They can be super taxing and stressful. Worth it? Of course. More draining and awkward than they need to be? Probably. Newborn photographs can be weird! There, I said it. With outside influences like Pinterest, Google, and Instagram… (not to mention mothers/mother-in-laws), it’s almost implied that they are all the same and all equally awkward. Why does it have to be that way? From my experience, it mostly has to do with not knowing otherwise. Let’s say you are pregnant. Between preparing the nursery, trying to get ready for time off work, and taking care of yourself, do you really want one more thing to research? Simply Google Newborn Photographer and you are good to go!
Why shouldn’t you put as much thought into who to hire, as you do with which brand of crib you buy? Besides baby books and mementos, these photos are an important part of remembering their childhood, and having something to show your little ones as they grow. THIS IS IMPORTANT STUFF PEOPLE! But where to begin? Well having worked with so many new parents, I am here to help you organize your thoughts, and figure out why you want a newborn photographer, what style you prefer, and really what you want the experience to be. So here are 5 Things to Consider when Choosing a Newborn Photographer…
Tip #5: Talk with Your Partner
Sit down with a glass of wine (ahem… tea) and talk with your better half about the process. Why are you getting these photos done in the first place? What do you want the photos to feel like? Forget about all the “Pinsperation” out there and just talk. What is most important to you at the end of all this? Is there one image/moment in your mind that you without a doubt want captured? What has your journey been like so far with your pregnancy? Is there anything special to highlight with these photos? These are just some examples of things to chat about with each other. Throughout this talk, it would be great to write down as many descriptors of these feelings and moments as possible, as they will be helpful with a later tip.
Tip #4: Find Your Style
This might be self-explanatory, but there are some great ways to go about doing this. Yes, there are countless different styles of Newborn photography! If you are more into the super sweet posed, angel-in-a-basket, type photos, you wouldn’t want to contact a lifestyle photographer. What is the difference you may ask? The easiest way to visually see different styles is honestly search “newborn photos” on Pinterest. You will see everything from Super Styled photos or Super Simple Studio Shots to my personal favorite, candid and lifestyle images. There is no right or wrong in this process, because everyone is different! Everyone has their own style and aesthetic that they are entitled to with these photos.
Once you find the style that appeals to you most, you have two options. Option 1: make a small inspiration board of images you like to gather your thoughts and share with the photographer. Option 2: CLOSE PINTEREST and never go back. I usually only suggest going on Pinterest to get outfit inspiration for my couples/families. Spending too much time looking at other photos, will only bog down the process in my opinion. But if you need to visually gather your thoughts, feel free to make an inspiration board, but keep in mind this next tip…
Tip #3 Don’t stress about timing.
This may sound a little batty, but really, newborn photos do NOT have to be done in the first 10 days. You know why people say that the first 10 days are important for newborn photos? Well the truth is, that the timing is only important when you are trying to set up all the intricate props/ poses and set-ups. When you opt for a more relaxed lifestyle shoot, this requirement flies out the window. I usually suggest my clients schedule their newborn shoot anytime between the first 2 weeks and up to 2-3 months. In the grand scheme of things, 3 months is still pretty brand spanking new.
Tip #2: Stick to Your Style, and Be Upfront About it!
Again. This seems simple, but this one photographers EVERYWHERE will thank you for. Once you figure out your “style” and what you want out of the photos, start searching! This could be via Google, Instagram or even by posting on Facebook to ask for suggestions. But when looking at these artists be sure to really look at their work and decide if you want similar photos. Read their site from top to bottom and see if some of your descriptors align.
Once you start a conversation to them, make sure to give them a clear feeling of what you want out of these photos. The last thing they want is to disappoint you. That can be avoided if everyone’s expectations are set the same. For example, if you are looking for a more traditional style newborn shoot with props and posing, you wouldn’t hire a candid lifestyle photographer. Just like you wouldn’t hire a Japanese chef to make a gourmet authentic Italian meal.
Although this may be obvious, I can’t tell you how much this happened when I first started photographing families and newborns. Be upfront with your photographer and make sure they know what is important to you BEFORE you sign a contract. This leads me to the #1 tip…
Tip #1 Trust the Artist!
In the end of all this, YOU are the client. BUT, you are also hiring an artist. You are hiring them for their creative style and their eye for beautiful moments. Feel free to show your photographer your inspiration (if you have any) but don’t expect them to follow your shot list. This can create tension when the photographer is put in a spot to want to please you, but stay true to their style.
So here’s my advice, trust them! If you have anything specific you would like to include (baby blanket from grandma etc), that is an easy thing to fit into the normal flow of a shoot, but unless the photographer asks, let them do what they do best and trust them to capture everything beautifully. This is why it is so important to do your research beforehand to find a photographer and style you love.
And that’s it! Now that you have booked your session, stay tuned for my tips for a successful and stress-free newborn session!