A quick search on Google for Newborn Photographer or Family Photographer in your area will likely result in an overwhelming number of options! It is a daunting task when starting from scratch, so I wanted to put together a super short list of things to focus on when researching photographers to capture your next newborn or family session.
- Photography Style
There are two ways to look at photography style: How did the photographer take the photo; and, how did they edit it.
When capturing images, I personally love the idea of merging posed images with candid ones. Having a family session that has posed images is wonderful, but after those are captured I love to let everyone play and have fun! The posed images show how much kids grow from year to year (as they slowly catch up to you, and likely surpass you, in height), while the candids show the real story of your family and allow for everyone to let their hair down a little and have fun! But no matter your preference (posed, candid, or a mix of both), check out your photographer’s portfolio online and also their About Us page to make sure their approach meshes with what you had in mind.
When it comes to the finished product, there are lots of ways to edit images nowadays. From light + airy to dark + moody and everything in between. There really is no right or wrong when it comes to this, and you don’t need to know the term for how your photographer shoots + edits their photos, just go with what you are drawn to. And if you don’t know what you prefer, try going through social media and saving a bunch of your favourite photos. Once you have a good collection, you will likely see a trend and you can go from there.
It is super important to find a photographer who specializes in the style you find yourself drawn to rather than asking a photographer to shoot and edit different than they normally would.
2. Experience + Safety
Finding a photographer with experience in the field is always important. When it comes to family photography, that experience will not only create better images, but it will likely mean they are able to engage your little ones in a more natural way. They will understand that sometimes kids need a minute to warm up to the situation and will have lots of tricks to get their attention!
Experience and training are especially important when it comes to newborn sessions as it may be easy for an inexperienced photographer to mistakenly reduce circulation during a pose, or not understand how to safely create an image they have seen online. It will also mean they are able to better read a baby’s needs during a session and work around any issues that may pop up (like a little one who doesn’t want to sleep).
Not only do you want a photographer who an experienced photographer, but you also want one who is going to create a memorable and fun experience for you and your family during your session. Ultimately, you want to find a photographer who will not only capture beautiful photos, but also focus on you and your family’s comfort and happiness throughout the session.
A great experience with a photographer will likely result in a wonderful relationship where you can bring your family back for each and every milestone, creating a collection of images that are full of love and happiness!
Although budget shouldn’t be the first thing to look at when searching for a photographer, it is still an important factor. You don’t want to risk your financial security because you wanted to go big on a photo session. Look for, and take advantage of, any promotions your favourite photographers may be offering, and also for any registry programs they may have (especially if you are planning a baby shower).
Keep in mind the different services offered by photographers and inquire about additional fees for digital images, printed products, printing rights, etc. Obtaining prints and products from your photographer will result in much higher quality items that will likely stand the test of time, but they do often come at a price. And remember, if it isn’t in your budget right now, it doesn’t mean you can’t get them later.
The most important thing is to find someone you are comfortable with. Being a relaxed as possible during your session, and being comfortable with the person behind the camera, really will produce images that you will be so happy to share with all of your friends and family.
About the Author:
Stephanie Koning is a Newborn + Family Photographer in Ottawa offering both Studio + Lifestyle Sessions through her company Stephanie Beach Photography. When she’s not hanging out with families or cuddling newborns, you can find her at home playing with her puppy, working on the latest reno or craft project, or just chilling on the couch with her hubby.