Posted by: ndpellegrino | February 10, 2023

When to do newborn photos and what to ask your photographer before you schedule!

organic newborn photography

You have just found out your pregnant, now what? After contacting your doctor, one of the next top priorities is to secure a newborn photographer! This early? YES! The best newborn photographers are booked several months in advance so don’t wait until your baby arrives or the last tri-mester! While the newborn photography has exploded within the past few years, do you really want to hand over your precious baby to an unexperienced person whom you have possibly never met?

As a photographer, we all start somewhere and I am thankful for those that trusted me so many years ago when I first began my photography studio in 2008. Looking back, I am happy that my career did not start with newborns, but instead focused on child and family photography. This gave me the opportunity to refine my photography skills without the added stress of keeping a newborn safe, content and comfortable! After several hundred newborns and now only photographing these beautiful newborn blessings, the mechanics of photography (lighting/camera settings/posing) have become second nature so I can focus 100% on the newborns needs. I do not claim to know all there is to photography and am always continuing to learn new techniques but I am confident in my skills with newborn baby photography and the experience I have in photography from being in the industry for over 15 years.

So, what questions should you ask when booking a newborn photographer?

  • What qualifies you as a newborn photographer?

How many babies have you photographed? Have you taken any newborn photography specific training? Is this a hobby or full time profession? The photography industry does not regulate photographers and there is no required formal qualification. At a minimum, your photographer should be licensed with the state and pay state sales tax and federal income tax and have business insurance. Additionally, your photographer should have several years of professional newborn training to include posing safety! Over the past 15 years, I have taken several in-person and on-line courses with the best newborn photographers in the industry to learn how to composite difficult posing, swaddle babies and just keep them comfortable in their surroundings! Newborn photographers must be patient and calm when working with your baby and sessions should always be led by baby cues and parent input. If a newborn photographer has been recommended to you, look at their social media sites, website, and testimonials. Even schedule a session to meet with them prior to the session!

Newborn photography for the Hagerstown MD to Chambersburg PA tri-state area.
  • What is their style of newborn photography?

Lifestyle, posed, organic, natural, rustic, fresh-48, in-home, studio, bold, classic, family. These are just some of the types of newborn photography. In my Greencastle PA studio, I focus on a combination of posed and lifestyle-like captures (less posed/interactive) with lots of shadows and soft muted colors. I like to use organic, rustic simple props such as baskets and bowls and my reclaimed barnwood flooring with simple hats and headbands but nothing that overpowers the baby! They are perfect just as they are! My edit style is minimal with a shallow depth of field (blurred out backgrounds) which is achieve primarily in camera. Over the years, I have come to terms with the fact that I am not the right newborn photographer for everyone. I do not offer bold colors and splashy props and now only use props that have been tested for baby safety and comfort in my studio. I do offer a few in hospital fresh-48 sessions; however the majority of my sessions are done in my Greencastle studio. I do offer packages that include family and siblings and those type of sessions can even be broken into two days so it is not as long for anxious toddlers and the baby.

  • When is the best time to photograph a newborn?

This depends on what style of newborn photography you are looking for. There is birth photography, fresh-48 photography, studio posed and lifestyle. For the posed newborn studio sessions, I work with newborns age 5-15 days. This assumes all went well with delivery and baby has no health concerns. If babies are premature, they can be photographed several weeks after birth. Babies are most sleepy and curly in those first two weeks; however, babies after this point may be photographed as well but would do best with swaddled type poses. Lifestyle photography can bit a bit past two weeks as the newborn is less posed and photographed more in their natural surroundings.

newborn photography with mother
  • What should I wear/bring to my newborn session?

Your newborn photographer should go over this prior to your session. I like my clients to wear simple, solid neutral colors. It is helpful for parents to bring a soothie pacifier, lots of milk/be prepared to nurse, and extra diapers. At my studio, I provide clients with a prep guide to make the process easy! New parents have enough to worry about and in a sleep deprived state! And, I always have extra on hand just incase anything is forgotten.

  • What is the cost of newborn photography?

This varies wildly based on several factors such as – size of studio/number of employees, years of experience, their equipment/prop costs/cost of business, location, style of photography, quality of products and what is offered in their packages. Does your photographer include physical products such as prints and albums or only the digital files (and are they downsized or full resolution with a print release?) For my newborn clients, I offer several packages that include full size high resolution digital files they may print/use on their own and some more extensive packages with the digital files and products. Additional items are available for purchase once the gallery is digital gallery is delivered. I have poured my heart and soul into my business and the investment in education, equipment and final product are reflected in my price structure. Payment is accepted by cash, check or credit. And, while not required, tipping your photographer is ALWAYS appreciated, especially if you are happy with your experience! No extra funds? I get it – newborn photography is a luxury item and I appreciate all my clients, especially those that value my service when finances are tight. Another way to show your appreciation for a great experience is to leave a kind review. Clients who have used my services, may leave your review here:

Finally, be sure to confirm the turnaround time for when you will receive your images! While in my own studio delivery is 3 weeks for less, many studios have a much longer lead-time!

Newborn photography for the Hagerstown MD to Chambersburg PA tri-state area.

Newborn photography is not for everyone. I am not a wedding photographer, senior photographer, etc. for a reason. I am a newborn photographer and I love it! I love the tiny fresh details that only last for a little while. I love not having to illicit forced smiles. I love the slow, calm pace of working with babies. I love the adorable expressions, the flaky skin, the new emotions and interactions that surface as a new baby unites with a family. If my style of photography matches what you are looking for, I’m here for you and would love to work with you and capture your growing family! Our work may be seen throughout the community to include Hagerstown Magazine, The Child Guide, Hagerstown Capital Women’s Care, Baby to be Boutique and Antrim Honda!


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