You have found out your are expecting, congratulations! Now that you know your due date, it is time to start thinking about who you would trust to take your little bundle's first photos. But who do you hire? How do you know they are worth your time and money? And why do they charge SO MUCH MONEY??
In this post, I will share with you all you need to know about picking the right Infant Photographer for you.
1. Firstly, it is important to hire a photographer that knows the "Golden Hour" of newborn photography and requests that time frame of you.
Believe it or not, most photographers (if they know what they are doing) book infant photo sessions for when your baby is 1-2 weeks old! Seems early right? There is a good reason for such an early time frame that I like to call the "golden hour" of baby photography.
The Golden Hour of infant photography begins the first few weeks of your baby's life. It is the perfect time to capture your baby in their freshest, most sleepy, and compliant state... Meaning, once your baby is asleep, your photographer will be able to pose your sleeping baby much easier than an older baby. Your chances for your photographer to be able to move your baby around into those sweet peaceful poses goes waaaay down past the two week mark. Any older and your baby will have a harder time falling asleep and will be less likely to tolerate being moved around or positioned after they have fallen asleep. You want your baby so sleepy they will allow your photographer to safely position them into any sweet position.
This all means, if you don't do your homework, you could end up with a lot of not-so-sweet-and-peaceful photos of your brand new baby that you just invested a whole lot of money for. Additionally, and unfortunately, you will be too late to hire that one photographer that you really loved but passed on to save a little money because the Golden Hour will have already passed. Newborns grow so fast and the window of time is so short so don't waste your money and time, go with the best photographer FIRST! This brings up my next point.
JUST LIKE YOUR WEDDING:
2. Think back on your wedding day. It was a magical day, culminating the love you and your partner share as well as a celebration of all the planning and effort put into that day. When you were researching your wedding photographer, did you look for the best? Of course you did! But why? Because you new it was one of the most important days of your life and you wanted to hire someone that could capture not only the day, but the emotion, the love, the friends, the family, and the feelings of that day right? And you knew you had to have the best because your wedding day is a one time thing, you can't go back and "redo" your wedding day if you didn't like the way the photos turned out.
With all this said I BEG you to think of your prospective infant photographer as if they were your prospective wedding photographer. If you think about it, weddings and infant photo sessions have a lot in common. Much like your wedding day, infant photo sessions have a very narrow window of time to capture the moment before the moment is gone! The "golden hour" of infant photography is like your wedding day, once it has past, you will never get the opportunity back to have those precious moments captured. So book the best!
Secondly, much like your wedding day, the images captured of your brand new baby will help you remember them better in this tiny stage of life. Your child as a tiny newborn only lasts so long. You want the best to capture them in this special and fleeting time of life because lets face it, being a new mom is tough, between the nightly feedings, all day feedings, crying, diaper changes, healing and recovery it is ALL A BLUR. It is hard to fully appreciate (or even remember!) what your little one was like over all the exhaustion of just being a newborn mommy. You need someone you can trust to capture this time. You will be SO glad you did!
Thirdly, and quite possibly most importantly, much like your wedding album, your baby's infant album will become a family heirloom, something to treasure for not only the rest of your life, but your child's life too.
I have 3 children and let me tell you, they have their baby photo books memorized!
YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR:
3. If you go with a sub-par photographer to save a little money... you usually get what you pay for. So do your research! Ask your prospective photographers how long they have been doing infant photography. Ask them how many baby's they have done sessions for. Ask them anything you like to ensure you are getting the right fit.
Try to find someone who has been at it for a few years.
Go back through their work, their website is a good place to start but that is an easy place for photographers to showcase only their best work. Not all the photo sessions that didn't go so well. I would recommend finding them on social media and going back through some of their old posts.
Here are a couple things to watch out for:
1) Have they improved over the years? Is their style relatively the same? Or are they wishy washy on how they edit their photos? Sometimes you may book thinking you will get one style you love, but end up with something totally different. I have been photographing infants for over 10 years now. My style has evolved over the years, but not to any great extreme. My returning clients have been very happy with their albums year after year because I have been consistent. Consistency and quality are important!
2) Are their images over exposed or under exposed? Sometimes too much exposure can wash out all the beautiful details of your baby. And at the same time an under exposed image leaves your images looking too dark.
3) Are their images blurry? A good infant photographer knows how to take crisp photos, focused on the baby's face. The rest of the image should be softly blurry though, this is called a good depth of field, which makes your baby's facial features pop and makes the rest of the image soft. This also means your photographer knows what they are doing and have the correct equipment (lens) to create this soft look. Your baby is not moving, they are asleep, so you can't blame the blurry face on the subject!
4) Too much fluff? Do they over do it on the props and backgrounds? Sometimes over doing it with props, bright colors and busy backgrounds can be distracting and is a disservice to your beautiful baby. You want a photographer who showcases your baby, not all their fancy props and backdrops.
5) Do they offer in-home or in-studio photography? I hands down, always prefer an in-home photo session. In-home infant sessions allow me to fully capture the family in their element. It allows me to capture their family in a very personal and intimate setting. Their is nothing better than a new mama snuggling her little one in the nursery she worked so hard to design and set up for her baby or a dad rocking his little bundle in the same rocking chair his mother rocked him in when he was a baby, or a couple enjoying their new baby comfortably and intimately in the comfort of their own bed. It creates personal, one of a kind photo sessions... every time that you will cherish for a lifetime.
I've been inside many different homes, sat and talked with all different types of new moms and dads. I am always amazed at how much of their personality comes out in their album when we shoot in the comfort of their own home. No two albums have been the same, but each have been unique and special to each family... something they can treasure for years to come.
So opt for the photographer that puts a focus on In-Home Infant Photo Sessions
6) Awkward poses. This one probably goes without saying but if you see some poses that make you cringe a little... like a dad without his shirt on (this always makes me cringe!)... it's probably best to move on.
7) Do the babies look safe and peaceful? I’ve seen some unnerving set ups around the internet, babies hung in a sling from a stick, or balancing inside something hard like a wood bowl with no soft blanket. If the baby looks uncomfortable, it probably is. Posing a baby correctly and safely takes years of training and experience. This is your brand new baby we are talking about, let's not take any chances with their safety!
The good news is, the choice is ultimately up to you. There are many wonderfully talented photographers out there and once you find the right one. You won't want to let them go! They are like your favorite hair stylist, once you've found your match, no one else will do. And I feel the same way about my clients, they truly are friends and family to me. I have families who hired me to do their engagements, wedding, infant, and family photos year after year. I feel like I am just part of the family and I LOVE it. My clients are the best. :-)
For questions or concerns, feel free to contact me.
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