You’ve just spent 9 months carrying inside of you the most precious gift you will ever receive. You nurtured this little life. When shopping for an OB, you probably asked around for referrals. Maybe you even researched childbirth techniques and took classes to prepare you for the big day. And now that you’re little one has arrived, you want to document every precious moment. The tiniest and most perfect little details. Now is not the time to get out the yellow pages and your dartboard. Nor is it time to scour Craigslist. You want to be sure that you are choosing a photographer who does more than put a sleeping baby in a bucket, on a dresser, or in a tutu. You need the security of knowing that the photographer you’ve chosen is not only competent with a camera, but more importantly is heavily qualified and knowledgeable in every aspect of working with newborns. But how can you really be sure of all those things, especially in the sleep deprivation and muddied thinking that typically comes with the early days of parenting?
First, look for a body of work that seems to reflect a respect for the newborn itself. An exceptional newborn photographer will not only work to creatively capture newborn images, but will do so in such a way that you can sense how thoroughly he or she respects this little life and the newborn’s own unique personality and temperament. It really is so much more than hats, buckets and bows. And it can’t be added with Photoshop, either.
Second, how many newborns has the photographer photographed? Let me be blunt. Let’s say you found a *name on Craigslist of someone offering free or super-cheap sessions, so you decide to call them and they say, “Well, I’m actually JUST starting with newborns, but I love them so much, and I know I will do a beautiful job and this is my PASSION, and ….and…. and….*”, this is when you RUN! I am not joking. Hang up that phone and delete that number! Listen, everyone wants to photograph newborns. Many of us saw the newborn period become an art form when Anne Geddes arrived on the scene with her amazing work, and too often photographers are overconfident and think, “Meh. No big deal.” Let me say in no uncertain terms that while someone may have a passion for newborn photography, if they do not have in depth know how in handling newborns, if they are not willing to either mentor with someone or attend intensive workshops, then they do not deserve the trust you will place in them when you hand over your precious infant. Plain and simple. *If you are a photographer, and this description applies to you, don’t get mad, get to work! Find out how to be mentored, attend a workshop or 2, and become the best newborn photographer you can possibly be! You can do it! And I am here to answer any questions at all.
Third, ask yourself whether the images you see on their website or in their portfolio convey safety and comfort. A reputable newborn photographer would never put a newborn at risk. Posing newborns not only takes patience, but it also takes knowledge of a newborn’s limitations, and knowledge in how to prevent accidental injury when transitioning a newborn through poses. And when working with props, it takes someone who will take ZERO risks. There is not a shot that is worth even the slightest possibility of newborn injury. Buckets should be weighted, and babies should be “spotted” with a parent or assistant closer than arm’s reach or even have a steadying hand on them to keep them absolutely safe. Remember, NO shot in the world is worth a baby – your baby, any baby – getting hurt.
And lastly, purely from an aesthetic point of view, do the photographer’s newborn images draw you in? Does his or her style seem to mesh with yours? Once you’ve determined that the photographer you are considering has the technical know how to get the job done safely, then you can decide whether his or her style of photography suits you. There are so many styles of photography out there. And so many styles of processing. Be sure that what you see is something that you would want to display on your walls. With photography, what you see is usually what you are going to get.
The newborn period is so amazing! It lasts a mere 4 weeks, and during this time, your baby grows, changes and develops more than he or she ever will again in such a short amount of time. My wish for 2012 is that every parent of a newborn find an experienced and specialized newborn photographer to forever document this time for them. That every baby photographed would be cherished; handled safely and with respect. And that every image would become a lasting memory of such a precious time. I strive to make every session peaceful, calm, and enjoyable. And I work hard to provide images that make your heart swell with joy at this life that you have carried inside of you. And above all, I do this with the highest regard for your newborn’s comfort and safety. I would love for you to call me to schedule your newborn session. (432)279-0742