I asked 12 professional family and newborn photographers: how to choose your newborn photographer, and we summarized their advice. By the way, my name is Fran Boloni and I’m the founder of The Paris Photographer.
Advice no 1: Prioritize safety and experience: Your chosen photographer should have the necessary experience and knowledge to handle and pose newborns safely.
Advice no 2: Evaluate their style and portfolio: Ensure the newborn photographer’s style resonates with your own. This can be done by reviewing their portfolio, which should showcase their ability to capture the delicate features of newborns.
Advice no 3: Understand their pricing and packages: Discuss the pricing, packages, and the rights to digital images in advance to avoid any unexpected costs or issues. It is also beneficial to understand what is included in the session (e.g., siblings, parents, etc.) and what keepsakes will be available after the session.
I first asked Clare Evans, newborn, family and photographer based in Edinburgh this question and she replied: “Choosing a newborn photographer is a significant decision, and several factors should be considered to ensure a positive and memorable experience. First and foremost, prioritize safety – a reputable newborn photographer should have experience handling and posing newborns safely. Look for a portfolio that resonates with your style preferences, showcasing their expertise in capturing the innocence and delicate features of newborns. Check reviews and testimonials from previous clients to gauge satisfaction and professionalism.
A photographer’s studio environment should be clean, comfortable, and conducive to a relaxed session. Verify the photographer’s credentials, including any relevant certifications, and ensure they are up-to-date with immunizations to guarantee a healthy environment for your baby. Additionally, discuss pricing, packages, and the rights to digital images in advance to avoid any surprises later. Finally, trust your instincts – choose a photographer with whom you feel comfortable and confident in entrusting your precious memories.”
Then I asked Ema Avarvarii, Vacation Photographer Ema Avarvarii Pixelsinlove, how to choose your newborn photographer and she advised: “Choosing your newborn photographer is a delicate decision, akin to selecting a cherished keepsake for your child. It’s wise to look for someone with a gentle touch and ample experience in handling and photographing infants. Review their portfolio to ensure their style resonates with your taste. A pre-session consultation can also be invaluable; it allows you to assess their understanding of safety and comfort for your baby.”
With the same purpose, we asked Anita Schanck, a talented Hudson Valley Lifestyle Newborn Photographer and she justified that: “When selecting a newborn photographer, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of their photographic style, as this will greatly influence the look and feel of your newborn session. Two primary styles of newborn photography—traditional and lifestyle—offer distinct approaches to capturing these early moments of your baby’s life. Traditional newborn photography typically involves posed setups with carefully curated props and backdrops, resulting in polished and timeless images. On the other hand, lifestyle newborn photography focuses on capturing candid moments in a natural, unposed manner, often within the comfort of your own home.”
Something very interesting came from Alyssa Dougherty, Central Florida Light and Airy Photographer, when we asked her how to choose your newborn photographer. She said: “First decide if you want lifestyle or studio. They are two very different styles and even budgets. Second, make sure you choose someone with experience. They will be handling your precious cargo!”
Also, Delanie Potts, Melbourne newborn photographer, added that: “Along with the style of photography and whether you’re after an in-home or studio session, consider who you would like included in the session. Are you after photos of just your newborn, or would you like their siblings included? How about some photos of baby with you too? Also, consider what you want to have to keep after the session. Is that a framed photo? Digital files? Ensure you have a clear understanding of the photographer’s pricing, and what is and is not included.”
In this conversation with Anna Munandar, San Francisco – Marin Studio & Lifestyle Newborn Photographer, about choosing your newborn photographer, she shared that: “When possible, chat with your photographer to make sure that they are align with your needs, expectations, and personalities. You want to make sure your photographer is kind, gentle and experienced in handling and photographing newborns. Check to make sure you know what the package includes: studio vs lifestyle, length of session, how many digital images, any printed products like photo album, etc.”
Similar thoughts arised from Ben Hurt, a Gold Coast Family Photographer, saying that: “Begin by exploring portfolios to find styles that resonate with your family’s personality. Look for photographers experienced in family shoots, understanding the dynamics and emotions involved. Schedule meetings to gauge their personality and professionalism, ensuring a comfortable atmosphere during the session. Discuss package options, including session length, prints, and digital files, aligning with your budget and preferences. Ask to see full family galleries to assess consistency and storytelling ability. Review contracts thoroughly, clarifying terms on delivery timelines, image rights, and any additional costs. Prioritize talent, connection, and reliability to capture beautiful family moments.”
