Today I’m delighted to be bringing you an excellent ‘How To’ post from Sally Slack, Newborn Photographer extraordinaire. Not only is Sally a talented photographer but she’s also a mum and an NNEB Nursery Nurse so has plenty of experience of handling little ones. All of the gorgeous photographs in this piece are Sally’s handiwork. If you’re based in Essex, or the surrounding areas, or just fancy getting in touch, you can follow Sally on Twitter at @sallyslackphoto, find her on Facebook or have a look at her website.
If you are considering Newborn Photography here is a blog post to help you think about how to go about choosing your Newborn Photographer, timings and logistics.
Newborn photography should ideally be done in the first two weeks, around six to ten days is the ideal time. At this age most babies are completely oblivious to what’s going on around them and most often sleep through the entire session. It is still possible to achieve the newborn poses after this time but babies do tend to be more awake and less curled up, so it is less likely that those newborn poses will be achieved. Most Newborn Photographers limit the number of newborn sessions each week to accommodate date changes. Babies are rarely born on time so the photographer needs to be completely flexible with dates.
You’re pregnant and you have decided that you would like a newborn shoot when your little one arrives, when should you book? This is totally dependent on the photographer you choose. Some photographers are booked up months in advance and advise booking at around twelve weeks, other photographers recommend booking after your twenty week scan, the sooner you do your homework the more choice you will have. So how do you go about choosing a Newborn Photographer?
Obviously Google is a good source of information and a good place to start. Word of mouth is another good way to get recommendations; do you know anyone that has had newborn photography done? If you don’t know anyone, then a good place to start would be The British Association of Newborn Photography http://www.banp.co.uk BANP is a specialist organisation promoting safe baby and newborn photography. They insist upon safe working practices for all their photographer’s, in order to be a member all photographers need to be fully insured and sign up to their code of conduct. All BANP photographers have been assessed to be of a professional standard and are appropriately skilled working with babies.
Once you have narrowed down the list of your preferred photographers there are a few things that you should consider when making your final choice.
Does the photographer have a studio, would you need to travel to them or would they come to your home? Both have benefits, it’s up to you to decide what’s best for you. If you are travelling with a small baby it’s a good idea to consider the distance to the photographer.
Do you love their images, are those the sort of images and style that you would like to have as art hanging on the walls of your home? Do they have a varied portfolio of different images and poses and do the babies look comfortable? Most photographers have a website, a blog or a Facebook page, some have all three. It’s on Facebook that you would probably see their most up to date work. Have a read of their page; it’s a good place to get a feel of how happy their clients are.
It’s always a good idea to touch base with a photographer and ask them about how they approach the safety of your Newborn and what training and experience they have had. The BANP are advocates of composite images and some of the poses that you see on photographers websites are actually two images that have been merged together, this is done so that the baby is supported at all times, those supporting hands are then edited out using software such as Photoshop.
I would also recommend meeting with your photographer, if they have a studio why not go and visit their studio. Would you feel comfortable handing over your precious bundle to this person? Is the studio clean, do you “gel” with the photographer? Newborn Photography is unique, I can think of no other genre of photography where the photographer is so hands on. Therefore it’s essential to feel confident in your choice of photographer.
Last but not least is cost! I am a great believer in “you get what you pay for,” but what exactly are you getting? It is worthwhile considering what goes into the overall cost to understand what questions to ask your photographer.
- A session could last up to four hours to maximise the chance of catching those “perfect” images and ensuring that your baby is at ease in their new surroundings.
- Your photographer will have spent time before the shoot preparing the environment and also limiting other shoots to accommodate date changes.
- Newborns can sometimes be a little jaundiced or require careful editing so they look their best, this takes time, skill and specialist training.
- The photographer requires specialist equipment and props to capture your Newborn in a comfortable, safe and yet individual environment. (Not to mention the laundry post shoot )
One of the hardest decisions will be what products and prints you purchase. There are a myriad of options for wall art and your photographer should be able to advise on size and style to suit your home. Sometimes a shot just warrants a large canvas or framed print. You can also purchase photo books with a selection of shots or even packages that cover Newborn, sitting and first birthday milestones.
Often a photographer will offer a low-resolution sneak peek image for use on your social media site. Most photographers consider that digital negatives are a luxury product and are priced as such. When clients purchase digital files this means that the photographer loses control over the processing and handling of their images and may result in you getting sub optimal products. Most professional labs will only deal directly with professional photographers and high street developers do not recreate accurate colours nor do they guarantee archival quality prints.
All photographers have their particular niches, characteristics and styles. Hopefully this blog will help you navigate through your decision and ensure you have a rewarding time that results in capturing images that you’ll treasure for many years.