Things to Consider When Looking for an OC Newborn Photographer
Are you soon to be new parents with a new baby arriving soon? Want to do everything perfect the first time but finding it hard to decide on a newborn photographer? I can only imagine as there are a lot to choose from in Orange County. But I’ll try to see if I can help you figure this out.
Here are a few things for you to think about while searching. I hope you find this helpful.
Do They Specialize?
There are many things that you should consider when searching for the ideal baby photographer. One of them is do they specialize in newborns or do they do a lot of everything? Those that specialize are going to have more experience in handling babies. They will also have all the necessary props and skills that are needed to handle your baby safely.
Is the photographer trained in newborn safety? There are many poses such as babies wrapped in scarves and hanging from a branch that require much skill and should be performed only by the experienced newborn photographer. When you look through a photographer’s portfolio do you see babies in dangerous situations such as a glass jar? These are all things that should be considered. No baby should be at risk for a photoshoot. Ask your photographer if they have been to newborn, safety workshops.
Styled or Lifestyle?
This will narrow down your choices. If you don’t know the difference between a styled newborn session and one that is lifestyle, I’ll help clarify it for you.
- One of my favorite shots from a recent styled newborn sessions.
Styled newborn sessions are what I do. I use props such as blankets, baskets, headbands, hats, wraps and furs to style my newborn sessions. I do these in my in my studio or in the convenience of my clients home. Styled sessions include posed shots and require newborns being 2 weeks of age or younger. This is a very popular type of newborn session. Click here to view one of my favorite styled sessions.
Lifestyle newborn sessions are usually done in your home. The photographer will most likely use natural light and use your home as their backdrop. Babies are usually dressed in clothing or wrapped. This will depend on the style of the photographer. This type of session can work on any age since posing is not normally part of the session. Parents and family members are usually included heavily in these types of sessions.
Finding a Photographer’s Style That Suits You
Once you have decided if you prefer a styled session or a lifestyle session you now need to decide on the style of the photographer. Many photographers have many different styles. Look through their portfolio and visit their blog or facebook page. Do you like what you see?
For a styled newborn photographer ask yourself if you like the way they style their sessions? A newborn photographer has a prop stash all of their own. An experienced newborn photographer will intentionally purchase props such as headbands, hats, blankets etc… that fit their style. For example, I love my newborns to look natural and organic so I like to stay with colors that do not overpower the baby. Colors that are soft and compliment the baby. I also like a very delicate, modern, fresh look so I stay away from large flowered headbands and loud hats and use dainty, organic styled headbands as I want all the focus to be on the baby not my props.
- This was an image from a recent newborn session where I used a pink backdrop.
Click here to view one of my latest newborn sessions.
You may not know why one photographer’s work appeals to you more than the other, but go with your feelings on this one. If you’re thinking this photographer’s portfolio looks ok and she’s close to me so I’ll go with her. Well, that might be one way to select a photographer, but just remember that “ok” is probably what you are going to get. Do a search on google for “Newborn Photographer in Orange County” and visit the websites that pop up.
Does the photographer have years of experience or are they just starting out? The more experience the photographer has the better they are at their craft. They know how to soothe a baby and how to handle one so they are not in danger. New photographers usually aren’t aware of how to perfect poses and are not comfortable when babies that are not happy. Babies have a very strong sense and can feel when a photographer is uneasy. Sessions tend to go much longer than 3 hours with the inexperienced photographer. I know I was inexperienced many years ago.
In-Studio or On-Location
Do you prefer to go to a studio or do you prefer the photographer come to your home? There are always pluses and minuses to either choice. There is the convenience of the photographer coming to your home. However, when a photographer goes on location to do a newborn shoot their props are limited. There is only so much they can put in the trunk of their car and carry into your home. When you go to a studio the photographer’s props are all at hand. You also want to check with the photographer if they use natural or studio lights. If they are a natural light photographer and come to your home and the lighting in your home is poor or it’s a cloudy day your images will suffer from it. Studios will have the appropriate lighting setup needed to produce beautiful lit images.
Parent, Sibling & Family Shots
- A recent parent with baby shot.
I get asked this almost with every potential client. Can I get parent, sibling and family shots? Well, yes! I do them and love doing them. However, I might be rare in this case. So, it is always wise to ask the photographer if this is included in your session. I know many newborn photographers that do not include this or will charge an additional fee. Visit one of my recent posts that shows a few of my parent with newborn photos. I’m a big advocate for parent shots because I really feel that parents should think of doing these for their children and not for themselves. It’s the children that will want these in years to come. So,no excuses parents! lol
The best time to photograph your newborn is within the first 2 weeks of birth. Now, many newborn photographers prefer an optimal time frame which for me is 5-8 days old. During the first two weeks babies sleep very soundly and can be posed without much disturbance. This is also when they are still very flexible as they just came from the womb where they were all curled up.
Check for reviews of the photographer on google.com and yelp.com. Many times photographers will also have “raves” on their website. Ask other mom’s who’ve they’ve used and were they happy with their experience.
Check what the photographer offers. Do they offer the digital files that you are seeking or do they only sell prints? If they do sell digital files what size are they providing you? If you want to print a large 16×24 canvas and the files they provide are only 5×7 this won’t work for you. Do they have the album style that you’ve been wanting?
Make sure that you are getting a full print release if you plan on purchasing digital files. This will allow you to take your files to a photo lab and print as many copies at any size as you wish.
More often than not price is the deciding factor for many, but it should not be the only factor. There are so many new newborn photographers starting businesses. Many of these photographers offer bargains that can’t be beat. If you are just price shopping then this is your photographer. However, if style, quality, safety and experience matter to you then consider the other important aspects mentioned above when selecting your newborn photographer.
You also want to ask what form of payment does this photographer accept? Normally, payment of a session fee/retainer is due to book your session. Some photographers also require a down payment for minimum purchase requirement. So, you need to ask what their minimum purchase is and do they require a deposit for their minimum? Do they offer payment plans? When are these payments due? Most times your retainer is a non-refundable payment.
Lastly, availability. Does the photographer of your choice have availability for the time frame your baby is due? Many photographers book months in advance. It’s always best to pre-book your newborn session so you can guarantee a time slot for your newborn. I take a limited amount of newborns per month based on the mother’s estimated due date. I also take early or late deliveries into consideration. Leaving enough availability before and after a due date so, I can guarantee to shoot within a 2 week period.
Book your newborn session by emailing me at email@example.com or call me at 949-228-1639.