You are expecting your little newborn , probably you are between 20 and 30 week and you are considering having some precious photos of your newborn. Well after all, your Instagram feed is loaded with cute photos of newborns as you started following baby related accounts.
In London there are so many newborn photographers, so you are definitely spoiled for choices and you have some homework to do in order to find the one for you.
In this post I just wanted to help you in your search, giving you some little tips.
First of all I would start with a Google search of newborn photographers in your area. I had clients traveling up to an hour to reach my studio but mostly were locals and around 30-40 minutes car trip. So starting from a geographical search is the best tip!
When you have your photographers’ short list, look at the website and portfolio. Look at the style and the images that speak to you and you feel you are closer. Are they the perfect posed photos with lots of props and colours, are the more simple and natural ones, do you prefer the look of lifestyle photography at home? Also take some time to read the blog and maybe some testimonials.
With this short list start getting in touch and ask the questions you are more concerned about.
Please let me add that price should be your lowest concern when you are choosing someone handling your little baby. Experience and knowledge should be what’s more important for you. Think how much you spend on prams sets, nurseries or new phones for example and after a few years you simply dismiss them.
Why should you be willing to spend more on that than some memories that will last a lifetime and will be passed on?
Starting from these considerations, here some useful questions you could ask your photographer.
Do you have any qualifications as a photographer? Most importantly are you trained as newborn photographer?
There are several associations in the UK that certify you are dealing with a professional. I received my photographer qualification with SWPP in 2013 and in 217 I achieved the Pro Level with BANPAS. I did several courses on newborn photography including baby safety and I keep attending workshops in the field. You are not just choosing a photographer but someone who is handling your baby with care. They should be aware of safely posing the baby, recognising signs of discomfort or pain, reading baby body language . . .
Is it your full-time job?
Going with a professional photographer, instead of someone who does it as a hobby, will give you more reassurance. Okay, they may be a bit more expensive, as a professional need to make a living and pay taxes, but you know you are working with someone specialised, insured and consistent in the work because will deal with babies all the time.
Do you use composite images to safely hold babies?
Safety is the number one priority during my newborn session.
My style is very simple and minimalist, however, sometimes I get asked to reproduce some images parents like. For personal choice and safety reasons, I don’t do the froggy pose, where the baby is sitting on his bum with the arms and hands between the feet and under the chin. This is an image that should be a composite of 2 photos while someone holds the baby’s head. I do a variation of this that doesn’t involve complicated setup and looks much more natural.
Or the potato sack (where baby is wrapped and kind of standing) is another image that should be done in post-production. Here below you can see the actual photos straight out of the camera. Dad was holding the baby at all time and was releasing one hand at the time. The final image is then done in photoshop. Baby is actually supported, as there are multiple wraps around him. However, the weight of the head could put too much pressure on the spine if the baby is tilted at the back or could compromise the air circulation when they lean forward. That’s why is important they are supported at all time.
This is the finished image. This is not part of my usual workflow of posing as I don’t think it’s a very natural position. However, I know some parents find it cute and I do it when they ask for it.
Same for the images that involve the presence of an animal. For safety, depending on the age of the dog as well, I tend to take a photo of animal and baby separately.
When do you photograph newborns?
The general guideline is within the first 2 weeks. But every baby is different, it depends if they are born earlier or later than their due date. Premature babies of course need to stay in the hospital for a long time, they could be photographed at 4-5 weeks, maybe later. Bigger babies can be photographed at 4-5 days . . . it really depends on the health condition and the photographer should advise on this.
Are you a member of a photography association?
There are different associations for photographers. I would suggest asking about BANPAS (baby and newborn photography association). This association promotes safe working practices among newborn photography and is dedicated to ensuring that baby’s comfort and safety take priority whilst the photographers create beautiful images for parents to treasure. If your photographer is a member you are sure she takes safety seriously.
These are just a few tips on questions you could ask. As you can see there is more than just a price!
Photographers might be booked up quite in advanced so make sure you get in touch early to avoid disappointment.
You can review my portfolio here and on my blog, you can find more information. If you think I could be a good fit for you I’ll be happy to have a chat on the phone or a coffee 🙂 Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07577 978 246