A newborn photography session is a great way to capture the first moments of your baby’s life. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to document the special bond between parent and child. There are so many questions about what to expect from your baby’s first professional photoshoot. Let’s tackle some of those questions!
Why Should You Have a Professional Newborn Photographer Take Photos Of Your Baby?
There are several reasons why having a photographer that specializes in newborn photography take photos of your baby is a good idea. First, it will help you preserve memories of those precious first few weeks with your little one. Second, it will allow you to share these images with family members who couldn’t make it to the birth. Third, it will give you a chance to show off your beautiful baby before he or she grows up too much. Fourth, it will provide you with some amazing shots of your baby when he or she is older.
A professional newborn photographer will know exactly how to safely and artistically handle, pose and photograph your new baby. Many of those cute newborn poses that you see on Pinterest take a long time to learn and to perfect. A properly trained newborn photographer will understand which poses will be comfortable and doable for your infant, and how to execute those poses the proper way. Did you know that many of those sweet baby photography poses are actually composites? For example, the froggy pose is actually two separate poses that your photography artist will carefully merge together in post production rather than attempt to have baby hold that pose him or herself. Never attempt to try to pose your own baby without any proper newborn photography training – leave that to the pros!
Where Should I Hold my Newborn Photography Session?
Before planning a newborn photography session, there are a number of things you should consider. First, you should decide whether you would prefer to do the newborn photography session at home as a lifestyle session or at your photographer’s studio for intricate posed shots.
Lifestyle: If you choose to have the photographer come to your home, then you will need to plan for a few spots within your home for the photographer to work in. Ideally, your photographer will want to find the rooms in your home with the best natural, indirect light. Open up all of your blinds and see which rooms are the best lit. Generally, your newborn photographer will aim to shoot in the baby’s nursery, the family room, living room and parent’s bedroom. These lifestyle newborn photography sessions are very casual in posing, paying more attention to connections between baby and family vs. detailed sleepy posed photos that we will chat about next.
Posed: If you decide to book a session at a studio for intricate, posed newborn photos, I recommend that you do a good amount of research in finding the best, most trained and skilled posed newborn photographer near you. There are many options out there. Many talented and sought after newborn photographers will book up weeks and months before your due date, so be sure to do your homework by your second trimester so you can make sure your first choice in newborn photographers is available for your baby’s due date.
Make sure that your photographer is licensed and is running a legitimate business. Don’t be afraid to ask for proof of licensing. This will help ensure that your photographer is working legally and most of all, is more than likely following all guidance and safety measures to properly handle your newborn baby.
What Are Some Things That Can Go Wrong During a Newborn Photo Shoot?
Poop. Yes that’s right! Your baby will be diaperless for a good portion of the newborn photo shoot, and they just love to take that opportunity to poop. Believe it or not, it’s not a big deal at all! Your baby photographer will know how to best avoid poop disasters. As a Professional Newborn Photographer in San Diego, CA, I have a little trick that works for most of the poses I do with my babies to avoid poop from getting on the blankets and knits that I use with them. I use breastfeeding pads! That’s right! When the diaper has to come off, I replace it with a breastfeeding pad under baby, so that any poop or pee will be easily absorbed into the pad and not on the blankets or knits. When baby is swaddled or wearing a knit outfit, the diaper goes back on.
It is also possible that your baby may become fussy during the newborn photo shoot. Most of the time, that fussiness can be avoided by making sure baby is comfortable at all times. This means keeping the studio at a warm temperature (around 80-85 degrees), making sure baby is fully fed and continues to be fed upon demand, and properly burped and handled. Sometimes, baby may be suffering from acid reflux that causes painful heartburn and spit up from your little one. Your photographer will know to keep baby in an upright position after a proper burping and to focus on poses that keep baby upright and happy. Another issue may be related to a tongue tie. Dr. Sacker, pediatrician and tongue tie specialist with Team Tongue Tie in San Diego, explains what a tongue tie is, and how it can be properly corrected. Sometimes a tongue tie can go undetected by new parents and can cause lots of feeding frustrations for both baby and mom. Finally, fussiness can also come from irritation from a recent medical procedure, such as a circumcision. If your newborn boy will be having a circumcision as a newborn, please make sure that you plan your newborn photo session to take place BEFORE the medical procedure, to ensure that baby will not be irritated or sore for the session.
How Long Does It Usually Take For A Newborn Photography Session? (And What’s Included?)
Your infant photography session will last roughly three hours. That sounds like a long time, but remember that the main goal of the session is to produce peaceful, beautiful portraits of your newborn baby. Most of this time is spent feeding, rocking, comforting and intricately posing baby. Sometimes feedings can take an hour and a half, sometimes they take 20 minutes. Sometimes babies are more anxious than others, keeping their fingers tightly fisted, which need to be gently relaxed for optimal posing. Sometimes babies take a bit to transition to the next pose, waking easily with touch or movement, and some snooze through the entire session without even waking once.
The length of time of your newborn photo session can also depend on if parents and siblings will be included in the shoot. Sometimes, it takes quite some time to settle a newly appointed toddler big brother or sister for those sibling shots, or big sibling might have a meltdown for those family shot while baby is asleep and properly posed, only to wake up hungry when toddler finally settles and is ready to shoot. It happens all the time with family newborn photo sessions!
How Much Does A Newborn Photography Session Cost?
There are several things to consider when looking at the cost of a newborn photoshoot. First off, you will want to make sure to filter out any photographers that are working without a license and are not running legitimate or legal businesses. Make sure your photographer not only is running a legal business but is also a specialist in the field of newborn photography.
Costs can vary from state to state and adjust to cost of living. For example, a professional newborn photographer in California will generally have a higher COL than one in Arizona, and business pricing will likely reflect that.
Find out what your newborn photographer has to offer in addition to the photography session. Most established professional newborn photographers will have a separate session fee (ranging from $150 to $500) that do not include any prints, products or digital images. Your photographer will have a separate, curated list of beautiful products and collections for purchase once the session is completed. Most newborn photographers will have options such as prints, canvases, metal prints, wood prints, folio boxes, albums, and digital collections to chose from. To get an accurate idea on costs, ask for or schedule a consultation with your photographer to review their price list prior to booking, so that you can account for investing in the right products that will best suit your family. I always recommend opting for a collection that includes products (albums, prints, etc) as well as digital images. This will ensure that you have a quality, professional product that can be given to your newborn when he or she becomes an adult, and can be passed down through generations, as well as those digital images that will allow you to reproduce additional prints for family and friends. Collections with both product and digitals typically range from $1,000 to $3,000.
As a general average, a newborn photo session with prints, products and/or digital images should run about $1,500. This is an average and will go up or down depending on the level of skill, experience and establishment of your photographer.
San Diego Newborn Photographer – Sophie Crew Photography