If you're googling this topic, I'll assumingly say congratulations to you on your growing family. A newborn baby is such a special time in your life. There is so much planning when a baby is coming into your family. Mom has doctor appointments, her body is changing and Dad may be researching what the newest gadgets are like the newest and best stroller and all important car seat system. Parents are planning the nursery and thinking of names and figuring out when and how to tell the family about the great news and by the time you think you're ready, boom! The baby has arrived...and you didn't realize newborn photos are a 'thing', but they're so adorable and you definitely want them and you're researching local newborn photographers and realizing oh wow, maybe this is something I needed to plan ahead for.
Are you thinking about newborn photos yet? It not, it may be time to start finding the right photographer for you. Where do you start? Google or course, newborn baby photographers near me and you get a list of potential photographers in your area. What are your criteria for finding the right fit, well, you should like their portfolio of work, look through their website to see the pictures of newborn babies. If the website doesn't include newborn babies, they probably don't offer newborn photography as an option.
Look through the offerings of the photographer, do they have a studio or travel to people's homes? Is that important to you? Do they offer props, like buckets and beds and bonnets and swaddles for the newborn photo sessions? Do they offer wardrobe for moms and family? Do they offer printing and framing services so you don't have to spend 5 hours online choosing the best frame and uploading images and end up frustrated because it's not cropping correctly and you wish you had more time and an extra set of hands so you can focus on just getting this done.....Oh, I digress....
Most importantly in my opinion in choosing a newborn photographer is safety. This person will be holding, changing and posing your baby for a few hours, so do you want to meet them, zoom call or call them ahead of time and make sure you feel safe and comfortable with them. You should have a chance to ask your questions like maybe what do they use to wash their newborn outfits, are they trained in newborn safety, how much experience do they have photographing newborns or what their safety protocol is before during and after a photo session. Many newborn photographers have had a certification in newborn safety, so if this is important to you, ask if they have had any type of newborn safety training.
I did say a few hours...Yes, a newborn photo session will last several hours. Photographing newborns as you may learn, is a very unique and precious artform all in itself. All of the props, like beds and buckets are sized for newborns. We use special props that are designed with a newborn baby's safety in mind. We're always up on the latest newborn safety techniques along with color combinations, new outfit designs, bonnets, and sleepy hats are all used during a photo session and especially made for your baby's size. Babies don't hold a pose like their mom and dad will, you can't just put a baby in a swaddle and expect them to know what to do, so it usually takes a while to change baby into different swaddles and outfits and soothe them to sleep before the photo is taken and we do this time and time again during a session, we take our time with every baby. Some babies sleep through a session and some babies are awake, most babies will wake up at some point and need to feed and have a diaper change, so the sessions take a while.
As you're researching for baby pictures by newborn photographers, there are a few things to keep in mind:
1. How old should your baby be for newborn photos? You may read on photography websites that some photographers like to photograph newborn babies at 2 weeks old, some at 4 weeks old. It depends on the comfort level of the photographer. Most offer those sleepy, squishy baby poses within the first 2 weeks of the baby's life, so there's not a big window of opportunity to book these sessions.
2. When should I schedule my baby's photos ? How far in advance does the photographer need? Well, some will have openings right away and some photographers do need 2-3 months in advance, so if you're looking through photography websites and are in love with a specific photographer, I'd suggest calling them right away to get on their schedule. Most photographers do book up several months in advance.
3. Why so far in advance? I do get alot of calls that baby has already arrived and parents are looking for photos and can't understand why I can't fit them in. Well, If you're calling a local photographer and not going to a mall company, such as JC Penney photography studio, then most likely they're a small business (thank you for supporting small businesses) and don't just churn out session after session after session. This is different from a 30 minute mall session.
Hours of work go into the planning of a newborn session, we talk to moms about what photos fit their style, what colors they like, props, what they want to wear for their family portraits, etc. All of this is done way before the photo session date so the photographer has time to create and plan and make sure everything needed is ready to go and set up before the session date. We'll also photograph and edit to your needs for wall art and photo album design; sometimes the way we photograph will depend on what size prints you need for your walls, so all this is taken care of beforehand and considered through out your photo session. "The devil is in the details" is certainly a saying that most newborn photographers are very familiar with.
Of course, we always try and fit in last minute clients, but the lack of preparation may show in the final images and we want every client to get the same quality photos, for both YOU, the client to be happy with our work, and for us, the business to be consistent with our branding and offerings as our style is what people can expect from us and we want to be able to keep the integrity of that, so last minute sessions many times do not work out.
4. Pricing. I'm going to add quality here. Usually the more experienced and schooled in their craft that the photographer is, the better quality work they have and poses, swaddles, props, will all resemble the quality of their work. This all factors into cost, too. As you are probably aware with most things in life, you can get something less expensive or splurge on quality. For some people they value cars or real estate for some people value traveling or jewelry and even for house repairs, we all know you can get someone to do a job for $250 and the same job for $2500 or $5000, right? This is why we get estimates and usually quickly learn the difference in quality and expectations for the job. It's the same with newborn photography. The more skilled, the higher quality props and swaddles that we have for your newborn baby, to make sure things are safe for your baby and the softest possible outfits and swaddles for your baby, may be a few more dollars than someone just purchasing something off amazon. What type of experience does the photographer offer? Some may need parents to help in a session or only offer photos of baby and no family photos, some offer a clean well lit private studio setting with amenities to pamper parents such as professional hair and makeup along with wardrobe for moms, a massage chair for dads/parents to nap in, snacks and drinks and an assistant to help mom, siblings, dad and the photographer with your newborn baby during the session, while other photographers work out of their cars or out of their basement in their family home. All of this factors into cost and I say all this because there are a lot of options out there and you may want to take some time to consider what would work best for you, it depends on what you want and what you value.
5. Products. Are you an "I only want digitals" type of person or a "I prefer a professional's assistance when choosing the right images, frames and wall art for our home" ? An "I'll get to it someday" type of person or "Yes, please order THIS and THAT for us and please check that it looks perfect before you have it delivered to our home, to give me one less thing to worry about" kind of person. These are all factors in your newborn photographer.
Did you think there would be so many decision with a newborn photographer? Ha..it IS a lot to consider, you will have these photos forever and will definitely use them any time your child has a little graduation ceremony, albeit preschool, elementary school high school or maybe even college, so we definitely care that you are in love with these images forever and always have fond memories of your photo session.
We're here to answer any questions you have about newborn photography. You can reach Millie Dee Photography studio at 973.805.FOTO. We're located in Roxbury Township, Morris County, New Jersey.
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Where did the name Millie Dee come from? It's my 2 nicknames, my maiden name is Miller, so some friends call me Millie and some call me Dee instead of Denise, so I jammed them together and made Millie Dee...