5 questions to ask before booking a newborn photographer

April 7, 2022

You’ve scoured the internet and found a newborn photographer whose work you love. Time to sign a contract and put down that deposit, right?

Not quite! Having worked as a newborn photographer in Los Angeles for many years, I’ve seen quite a few photographers come and go from the scene. Here are 5 questions to ask to make sure that you’re hiring a photographer who will keep your baby safe, deliver beautiful images, and give you a great experience.

black and white portrait of mom and dad smiling down at sleeping babyHow will you keep my baby safe?

A good newborn photographer should be able to tell you specifically which health and safety precautions they take to protect your baby.

Here’s how I’d answer:

  1. I have received three doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. I am also up to date on all other recommended vaccines, including Tdap (Whooping Cough), Flu, and MMR.
  2. I am a member of the NAPCP, PPA, and am certified in Newborn Safety with the APNPI
  3. I practice careful hand hygiene, launder all blankets and wraps in hot water and detergent between sessions, and disinfect my studio and equipment.
  4. I continue to wear a mask during newborn sessions to make sure that I am not spreading germs of any kind.
  5. I never put your baby into unnatural positions and follow their cues when selecting poses.

I create natural newborn portraits without props or complicated posing. However, if your newborn photographer uses props and intricate poses, you’ll need to ask how they protect your newborn during the session. For example, you can ask them if they use an assistant or create composite images.

closeup of sleeping newborn baby's face with dad's hand cradling headWhere can I see more of your work?

Anyone can create a website and put up a handful of good photographs in this day and age. There are a couple of things you can do to make sure that your photographer can produce beautiful, consistent images.

  1. Check their Instagram. Most newborn photographers have an active Instagram account in addition to the portfolios on their website. Have a look and make sure they are posting regularly and have consistent images with a focus on newborn photography. My Instagram account is updated once a day and is the best place to see my most recent work.
  2. Ask to see a full gallery. Any reputable newborn photographer should be happy to share a complete session gallery with you. This is a great way to see what you can expect from your own session. Make sure that the gallery has enough variety and that all the images, not just a couple, are stellar.

newborn sleeping with head turned to sideHow will you prepare me for my session?

Communication is vital for a successful newborn session. I provide all my clients with a comprehensive prep guide, explaining what to expect and how to prepare.

My newborn sessions include wardrobe for mamas, so I also include my studio wardrobe catalog.

Throughout the process, I also reach out to my clients to let them know what they need to do at each step and what to expect next.

Not only does this type of preparation help your session to run more smoothly, but it also reduces stress and anxiety for new parents.

newborn sleeping on stomachHow many newborn sessions do you do a month?

Of course, you’ll want to make sure that your photographer is regularly photographing newborns. If their answer is 1 or 2 sessions, that’s a red flag. Many clients don’t consider that it’s also possible for a photographer to take on too many clients per month.

Suppose your photographer is running a high-volume business. In that case, they may have less flexibility for scheduling (or rescheduling) your session, less time to devote to helping you prepare, or even less patience during your session.

I take on no more than 12 newborn clients per month, which ensures that I’m available for my clients whether they deliver close to their due date or not and can give them my undivided attention when they need it. This may include helping my clients plan their wardrobe or decide which image collection or products to invest in. I never schedule more than one newborn session a day, so if your baby takes a little longer to settle or requires multiple feedings, we won’t feel rushed.

swaddled sleeping newborn resting head on handsCan we chat?

A photographer who provides excellent service will always answer “yes” to this question. If your potential photographer can’t make time to jump on the phone with you, that’s a real warning sign. I don’t require a phone call before booking, but I offer it as an option. Not only that, but I make it clear that my clients can set up a phone appointment at any time during the process. Need to clarify something in the contract? Feeling nervous and want to talk things through a little more? Just want to connect before we meet? I’m always happy to make time to chat with my clients.

Finding the right newborn photographer requires some due diligence. When you consider that this person will be handling your newborn and that you’ll have these photographs for the rest of your life, taking the time to thoroughly vet your choice is well worth it!newborn baby wrapped in curled pose


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I photograph maternity, newborn, baby, and family sessions in and around Los Angeles. If you're interested in a session, please get in touch.

Ariel Cannon Photography | Los Angeles

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