Updated: May 16
Becoming a parent for the first, second or third time is no small thing. Some of us have been waiting our whole lives to bring a baby into this world and it isn't always an easy journey. Having a photoshoot to celebrate this momentous occasion is one of the first things we do as the memory keepers of our families.
Understanding the price of newborn photos and the investment isn't always clear when looking at price sheets online. This article will help you figure out how to figure out who the best newborn photographer is for you and how much you you should expect to pay.
Below are tips on how to find the best newborn photographer for you based on style, price and location along with some frequently asked questions.
1. Can my family photographer take my newborn photos?
A photographer who specializes in newborn babies is going to make your experience stress free by having all of the props, wraps and clothing needed for newborn photos.
Newborn portraits can take up to 4 hours even with an experienced newborn photographer who uses posing aids and knows the right angles to capture along with the the best room temperature to keep baby nice and cozy. This is why it's best to stick with a photographer who does these types of sessions regularly instead of your local family photographer.
2. Who is the best newborn photographer near me?
Search social media for inspiration and recommendations. There are many newborn photographers out there, sadly they don’t all make it to the first page of google and it has nothing to do with how great their images are but rather how much time and money they invest into their website. Here is a link to my Instagram. You'll notice that the photos are more modern than some of the website galleries you will see ranking as top 3 on google.
3. How much does a newborn photographer cost?
The average cost of a newborn session ranges from $400-$800 for digitals or an average of $1,100 when you invest in wall art and albums. Budget is a big factor when choosing the right photographer for many parents. These prices can vary based on experience, editing styles and variety in prop selection.
Experienced photographers understand the cost of doing business and what it takes to keep a photography business profitable over time. They also understand the importance of providing value to their clients.
This is why you will see a lot of full service luxury studios when searching for a specialty photographer like maternity and newborn. A full service studio will offer a client's closet, makeup if requested, editing and wall art selections to make the experience worth the investment. Many luxury or full service studios stay away from selling “just digitals” because the thought of paying hundreds of dollars for digital files feels absurd as a client if you don't understand the time and financial investment of the photographer.
4. What is a sitting fee?
A sitting fee is a service charge that is charged to book a session and covers the day of the shoot,, includes a client closet and follow-up appointment.
Sitting fees generally do not include photos. The images are later purchased during your follow up/ordering appointment. Your ordering appointment is also where we guide you in what kind of wall art (canvas, acrylic, metal) or album best suits your style and home decor.
5. How many photos do I get in a session?
A photographer who does no editing may offer a larger amount of photos due to the limited amount of time it will take to return a gallery.
As a newborn photographer that uses props during my session, I include no more than 25 photos in a newborn session. This includes parent and sibling photos as well. 10 photos of just a baby is what I aim for. My goal is to capture the best shot in that set up that you will want to hang in the baby's nursery. The reality is that having a few amazing photos that you will want displayed in your home is more valuable than 50 photos of where you can't pin down your favorite.
6. How soon after birth do you do newborn photos?
Newborn photos are typically done in the first 3 weeks after birth. Ideally between day 5-14. This is when the baby is most sleepy and flexible, allowing for all the wrapped and prop poses.
Booking a session months before baby is due is key to not only guaranteeing a spot with the photographer of your choice but also gives you time to look into the colors and props you would like during your session.
With newborn photography, no pose is guaranteed. Baby is the boss during the session so the younger they are the more likely they are to cooperate.
3 weeks is not too old for newborn photos. Check out 3 week old baby boy and my award winning photo.
7. What safety precautions should be taken during a newborn photoshoot?
There are no safety regulations for newborn photography however those of us who do this fulltime have invested endless hours into education whether it be online courses or in person workshops.
Always follow your gut and look to make sure your baby looks comfortable. All newborns are different. Some will sleep peacefully through a full session as long as the room is warm and others will only sleep if they are wrapped and feel swaddled & secured.
Of course babies cry for a number of reasons which is why sessions can take up to 4 hours to collect a full gallery of photos.
Your newborn photographer should be ok with allowing time to breastfeed as often as needed, stop to treat gas if necessary and most importantly no when to move one from a pose if baby is not happy with the position.
8. Should I take newborn photos at the hospital?
It’s possible that your hospital may offer newborn photos. However, unless you plan on bringing your own wraps and clothing I would strongly advise against it. Newborn wraps and clothing should be washed between sessions to avoid spreading any germs or viruses.
Personally, I only photograph one newborn a day out of caution. My studio is cleaned and sanitized between each session. In addition, my clients can request a covid test the night prior to the session.
9. Should I have my newborn photos at home or in the studio?
Sessions in the studio are ideal due to the photographer having all the props and wraps available in one location. It also allows for more variation in family photos.
In-home sessions are a fantastic option, especially if you are only photographing baby. The ideal age to photograph a newborn is under 10 days. With an in-home session you don't need to worry about being ready to leave your home for a long period of time during the first few days. An in-home newborn photo shoot will still include prop prosing and family photos. Just make sure you set aside a designated area for the photographer and be sure not to have guests around that can disrupt the photographer's work flow.
10. When is the best time of day to photograph a newborn?
I like to shoot at 10:00 AM. It gives parents time to get ready and have breakfast before they show. In my experience newborns sleep much better during morning sessions. I like to set the expectation that the session will last from 10-2. This way parents pack accordingly and can still enjoy the rest of their day once they leave.
11. What should I wear for my family shots?
Neutral colors and loose clothing are best. You want to make sure you are comfortable. If you are interested in more glamor shots, our client closet is available for mom to choose a gown or wrap to wear.
12. Should I wait to book a session until my baby is no longer fussy or her baby acne is gone?
You should not hold off on booking your session unless mom or baby is not feeling well. Your session should be booked in advance to guarantee an opening in those first few weeks.
Your photographer can edit baby acne so don't let that deter you. They also know how to comfort a fussy baby.
80% of your session will be getting the baby comfortable and in the perfect position for a quick shot. A professional photographer will know how to handle a fussy baby and will have the patience needed to complete the task.
13. Are newborn photos worth the money?
Photos of your children and family are priceless. These photos will be passed on through generations to come. The benefit of having a professional photographer take them for you is that no one is left out of the photo and you are guaranteed a good quality print.
Photos you take with your phone or photos that only live on social media are unfortunately not high enough resolution to print. I can't begin to tell you how any photos I've lost because they were only stored on Facebook or instagram,
Invest in wall art that sparks joy every time you pass by it and an album that your grandchildren will one day be able to hold.
Vanessa Keo Photograph is a Southern New Hampshire full service studio located in Merrimack NH and dedicated to serving Manchester, NH, Nashua, NH and all surrounding areas including Boston, MA.
If you have are interested in booking a session please submit a booking inquiry and will get back to you.