Choosing The Right Newborn Photographer

      5 Things to consider when hiring a newborn photographer

      Whether you’re expecting your first baby or your fifth, your family is about to be born anew. If you’re reading this, you probably have “find a newborn photographer” on your to-do list. You may be realizing already that finding the right newborn photographer – especially in a big city like Los Angeles – can be a little more complicated than you thought!

      Newborn photography is unlike any other genre of photography because your photographer will not only be creating beautiful portraits, but caring for your new baby during the session. In addition to finding a photographer who takes gorgeous photographs you’ll want to ensure that your baby is in the very best hands! Here are five things to consider when choosing a newborn photographer.

      Of course, I hope that if you’re located in the Los Angeles are that you’ll choose Ariel Cannon Photography for your newborn portraits, but this list will help you on your way wherever you are!


      Safety is by far the most important factor to consider when choosing a newborn photographer! Unfortunately, there is no national certification for becoming a newborn photographer and anyone can call themselves one. This means that as a parent, you’ll have to do your due diligence.

      There are a handful certification programs that newborn photographers can elect to complete. I chose to get certified in newborn safety through APNPI. The mission of APNPI is to provide in-depth training in newborn safety with a focus on newborn handling and safe posing. They also have some great resources for parents looking for qualified newborn photographers.

      Not only should your newborn photographer be trained in newborn safety, but she must be up to date on immunizations. Your newborn has an immature immune system and is more susceptible to illness. There are some viruses which are extremely dangerous to newborns and your photographer should be immunized for these.

      I consult every year with the doctors at Women’s Care of Beverly Hills to make sure I am up to date on all the recommended immunizations. This year I added a measles booster, since we have (unfortunately) had a resurgence of the Measles in California.

      Don’t be shy about asking your photographer what newborn safety training she has and whether she is up to date on her immunizations for Pertussis (whooping cough), Flu and MMR.

      Overhead photo of newborn girl wrapped in a white blanket


      The newborn stage of  your baby’s life goes by very quickly (I know, it doesn’t seem like it at midnight, 2am and 4am). You may think you’ll remember everything, but a few months on and it’s all pretty hazy (thanks for that, extreme sleep deprivation!). You’ll rely on photographs to remember how small your baby really was and to bring back all the sensory memories of those early days.

      So, the first thing to do is to book your session far enough in advance to make sure that your favorite photographer is available and that you don’t miss out on capturing your baby’s newness altogether. I recommend reaching out to your photographer at the beginning of your 3rd trimester. We pencil in your due date to make sure we hold a spot for you and then ask you to call within 2 or 3 days of your baby’s birth to make your appointment.

      Generally, we want to photograph your little one when she is between 6 and 12 days old. This is the perfect window because baby is still in the sleepy phase and more likely to want to curl up (as she did in the womb).

      The first two weeks of your baby’s life are magical. Your baby will never be this small, sleepy, curly or perfectly new ever again!

      Newborn Photographer Near Menewborn curled in swaddling blanket


      If you’ve already started searching for a newborn photographer in LA you know that there are a lot of choices out there. You may want a newborn photographer who will simply document you going about your day or you may want someone who will plumb the depths of their imagination creating whimsical set-ups. Or, you may be like my clients and want natural, simple and timeless images of your newborn. There is no right or wrong answer, it’s a matter of personal taste!

      One of my best tips for folks searching for a newborn photographer is to search Pinterest for “newborn photographer Los Angeles” (or whatever your city happens to be). You’ll see a ton of different styles and can further investigate the photographers who most appeal to you aesthetically.

      Swaddled newborn with hand on face


      Are you a DIY type or do you want it done for you? In other words, do you want the digitals so that you can make your own prints and books or would you prefer to have a professional create heirloom-quality artwork for you.

      I happen to offer both these options to my clients, but many photographers only do one or the other. Consider how you’d like to enjoy your portraits today and how you envision passing them down to your children. If you still haven’t printed your wedding photos you may want to find a photographer who will finish the job with beautiful prints or an heirloom album!

      My personal favorite for newborn sessions is a beautiful, hand-bound album or a matted print box.

      heirloom quality newborn album


      One important thing to consider is where you’ll have your newborn’s portraits taken. Many newborn photographers work out of their own studios, but some (like me!) also offer in-home sessions. An in-home newborn session can be a more relaxing experience for many new parents.

      I have two kids of my own and I know what it means to bring home a baby. So much is demanded of you in those first few weeks and it can feel overwhelming at times. That’s why I offer in-home newborn photography sessions to my Los Angeles clients – in addition to studio sessions.

      In fact… all the images in this blog post were created in client’s homes!In Home Newborn Photography Los Angelesmom holding newborn by window

      Ariel Cannon Photography offers studio & in-home newborn photography sessions within most of Los Angeles County, including: Malibu, Santa Monica, Topanga, Pacifica Palisades, Brentwood, Bel Air, Beverly Crest, Beverly Hills, West LA, Marina Del Rey, Playa Del Rey, Hollywood Hills, Hancock Park, La Crescenta-Montrose, La Canada-Flintridge, Pasadena, South Pasadena, San Marino, Bradbury, Arcadia and Sierra Madre. 

      Ariel Cannon Photography specializes in newborn and family portrait photography and serves Los Angeles and surrounding areas.

      Interested in a session? Have a question? We’d love to hear from you!