I have been meaning to write this post for almost three months now! I think most new parents now consider getting some professional newborn photos taken of their bundle of joy. We did with both Monkey and Kipper. With Monkey we ended up using two different photographers when the first ended up being less than satisfactory. This time with Kipper we ended up with a different photographer again. Those first two weeks are an amazing time, precious family time so when you are considering giving some of it up to immortalise your new baby what should you consider.
Many newborn photographers want to see your newborn in the first two weeks so its important to choose well, here are my tips when considering your options.
- A number of photographers that I spoke to said they would come to our house to do the photo shoot. Now unless you live in a show home I am not really sure of the benefit of this? After just having a baby housework was the last thing on my mind – especially with an older sibling. Really I wanted to either visit a photographer in their own home or studio. It is important that the environment’s right and if you are looking for the squidgy bare skin shots that its warm enough to keep baby sleeping. This maybe something you can not achieve at home. Which we found out with the first photographer we used with Monkey, we ended up with eight photos in total and four of those were duplicates in black and white.
- ‘Safety’ this was something new to me, I had never heard of safe photography until we had Kipper’s photos done. Previous photographers had not mentioned anything about doing safe photos. So what does it mean? Well those cute little photos of babies resting their heads on their elbows are basically two shots put together with a lot of photo editing out of hands supporting those little heads. (Haha Kipper was a big baby I had forgotten how big until I saw this, look at those chubby cheeks!).
- Allow plenty of time and ensure the photographer does too. For our photo shoot with Kipper we had four hours put by. Which means there was plenty of time for feeding and nappy changes etc. Thankfully we didn’t need it. However if he was on a cranky day we would have been hard pushed to get as many gorgeous photos in a one hour session which can be typical of some commercial photographers.
- Personally I would definitely consider a specialist newborn photographer. There is an art to getting those sleepy newborn photos which takes a lot of preparation. I was fascinated how our photographer had already planned out all the shots in her head, and layered up outfits in a particular order so as to only have minimal movements between photos, therefore keeping Kipper asleep and undisturbed as much as possible. By choosing a specialist they will also have all the gorgeous newborn props such as the cute hats and cheese cloth wraps.
- I know some people will disagree with this, but personally I think it helps if the photographer has children of their own. They are use to the mini meltdowns and tantrums that siblings may have if baby is getting all the attention. I have never seen Monkey perform like he did in front of our photographer and not a 20p bribe in sight! She suggested shooting the photos of Monkey and Kipper first so that he could then go to the local park with Hubby while we got the rest of the ones of Kipper on his own. Genius. It made the whole experience much less stressful
- Make sure you ask for the price list first. Sounds obvious but I have had friends get caught out by having a ‘free’ studio session only to fall in love with the pictures and then see the pricing options. Choose someone with a wide range of product options be that in print or soft copy. You don’t know how many you (or the rest of the family) are going to want until you see the results, so by having a lot of options it will give you the flexibility. If you can find a photographer that does their own framing thats even better as it means that the artwork they produce for you will match the rest of the room, or in our case our baby picture of Monkey.
- Check out their website – obvious I know but it will give you a feel for their work. They will all have their own take on a picture and its important that their style matches yours. If it doesn’t then move onto the next one, as there will be one out there that does. Many photographers are rightly proud of their work and will not drastically alter the way they take or edit an image, nor should they.
- Try and get a personal recommendation, the more recent the better. Where newborn photos are concerned it could be that other people in your antennal group are also having photos done. Which means you maybe be able to see recent examples of work too. If there is a group of you, then its worth asking if you can get a discount on a recommendation. Normally the initial fees are reduced and your friend may get a free print. Saying that if you want to build a long term relationship with a photographer who can take pictures of your little ones as they grow then only recommend people you know are not time wasters!
And finally, make sure you speak to the photographer on the phone, not their secretary or wife or husband. You will get a feeling if you gel straight away and if you trust what they are saying and how they say they work. After all you can’t get those first newborn days back so its important you choose carefully to avoid having to book more than one. Which is exactly what we had to do with Monkey. It meant that we couldn’t get the first squidgy newborn photos as by the time we managed to book another photographer he was almost a month old. Don’t get me wrong we got some lovely photos but he was more stretched out and keeping him asleep was more of a challenge.
All the photos included in this post are by Clare at Samphire Photography, Clare was a personal recommendation from a friend. I have not been compensated in any way for writing this post. Its just that we had a wonderful experience with Clare and I wanted to share it with you so that you don’t make the same mistakes we did first time round with Monkey. If you are interested in finding out more about Clare and her photos then please check out her website.
Have you had any newborn photos taken? How did they go? I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.
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