While the hospital photographers have certainly upped their game in recent years, many people still search for a photographer who can do a session once they have returned home with their baby. With so many photographers in the area, how do you choose one who will generate images you cherish for years to come? Here are a few ideas for narrowing down your choices.
Posed or Lifestyle?
Lifestyle photography is meant to capture people in real-life situations. It may be a photo of a parent holding the newborn, the newborn lying in the crib or on a chair, or the whole family sitting in a freshly made bed.
Posed photography generally means more props, or creating composite images, and is largely photos of the newborn alone.
Composite images are used to make it look like a baby is in a pose that they cannot safely or feasibly be put into (for example, the baby propping its head in its hands). In composite images, the photographer may take one photo where the parents are holding the baby’s head up, and one photo where they are holding the baby’s body up, and then they use photoshop to merge those two photos together.
Trendy or Timeless?
Using vignettes, textured backgrounds, and selective coloring (all of the photo is b&w except one detail) are extremely popular trends in newborn photography right now. If you are the type of person who does not like to look at your 90’s photographs of you against the laser background with your ‘Rachel’ haircut anymore, you may not enjoy a trendy photography look years down the road when the photographs begin to look dated. On the flip side, many people enjoy the nostalgia of a forgotten trend (I dig the wedding photos of my aunts in long-sleeved dresses and GIANT floppy hats). Totally up to you!
Home or Studio?
Some photographers shoot exclusively in your home, some shoot exclusively in their studio, others give you the option. The studio offers the guarantee of consistent lighting and access to all of the props and backgrounds the photographer has. In your home offers the comfort of your own environment and the ability to capture those details such as how the nursery looked and how you lived. Again, no wrong answer here!
You may want to ask the prospective photographers:
- What training and experience they have in posing newborns
- What sorts of props they provide
- What they do if a newborn is super upset during a shoot
- Whether they do composite images (you may ask to see examples)
- Whether they have liability insurance
- Whether they include parents and siblings in the photos
Generally speaking, you should check out your potential photographers’ galleries and make sure they are consistently good, that you like the overall style, and that the babies in the photos look relaxed and comfortable. We encourage people to choose a photographer who has good business practices: returns your call or inquiry in a timely manner, is responsive by phone, has a professional contract that details their obligations and yours, and carries liability insurance.