Choosing your Newborn Photographer – A guest post by Sally Slack Photography

Nov 4, 2013 | Newborn

Choosing a Newborn Photographer is a difficult decision these days, you only have to do a quick search on Google to see how many of us are out there! Bombarding you with gorgeous images of sleepy curled up babies in hats and posed in various cute baskets!

The majority of these images are taken in the first two weeks of a baby’s life. At this age most babies are completely oblivious to what’s going on around them and most often sleep through the entire session. It is still possible to achieve the newborn poses after this time but babies do tend to be more awake and less curled up, so it is less likely that those newborn poses will be achieved.

So where do you start?

• Obviously the Internet is a great place to start, and my advice would be to find a photographer in your geographical vicinity. After all you’ll have just had a baby so you won’t want to travel too far. To narrow down the search field add a location to your search, ie the nearest big town or city, or if you wish to broaden your search your county is a good start. Make yourself a short list of 3 or 4 if you are lucky enough to have that many in your area.

• Whilst Google is a great source of information, I would say that word of mouth is an even better way to get recommendations, and talking to someone who has already used a photographer and is happy is even better!

Once you have narrowed down the list of your preferred photographers there are a few more things that you should consider when making your final choice.

• I would suggest making tentative enquires to see if any of the photographers on your short list have availability around your due date. The sooner you start your search, the more choice you will have. Most Newborn Photographers recommend Mummies-to-be book around their 12 or 20 weeks scan. Babies are rarely born on their due date so this means that Newborn Photographers need to allow lots of wiggle room in their diaries, which is why their diary’s fill up fast!

• Does the Newborn photographer have a studio, would you need to travel to them or would they come to your home? Both have benefits, it’s up to you to decide what’s best for you.

• Do you love their images, are those the sort of images and style that you would like to have as art hanging on the walls of your home? Do they have a varied portfolio of different images and poses and do the babies look comfortable? Most photographers have a website, a blog or a Facebook page, some have all three. It’s on Facebook that you would probably see their most up to date work. Have a read of their page; it’s a good place to get a feel of how happy their clients are.

• It’s always a good idea to touch base with a photographer and ask them about how they approach the safety of your Newborn and what training and experience they have had. Some of the poses that you see on photographers websites are actually two images that have been merged together, these are called composite images, this is done so that the baby is supported at all times, those supporting hands are then edited out using software such as Photoshop.

• I would also recommend meeting with your photographer, if they have a studio why not go and visit their studio. Would you feel comfortable handing over your precious bundle to this person? Is the studio clean, do you “gel” with the photographer? Newborn Photography is unique, I can think of no other genre of photography where the photographer is so hands on. Therefore it’s essential to feel confident in your choice of photographer. Last but not least is cost! I am a great believer in “you get what you pay for,” but what exactly are you getting? It is worthwhile considering what goes into the overall cost to understand what questions to ask your photographer.

• The main point I wish to make is when you are considering cost, please take into account that when you purchase digital files or any products for that matter, you are not paying for the physical disc or USB you are purchasing bespoke unique artwork that has been created especially for you. Images that you and your family will cherish for many years to come

. • What training and experience your chosen Newborn Photographer has. How long have they been working as a Newborn Photographer?

• A session could last up to four hours to maximise the chance of catching those “perfect” images and ensuring that your baby is at ease in their new surroundings.

• Your Newborn Photographer will have spent time before the shoot preparing the environment and also limiting other shoots to accommodate date changes.

• Newborns can sometimes be a little jaundiced or require careful editing so they look their best, this takes time, skill and specialist training.

• The photographer requires specialist equipment and props to capture your Newborn in a comfortable, safe and yet individual environment. (Not to mention the laundry post shoot :-)) All photographers have their particular niches, characteristics and styles. Hopefully this blog will help you navigate through your decision and ensure you have a rewarding time that results in capturing images that you’ll treasure for many years.

So who am I and why am I and why am I qualified to give this advice? My name is Sally Slack, I am an NNEB Nursery Nurse, a mother to three gorgeous teenage boys and I am the proud owner and operator of Sally Slack Photography. I started my business whilst living overseas, and it was when I moved back to the UK in 2010 that I decided to move away from Location and Studio Family Portraiture and specialise in Newborn Photography.

I have trained with the very lovely Vicki of Pennycress Photography, and the reason I chose to train with Vicki is because of the stunning images that you see on this website. In 2010 Vicki was one of only a handful of Newborn Trainers in the UK.

Since training with Vicki in 2010 I have also travelled to the US and trained with Keri Meyers who is another renowned Newborn Photographer. Training and personal development is very important to me, I hope to never stop learning and developing. It’s an investment that I make in my business and me.

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