Choosing Your Newborn Photographer: Safety First
Posted on 20 Mar, 2015 by Sarah Hart
So, you’re expecting a bundle of joy and are about to embark on that wonderful journey into parenthood. You’ve picked out the nursery furniture, test driven the latest pram and you may have even changed your car (with safety first in mind of course!). But which photographer do you choose to capture all those details of your newborn’s tiny features? I’ve written this guide to offer some help in choosing a newborn photography service and hope you find it useful.
You only need to type “newborn photography” in to Google, to be surrounded by hundreds of beautiful images of sleeping newborns, curled up, in a variety of baskets or bowls, on stools or in adorable little poses. Whilst it may look like they’ve happily been suspended in the air on their dad’s arm or propped up on their chin with ease, any good newborn photographer will know different! You see, a skilled (and patient!) newborn photographer will spend a tremendous amount of time soothing the newborn to sleep, posing them safely in a prop and ensuring their comfort and safety before they press the shutter on their camera. And what you can’t tell from these images is that there is always a parent’s hand close by or often a finger supporting the infant, that has been edited out of the photograph to give the illusion that the newborn was propped up in a basket alone in a room.
So what should you consider?
1. Safety. (The title of the blog gave a slight clue that this might be top of the list! 😉 )
A really good place to begin looking for a newborn photographer is The Baby & Newborn Photographers Association (BANPAS) website. Their members are amongst the leading baby and newborn photographer in the UK. A BANPAS photographer will have been assessed as working to a professional standard and, most importantly, will be have agreed to follow safe working practices ensuring the babies safety is paramount at all times.A competent professional photographer will always use a composite image (where 2 or more images have been merged in editing software such as Photoshop and the supporting hand is edited out) to obtain images such as this:
2. One of the best ways to find a newborn photographer is to chat with friends and family.
It’s always reassuring to have a personal recommendation of a photographer. Find out whether they loved the images. Did they feel their newborn was in safe hands? What level of service did the photographer provide?
3. Look at the photographer’s website: galleries of newborn baby photography are likely to vary immensely. Which style are you most drawn to? Do you prefer more natural lifestyle images that are taken in the client’s own home environment? Or perhaps you prefer the more classic studio images of newborns curled up and gently posed? Consider whether you prefer lots of black and white images. And look carefully at how the photographer has styled the sessions and which colours they have chosen. Can you imagine the images hanging on the walls of your home?
4. Check to see how the photography session will be conducted.
Can the photographer come to your own home, or, do they have their own studio for you to bring your little one to? Both scenarios have their pros and cons but often a photographer will clearly state on their website where the newborn session takes place.
5. Finally, the cost.
The old adage “you get what you pay for” springs to mind. Just as you would expect a Michelin star restaurant to provide a better service and cost significantly more than your high street fast-food restaurant, the same can be said of photographers who charge varying amounts. However, unlike the experience in the restaurant, which will just become a memory, you will be in possession of a keepsake. You will either be left with a stunning piece of wall art to be treasured for many years to come, or, a sub-standard print that may just get shoved to the back of a drawer. What you really need to consider, is how important is beautiful and creative photography to you? Be wary of the quality of work from a photographer who charges £50 for all images on a disc. Newborn photography is often seen as unreasonably more expensive than portrait photography. But what is often not realised is the time and investment that a newborn photographer devotes to just one session.
- Newborn sessions can last up to 4 hours long and require time either side of the session to set up creatively and to wash and clean all used props, furs and blankets.
- Many hours are taken to edit and perfect the images to ensure your baby looks their very best: newborn babies often suffer with dry, flaky or jaundiced skin – much time and skill is needed to correct this.
- In order to accommodate the unpredictable arrival of a newborn, the photographer needs to keep some flexibility in their diary, unlike a high-street photographer’s studio who may be able to cram many sessions in to a week.
- Many newborn photographers will have invested greatly in a variety of blankets and props to pose their newborn safely (yes, I think we are all propaholics!). Plus many newborn photographers will have invested in the right equipment to safely conduct a newborn session.
With a limited time frame to capture newborn photography (typically 4-14 days old), choosing the right photographer for you is important. Sadly, they will never again be this small, curled up or fit across your chest in quite the same way (I still gaze longingly at photos showing how tiny my own babies once were) Choosing who gets to document your baby in those early days is not easy. But hopefully, you can choose a photographer who puts safety first and whose style you love!
And if you happen to love my style and are interested in finding out about availability, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org