“The cost of Newborn Photography”
Selecting your newborn photographer the proper way
and discussing the term ‘Affordable Newborn Photographer Near Me’
“Affordable Newborn Photography” might be a term you’ve typed into Google as your are beginning your search for the best newborn photographer for your new baby. After all, who doesn’t like to save a few bucks and get any service at the cheapest cost. I know I love a good deal when applicable! However, posed infant photography is probably the most intricate, specialized and important type of photography out there. With newborn portraits, you want to make sure your photographer is not only experienced, fully licensed, trained in newborn safety and is operating a legitimate business. This is such an incredible time in your life – you have this brand new tiny human that has now become the center of your world, and is growing so fast every day. With all of these things considered, I encourage you select your infant photographer the proper way…
There are a bazillion photographers here in San Diego. You may have browsed through piles and piles of comments on Facebook posts in mom’s groups asking for an ‘affordable baby photographer’ or one that ‘won’t break the bank’ or ‘won’t cost an arm and a leg’. The responses can be overwhelming! So what do you make of all of those responses? How do you pick a photographer for your precious newborn baby, getting the best quality but yet still fulfilling the ‘affordable’ part of your search? Well, let’s discuss! With over thirteen years of qualified experience in professional newborn artistry, here are some tips to help you pick one that will work best for you.
- Posed newborn photo shoots requires THE MOST amount of skill, safety training and experience, more than any other type of photography. We are handling your precious, little tiny human, placing them in certain positions that if done without the proper training or expertise, could be harmful to your little one. Experienced newborn photographers know that many of the poses you see photographed are actually composites or optical illusions based on shooting angles, proper support and extra hands on deck. It is for this reason that I recommend that out of all of those responses you’ll receive recommending their photography services, that you focus on ONLY the photographers who SPECIALIZE in newborn photography, not that ‘can do it for you’ at a discounted cost. Specialized newborn photographers have training in basic newborn handling, newborn photography safety, are infant CPR certified, have hours of training experience with mentors and well established workshops. Like we explored above, there are a mega ton of photographers out there but many dabble lightly in everything from weddings, family, landscape and babies. Think about if you needed brain surgery. Would you trust your general family doctor to operate on your or would you reach out to a neurosurgeon who is specifically trained in brain surgery? Yeah I know, it’s an extreme example but it’s so very similar. It is for this reason that I recommend narrowing down that list to newborn specialists and weeding out the ‘everything’ photographers. Click on their websites and check out their portfolio. Forget the cost right now – we are not price shopping, we are narrowing based on level of experience in such an important and delicate field of photography.
- Ok, now that you have narrowed your search to photographers who specialize in posed newborn photography, it’s time to verify that your photographer is running a legitimate business. Believe it or not, newborn photography is not regulated by any board. There are no certifications necessary to handle or photograph your baby. That’s nuts! This brings me back to #1 again and how super duper major important it is to have an experienced photographer handle your baby. However, there are a few things that ARE required to run a business, whether it be a business that comes to your home, meets you on location or has their own photography studio. They should be licensed to conduct business through the city where they are conducting the session or transaction. All professional photographers will have proof of their business license – it’s pretty similar to the business licenses you see posted in your hair stylist’s or manicurist’s booth. Next, check for proof of business insurance. Professional newborn photographers will have a policy specifically for business. If your photographer is selling products, even a simple USB, they are required to be registered with the BOE and collect (and properly transfer) any sales tax collected to the state.
- Artistic style. This is a big one too! Do you prefer those posed newborn shots to be colorful, bold, neutral? Do you like the use of lots of props or minimal accessories? Do you like light and airy or dark and moody? Now is the time to look through those specialized posed newborn photographers’ websites and get a feel for what you like. Does your vision fit perfectly with the art of a particular newborn photographer? There are so many great options for newborn photography studios here in San Diego. In terms of legitimate, professional newborn photographers, I am so happy to work alongside with a great group of other beautiful photographers that share my passion for newborn photography. Believe it or not, we all know each other and support each other in our field. We go to safety trainings together, have mastermind groups together where we exchange props, ideas and assistance for certain newborn shoots. We are all a bit different in artistic style but the one thing we have in common is that we all take our craft and profession very seriously, making sure our tiny human clients are handled and photographed in the safest way possible.
- Now let’s look at how your baby photographer structures their session and products. Your average newborn session with a qualified, specialized newborn photographer will take about three hours. It may seem like a long time, but your newborn photographer accounts for plenty of time for feedings, cuddling breaks, transitions, and about 4-8 different setups. That’s an industry standard across the board. Next, ask yourself what you want to take away from the session. Are you booking this session to document this special time in your growing family’s lives? Are you looking to have the session result in a timeless piece, such as an album that can be passed down through generations? Looking to have unique pieces of art to hang on your walls? Just want some quick digitals to share on social media? You’ll find a variety of options among photographers. Most qualified and specialized new born photographers will have options for quality products to showcase your newborn art. Many offer digital images as well. As much as I encourage you to really consider at least one piece of art to be professionally printed and created for you, I understand the current trend of wanting quick and easy digitals to print on your own and to share on social media.
- Ok, it’s finally time to get to the ‘affordable’ cost part! The term ‘affordable’ is subjective. That could mean a $100 photographer to someone or a $6,000 photographer to someone else based on who you ask. So let’s talk about for a sec… We’ve already discussed how essential it is to stick to a specialized newborn photographer and to make sure they are fully licensed, running a legitimate photography business. Also of great importance is to find a photographer who’s style you love and who offers products that you want to cherish forever. With all of this information, let’s talk. The average professional, experience and specialized newborn photographer who runs a legal, legitimate business and has all of the proper training to properly and carefully handle your newborn baby will run anywhere from $200 – $400 for the cost of the session alone, without including any prints, product or digital images. The cost for the latter, for the average newborn photographer here in San Diego, CA is close to $2,000. You’ll find perfectly qualified professional newborn photographers that offer a wide variety of options for collections and packages, but the general average of costs is right around $2k. So let’s say your budget is only $850. Well, chances are that you will absolutely find a photographer that checks all of our boxes above and that will provide you with the best experience in capturing your newborn during that critical and ideal newborn stage. I am one of them! I, as well as all of the amazing fellow newborn photographer friends that I work with in San Diego (and really, across the world), will have session and print options to fit within your budget, ensuring that you have chosen the most qualified photographers to handle and photograph your baby, but that will also offer you unmatched quality in art. I am a big proponent for the expression ‘quality of quantity’, and when it comes to affordability in newborn photography, this holds very true. I encourage you to really consider opting for a smaller order from a legitimate and specialized infant photographer rather than a bigger order from a ‘jack of all trades’, not specialized in newborn photography. But why is newborn photography so expensive? Remember that all we discussed above is costly to your newborn photographer. We not only spend countless hours preparing, shooting, breaking down, editing, ordering, etc… but we also are consistent with keeping our props updated and replaced when necessary, keeping up with current software, gear, advertising, and most importantly, training and mentoring to make sure we are up to date with newborn safety. Studio rents, business taxes, and of great importance, level of skill.
Wishing you the best of luck in finding a specialized baby photographer near you to capture those special moments for your new tiny human. I hope that this article on the cost of newborn photography helps you in your search. If my art fills your vision, I would be happy to chat about setting up a studio or outdoor newborn photography session for you! Please check out my portfolio and send me a message if you’d like more info on my session and collection offerings.