Updated: Nov 10, 2019
So.... your expecting a new baby in coming months and have decided you'd like to book a newborn photo shoot ready for your new arrival. It's an exciting time, you google 'newborn photographer south wales' and up pops a HUGE list of photographers. As a newborn photographer in Newport, South Wales I'm aware there are lots of great photographers in the area. How do you choose which photographer is right for you?? How do you know which, if any, to avoid and are there any questions you should be asking before you book?
There are a few key things to think about when choosing a newborn photographer so I thought I'd share some info on things to look for which I hope will help make the search a little easier.
Newborn training and safety
Does having your own baby and knowing how to use a camera qualify someone as a newborn photographer? Unfortunately there are no official qualifications needed to photograph a newborn baby. Literally anyone can advertise themselves as a newborn photographer.....scary huh?? I've had my own children, taught baby massage classes and even delivered some babies in the past......however the very first thing I did when I decided I wanted to specialise in newborn photography was to book myself in for newborn posing and safety training with a leading newborn photographer in the UK. I did this training before ever taking a booking to ensure safety right from the start. In the time since I started my photography journey I have had one to one newborn training, attending group workshops on newborn safety with leading photographers, and trained in posing and settling newborns. Any client who has had their newborn session with me can vouch for my safety and settling techniques...... and for me safety will always be paramount. When you have found a photographer you like I recommend double checking if they have any any specific training, particularly in terms of newborn safety, usually you can do this by checking their 'about me' section on their website but if you cant find the information you're looking for don't be afraid to ask.
You're insured right?
Along with newborn safety training it goes without saying that anyone working as a photographer and running their own business should be insured but I can't stress this one enough. Don't be afraid to ask your photographer if they have insurance, its so important!
I like your style!
Now this is what most people look for when finding a photographer .....the photographer's style! Posed or lifestyle? Neutrals or colourful?? Pinterest can be your friend here! Spend a little time deciding the style of newborn photography you like and then look at photographers around you and what they offer. If you plan on bringing your own props or outfits discuss this with your photographer before booking as this may not be their style. Personally, my style of newborn photography is posed but minimalist.....I use props like bowls and buckets but I don't go overboard with huge hats or headbands. I offer a range of colour palettes to choose from and I always chat about colour preferences with my newborn clients a few weeks ahead of their session. You can view the colour palettes I offer for my newborn sessions here though I'm constantly updating my collection of wraps and materials used so this isnt everything I have. I usually ask parents to let me know which three are their favourites from my collection and I incorporate these chosen colours in their session. Its important to have the newborn photos you want so make sure your photographer can offer what you want before booking. Don't see a colour here that you were looking for? No problems at all, just let me know and I can add it to my collection ready for your session.
Going the distance...
Don't limit yourself to your local town and don't be afraid to travel to the right photographer for you. Your newborn photos will be with you forever and, along with your wedding photos, will be your most precious photos ever taken. It's worth travelling to the right person.
I'm based just outside Caerleon in Newport but regularly have people travel around an hour or more to get to me for their newborn session. I have had people travel to me from as far as Bath to Penarth and even Port Talbot as well as lots of other places in the South Wales area so search a broader area when doing you research if you don't see someone in your local town that you love. Maybe or newborn photographers in South Wales instead of limiting yourself to your local town. I'm lucky to be quite central to Newport, Cwmbran, Chepstow and Monmouth so have clients from all of these locations regularly which is lovely.
Know your budget
Many expectant parents think nothing of spending £1500 on a new pushchair for their baby months before baby arrives, this pushchair is used for around a year....then sold on, handed down to a friend or relative or given away.
When it comes to the cost of newborn photos people often question the price if over a few hundred pounds. Unlike the expensive pushchair, your newborn photos will be with you forever.....long after the pushchair has been sold on. View your images as an investment and worth the money, just like your wedding photos. Your newborn baby changes in the blink of an eye and are only in that truly 'newborn' stage for such a short period of time. Don't be afraid to spend on newborn photography.....particularly in the form of wall art. While its nice to have digital images too, seeing your beautiful baby's image displayed on your wall is so heart warming and is guaranteed to make you smile, even after a long night of feeding or teething trouble.
Cost is going to be one of the main deciding factors for most people booking a newborn photographer and everyone will have their own budget, however be aware that very cheap prices may be an indicator or lack of training, insurance, experience and lower spec equipment. We all start somewhere,new photographers often charge little money to gain experience and to build a portfolio and there is nothing wrong with that as long as you are aware you are booking someone who is just starting out so the quality of images may differ from that of an experienced photographer.
Avoid getting sucked in by larger companies offering 'free' shoots with astronomical prices that will be sprung on you at your viewing session, I really recommending doing you research so you know how much the images are going to cost before you book to avoid any unwanted surprises.
A great, experienced photographer with good equipment, knowledge of lighting and training in newborn safety will cost you more but will be well worth the investment. They will be happy to chat about costs upfront as its important to them you know what you are booking. Be sure to ask about prices and packages before booking.
Just remember.....when it comes to booking a newborn photo shoot you aren't just paying for an hour or two in the studio. Newborn photography is much more than that......time,experience, insurance, editing skills and all the other things a good photographer has to offer as well as the time taken to prepare for your photo shoot, the actual photo shoot itself, then the time editing your images ready for you to view. A lot of time and love goes into providing you with beautiful newborn images and these sessions are worth every penny in the long run.
You can view all the information on my packages with prices here, I offer a range of packages which include prints, digital images and wall art or as an alternative some 'simply digital' packages for those looking for just digital images.
There are lots of things to think about and questions to ask when starting the search for your newborn photographer so I hope this has helped. If you'd like to get in touch to discuss my newborn sessions and what I can offer please don't hesitate to get in touch.
Each week I like to give a shout out to a fellow photographer who's work I love. This week its Selina Cotton of Mini Moo Studios,who has written all about the dreaded winter germs, check out her blog newborn photographer, Swindon