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Although some of the images , #14 #16 #17, could benefit from slightly more depth of field, they are critically sharp on the eyes, stand up well to viewing at a 100% crop and are of a high enough quality to print for wall display. Processing is generally good with a couple of tweaks required, in my opinion, to #2 #6 #18 and #19.
A Guide to Newborn Photography – Preparation, … 3 years ago
If this is the case, make sure you are comfortable with assisting in the shoot. If you would rather not, the solution is simple: choose a photographer who has their own assistant.
You may have seen examples of newborn photos that you would love a photographer to create with your baby. Make sure you discuss this ahead of the shoot to align expectations. Will your photographer be able to create that specific pose, or not?
Talk in a way that shows their baby means almost as much to you as he does them. Ask them lots of questions about their baby, and life since his arrival. New parents can talk all day about their baby, so showing he interests you will really endear you to them. Use emotive language on your site and Facebook page. Rather than saying “I like doing baby shoots” say “I simply adore capturing images of beautiful, squishy babies!”
So having decided it’s for you, you’ll have a huge number of questions. Here I aim to answer some of the biggest, and most important ones.
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There are many qualifications that photographers can work towards in the industry and most are for general areas in the field of portraits or weddings. The IPPN is the only organisation that I know of that offers a qualification that is specifically for the specialist areas of newborn baby photographers combined with maternity portraits.
If they don’t have an assistant, who will help out? You, the parent?
PLEASE don’t be tempted to cut corners by taking on anyone who doesn’t do photography professionally, as their main job, or who offers incredibly cheap prices.
Without the right professional training, a photographer could put your baby at risk. So I urge you to be vigilant and only use a reputable, experienced and professionally trained photographer.
Popular newborn photographers get booked up months in advance.
You are selling emotions. That is really the bottom line with newborns. The parents are melting with wonder and love at their new baby, and emotions are running their lives completely. If you can build a relationship with your clients that taps into their emotions, and leaves them feeling that you can truly relate to them and their baby, they will be more inclined to not only book you, but trust you.
It should be an enjoyable decision process. Yet, there are many things to consider and many decisions to be made, so it could easily become overwhelming.
So in summary, I would suggest you take your time setting up as a newborn photographer. Research good training, and consider that in this area especially, you get what you pay for.
Choose a professional photographer and someone who is a specialist in newborn photography. If someone is good at their job, and in demand, their prices will reflect that. Cut-price photographers are likely to offer a second-grade service. Would you want to settle for that?
Look after the parents when they are with you. Provide drinks and snacks, and comfortable seating. Mum will be sore and they are both likely to be exhausted.
Lighting is done well and appropriately, posing is superb and sympathetic and processing is of a high standard (personally I’d have given a little more strength to nos 6 & 8, but perhaps that’s just me!). The whole panel comprises work that only someone with a great deal of talent (and the determination to use it) could produce.
The short answer is yes. It doesn’t matter how skilled you are at photography, because the skills required to be safe and of a good standard as a newborn photographer are really very different than anything you have done before. If you decide to become a wedding photographer with no training, the worst that may happen is you let down a couple on their big day. As bad as that could be, no one will get hurt.
Do also establish if there is a minimum spend required, and are you comfortable with potentially spending more than this? You may well fall in love with your photos once you see them all!
Don’t be afraid to ask a photographer about the professional newborn training that they have had.
Are you also welcome to bring in your own props? You may have a family heirloom or sentimental item that you want included in your photos. Is your photographer happy to incorporate this into the photos? Similarly, if you would rather the photos did not make use of props, do say in advance.
All professional photography involves a multitude of skills and newborn photography is no different, with one very important exception. It is the only area of photography that involves the photographer being completely responsible for the safety and welfare of the subject – the baby. As a newborn photographer you will hold, comfort, soothe, pose, wrap, and often even feed and clean up after your subject, even with the parents present.
For more on newborn photography and business see these articles:
I have absolutely no hesitation in saying that this beautiful set of images should be awarded an Associateship.
