Things to consider when looking for a newborn photographer.
If you are reading this, then I’m going to take a guess that you are researching on how to get some beautifully shot images of your soon to be, newborn baby.
It’s probably early hours of the morning and your finding it hard to sleep. Quite possibly you also find that looking at images of beautiful newborns online is getting you extremely excited to finally meet yours.
Well hello and welcome, if you decide to read on then I’m going to be guiding you through some tips on what you should really be considering when looking for your ideal photographer.
There are several questions you should have in mind when contacting and researching photographers, possibly some you should also be asking yourself. After all, you are going to be trusting this person with your precious newborn for possibly a couple of hours or more. Your going to want to ensure they are in good hands, that is a certainty.
1. Health & Safety
You are considering handing over your newborn baby to somebody you hardly know. Therefore H&S really should be a top priority.
- Do you know what training they have undertaken if any?
- Do you know if they have any idea how to handle a newborn appropriately?
- Do they work with an assistant?
- Can you build a trust relationship with them before hand?
It saddens me that the photographic industry is not currently regulated in the UK. In fact, photography is currently regulated in only three European countries. ( As at time of this article) You can check for yourself with regards to updates on regulated countries here.
So what does this mean?
This pretty much means anybody could purchase a camera, a bit of equipment including a few props and call themselves a photographer. It does not mean however that this person would be running a business legally. There are other laws and regulations in place for running any type of business within the UK and other countries.
2. Qualifications & Acreditations
Some photographers may have completed various qualifications through colleges and universities and/or may decide to obtain accreditation with professional photographic associations such as the MPA (Master Photographers Association), SWPP (Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers) and Banpas (Babies and Newborn Photography Association) to name just a few.
Most associations offer regular training sessions and workshops with leading industry photographers at the top of their game. Although this is not an obligatory requirement of membership, if a member is proud of their work and their achievements they should really be showcasing them on their websites and social media.
Any photographer charging a fee for their services should be fully insured by law. You have every right as a consumer to request evidence of this before using their services.
There are many different levels of insurance but the most important policies that cover customers and the public are public liability and indemnity insurance. This ensures that if anything did go wrong, then there is a level of cover that will pay out any fees awarded if a case arises.
Of course this is something all parents particularly new ones would dread to think about, however insurances are there for a reason and if your photographer is properly insured you can be assured that you are on your path to choosing the right photographer for you.
An obvious choice that will lead you to choosing your photographer will be based on the quality of their work and their style. These are images not only for you but for future generations. They will be the keepsakes that your children will most likely show their grandchildren.
It’s also good to keep in mind that these images are a selection of their best work. For instance, a photographer who showcases all their award-winning imagery is not going to be able to produce a gallery of award winning images for a client.
To get an idea of what you may receive you may want to ask the following questions.
- How long does a shoot last?
- How many images should I expect to be produced?
- How many different looks should I expect?
- What age does my baby need to be?
5. Location & Facilities
Not all photographers work from studio spaces. Some may work from home and some may even come to you. The decision is totally down to you as to where you will feel comfortable. Here are some considerations that may help you with this decision.
- What baby changing and feeding facilities are there?
- Is it secure?
- Is it comfortable?
- How long will travel take for you to get to them?
- Who will be present?
- Can you bring family/siblings?
- Is there parking onsite or nearby?
Time is an important aspect for any Newborn Photoshoot. Depending on the
style of imagery you are after, some sessions could last anywhere up to
four hours some may take 30mins. However, if you are after the adorable
sleepy shots that are often seen then these are achieved with a lot of
patience, care, expertise and time. Also keep in mind the baby will be
calling the shots.
It’s best to confirm what you should realistically be
expecting with your photographer, they will know all too well how much time to
put aside for each of their clients.
7. Styling & Props
Quite often a Photographers work can reflect their
style through the styling, props and colour pallets they use throughout a
session. However, don’t be afraid to ask if they can offer a range of different
options, or even if you can bring along your own items and props to be
included. Your own input can add a lot more sentimental value to an image such
as a blanket that Grandma has made.
Image Above: The parents are avid bikers and wanted to incorporate that within their shoot.
Fantastic, if you have got to the point where you
really want to enquire about a Photographers service, then their availability
is key to move forward.
It’s actually hard work booking in newborn sessions as the baby will arrive when it is
ready, not a day sooner or later, but not very often on the due date given. Most newborn photographers will block out days they are able to take on clients
based around the baby’s due date.
It really is good practice to get your session booked in as soon as possible as trying to book after you have given birth can often lead to disappointment. However, when ever you do make a booking, make sure you discuss how your photographer deals with the different situations that may arise around birth.
9. The Myths about PricingThe big question on everybody’s mind is usually how much is this going to cost us?
I am a firm believer that you get what you pay for. If you are going to choose someone who charges a small fee for all images on a disc then you probably have not considered any of the above. True professionals make an investment in themselves and their business and in return they are asking their customers to invest in the products and services that they desire.
But why do prices differ so much?
There are a lot of factors that a photographer will base their pricing on.
- Overheads – Could include their travel, premises, utilities, insurance, staff etc.…
- Time – May include consultations, preparations, your actual session, editing, ordering and much more.
- Suppliers – The cost of any goods supplied to you.
- Investments – Could be in equipment, props, training etc.…
- Taxes – If a Photographer is working and charging, they should be declaring.
- Demand – If they are in popular and in demand, be prepared to pay more.
All of the above will be different for each and every photographer you come across. For instance, someone working from
home won’t have the same overheads as someone with a studio.
10. PricingIt's not a secret that customers usually have a budget on what they want to spend. As above no photographer is the same and therefore the way they present their pricing will also differ. You need to decide if you want to know pricing and package details beforehand and discuss this with your desired Photographer. Here are a few points to keep in mind.
- Session Fees / Vouchers - What does it cover? what do you get for it? And are they refundable?
- Prices From – The bottom starting point for products.
- Minimum Spend – Some Photographers will have a minimum spend policy.
- Packages / Offers – Usually products at a reduced price compared to their standard pricing.
- Payment Options – Cash, Card, Finance
- Gift Registry - Where friends & family can contribute
Some studios/photographers will be up-front with all their costs from first contact and some will reveal them at other points throughout their customers journey. There is no right or wrong way of doing this, it's just part of their business strategy and what works for them. However, it's down to you as to what your happy to go along with and what it is you ultimately value.
So, there you have it, a bunch load of items to take into consideration before booking your photographer. In an ideal situation, a large percentage of these questions could be answered and discussed at a no obligation pre-consultation appointment. This would also give you the chance to meet your photographer and build a relationship beforehand.