Friday, May 27, 2016

Guest Post: 4 Considerations When Hiring a Newborn Photographer

In my last post I shared pictures from my family photo shoot with Fiddleleaf  Photography. I'm so glad I have these precious photos of my son as a newborn with my husband and I : ). For those of you expecting or have recently given birth, I highly recommend getting professional photos taken of your little one. There are so many photographers out there though, how do you choose the right one for your family? Kelly Marleau from Fiddleleaf Photography has some great tips on what to look for when hiring a newborn photographer. 

Kelly: I can so clearly remember being pregnant with my first daughter, sitting on my living room couch, laptop poking at my ever-growing belly, as I attempted to find a newborn photographer. It was overwhelming to say the least. Just google Edmonton Newborn Photographers to see what I mean. Pages and pages of results! Even though I’m now one of those search results myself, trust me when I say I know what it feels like to start your search. 

If you’re able to narrow down a few things you want out of your session ahead of time, it will help make the selection process so much easier. Although the tips below are geared towards newborn photographers, the same principles and questions can apply to any genre of photography. 

Here are 4 important considerations when hiring a newborn photographer: 

1. The images
Take a moment to think about what you want to remember from this time in your life. What is important to you? Details like tiny fingers and toes? Connections between baby and Mom & Dad? Images that capture more of your daily life? Knowing what you want to remember will help you narrow down what photographer will be the best fit for your family. Within newborn photo-graphy there are specialties such as posed, lifestyle and documentary, and most photographers focus their business on one type of specialty.

When you visit the photographers website and view their portfolio/galleries what do you feel when you look at the images? Do the images feel like you? If you were to take one of the images from the website and hang it on a wall in your home will it fit in? Or would it feel like it’s trying too hard? It’s easy to get caught up in the cuteness of some newborn images, but think that you’ll be handing these images down to your child. Will it still feel timeless when you look through your album with your grandchildren? Do you want your images to be a bit quirky with personality, or more traditional?

Is there consistency within the portfolio? It’s important to have confidence when hiring a photographer that you’re going to receive images of the same quality and with the same feel as a cohesive portfolio. Don’t be afraid to ask to see a full gallery from a past client as it will give you a really good idea of the number variety of images you’ll receive.

Lastly, ensure the technical aspects are also consistent. Are the images in focus? Does the colour look natural and not gimmicky?

2. Location & Timing

Will the session take place in a studio or your home? Some posed newborn photographers work out of a studio while others will bring all the gear to your home. Lifestyle and documentary photographers generally will come to you and integrate your home into the images. Does the location matter to you? Is it important that you integrate the nursery into your images?

Another consideration is the scheduling of the session. Ensure before you book a photographer you talk to her about when she schedule sessions. For some photographers it’s important to have the session within 10 days of the baby being born - when sleepiness is at its max (we can hope at least!). As lifestyle newborn photography doesn’t depend as much on posing and sleeping, the scheduling usually isn’t as important. I’m more than happy to have awake babies for the session and will therefore schedule 2-3 weeks after birth. But, if a family feels they need more time to settle into their new normal, I’m happy to extend the time frame to 6 weeks.

 3. Past Clients

Photography can be a serious investment, and it’s therefore important to search out experiences from past clients who have already invested. Read the reviews on the photographer’s website (they should be there!), and take stock in what clients have said. Can you glean any consist insight into what it’s like to work with the photographer? Better yet, ask if you can speak directly to a past client about her experience. 

4. Products

What do you want AFTER your session? Digital images is the easy answer, but are you sure that’s all you want? What are you going to do with the digital images? Will they live on your hard-drive forever? Are you prepared to design an album yourself and have you sourced a printer that will maintain the colour quality of your images? Will your products stand the test of time? Have the discussion with your potential photographer about the products she offers and why she offers what she does. I’ve spent an incredible amount of time selecting products that are unique, high quality and that my clients love. Printing your images shouldn’t be scary! It should be exciting, and prints should bring you joy every time you pass them. 

Kelly Marleau is a lifestyle and documentary photographer based in Edmonton, Alberta. Through her company, Fiddle Leaf Photography, Kelly captures beautiful lifestyle newborn photosbreastfeeding portraits and family moments for her clients. Kelly is all about ditching ‘picture perfect’ for beautiful real, and is an ardent fan of being there when spontaneous laughs unfold, when fingers touch, when siblings stop squabbling, when you can’t stop staring at the beautiful newborn babe, and when you sit with your child and nourish his soul. You can see more of Kelly's work on her website or by connecting with her on Instagram or Facebook.


Marie G. McIntyre said...

Your baby is so cute. I regretted that I've never hired photographer before to my son. Newborn photos are important to remember, so it is good to you that yo have them perfectly. For more baby needs, shop only online at

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