What should I look for when hiring a Boston newborn photographer?
There are many different reasons that families hire newborn photographers. Some parents know right away while other decide after the delivery or adoption. You might get a referral from a friend or spend an evening on Google or Instagram to find a local Boston photographer. Giving birth is such an intimate personal experience you will want to make sure you find the right person to photograph your baby. Below are a few questions that come up frequently from other parents who are looking to hire a baby photographer.
What photography style do you gravitate towards?
In Boston, there are many different types of newborn photographers. They generally fall into three different categories. First, posed, which is usually in a studio and the baby is often put into different positions. Sometimes parents are included and sometimes not. Second is documentary photography where the photographer comes in for a set period of time and photographs your life and time as it is typically without any prompting. And, third is in-home lifestyle photography which is where the photographer comes to your home and uses loose posing techniques to capture life at your home.
It is important to figure out which style you are attracted to and search from there. It will make narrowing down your decision a little easier. I fall mainly into the lifestyle category but incorporate a few documentary elements throughout for a hybrid session. My goal is to capture natural looking photographs that capture the emotion of this beautiful moment.
2. Are parents, siblings, pets and other relatives included?
Every photographer does it a little differently so it is important to ask this question if including other people or pets is important to you. My newborn session are essentially family sessions so I want to include parents, pets and siblings. In the past, I’ve had grandparents who have traveled great distances to help out with the grandchild/ren and I am happy to include them in the photos. Usually, I take a few photographs at the beginning or the end of the session.
3.When do you schedule session?
Most families reserve a session before the baby is born. This saves you a spot in the calendar since I can only photograph a set amount of sessions in a month. Usually from the hospital, families then reach out to schedule the session. Many families want to capture the newborn details and small size so a session can take place a few days after birth while some moms need more time to recover and the session is scheduled around the 4-5 week mark. I don’t believe in rushing families into the photography session and because I don’t do “posed” newborn photography the session doesn’t have to happen in the first 2 weeks. My two postpartum experiences were completely different and with my first there is no way I could have had pictures taken 2 weeks after giving birth.
Many families don’t even think they want photos until the baby arrives and I fit in those families the best I can.
4. What are your safety processes, training and do you have insurance?
Honestly, these are questions that are never asked but I think it they are incredibly important. Anyone can pick up a camera and start a business. When I first started out I went to a workshop on posed newborn photography and I learned so much about the different positions of babies and how many things can go wrong that I quickly switched to lifestyle sessions, which was a more natural fit for me anyway. Making sure my vaccines are up-to-date is essential, and I do carry insurance.
At the beginning of every session I do my version of a safety talk which I find particularly important when young siblings or pets are involved. As a family, you probably don’t spend so much time so close to each other so watching toddlers feet and movements are really important. I feel confident in what skills I am good at so even when asked to pose a baby in a basket or on something else my usual response is no or I don’t feel comfortable. This is mainly because I believe the there is a lot of necessary training needed to do position babies correctly and safely and other photographers excel at it.
This is often the first question I am asked and while it is important and no one should buy something they can’t afford, I think safety and style should be at the top of the list. Professional photos is a wonderful thing to have especially when you look back on the images years later but no one should spend more then they can afford. At the same time, it is essential you find someone with the right style and safety procedures in place.
If you are mainly looking to purchase digital prints set aside part of your budget for printing photos either in an album or prints on the wall.