You've just found out your pregnant, congratulations! And so begins the never ending list of baby items and planning for your new arrival. From what pram or car seat to buy down to the brand of pacifiers to use it can be a daunting task.
Hiring a professional newborn photographer to capture those precious first moments of your baby can also become a complex task. Where do you search? Facebook, Instagram or Google? There are so many photographers around and lots of your friends have used different people so how will you find the perfect photographer for your needs?
Well I have compiled a list of some excellent tips of how to find a professional photographer and the key steps to making sure you book the right one. So grab a coffee and lets get started.
1. Ask around
Your friends hold very valuable information when it comes to their experience with their newborn photographers. Ask them questions like "How did you find their quality of service" "Were the images what you were expecting" "How long did it take for you to receive your order" "Were they professional and did you feel they lived up to your expectation". It's important to find out their experience, the good and the bad so you can make an informed decision if your planning to use one of their recommendations.
2. Start a List
Write down any of your friends recommendations and then start a list of your own. When it comes to searching for a photographer you could start looking for photographers near you. Searching on Google will help bring up a list of local photographers in your city. If it's a particular style of photography you are looking for try searching on Instagram with hashtags like #naturalnewbornphotography or #lifestylenewbornphotography if you know the type of look you are after you will be able to easily search through images and find your way to their Instagram profiles.
Start contacting the photographers on your list. You might do this by first visiting their websites, sending them a message on Facebook or Instagram or contacting them by phone or email. Whatever your preferred method, take note of their initial response. You want to be made to feel important so a lengthy time in response or a very brief impersonal message might put you off. You definitely don't want to be chasing them for a reply. Narrow down your list based on those who gave you a great first impression.
Now you want to source as much information as you can from the photographers you have enquired with. The questions you should be asking are "What is the cost of your services" "What's included with the package or item your interested in" "Are there any additional fees or hidden costs" "Do you have payment plans or how/when is payment due". If you hiring a newborn photographer you may also want to ask questions like "Are you vaccinated against whooping cough" "Is your studio private or will other families be present". It's important to know the answers to these questions prior to booking so there are no surprises down the track. No one likes hidden costs or finding out the inclusions in the package are different to what they expected. Be informed and know what your purchasing, don't be afraid to ask questions.
If you're hiring a professional they should have a website, Google their business and read the Google reviews or testimonials on their site. It's always good to hear from past clients who have used their services before. When your looking on their website you want to make sure the information you have received matches what's online. Ensure the images they post to their social media is the same standard on their website. If they have a blog read through some posts and get a better idea of who they are and what their sessions entail. See if they have any special deals or offers, sometimes these can be posted on their website or social media pages.
Talk over your findings with your partner, friends or family. Sometimes discussing it with someone can help you come to a decision if you are undecided or have any concerns. You should feel excited, comfortable and happy with the photographer of your choosing and feel confident taking the next step to booking your session.
7. When to book?
If your pregnant you might need to get in touch with your photographer early on to ensure they have availability. You don't want to leave it to late and miss out. As a Birth Photographer I encourage clients to book as early as possible as I only take on a number of births per month and I book out quickly. It's also nice to tick "Book Photographer" off the list and be able to focus on other things before your baby's arrival.