Choosing a newborn photographer is a daunting task. There are so many options in the Austin area and so many variables to consider. And because the photos are really a piece of art, it’s a very subjective decision as well.
If you are looking for a newborn photographer (or any kind for that matter), I want to point out a few things that you may not have thought of that could help you with your decision making.
Is the safety of your newborn baby important to you?
PLEASE take caution when choosing a photographer for your newborn photos. An inexperienced photographer can take family photos easily but if they don’t have experience posing newborns they could seriously injure your baby. Professional newborn photographers are trained in newborn safety and understand the limitations of certain poses and positions. They are knowledgable of baby’s anatomy, reflexes, and circulation issues (how certain poses can restrict blood flow and breathing if not done correctly). Also, inexperienced photographers may try to replicate a pose they saw online and not even know that it was actually a composite photo (2 or more photos combined in photoshop) and there were hands on the baby at all times. Professional newborn photographers invest in education geared specifically for the safety of your newborn. Choose someone that knows what they are doing. Ask what type of training they’ve had. When I first started photographing newborns I had already taken several hands-on workshops with other professional photographers and had done hours of research on proper posing. Only then did I start photographing newborns and I did 15 free, portfolio-building sessions which were more about learning proper camera angles and lighting to get the best images possible…I was not experimenting with how to pose the babies. Please don’t put your baby at risk!
2. Do you want posed newborn photos or natural/lifestyle photos?
Most professional photographers will specialize in one or the other, mainly because that’s the type of photography they love to do. If you are searching for a fabulous lifestyle photographer, make sure to put that keyword in your web search (i.e. Austin lifestyle newborn photographer). Another good key word for the lifestyle photography is ‘natural light newborn photographer’ since they typically rely on sunlight as opposed to studio lighting. Likewise, you could narrow your search with ‘Austin posed newborn photographer’.
3. Would you like your photographer to come to your home or would you like to go to a studio?
There are pros and cons to each option. Some photographers only do studio photography and some will do both. If you are looking for lifestyle photos, most likely you will want the photographer to come to your home, unless you want ‘staged’ lifestyle photos done in a studio or on location. But for posed photos your decision will depend on a lot of issues like your physical comfort level, whether you have older children, if you mind traveling with your newborn, etc. If you aren’t sure which type is right for you, check out my next blog post ‘Should I Do a Home or Studio Newborn Session?’
4. Do you value professional portraiture?
If your answer is “No, I just want pictures of my baby” then you have a plethora of photographers to choose from. If you go on a local Facebook group for moms you will see daily posts asking for photographer recommendations and sometimes 100 people will respond! These photographers range from professionals to people with iPhones that call themselves professionals. Not joking…I saw it with my own eyes…and she was a WEDDING photographer! Can you image? 😂The majority of these photographers will be part-time and may not have a business license (which, if they are accepting money for a service, is illegal…just saying…). These photographers compete on price and you will most likely get a LOT of photos for a small amount of money. It’s the whole ‘Quality vs. Quantity’ decision that you need to make.
If your answer is “Yes, I want high quality portraits that I can print large and display in my home as well as view on my phone” your options start to narrow down a bit. And yes, you are going to spend more money on a professional photographer. Professionals have business expenses and pay taxes and also need to make a living off of their salary. Get referrals from your friends, do a Google search for local newborn photographers and check out the reviews, and of course, check out their portfolios on their website. My suggestion would be to find 2 or 3 photographers online who’s images you LOVE. Then get a feel for the photographer’s personality by checking out his/her blog posts, Facebook posts, and Instagram posts. Who do you feel like you would ‘vibe’ with the most? Once you’ve done that, THEN look at their pricing. If you try to compare professional photographers by price it’s going to be very difficult. There is no standard package…some offer prints, or digitals, or combo packages, some have sitting fees and minimum purchases, some are all-inclusive, and so on, and so on, and so on. It will make your brain hurt to try to compare them. Find someone who’s work you love and who’s vibe you vibe with, and then decide if you’re ok with their pricing and what they offer.
5. My last tip is all about safety again. Why? Because it’s that important! Is your photographer up to date on their immunizations? Are they licensed and insured? Do they properly clean and sanitize their equipment and props? What kind of training do they have? How much experience do they have? These are all questions you should ask your potential photographer and all questions they shouldn’t hesitate to answer.
6. One more tip - Pick me. Haha, just kidding… but not really. 🤗 No one probably read this far anyways. 😂If you did read this far, maybe drop a ‘like’ or a comment below so I know you were here!