Why a professional newborn photographer, what’s the difference?
I get asked many times “why do we need to use a professional newborn photographer” and “why is it so important to use a photographer that specializes in newborns”? Well, firstly when you are looking for any photographer you should make sure that they are a fully licensed and insured business. This means that they take their job seriously, they are a legal and a legitimate business and that you are fully covered should an accident occur during the shoot.
So why a photographer who specializes in newborns? Let me start by saying that there are some photographers who do not specialize in newborns but they are competent enough with babies and understand the limits of how fragile they are. Unfortunately there are photographers who are not professional and don’t specialize in newborns. These photographers are not aware of the safety and skills needed when handling and posing these tiny fragile little ones.
A professional newborn photographer knows how to interact with your baby with the extreme safety that is required when doing these shoots. A lot of newborn photography is made up of a composite shot, this is where the photographer takes two pictures and combines them to create one image. This gives an appearance that the baby is being unassisted in a pose, when in fact hands were on the baby at all times and the photographer used Photoshop to remove parents/assistants hands.
Too often we see on sites like Pinterest these cute little pictures of babies in GLASS containers.. yes GLASS. This is crazy and just unacceptable, glass breaks.. And under no circumstances should a baby be placed in a glass container. However some photographers without knowledge or proper training see these pictures and replicate them without realizing the true dangers. Would you lay your baby on broken glass? What happens when that glass breaks? Yes very scary!
Most of the newborn pictures that you see are babies who are very carefully posed using safe equipment to ensure that baby’s safe at all times. A spotter/assistant is right there at the side of the newborn in case they are needed. A newborn photographer knows how to soothe a baby and how to flow from one pose to another with minimal disruptions to the sleeping baby. They usually have all their own props including baskets, buckets, wraps, headbands, blankets, hats and all the fun stuff so all you need to do is show up for your shoot!
All too often I am contacted by new parents who want me to do a shoot for a “newborn” who is now 8 weeks old because their “newborn photographer” didn’t get the poses right and the images are not what they were expecting and they are now disappointed. It is much more of a challenge to get these poses at 8 weeks, some photographers won’t attempt a “newborn” shoot at 8 weeks and sadly most of the time you have lost the ability to get those snuggled up cozy sleepy newborn poses that we love so much.
When you are choosing a newborn photographer, choose wisely. Call them and talk to them, make sure they are competent! Make sure they use extreme safety when handling your little one. It’s okay to ask if they have had any training and its okay to ask if they are both licensed and insured. Look at their portfolio and expect your images to look similar because each photographer has a style and it’s good to find a style that represents what you are looking for. Do your research because unfortunately even though a “friend of a friend” may offer to do your pictures for free you must remember that your newborn is fragile and needs to be handled with extreme care. Always know that the safest route is to book a qualified professional newborn photographer.