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Five things to consider when hiring a newborn photographer
Whether you’re expecting your first baby or your fifth, your family will be born anew. You probably have “find a newborn photographer” on your to-do list if you’re reading this. You may be realizing already that choosing 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 looking for a newborn photographer in Los Angeles, you’ll get in touch! Wherever you are, this article will help you in choosing the right newborn photographer for you.
1. Safety guidelines when working with a newborn photographer
Safety is the most critical 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 you’ll have to do your due diligence as a parent.
Newborn photographers can elect to complete a handful of certification programs, and 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.
Your newborn photographer should 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; and some viruses are extremely dangerous to newborns, and your photographer should be immunized for these.
I consult every year with my doctor to make sure I am up to date on all the recommended immunizations. Don’t be shy about asking your photographer what newborn safety training she has and whether she is up to date on their immunizations for Pertussis (whooping cough), Flu and MMR.
Of course, in the age of Covid-19, you’ll also want to make sure that your photographer is fully vaccinated and boosted against the disease AND find out what other precautions they are taking. You can read about the safety precautions I take to ensure a safe newborn photo session in the age of Covid-19.
2.Timing your newborn photo session
The newborn stage of your baby’s life goes by very quickly (although it might not feel like it at midnight, 2 am, and 4 am). You may think you’ll remember everything, but after a few months, it’s all pretty hazy (thanks for that, extreme sleep deprivation!). You’ll rely on photographs to remember how tiny your baby was and 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 ensure 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 2nd trimester. At my studio, I 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.
The best time to photograph your newborn is between 6 and 12 days old. This is the perfect window because the baby is still sleepy and more likely to want to curl up as they 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!
3. The style of your newborn photos
If you’ve already started searching for an LA newborn photographer, you know that there are a lot of choices out there. You may want a newborn photographer who will document you going about your day, or someone who will plumb the depths of their imagination, creating whimsical set-ups. Or, you may be like my clients and want natural newborn photography. 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 many different styles and can further investigate the photographers who most appeal to you aesthetically.
4. Newborn photography products
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. Consider how you’d like to enjoy your portraits today and 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!
5. Newborn photo session location
The last thing to consider is where you’ll have your newborn’s portraits taken. Many newborn photographers work out of their studios, but some, like me, also offer in-home sessions. Would you prefer to visit your photographer in their studio, or would an in-home newborn session be more comfortable?
I hope that these tips will help you in choosing the right photographer for you.