When starting out as a newborn photographer, or successfully running your newborn photography business, there are several important tips to keep in mind to ensure your own success. By familiarising yourself with the points below, you can ensure that you will avoid making costly mistakes and that your newborn photography business will continue to be successful.
Your number one priority during any newborn photography session should be safety. Parents need to have peace of mind that their precious newborn is safe, secure and protected during their newborn session. Newborn sessions normally should last for around 2 - 3 hours, ensuring there is ample time for feeding breaks, nappy/diaper changes and settling if required. When a newborn is held, make sure that their neck is supported and that adequate padding is used underneath the baby when posing in a prop. If you feel that anything about a particular setup is unsafe, or don't feel comfortable posing the newborn in a particular way, stop what you're doing immediately. You should never compromise a baby's safety just to get the shot you're after. Larger, lighter props should be weighted down to ensure they don't tip over during a session, and a spotter is always a good option to have for an extra pair of eyes to monitor the baby's safety during a session.
Did you know that newborns are unable to regulate their body temperatures as well as kids and adults? When a newborn gets cold, they use huge amounts of energy just to stay warm. For this reason, it is so important that they need to be kept warm during a newborn photography session. When setting up for a newborn session, the studio needs to be kept warm. A space heater will work wonders, positioned so that it's not pointing directly at baby but keeping the surrounding area nice and warm. This will ensure that a newborn will sleep better and you'll be able to get all those cute close-up shots that your clients will love!
Newborn photography can be quite technical in many ways, including knowing how to pose and position a baby. Often this takes a lot of time and practise to learn, and online videos or tutorials are very helpful in this area. It is so important that a newborn photographer is safe and confident in posing a newborn and is familiar with any risks a particular newborn pose might bring about. When starting out as a newborn photographer, a good way to practise your posing is to ask friends or family to photograph their newborns, or perhaps you might even want to be a newborn photographer's assistant to gain more experience.
Before your newborn session, make sure that your client is made aware of what a newborn photography session involves. Clients often will see newborn images and have no idea of the amount of time/work that goes into creating them. Prior to a session, a newborn photographer should email a client to go over any session procedures, practises or routines so that they are familiar with what will happen on the day of their session. Often what a client believes will occur during a session is very different to the real thing, so make sure to email or phone your client before a session to cover all the details. You should also let the client know what they need to bring on the day, for example nappy/diaper changes, feeding supplies or a change of clothes if necessary. Directions to your studio will also assist clients when they are sleep-deprived with looking after their little newborn!
Newborn sessions generally last for a minimum of two hours, sometimes up to around three hours, to allow for multiple setups, feeding, changing and settling. It takes time to settle a newborn and if you're faced with a very unsettled baby, it can take some time to photograph them. Newborns can sense stress so it's important not to rush with your newborn session and allow plenty of time. The parents will also be grateful that they're getting images that they love and that the newborn photo session was a positive experience for them too!
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