There are several questions you should be asking every photographer you are considering. And it’s important to ask these questions ahead of booking your newborn baby photoshoot so that you can be sure to choose the right newborn photographer for you and your family.
You can find out more about the International Professional Photographers Network here
It’s critical to establish if the photographer you are considering has a preference in regards to the age of the baby.
I decided to spend the last 12 months working towards this and invested in training to improve on the skills I had already developed over previous years. I finally felt confident to submit a panel of newborn and maternity images for consideration and I’m delighted to say that I was awarded “Associate” status for them and got some fantastic feedback from the judges !!!
Spend the time exploring the market to find a photographer who can demonstrate a track record of satisfied customers and high standards of professionalism.
In my opinion Elli has presented a beautiful and well-balanced panel of images. She has clearly developed a recognisable style and shows considerable expertise in the field of newborn photography. The images are tasteful, with rich colours and textures and appropriate use of props to enhance the images without distracting from the babies. A good variety of poses have been demonstrated and the babies look comfortable and safe. The maternity work shows creativity and sensitivity, and a good grasp of lighting techniques.
If you don’t have a personal recommendation from someone you trust, do your own extensive research before you commit to a booking.
And by the way, newborn photographers are not necessarily female. I know several male photographers who are phenomenal at what they do.
Review their website and social media presenceLook for comments and feedback from recent customers and see how they interact online.Do they seem positive, passionate about what they do, and good with people?Contact them directly and ask questions.
All this will give you some idea of the kind of person they are and give you an impression of how they conduct themselves and their business. 2. Beware of cut price photographers
These are ten important factors that I urge you to give good consideration to before choosing your newborn photographer.
Sleep isn’t the only issue that dictates though. Newborns are gorgeously squishy, floppy and bendy under ten days old, which, coupled with being sound asleep, makes them perfect for gently posing into those adorable positions parents love. Much after two weeks and they begin to gain muscle tone, which means they lose the flexibility that makes such posing possible.
Should you wish to choose Bundles of Joy Photography I look forward to hearing from you. Contact me at any time on 07973 939 522, email me at [email protected] or complete the form on my contact page: http://www.bundlesofjoybygeorgina.com/contact/.
So that covers not doing a session too late, but you need to know why doing it too early isn’t good either. Newborns don’t usually look their best after birth, and it can take time for their faces to settle. Also, feeding needs to be established because until a baby is feeding well, he won’t sleep well. My advice would be don’t do a session under 5 days of age.
Experienced and professional newborn photographers will be able to provide examples of how they create complex baby poses that seem to defy gravity, like the one below.
Elli has produced a set of portraits which look as far away from the “production line” portrait as possible. They are very strong graphically yet subtle and rely on the beauty of the subject rather than the use of commercial studio props.
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Newborns are delicate and must be handled correctly. They can suffer circulation problems, are poor at regulating their temperature, and cannot tell you when they are feeling uncomfortable, which means they are relying on you to take care of them at all times. The correct training will teach you safe handling techniques, how to spot signs of baby not being happy for many reasons, as well as general safety and other important areas.
The average session is 3-4 hours, and you will soon realize why when you have done a couple of your own. The session is taken up by everything BUT taking photos. When I do a session my camera is in my hand for less than ten minutes the entire time. The session will involve settling, cuddling, reading baby, soothing for sleep, and gentle posing. They baby runs the show, of that there is little question, and as each baby is different, so is each session. Try to rush it and clock watch, and you’ll put yourself under huge pressure, and babies pick up on stress, which could cause you to have an unsettled baby on your hands. As a general rule, most newborn specialists will do just one session a day.
Although if you are late booking, do still call to enquire about their availability – they may be able to squeeze you in if you’re lucky!
Keep it simple. Training will show you the basic equipment you’ll need, like beanbag and backdrop stand, as well as a small selection of throws, hats, headbands, and wraps. The most important area for your development as a newborn photographer will be developing safe handling of the baby in your early months. The confidence in posing takes time, and that is where your focus should be, not on having all the props and the biggest selection of hats. What will set you apart as a top newborn photographer will never be the amazing set up you design – it will be how good your posing is, and how comfortable your baby looks in the images.
