If your newborn photographer offers printed products, the total cost of the session is likely to be higher than if you choose a photographer who sells digital images only. At the most basic level, a newborn photographer needs a professional DSLR camera, memory cards and a lens. Newborn photographer typical invests in lighting equipment, props, and a studio. Education and practice is a must for a newborn photographer in the beginning - so lots of money spent there too. On top of all this - just like with any other business, photographers pay business fees, taxes, bookkeeping, and more. In this article I will explain the costs involved in professional newborn photography, and why costs and therefore prices can vary between photographers. If you opt for a "cheap newborn photographer" or a family friend who is just starting out, you probably won't get the images you want.
While you want an experienced professional for whatever type of photos you need, it's especially important with newborn photography. Oh - and before anyone says "Well-established photographers should learn to keep up with the times and reduce their prices accordingly or something similar, please see my comment above about how expensive it is to properly run a newborn photography business. Unfortunately, a sad side effect of what is happening in the newborn photography industry today is that with so many people willing to undercut prices, I have witnessed some brilliant established newborn portrait businesses go under.
Newborn safety is very important and it is very common to see new people jumping into newborn photography with super low prices and delivering poor images and no knowledge of handling newborn babies. As your child grows into a toddler and a teenager and even an adult, you will have your newborn images and hopefully other photos, so look back to remember that this unique and special journey began. From a photographer who enjoys taking photos as a hobby, but doesn't have a full time business, to a photographer with many years of experience photographing exclusively newborns, and who offers a comprehensive service including help designing albums or wall art after the session. I have heard time and time again that newborn photo sessions are costly to implement.
I don't know about you, but when it comes to my own newborns, I'd be willing to pay for clean, in focus artwork, with babies sleeping peacefully and posing comfortably. I started out as a Senior Portrait Photographer in Pittsburgh and did that for many years before becoming a newborn and maternity photographer. I thought it was going to be a fairly easy transition since I already knew photography and light. I didn't realize how much I had to invest in my business when I started charging for newborns. I offer newborn sessions at my home studio and you would think that would be a lot easier and more cost effective. However, with this came other challenges.
When choosing your newborn photographer, the safety of your little one is, of course, the top priority. It takes quality education and training to handle newborn babies as they are fragile and sensitive. Because newborns often don't enjoy being handled, sessions can take up to 4 hours. Our backs hurt badly after each session and long hours spent photographing your newborn is usually in a very warm environment.
As you can already see, this job is not easy. You can't just buy a camera and call yourself a newborn photographer. This craft takes years to perfect and that is why newborn photography tends to be a bit pricier than other genres.