Quite often I get emails from budding newborn photographers wanting to know all about newborn photography for school or TAFE assignments. I’m always happy to help student photographers just starting out on their photography journey. Here are some of the most common questions that I’m asked. If you’re a beginner or student photographer, i hope these answers help you!
Q1. What type of photography to you do? Posed newborns or lifestyle shots or both?
Mainly my work is what I like to call “relaxed, posed newborn photography”. My style is more posed than lifestyle for newborns under 2 weeks of age. I tend to prefer more natural poses for babies instead of the more complex poses – think organic wraps and poses instead of complex ones. For babies older than 2 weeks, it is much more difficult to get them to go into any poses so these sessions are much more lifestyle. Q2. What type of camera and equipment do you use?
I’m a Nikon girl! My main camera is currently a Nikon D800. I have lots of lenses that I use for my personal work. For my newborn sessions I tend to use only 2 lenses, my 24 – 70mm f/ 2.8 and my 100mm macro lens for my close ups.
Most of my session is shot at about 50mm focal length to prevent distortion. I do also shoot at 35 for my basket or family shots where I like to have a wider angle to show the whole scene.
Q3. How long does a session usually take?
It really depends on the baby. For newborns under 2 weeks sessions typically last between 2 and 3 hours. I have noticed that with more experience my sessions are getting faster and closer to 2 hours than 3. Sometimes babies are more fussy and need longer for settling and feeds to be happy for their images. I never rush my sessions and follow baby’s lead. Sometimes you need a lot of patience to get the variety of images you want for your gallery. It’s always worth it when you see the end product.
Q4. Do you take the shots in a studio or in the client’s home? If you are mobile what are some tips you would recommend? My sessions take place in my studio in Balmain. When I first started out many years ago I used to travel to my client’s home but I found that I was limited with the amount of props and blankets I could take with me. I also found that clients were worrying about having a clean house which as any parent with a newborn in the house will tell you is the least of their worries in those early weeks. At my studio I have a comfortable area where parents can sit and watch their baby and where they can choose from my range of props and blankets. Q5. What are the top three poses you use? My most popular poses are baby laying on their back, the chin on hands, and the “bum up” pose (my favourite!) Q6. What are the top three props you use? In almost all sessions I use a flokati rug and a basket. Most of my shots are taken on my posing beanbag without using any props. Q7. How do you ensure an area is warm enough for the babies? I always make sure there are no drafts in the room. My continuous lighting provides nice warmth for the babies so I find that I don’t really need additional heating in the room (a bonus for Mums who often feel hot after birth). Q8. What is your best tip when it comes to working with newborns in general? Working with newborns is challenging and very rewarding. Learning settling techniques to help keep babies happy during sessions is paramount. I highly recommend reading The Happiest Baby on the Block for some great tips! I use Dr Karp’s settling techniques for every session. Q9. What is your best tip when it comes to marketing your business? The best marketing for your business will always be referrals from happy customers. Parents know expectant parents. If you treat each customer as important and do your very best, they will rave about you to their friends and family.
Q10. What is a typical day like for you? How many shoots do you have per week? How much time does it take to edit images? A typical day for me is a crazy juggle of being full-time Mum and part-time photographer. I shoot a maximum of 2 sessions a week while my children are small. I find limiting my sessions to 2 a week allows me to provide a fast, quality service to my clients without being overwhelmed in my personal life. My initial edit of all gallery images takes about a week to process for clients. After they place their order I do the fine retouching of each image. These fine edits take about 10 minutes per image. Q11. Do you process the images yourself or take them somewhere to be done? I am a one person business. I do everything myself from managing the enquiries and bookings to taking the photographs, editing, and product ordering and packaging
Q12. How much do you charge clients per session? Do you find most clients are happy with outlaying the cost? Clients are given a gallery of about 35 images after their session to choose from. Most clients choose one of my digital packages which start at $895 for 10 images. Clients that come to me understand that I am not the cheapest photographer in my area, but that my images and customer service are of a high standard. They are always happy with the final product which is great.
I hope these answers help you as well!