When expectant parents are looking for a newborn photographer, there are so many options that it can be confusing to know who to choose. All photographers offer something different and it’s best to shop around for a style that fits what you are looking for, rather than choosing a photographer and hoping they can achieve the look you desire.
First things first - you need to pick what type of session you want, lifestyle or posed?
Lifestyle is a more natural type of session, capturing your newborn as they are, capturing your family sometimes playing, hugging, being within that moment. No posing necessary. Lifestyle is usually captured at home.
Posed sessions are structured in a completely different way. They generally start with either beanbag or parent shots depending how settled baby is on arrival. You’ve probably seen them, you know those cute little curled up shots of newborns posed in tiny little outfits or inside buckets or bowls? The photographer generally works through their workflow of poses on a beanbag, then potentially props and parent poses depending on the order they like to do things.
Studio or home visit
Some photographers offer home visits, which can be more convenient for some parents. Things to consider when deciding is space within your home. As you can imagine there is quite a bit of equipment used when setting up a posed session. Lighting, backdrop, props etc. So as it might be more convenient with a newborn for someone to come to you, you may not want to limit your session if you are short on space. If you’re attending a studio for a newborn session, when you arrive everything should be set up and ready to go. Props and outfits should be more widely available for your session and you wont have the stress of clearing space or having to tidy up before someone comes!
Choosing someone who has undergone safety training is incredibly important, more so with posed sessions. Knowing how to pose safely is paramount to your babies wellbeing. Their tiny little necks and limbs are very delicate and when undergoing posing training you are taught how to keep them supported and safe at all times. Sometimes composites of two images are used together to make one image, making you unaware that someone was there supporting them.
When to book your session
Last minute bookings are hard to come by so the earlier you book the better. Newborn sessions are best booked around your 12-20 week scan for most reputable photographers. Depending on the photographer your session may be temporarily booked using your due date or 2 weeks after your due date. Obviously babies are quite unpredictable and unless you have a C section date, they arrive when they feel like it, so a little bit of wiggle room is always left when it comes to booking a newborn session.
To achieve the curled up newborn poses your session is best done around 3 -14 day after birth so it’s important to keep in contact with your photographer to let them know your baby has been born to finalise your session date.
Some photographers are happy to photograph older babies (3 weeks plus) but you need to be aware that sometimes it isn’t possible to achieve the same look as you would be able to with a 1-2 week old baby. Babies tummies grow, they’re more used to having room and being stretched out and as photographers, we want your little ones as safe and comfortable as possible while posing.
If you are looking around for a newborn photographer you want to look at their previous work. There is no harm at all asking to see full galleries from previous sessions, just so you can see an example of the kind of images you will be receiving. Everyone uses their best work to advertise their business, who wouldn’t? But seeing a few full galleries will show you their average standard of work so you aren’t left disappointed with the images you receive.