Congratulations – you are having a baby!! Really, I cannot think of a more exciting time in anyone’s life. Beyond anything else, a baby is life-altering and so many emotions surrounding this time.
Capturing your pregnancy and those first few days with your new baby will mean so much. Pregnancy is such a short time – I know, I know, it feels like FOREVER!. But a maternity photoshoot will capture that life memory and your baby will love having those portraits of mom carrying them. And a newborn is only squishy brand new for a super short time.
So how do you choose a photographer that you are comfortable with? That understands your style and can work with you to capture your family’s memories? Well – Google is your friend 🙂 Google is everyone’s friend, really. Recommendations from friends. Instagram photos. And limit your search to your local area. I try to create information on all my social media accounts that help people find me in South Jersey / Delaware Valley / Jersey Shore & Philadelphia – and my hometown of Vineland, New Jersey.
So many photographers, so little time! How to choose? I think the first step is to take a stroll through the photographer’s website and look at their images. Collect some names and get the photographer on the phone. Have a chat. Are you comfortable? Is safety a concern? How long & what sort of experiences does the photographer have? Look at the studio’s gallery of images. Check out their social media accounts. Do the images “speak” to you? Some might have a rustic matte feel to your images. Someone else might create a bright white airy look. Some are dark and contrasty. Or still others might love props while other photographers love simple clean lines. Ask to see an entire gallery of images. Do the images convey safety to you? Ask about posing safety!! Most photographers have a style that is quickly apparent by taking a look at the images they share. What suits your style?
As you are chatting with potential photographers, ask questions about how they run their business.
Some photographers travel to clients’ homes. They bring their equipment and you will need to have a large clear space for them to work. Others have studio spaces carved out of their own apartments and houses. And lastly, some photographers have studio spaces. My studio has a Newborn Room dedicated to my tiny clients. This keeps their space pristine!
Photographers often operate in a couple of different ways. Some will charge a small (or none at all) session or creative fee. No images or products are included. You will often be asked to meet before the session to talk about what you want to order and then another in-person meeting after your photo session to view your portraits and place your order. Products can vary in price. Some photographers offer digital images, and others will only sell a digital at a very high price. Other photographers charge an inclusive fee for both the session and often some or all of the digital images. Products may or may not be available. ASK!
Lin Ellen Studios offers inclusive collections! When you book with me, you have access to my client closet, my design consultation, session fees, inclusive detailed editing, and digital images selected and downloaded from an online gallery. Some collections include printed products as well. However, all include your session and digital images.
What kind of business model are you most comfortable with? It is also important to consider if a business is operating legitimately. Ask about insurance. Ask about a business registered to operate legally in your state. Does the business charge taxes? Photography is a difficult industry to “license” and there is not a governing body that provides that certificate. However, the very last thing you want to do is entrust your most precious bundle of love to someone that is not invested in operating a legitimate and safe business! Ask if your photographer has a contract! Those contracts protect both the photographer AND the clients! Will the photographer deliver as promised?
And, budget. EVERYONE has a budget. And everyone spends their pennies as suits them best. Don’t be shy to set a budget and tell your photographer. And ask exactly what is included when you spend your budgeted amount. That said, photographers are running a business. A lot goes into creating the artwork from your session both before and after the actual session. And there are many costs to running a photography studio. Does your photographer have insurance? Are they current with their vaccinations? Just a few questions you might ask.
Are you interested in digital artwork? Can your photographer deliver specialized or custom creations?
Ultimately, choose a photographer that you are most comfortable with and whose style matches what you envision. That can provide portraits within your budget.