Limited Window of Opportunity
I normally photograph newborns within the first week of life. There are times when I make exceptions, but it is not ideal. You have a limited time frame to get these photos taken and you don't want to be searching for someone who may or may not have availability during the dates just after your baby is born. My advice is to hire a professional photographer before you deliver so you don't miss out on any of those precious moments with your new baby. If I were to recommend a time when you should book your session, I would say around 2-3 months out. We can always change the date if we need to, but this way I can be aware of what my calendar will look like around the time of delivery.
Babies Don't Stay Babies Forever
In the blink of an eye your baby will grow from this tiny little human that you were able to hold and snuggle with to an adult that is off on their own. Years from now you will hold the photos from your newborn session in your hands and be able to re-live the emotion of holding your child in your arms. You'll pull out those photos and be amazed at how big your child has grown. You are truly capturing an unforgettable and irreplaceable moment in time.
This can't be stressed enough, but it's all about safety, safety, and safety! You won't want to hand your sweet baby over to just anyone, you want someone who is trained and knowledgable in newborn safety. Professional Newborn Photographers are familiar with exactly how to hold babies safely, when and how to pose babies, and more importantly, how to not pose your baby. We are trained to treat babies safely and respectfully. No photo is more important than the safety of your baby! If you have certain poses in mind, ask your photographer before hand if they have ever done it and if they know how to do it safely. Most professional photographers will take several photos and merge them into a composite to achieve certain photos.
Equipment and Studio
Professional photographers spend a lot of money on good equipment. There is a reason why cameras and flashes cost the amount they do. Can you take pictures with a standard point and shoot camera, sure. Would the pictures turn out as good, probably not. The expensive cameras are able to catch better light and have more megapixels. This allows for more detail to be captured. Having the perfect lighting setup in a studio setting is critical. There can be lots of shadows if the lighting is not right and can be hard to fix later.
Photographers carefully re-touch your images. We use products like Photoshop and Lightroom to ensure that your images are properly exposed, the colors are perfect and the image is polished to a professional level. I always aim to get the best possible photo straight from my camera, but every image can be enhanced through editing, especially newborn photos. Lots of babies have red feet and hand or may have yellow skin from being jaundiced. Most babies have peeling and flaky skin, baby acne, or scratches from their nails. Some babies even have bruising as a result of a difficult delivery. A professional photographer will know exactly how to edit your images to you wall-worthy images of your sweet little one.
Posing, Attention to Detail and Props
A professional will pay close attention to details. With newborn photography, babies are posed right down to the position of their hands and lips. Blankets are smoothed out. Fabrics are ironed. Background clutter is removed. The time of day and babies' feeding schedule are taken into consideration. The temperature and ambiance of the room is carefully planned. Every part of the image and your session is carefully planned to ensure that you get the best images possible. There are certain variables that a professional photographer knows how too manipulate to help ensure an easier and more successful session. You also get to access a professional photographers prop collection and won't have to worry about purchasing your own props.
Last, but not least, price! Price is always the forefront of every consumers mind when choosing a photographer. Just remember the old expression, "You get what you pay for". Going with the least expensive or whomever offers the "best deal" might not be the best decision when choosing your photographer for your newborn portraits. I am not saying to never take advantage of a special or deal, but just look into why they might be offering it. Remember, you only have a small window to capture those first days of life so if you choose a photographer that you end up not being happy with, you cannot get those days back. It is very similar to wedding photography in that you really only get one shot at it. Why newborn sessions are more costly than other portrait sessions is simple, they take a lot of time in session and in editing, require a lot of money going into the sessions in props and equipment, and continuing education.