This is the most important thing! Newborn photography is very safe if you know what you're doing, however there are definitely photographers out there who are not doing it safely. The biggest offense is doing poses like the froggy pose (where the baby's head is propped up on his hands) or hanging in a cocoon or wrap in one shot. I don't personally do either pose but they can be done safely in a composite. A composite is a photograph in which two or more photos are edited together into one. So, if you see any shots that would not be safe for a baby, ask the photographer how they do it. If they don't say composite, move on.
Of course you can't hire a newborn photographer who lives in California when you live in Florida unless you're willing to pay her for travel. If you're unsure if a certain photographer covers your area it never hurts to ask.
There are many different types of newborn photographers out there. Some shoot what is called lifestyle photography. These are minimally posed shots of people in their natural environment. below is an example of a lifestyle photograph.
There is a wide range of costs for newborn photography depending on the skill and business model of the photographer. but in general you have 3 basic levels.
1. The hobbiest, a hobbiest is a person who enjoys photography but it is not their career. These tend to be the cheapest choice but they also tend to be less experienced and skilled than full time photographers. They may also not have the supply of props and wraps that other photographers have.
2. The portfolio builder. This photographer is usually in the early stages of making a career out of photography and wants to build a portfolio of images to show future clients. Every photographer was a portfolio builder at one time. Portfolio builders usually charge enough to cover their expenses with possibly a small amount of profit. A portfolio builder may be a skilled photographer but since they are new to newborn photography their images may not be very consistent and they may not yet know what style they prefer. So, they may not be able to promise a certain level of portraiture thus their low price point.
3. The Seasoned Pro. The seasoned pro has been photographing newborns long enough that their images should be at a consistent level and when you hire them you know what you'll get. Their prices may be higher than the portfolio builder but that is because the product that they deliver is worth it. At this level a photographer has worked with enough newborns to be adept at calming them and successfully posing them. The seasoned pro will also offer many products other than just the digital files and will take the same care with printing your images that she takes with creating them in the first place.
Does the photographer supply props, wraps, hats, bows? Do they come to your home or do they ask you to go to a studio. Do they seem like they will be easy to work with? Do they offer an in home sales appointment where they can answer all your questions or do they do it online. Are they willing to incorporate your ideas or do they only shoot according to their own vision?
Hopefully all this information is helpful, not overwhelming. When you've taken all these things into account it should help narrow down the huge amount of photographers to a more manageable amount and you will be able to find a photographer who is right for you.
If you would like to book Karah Couch Photography for your newborn portrait session, send me an email here. I love photographing newborns and I would be honored to be your choice.