Hey friends! Have you heard? The digital era is here and photographers are everywhere. It is not hard to find a photographer. It is not even hard to find a newborn photographer. However, I do think it is hard to find a good newborn photographer or to know what to even look for in a photographer. I created this blog post for those of you that are looking for metrics. Obviously, I'M a newborn photographer, so I'd love to take your newborn's photos, but I really want to provide objective information to help you in your search.
#1 - SAFETY
My #1 rule when it comes to photographing newborns is that the photographer has thought through and already addressed safety. It should be the first thing on their mind and obvious to you as a potential client that they are thinking about it.
I have a page dedicated to safety on my website, as well as outside links describing what a photographer should be concerned about. You can view that webpage here: https://www.aprilmilamphotography.com/safety-information.
#2 - PORTFOLIO, STYLE & COMFORT LEVEL
It's important to look at the portfolio of photographers because that will give you an idea of their style. For instance, if you look at my portfolio https://www.aprilmilamphotography.com/newborns, you'll notice that I have lots of white to create a clean look and I like for the focus to be on the baby. I get it - not everyone has the same style I do! Some people like LOTS of props or babies dressed like princesses or lots of bright colors. The portfolio should show exactly what the client can expect for their own newborn session.
Also, look at how many babies they have photographed. Not ALL of the babies will be there - but look to see if this photographer has experience in photographing many babies. I have photographed over 100 babies and I know that with experience comes skill.
Lastly, the portfolio or website or blog should give you an idea of the photographers personality. This is going to help you know whether you or going to feel comfortable working with them. When you've had a baby, you're recovering and the most precious thing in the world to you is being held by another person (photographer) then I know you want to feel totally comfortable with them. It is not unreasonable to ask to meet with them prior to your session.
#3 - COST
Notice, I don't believe cost is #1. Why do I think this? Because it is much more important to have trust in your photographer and like what you're getting before you pay them a dime!
Sometimes photographers post their prices on-line, sometimes they request to speak or even meet with you first. I think either is fine. In my own experience of choosing a photographer, I have found that a trustworthy, dependable, and talented photographer is worth what they are charging. And let me tell you - I am a bargain shopper. Some things are worth the investment. If you find a photographer you love, discuss cost with them. If they are too expensive, save up, make a payment plan or see if there's any wiggle room for them. It's worth asking because these photos will be looked at for a looooooong time.
#4 - PRODUCTS
These days, everyone seems to just want digital files. I've got zero problems with clients wanting digital files. I sell digital files. And now you see what's coming - However, I have been a new mom. I know what it's like to have that baby and let those files sit in some folder somewhere on my computer.
The advantage of having a photographer that offers products (not only digital files) is that they will do the work for you. It's like a having a personal decorator come in and make your home pretty...with portraits of your gorgeous children. They might also offer albums or birth announcements. Photographers offering products can help you with these things, which will let you focus on that sweet baby!
Another thing to think about is that your average place to purchase printed products (i.e. Walgreens, Shutterfly, etc) is not going to provide you with a professional grade of product. Photographers have access to high-quality products that will be color-correct and made out of materials meant to last...from generation to generation. So if you want something high-quality, it is really important to go through a photographer for these products.
#5 - ARE THEY A BUSINESS?
As I mentioned, there are many photographers out there. Not all or even most of these photographers have a business or liability insurance. They have a camera and may or may not be working towards having a business.
Personally, I would rather have someone who has a legitimate business photograph my baby, because it shows their dedication to their clients and the seriousness in building their business.
How do you know if they're a business? Well, you could ask. Or you could look at their pricing. If they are "cheap" then they are probably not paying for all of the things it takes to run a business. Or you could meet with them or get word-of-mouth referrals, and that should give you an idea of how professional/legit they are.
#6 - REVIEWS
Reviews can be important. I would NOT solely base a photographer decision on an on-line review. I wouldn't necessarily pick a 5.0 ranked photographer over a 4.3 ranked photographer.
I might be shooting myself in the foot here, because my rankings are solid, but I want to provide you with good information.
Did you know that anyone can review a business on Google or Facebook or anywhere else? Sometimes, they are not even a client and they have given a bad review?! Or some people think that giving 3 stars is a GOOD review or they gave a glowing review and accidentally chose 1 star.
My suggestion here - Read the reviews. If they seem alright, look at numbers #1-4 above. If you think you like them, ask for the contact info for previous clients or ask your social circle if they know anything about them. Or meet with them in person.
Reviews are important, but they don't always tell the whole story.
Obviously, word-of-mouth referrals are extremely important to photographers because it's hard to know who to choose.
So if you love my photography and working with me, please SHARE. If you love another photographer, please SHARE.
When you share, you're beloved photographer gets to stay in business. WIN-WIN for everyone!
Lastly, every photographer starts somewhere. We all have a starting place and we have to grow. I started somewhere too many years ago. I did it while keeping #1 in mind, though, at all times. If you're looking to grow, then work on the list above. Seek out resources to help you. If you want to improve and aren't sure how, shoot me a message. I'll be happy to help you grow!