So, some photographers prefer babies to be aged under two weeks old in order to get the curled up baby poses that are so popular. Others will happily have babies in much older than this, sometimes up to 8 weeks old, although probably under the proviso that these shots may not be possible.
Final thoughts on what to consider when choosing a newborn photographer
Word of mouth is one of the best marketing tools in this genre. Mums talk, and will recommend you if they came away feeling that their baby was safe, respected and adored. The testimonials that will get you more bookings will not be the ones where mum says the pictures are good, but rather the ones where she gushes about how lovely the experience was while with you.
I recommend making a booking around the time of your 20 week scan if not before. If you book late, you run the risk of your photographer of choice not having availability, so book a provisional date early to secure your slot!
← 9 Beautiful Ways To Display Your Newborn PhotographsExciting international photography award news for Bundles of Joy Photography team! →
Also ask about whether you need to buy and bring any of your own props, or whether this is included in the shoot. Most photographers do have an extensive range of wraps, teddies, headbands etc. but this is worth checking in advance.
Only then can you be sure that your photographer will deliver the quality of experience that you desire and that your new baby deserves, and photos that you will treasure for a lifetime.
This may sound silly as we are talking about newborn babies aren’t we?! Yet, some photographers may well have a preference since after the initial couple of weeks after birth, babies start to sleep less and begin to stretch out more.
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The b/w conversions are very sympathetic to the subject matter with a softness to the baby images compared to the stronger conversion of the maternity images. Posing of the maternity images is very good & lighting is generally excellent with only a couple of strong highlights detracting. In image #20 the hairlight could have been better postioned to avoid the highlight on the neck.
So, in theory, even a novice photographer, with zero experience of handling babies, could potentially setup shop and market themselves as a newborn photographer! This is very worrying but, unfortunately, happens a lot. I’ve heard horror stories of things that have gone wrong in newborn sessions, when babies are put in the hands of inexperienced and untrained photographers.
You can see the images and some of the fantastic judges comments below.
As I said previously, book early to avoid disappointment – as soon as you’ve had your 20 week scan ideally, if not before.
It is potentially quite easy for parents to be fooled into thinking that all newborn photographers are created equal. Let me assure you, they are not!
A lovely set of images which easily meet the standard required for the Associate award.
Elli’s images show a thorough knowledge of working with newborn babies & her processing produces a lovely warmth & richness in the images which will make her work very appealing to clients as wall art.
« Lincolnshire Newborn Photography StudioThe Eyes have it…beautiful Lincolnshire newborns photography »
The newborn photography industry here in the UK is currently unregulated. That means that there is no specific qualification that a newborn photographer must obtain before they can start offering the service.
My aim in this blog is to share with you some important insights based on my years of experience as a specialist in newborn photography.
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Because every photographer is different, it is important to ask plenty of questions as you are reviewing your options and trying to decide on which photographer to choose.
If you have children, you may well remember that newborns sleep a lot, at least through the day, and seem able to sleep through pretty much anything too. But that changes really quickly, and by week three babies are waking more easily, and spending more time awake each day. You cannot pose a baby that is awake, so a sleeping newborn is what you need, meaning you need to aim for under two weeks, and under ten days is even better.
Ask each photographer if they have an assistant to help out during the photoshoots, to provide crucial support to the baby during posing and photographing. While not all photographers have an assistant, there is always the need for a second pair of hands at some point during a photoshoot.
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While there are no qualifications in newborn photography as such, any newborn photographer worth their salt will have been safety trained before they set up their business. So they should be able to talk convincingly about the specific training they have completed and the safe practices that they adhere to in order to ensure a baby’s safety during photoshoots.
Is your photographer also comfortable working with premature babies, who may be significantly smaller than the average newborn? You won’t necessarily know if this is going to be important in your case until after the birth, but it’s a good question to ask just in case.
