If you’ve never had newborn photos done before, you likely have no idea what to expect and may have some questions. And if you are choosing a newborn photographer, I hope you will find the following information helpful.
No, they don’t. Each photographer has, or should have, their niche. Newborn photography is absolutely in a league of its own, requiring a lot of training and practice to master. Many photographers will offer newborn photography in addition to the other types of photography they do, but they don’t specialize the way a dedicated newborn photographer does. When they know even basics of newborn photography it shows in their work. Photos may have poor lighting, show unflattering angles, and may actually have some posing but it might not be done safely or correctly. The baby may look awkward or just plain uncomfortable. Newborn photographers spend many hours training to do poses safely, keep baby calm and comfortable, and create the most beautiful images they can of your sweet baby.
Firstly decide if you prefer the lifestyle look (done in the client’s home without posing the baby) or would rather the posed studio newborn art look. Once you know which style you prefer, then you only need to look at images in those styles. They really are quite different and by the time you get your photos it’s too late to change your mind in most instances as babies grow so fast!
Although I’ve always favoured lifestyle photography for families and couples, the reality is that newborn babies need a warm cosy environment and can rarely be photographed outdoors in Alberta. Knowing this, and knowing that in the mountains many people live in small, dark condos, I chose to focus on the studio posed style. I love the art of it, and there are many creative opportunities in the studio. Now I am in Cochrane and have a big studio, I still prefer to create a cozy environment for the baby and do artistic images rather than lifestyle, but I will do lifestyle on request. With years of lifestyle shooting behind me and my knowledge of newborns, you are still assured wonderful photos, just not in the posed style with props and outfits.
With newborn photography, things aren’t always what they seem. Some newborn photos are composite images, that is, made up of several photos then put together in Photoshop. They are done this way to ensure the baby’s safety. Not all poses require this, but any pose that involves hanging, ‘froggy’ or anything that looks unsupported actually had someone’s hands in one of the images, and may also have had a bean bag underneath. Glass should never be used. It’s not worth the risk. Photographers will sometimes show behind the scenes images to show the safety precautions taken. They do this because beginners or DIY-ers might attempt to copy poses without knowing how they are actually done, and no-one wants a baby to get hurt! Posed newborn photography requires a great deal of training, practice and knowledge. We take workshops, do online training and spend time in discussion forums to be able to do this, and do it well. Photoshop skills are a must to create these special images.
Your new baby has not had a chance to develop his or her own immune system yet, so for the first few days you need to be careful about who is around your baby. Making sure your family members are vaccinated against whooping cough will help protect your baby from an illness that can turn deadly. If you have concerns, ask your potential photographer if they are vaccinated.
You can book once you know your due date, booking in the second or third trimester is great, then you will not have to worry about finding a photographer after the baby is born. If you wait until you are home from the hospital before you even start looking, you may not get in before the baby loses those darling newborn qualities. They are newborns for only a couple of weeks, so don’t wait until they are in size 2 diapers. As they grow, they become more alert, sleep less, and lose flexibility, making it much more difficult to get squishy perfectly posed newborn images. It’s not impossible, but not guaranteed either.
Newborn photographers know that babies don’t always come exactly when 40 weeks are up, so most will put your due date in their calendar and leave space around it to accommodate your session, but do remember that we might plan on 2-4 babies a week and sometimes they all come at once, so being flexible with which day you can do photos is really helpful.
Don’t have your photos done the day after surgery… either wait until he is healed or have the photos done first.
Before you come to the studio, I will send you some information to read over. You don’t need to bring any props or outfits, as the studio has a huge store of items in different colours and styles.
If you want to know something I haven’t covered here, ask me! Head on over to my contact page and hit me up with questions.