Thinking of hiring a newborn photo photographer? Here are 4 things to be aware of…
There is nothing that can compare to the day my daughter was born. It was a magical and surreal experience. Those first few days after I gave birth were challenging but also the best days of my life. My daughter was so small and delicate. It’s not surprising that so many families treasure the professional photos they have during this time. As a professional newborn baby and family photographer, I want to give you my advice for what you should be aware of before hiring a newborn photographer for those first few days after birth.
1. It’s not one-style-fits all when it comes to newborn photography
It’s a good idea to know the type of photography you want before you before hiring a newborn photographer. There are several styles to consider and each has it’s PROS and CONS.
Birth photography – your photographer is present the moments before, during and after you give birth. You get beautiful memories of the most magical time of your life. The downside to this type of photography is that it takes logistical planning to make sure the photographer is present at the birth (they are effectively on-call). You or the photographer will also need to liaise with the hospital about their guidance for having a photographer present.
72 hours fresh – You may be at home or still in the hospital so the photos capture moments during the few days after you give birth. This could coincide, for example, when the baby is first introduced to family members. Particularly touching is when they meet their new brother or sister for the first time (note: be sure to video this moment as well!). Similar to birth photography, this type of photography takes some logistical organising, particularly if it takes place in the hospital.
Newborn studio / lifestyle photos – these photos typically take place between 1-2 weeks after giving birth and can take place in a photographers studio or at your home depending on the style of photographer you’re interested in. By waiting at least a week after birth, you may be a little more comfortable with your post-natal recovery. If you’ve had a c-section, you may want to ensure that your photographer has a comfortable studio (with a sofa), so you can rest if needed.
2. The location of the newborn photo shoot matters
As I mentioned above, there are a few different locations professional photos can take place during the days after giving birth. The first location is in the hospital. If this is where you’d like photos done, be sure to liaise with the hospital beforehand. They should have advice about how they incorporate photographers into the birthing suits and limitations they have during the actual birth, particularly if it’s a c-section.
Some families prefer photos in the comfort of their home, to show the reality of life with a newborn baby. My tip is to try your best to declutter the rooms in the home where you’d like photos done. This doesn’t mean you have to move furniture around or anything major. Just try to clear countertops / desk tops as much as possible.
Some photographers will also have a studio you can go to. My studio uses natural light as well as studio lights (if it’s dark outside) so that you can get gentle photos. If you go to a photography studio, try to find out about what facilities they have on site. My studio has a sofa to make sure families are comfortable. It’s also located above a chemist, so any last minute supplies can be easily purchased!
The advantage of having a photographer come to your home means that you don’t have to pack for a day out.
However, it does mean that I ask families to remove clutter from around the house and ensure there is enough space for me to set up a mini-studio if I bring one.
3: Above all, listen to your body
Our body takes time to gently recover from giving birth. If you’ve had a cesarian, you may feel even more delicate after giving birth. I love taking pictures of mothers holding their baby. One thing I always do is describe how I’d like them to hold their baby beforehand. I do this so that I can see how comfortable they are holding the baby standing up, for example. If they’ve had a c-section, they may prefer to have the father holding the baby.
You know your body best and I always work with mums to make sure they are as comfortable as possible.
You can watch this video to see behind the scenes of what my newborn photography studio looks like.
4. It helps to have ‘helpers’ on hand
Let’s face it, it really does take a village to raise a child. The parents that come to my studio, particularly first time parents, often have an extra pair of hands to help during the first few days after giving birth. Grandparents, aunts or friends are such useful help and support for new parents! I always think it’s a good idea to have an extra ‘helper’ present at a photo shoot if it’s taking place in your home or in the studio (hospitals may limit the number of people allowed to visit at any given time).
Your helper will make the photo shoot a lot easier – they can help hold the baby while you change, they can find nappies when needed, or any small thing that needs to get done.
I hope you’ve found this link useful so you know what to expect when hiring a newborn photographer.
If you’re pregnant and thinking of having a newborn photography session, I would love to hear from you!