they’re nothing like you dreamed? Newborn photography is definitely one of those items that shouldn’t get the bottom of the barrel budget.
Maybe you don’t need to spend multiple thousands of dollars but you also should think twice about spending only a couple hundred. Do your research, price out the photographers in your area, compare the work you see and decide what you can afford to spend and what you *can’t* afford to miss out on.
Another things to consider when searching for a newborn photographer is the photographer’s experience (read: length of time in the field, continuing education, any extras that they add to aid in your decision to hire them like CPR certification). As when considering budget, typically lesser experience is linked to lower pricing which, again, may make your wallet happy, but will it lead to a result that you’ll be happy to look back on?
Inexperienced photographers may not know how to safely handle a baby or how to read a baby’s cues (hunger, discomfort, sleepy vs awake signs, etc.) leaving you with an awkwardly posed baby, at best, to a mishandled baby at worst.
One of the reasons many people hire me after searching for a newborn photographer is due to my experience as a registered nurse in the postpartum and newborn fields. You can definitely buy peace of mind – just ask my clients.
When searching for a newborn photographer, the deliverables vary as widely as the number of photographers that are out there. You’re typically going to either come away with a certain number of digital files from the session OR physical products (albums, prints, canvases, birth announcements), OR a combination of both. Often the newer photographers have a lower price point and a “shoot and burn” mentality. And, while there’s nothing wrong with this mentality (I myself have utilized it in the past), it often results in digital files languishing forever on a dusty hard drive somewhere and a customer who feels left to fend for themselves.
Higher end photographers often provide luxury goods and only deliver digital files for a per-file price, which typically deters clients from opting for the file in favor of the wall hangings and albums. I fall somewhere between these two but it’s important, when searching for a newborn photographer, that you know exactly what you’re hoping to come away with so that you choose the right person for the job!
I personally know that when I’m hiring someone, I’m looking for someone who does their job well but also is good at soft skills or what, in the medical field, would be known as “bedside manner”. I’ve shadowed photographers who take an okay picture but offer very little in the way of the relationship. I’ve watched photographers shoot photos in a very business-like way and then take off walking briskly to the next location, leaving their client to lag behind. Ugh. It makes me shudder just remembering how awkward that felt. I do a consult call with each client before they hire me to make sure that we’re on the same page not only about photography but that also we can find some common ground outside of the job. It’s always much more pleasant to spend time with someone you enjoy, am I right?
Searching for a newborn photographer may feel like it’s just another task to cross off the list but you’re entrusting your brand new baby to – basically – a stranger. You should feel good about the transaction. My goal at Liz Viernes Photography is to make sure You Will.
Liz Viernes Photography is based near Crownsville, Maryland, and specializes in maternity, fresh 48, posed and lifestyle newborns and first year milestone portraits.