You’re having a baby!!! You just can’t wait to kiss those chubby cheeks, tickle the tiny toes, and breathe in that intoxicating smell. Before you know it you’ll be watching your little one grow into a giggling, crawling, pot-banging sitter and on to a running, clapping, teething, cake-smashing toddler. In all your sleep deprivation, it really does go by in a blur. It’s no wonder photographing these little ones, especially in their first year, has become so popular. With life being so busy, hiring a professional photographer makes sure you not only get pictures of these milestones but beautiful pieces of art you can cherish forever. So, here are a few tips that will make sure you are hiring not just your cousin who got a new DSLR for her birthday, but a true professional.
Make sure your photographer has experience working with newborns and babies. Working with newborns truly requires specific training and experience. Check their portfolio online, and look for images of different babies in a variety of poses. Babies should look comfortable, and the lighting in the images should be soft. Baby’s skin should have color and shouldn’t be too bright or too dark.
Make sure your photographer has knowledge of safety practices in newborn and baby photography. Ask your photographer what training they have in this subject, and make sure they’ve had some in-person mentoring. If you have certain poses in mind that you’re not sure about, ask the photographer how they will achieve it. Many images are created by compositing two images together — this prevents the need for baby to support all his weight on small bones and hang in the air in swings, hammocks, or other props. Your photographer should also be always looking to make sure your baby isn’t too hot or cold, has good circulation (limbs and lips are pink), and doesn’t have fuzz caught on fingers and toes.
Check to make sure your photographer has liability insurance and is a licensed business. If it’s not listed on their website, ask. In case anything does happen, you need to make sure both you and the photographer are protected.
Check to see if your photographer has information to help you prepare for your session. With experience, photographers will learn tips that will help you prepare yourself and your baby for a successful session.
With camera equipment becoming more available to the general public, there is a huge growth in hobbyists offering to photograph babies and families with little to no experience at a low cost. Professional photographers who have been around understand that they need to price themselves based on local costs, business expenses, experience, and knowledge so they can stick around to continue photographing your family as it grows. Make sure you budget enough to hire a professional you can trust with your newborn. Just remember the old saying, “You get what you pay for.” This is your brand new baby — make sure you are working with a professional.
I was so fortunate to work with Mandi McCormack when my Jesse was just a few weeks old. Even though he is my third baby, I’d actually never done a newborn photoshoot before! I didn’t see the point, and now I truly regret not taking the time to capture these memories of my older children — my iPhone pictures just aren’t enough! I love that Mandi sent out a comprehensive package of how best to prepare for the shoot. I knew to expect a warm studio and come in with a fed baby!
Mandi loves babies and is completely at ease with them. She’s a natural with positioning them and knows just how to calm them down. I was amazed by how much patience and attention to detail was involved in these simple, beautiful shots. Mandi noticed things I never would have thought of and worked to make sure baby Jesse was warm, happy, and comfortable throughout our whole session. She had him so content and at ease that I was even willing to jump in front of the camera, sans makeup! The pictures really speak for themselves.