Updated: May 21
Why is Newborn Photography so expensive?
We all have seen our newborn photos taken in the hospital and if you have older children you might remember how these photos were part of the hospital stay experience.
These "fresh 48" photos are still offered by some photographers but what has really taken off in the last year is the art of newborn photography.
Newborn photography has become a way to commemorate the birth of this little human who you have worked so hard to bring into this world.
These beautiful sessions involve a variation of poses and adorable props wraps.
Photographers who specialize newborns offer beautiful coffee table books of your gallery and wall art to be displayed in your home for all your friends and family to see and cherish.
These photos are more than just the hospital photos that are stored in a box and passed down to your children as adults. These photos are meant to celebrate and draw emotion when you walk pass them in your halls or to gaze at in your baby's room as they grow.
Creating a beautiful gallery requires an experienced and educated photographer in lighting, editing, styling, and newborn safety.
It is important to remember that specialty items and services in most cases are luxury and are limited in quantity. These services are offered are mostly offered small business who invest a lot of time and money into providing this experience but also have to run a sustainable business not only to provide for their own families but to stay afloat and continue to provide good a valuable experience.
Below is a list of things that make newborn photography an expensive business & luxury service
Camera and Lens- There are many photographers in the industry and each specailty uses equipment that is specific to their field. Newborn photographers use a wide lens with low aperture in order to capture those creamy photos with lots of depth. In addition not all cameras have the stabilization to work with settings
Lighting - Some photographers work only in natural light limiting the amount of sessions they can take daily and others work with expensive light systems that resemble natural light. These light systems require a flash, a flash trigger, light stand, umbrellas, modifiers, light meters, grey cards etc. Understanding how all these different tools effect your light can also take years of experience.
Props and posing aids- Newborn props are handmade with high quality products. These products have a long production and shipping time due to high demand and limited material and verdors. To create one set in a session easily can cost upwards of $600 when you combine the cost of an outfit, headband or sleepy cap, plus a felt teddy, posing aides, wraps, specialty basket and backdrop.
Editing- Editing styles vary. Some photographers enjoy making babies look doll like and others enjoy natural. Depending on your photographers style there can be hours on intensive editing to get the colors, tones just right and remove minor imperfections. Learning to use photoshop or Lightroom is no easy task. Some editors also outsource their editing in order to photograph more clients or purchase presets to speed up editing time.
Time- There are only so many hours in a day. A newborn shoot can take up 4 hours. Personally, due to the amount of prep that goes into a session, cleaning and sanitizing after, I only photograph one newborn a day. This does not include the time it will take to edit photos, create a gallery, meet with the clients for the viewing, & create albums or canvases.
Studio Cost- These cost can vary depending on the type of photographer you hire. Studio locations require rent, utility bills, insurance. Travel photographers invest in special wireless lighting and equipment that allows them to go on location. They also spent more more hours packing up, tearing down, traveling and editing due to lighting complications.
Post production+ Subscriptions - As small business owners who rely on digital marketing and services you will not believe how many subscriptions we have in place and how many courses and mentorships we take to stay informed and continue to add value to our business. Here are some of my own just to name a few.
Book keeping and contract subcription
Search engine optimization resources
Gallery Viewing Site monthly subscription
Business Site monthly subscription
Annual Domain & email fee
Monitor & Lens calibration services
Educational monthly subscription
When paying for luxury and specialty item it's important to understand the value of what you are getting. I hope this list helps you decide on which photographer is best for you!
If you've enjoyed this article check out 5 ways to make your session go smoothly