There are a lot of photographers in the world, so choosing just one to photograph your new baby can be a little overwhelming. Throw in some extra hormones and trying to figure out how you're going to learn how to do the whole "mom thing," well, it can get a little overwhelming. Here are a few things to take into consideration when choosing the best photographer to work with:
1. Do they work safely?
This is number one for a reason: it is the very first and most important thing you should consider. As a newborn photographer I find it terrifying how often I see babies placed in unsafe situations in the name of art. Babies in glass bowls, hanging from tree limbs, being set up in unnatural poses - these are all absolutely dangerous situations for a baby. Some of these images can be created safely with the help of Photoshop by using multiple images to piece the final image together (except for babies in glass bowls, they should never be placed in anything breakable), but they should never be done "in real time." Find out how a photographer creates these images: do they work Photoshop magic or do they hang baby from a real tree? If it's the latter, run. Babies move and squirm and do so unpredictably, so it can cause harm if they fall. Working with babies is very different than working with adults or shooting weddings, which is why I always recommend hiring someone who specializes specifically in newborn photography.
2. Do you like this photographer's style?
Every photographer works differently and has a different style and aesthetic. Before hiring someone make sure to review their portfolio of work and make sure you like what you see. I readily admit: I am not the right photographer for everyone. Not every photographer is the right fit for every client. If you want bold and bright, find a photographer who does that. A photographer's style is not easily mimicked or changed, so make sure you like what you see in their galleries. Here are a few things to take into consideration when identifying a photographer's style:
bold vs. neutral colors
use of props (baskets, buckets, headbands, etc.)
posed vs. lifestyle imagery
3. Does this photographer actually know what she's doing?
One of the first things you should look at on a photographer's website is their portfolio of work. Look through all of the images they have there - that's their best of the best. When you're looking at their work take note of what you see. Is the work consistent? Are the images properly exposed and composed? Similarly, keep looking around and see what (if any) professional organizations they belong to or what education they have. It isn't necessary for a photographer to have a formal degree (many amazing photographers are self-taught), but they should understand lighting and posing and how properly compose an image.
4. Are they running legitimate business?
I have heard so many stories of people hiring photographers who then don't deliver what they promised. If you want your images - your beautiful high quality irreplaceable images - hire someone who treats their business and their clients seriously. Ask yourself:
Is this photographer easily reachable? Do they respond to my inquiries?
Do they have a good track record and reputation with their other clients?
Do they pay taxes and require a contract?
Do they speak with authority and expertise?
5. Do they offer the kind of experience that you want?
Every photographer offers a different experience for their clients, I promise that there is someone out there for you. Some photographers have their own studio while others offer sessions in your home. Some offer maternity and family sessions so you can have a continued relationship with them, while others offer strictly baby photography. Photographers may offer different products from one another so make sure read over their product guide so you know you can get exactly what you want.
Selecting the right photographer for you will ensure that you get the best possible images of your new little one and that they will be treasured keepsakes for a lifetime to come. Hopefully this information will help you on your journey as you choose the perfect fit for you. And as a little extra special bonus, I'd love to give you a copy of my maternity what to wear guide. Just let me know where to send it below, and I'll get it right out to you.