Hey there new friend! I'm Emily, a newborn, family & wedding photographer serving San Luis Obispo, CA and beyond. I hope you enjoy viewing my recent work, passion projects and adventures, along with some great resources for finding a photographer and making the most of your session!  

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5 Tips for Choosing a Newborn Photographer

Where to begin

There are few things in life as exciting, or overwhelming, as having a new baby!

Your hormones are all over the place. Your body is acting weird. You probably aren’t sleeping very well, if at all. There are doctors appointments to remember, gifts to register for, a nursery to set up, birthing classes to take, a name to pick out!

Each expectant momma will have a unique experience but the end goal is same. Healthy baby, healthy momma.

The early days fly by so quickly. Many times we later forget the little details of our new little love.

Having professional portraits done by a newborn photographer provides a visual memory. These are images for you to look back on and share with your child in the years to come.

It is important to plan ahead and find a newborn photographer who you trust and whose work you love. This will help eliminate the stress of having portraits done during those early fleeting weeks.

Choosing a photographer is about more than just pretty pictures! Here are 5 things to consider when searching for the newborn photographer who is right for you!

Type of session: posed, lifestyle, documentary

The first thing to consider is what type of newborn photography you want to invest in. As the genre grows, so does the availability of photographers who specialize in certain styles or types of sessions.

Birth photography is generally very documentary. It captures the details and once in a lifetime moments of your birth story without interference or staging. These galleries are raw, candid and very emotional.

In comparison, the styled or posed images of sleeping babies posed in curly positions are focused 100% on the newborn and the sweet features of new life.

These are the images printed on canvases and displayed in the nursery, or included in an album to be passed on to the child when he or she is grown.  

Lifestyle sessions are focused on family, on the relationships and emotion of adding a new family member to the tribe.

Some photographers approach lifestyle sessions in a more documentary fashion (very little or no direction at all.) Others will work to stage a session and then allow the moments to unfold.

Hospital and in home sessions fall somewhere in the lifestyle or documentary genre, but to what extent really depends on the photographer herself.

If you are still unsure about what type of session you want to invest in, check out this blog post for more info >> What style of Newborn Photography is Right for You?

Style of work

Once you have decided what type of session(s) you love, you need to consider the style of a particular photographer.

Do their images make you feel something?

Do you love the tones and emotions in their images?

Some photographers have a very light and airy style to their imagery, others produce more moody images or something in between!

Each photographer will process or edit their images differently and it’s important that you look over their portfolios to make sure you like the look of their work!

Location

Are you willing to travel to your photographer for photos? Many posed newborn sessions are done in studio.

While some photographers may be willing to bring their studio set up to you, others will have a brick & mortar location, either in their home or a stand alone studio, where they work. There are pros and cons to both options.

The beauty of having a photographer come to your home is the convenience of not leaving the house.

It can lead to struggles with siblings, keeping the house quiet and making sure your home is heated (like HOT) and that there is a room with enough light.

As a mom to two girls, I know how hard it is to get out of the house those first few weeks with a new baby. Even getting everyone fed and dressed is a challenge, let alone shoes and out the door!!

When clients come to my studio, it’s often the first time they have been out, except for the doctor’s office. It can definitely be an overwhelming idea.

On the plus side, doing your session in a studio means that you don’t need worry about things like cleaning your house or heating your home to 85 degrees prior to the session.

I always tell my clients they are welcome to show up in yoga pants and a messy bun! I don’t expect them to shower and I try to have snacks and cold water available.

It’s important to consider where your session will take place and if you are willing to leave the comforts of home when choosing a newborn photographer!

Investment

Price is always a big topic of conversation when purchasing any product, and investing in newborn photography is no different.

Make sure you understand the pricing structure of any photographer you are looking to hire.

Some photographers charge a session fee which just covers their time and skills, while any digital images or prints are an additional cost.

Other photographers offer collections that include a variety of options at packaged rate. There is no right or wrong way to pricing. Just be sure that you understand what is included and what you will receive prior to booking.

While price is always a consideration, try not to base your decision entirely upon the cost.

I am a firm believer that you get what you pay for. You can get a pair of shoes at Walmart, but will they be as comfortable or last as long as a pair of Nikes that cost me more?

I recommend that you hire the best photographer that you can afford and not the photographer that charges the least.

Personality

Last but not least, reach out to the photographer you are considering hiring and chat with them on the phone or go out for coffee (if you haven’t delivered yet)!

You are entrusting this person with the handling of your newborn baby.

Do they have children? Are they experienced handling newborns or are they just starting out?

Be sure to ask questions about their qualifications. And beyond that, do you like them as a person?

Studies show that how we feel about photos is strongly impacted by how we felt while the images were being taken. It’s important that you are comfortable with the person taking the image!

I hope these 5 Tips for Choosing a Newborn Photographer help you on your quest of documenting your new little human. If you have any additional tips you’ve found helpful, please drop them in the comments below!!

1 Comment on 5 Tips for Choosing a Newborn Photographer

  1. What Style of Newborn Photography is Right for You? – emilygunn.com

    June 20th, 2018 at 3:43 am

    […] Only you can answer that question!! Look at photo galleries on the websites of photographers who you admire and try to prioritize the session styles that are most important to you! Once you’ve settled on a type of session you can begin the hunt for a photographers who’s style of work and personality jives with your family. Need some guidance on finding the right photographer? Check out my blogpost “Five tips for Choosing a Newborn Photographer!” […]

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