Do also consider the photographer’s studio fees and the cost of their photo products. Prices can vary a lot so be sure that the photographer you pick has prices that you can afford.
Where is the studio based and what distance will you need to travel?Do you know the way and how long it will take to get there? Always factor in extra time to allow for traffic – it’s far better to arrive early rather than late.
Is there parking on site or nearby? How easy is the studio to access (you’ll be carrying baby in a car seat or will have a pushchair, no doubt)? If it’s not the ground floor, is there a lift you can use? And inside, is it clean and organised? Is there comfy seating for parents and any other family members who are coming along?Are siblings welcome and, if so, are there any child-friendly facilities available?Are refreshments included? What baby changing and feeding facilities are there?
Most photographers will likely aim to create a number of different setups throughout the shoot so there will be plenty of images for you to choose from afterwards, but if you have a preference in regards to styling and colours, do make this known ahead of the session to make sure they will deliver what you hope.
In all the images final stage processing has produced excellently sharpened images which will reproduce at any size.
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It is because of this difference that it is so specialized, and requires the right set of skills. Not having those skills is about more than the risk of poor images – someone’s safety is at stake.
Equally important is experience. An experienced newborn photographer will be very comfortable handling babies (and twins or triplets!). They will have worked with tens, if not hundreds of babies, and so will know how to safely and comfortably pose your baby, and techniques to soothe even the most unsettled newborn. You may even be surprised at how easily they can lull your baby to sleep!
Hint – images like the one above should be created digitally. This is an example of a ‘composite’ image, produced by combining one or more photos.
My advice to you is make sure you ask these questions of everyone you are considering, before you commit to a booking.
Photographers understand that the setting for a newborn shoot is very important. It should be relaxed, warm (the baby will be naked a lot of time) and welcoming. Will you and the baby be comfortable there? You’ll likely be there for several hours or more.
I believe that you get what you pay for in this life. If someone proclaims to offer a newborn session including photos for as little as £50, alarm bells should start ringing in your head!
I’m going to be giving you a heads up on what you should be considering when you’re shopping around for the perfect newborn photographer.
You may find the experience more enjoyable if you are able to relax and watch, rather than have to play an active part yourself.
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No photographer should ever force your baby into positions which make them uncomfortable or put them in danger. No baby should ever be expected to support the weight of its own head or body, be suspended from a height or put in a basket or box which could potentially topple over.
The baby should be relaxed and comfortable at all times, and 100% safe. 5. Do they have an assistant or ‘spotter’?
If you’re in the market for choosing a newborn photographer, this blog post is for you.
I would stress however, that these are mainly minor details, and do not overly detract from what is an excellent set of images. In summary, I feel that Elli has presented a panel which is worthy of an Associate award.
They should be pleased to discuss with you how they safely handle babies and how they can create any specific poses that you are after.
The questions I suggest that you ask are important. They will help to ensure you are as informed as possible about the photographers you are considering. You will then be able to choose between them more easily.
Many photographers charge a session fee, but please note that the photos are charged in addition to this. You should expect to pay a couple of hundred pounds as a minimum with most high-quality newborn photographers if you want to have several images to take home and print for your walls.
Don’t fall into the trap of identifying the perfect photographer only to discover that they have no availability in the weeks after the birth of your baby.
Will the photographer come to your home or will you need to visit their photography studio? If the latter, check in advance what the photo studio is like. Review photos on the photographer’s website or, if it’s local to you, perhaps even ask to arrange an appointment to visit in advance.
This panel contains some of the strongest newborn and maternity images that I have seen.
Selecting a newborn photographer should be something you focus on fairly early in your pregnancy.
In Newborn Photography Tags newborn photoshoot, newborn photographer, newborn photography, expectant parents, professional photographer, photography competition, family business, Bundles of Joy Photography, newborn baby photography, newborn babies, newborn
Associate is the 2nd highest qualification available and I am at this time the only newborn photographer to have received this in this specific discipline rather than just in general portraiture!