Top 5 questions to ask when choosing a newborn photographer
How do I chose the right newborn photographer for me?
I recently received an enquiry asking if I was certified to photograph newborns and initially it took me back as it had never been questioned before.
Once I had time to explore this concept of a certified newborn photographer I was actually really glad to have been asked the question. All too often the main consideration for parents is price, which I totally understand plays a big part when choosing your photographer. Instead of that being the first question, wouldn’t it be better to question the expertise of the photographer? Whether they have the knowledge and experience to keep your baby safe? There is no qualification for newborn photography, we are self regulated, which is why it is so important to make sure that the photographer you chose is highly skilled in this particular field.
Top 5 questions to ask
So, my top questions to ask when searching for the perfect newborn photographer for you are:
How long have they been a newborn photographer? Not a family/wedding/pet photographer. Specifically working with newborns.
Have they completed any newborn posing & safety training or first aid training?
Are they fully insured? Any professional newborn photographer will be happy to show you evidence of their business insurance cover.
How do they work? What is their style? Do they have a studio or will they come to you? Will they spend a lot of time posing baby or do they focus on more relaxed, natural shots? Knowledge and experience of posing safety is really important here as some poses should only be done as composites (two photographs digitally merged into one) meaning that hands are on baby at all times. Others can potentially restrict airways or pose a risk of falling if using props. So if you’re looking for a photographer that specialises in posed newborn photography make sure they have completed the relevant safety training and are experienced in this type of photography.
Do they have previous client testimonials that they can show you? Ask to see a range of testimonials specifically from newborn photography clients. As I mentioned above, photographing older babies or children does not require the same knowledge or expertise as newborn photography, so be quite specific in your request. Ideally these reviews will be available to read publicly, on Google or Facebook for example. This shows (as much as possible) that they have been left by previous clients. If you would like further reassurance you can always ask if any of their previous clients would be happy to speak to you, but if you are still unsure by this point it's possibly best to listen to your gut and continue in your search.
Please remember that an experienced newborn photographer will be happy to answer any questions and will deliver confident answers. I would also say that prices will often reflect this; so a skilled, experienced newborn photographer won’t usually be the cheapest.
What about a CRB/DBS check?
Now this one is a bit of a myth. You might have been told that photographers need to have an up to date CRB/DBS (police) check, which isn’t actually true. DBS checks are for people employed to work with young/vulnerable people unsupervised. You can’t actually apply for a DBS certificate if you are self-employed, which most photographers are. If someone says that they have a DBS check it is because they have received it for an employed role (some photographers do photography around full/part time jobs).
Your baby will not need to be left alone with your photographer, meaning that they do not require a current DBS check.
What about me?
Although I have completed posing safety training and have experience of posing newborns safely, I much prefer a more natural and relaxed style of photography. This is why I no longer offer or share images of posed newborns. Don’t get me wrong, when done properly and safely these images are truly stunning, they’re just not my bag. I am fully insured and have 4 years photography experience, three of which have been working with newborns. Just because I don’t pose or use props with the babies I photograph, my priority is still always their health and safety which is why you will see me regularly checking them throughout a newborn session. I’m also a Mum of three so have a lot of personal experience with newborns as well as working with them.
I hope this all helps! With so many photographers available to choose from it can be a bit of a minefield trying to find the right one for you. Please feel free to drop any questions in the comments below, or contact me if you are struggling to find the right photographer for you.