Alicia Ho, a Toronto Newborn Photographer & Toronto Maternity Photographer, understands that: “A a new parent, there is so much to prepare for in celebrating your precious bundle’s arrival. Look for a professional newborn photographer who has years of expertise in guiding you throughout the customzied photoshoot process, has a comfortable and clean studio, and ask them how your baby will be handled to ensure they prioritize working with baby in a safe and comfortable manner, while capturing your family’s incredible milestone.”
Also, Dee Giumetti, Philadelphia Fine Art Photographer, considers that: “The perfect photographer goes beyond the lens, embracing the authentic moments and ensuring a comfortable atmosphere during the shoot. A personal touch, like handling everyday situations with a calm demeanor—whether it’s a tissue for a little mess or a brief pause to make everyone comfortable—can truly make the experience memorable. Seek out a photographer who not only captures images but crafts an enjoyable and personalized journey for you and your family.”
Rachael Lynch, Edinburgh Maternity & Baby Photographer, on the other hand, has a more systematic approach in mind when it comes to choosing your newborn photographer. “The main points I would urge all parents to consider are :
1. experience – did you know that newborn photography is unregulated and therefore no formal training is required? Your baby will be brand new for their first portraits so you want expert hands with proper trining to handle your precious newborn baby. This extends beyond safety, experienced newborn photographers like me have a multitude of tips and tricks we use to ensure baby is comfortable at all times and we are always happy to share them with our families!
2. how does the photographer work? do they schedule sessions back to back where you may feel that you and baby are being rushed? or do they allow plenty of time for soothing, feeding,nappy changes etc? This is a once in a lifetime experience and you want to be sure it feels special and that proper time and care is spent on your photos.
And finally 3. I definitely recommend you either speak to the photographer over the phone or meet them in their sydio so you can get a feel for their personality and if you think you will feel comfortable with them. I encourage my families to meet me at the studio for a chat ver a coffee so they can ask any quesrtions they have and have a look around. It makes it much less stressful when travelling with a new baby if you already know where you are going and who you are meeting!”
Here is where it gets really interesting. Karen Daniel, a Houston newborn photographer, believes that: “When selecting a newborn photographer, experience matters. Check their portfolio to ensure their style aligns with your vision, read reviews for positive experiences, and don’t forget to communicate your preferences for a perfect session.”
Plus, Annie Dawson, a Brisbane Maternity, Family and Newborn Photographer, advises to: “Firstly decide if you want an in home newborn session or go to a studio. In home sessions are becoming more and more popular and are more of a natural approach with beautiful real emotions. You can get photographers with a mobile studio so you can have the best of both worlds – an in home lifestyle sessions which is more natural plus studio style photos of your newborn. Once you have established your preference you can start scrolling instagram and google to see which editing style catches your eye.”
Now, we listened to Amanda Barrett a talented Nashville Family and Newborn Photographer, as she explained that: “I think one of the most important things to consider when choosing a newborn photographer is bigger than style (though that is definitely important!), I believe you should choose a person who you like and trust to hold your brand new baby! Most photographers are plenty capable of taking beautiful photos that suit your style, but you’ll be spending quite a bit of time with this person and he/she will be holding your sweet baby. Do you trust them to be patient, loving, and safe? Will you be comfortable with the person? I believe in narrowing down your choices based on style, then choosing your photographer based on the person behind the camera.”
In the end, Abby Cope, a Maternity, Newborn and Family Photographer in Manhattan and Brooklyn, added that: “In choosing a newborn photographer, consider the style that speaks to your heart. You are preserving this moment in time and each photographer will bring a different style and a different level of experience. It is important that you feel comfortable and trust your chosen photographer. Asking if they are trained in safety and if they are vaccinated are common questions. Some photographers include siblings and parents (and pets!) and some do not. And finally, consider the price point. More experienced photographers who have invested in their training and expertise will charge accordingly. Some photographers will sell digital files, others will not. Understand the costs up front so that you don’t face surprises and you are able to enjoy the expereince. A newborn photo shoot should ultimately be a relaxing, happy experience.”
In conclusion, choosing a newborn photographer is a deeply personal and important decision. It involves careful consideration of the safety, experience, style, and pricing of the photographer. It’s about finding a professional who can capture this precious and fleeting time in your child’s life in a way that resonates with your own aesthetic preferences and comfort level. It’s a keepsake that will be cherished for years to come. Take the time to do your research, ask questions, and follow your instincts. After all, these are moments you’ll want to remember forever, captured in a style that’s uniquely you.