Ever wondered how to take newborn photos? Hint: hire a professional. Yes, I happen to be a Boston area professional newborn photographer and yes I can also recommend a great newborn photographer (ha!). But I can still (without bias) give you a few reasons why this type of photo session in particular is one you should leave to a professional.
Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Professional Newborn Photographer
1. Safety For Your Newborn.
Just say that out loud for me: “number one, safety of my baby.” If you see a photo of a baby sitting perched with his or her head resting gently in his or her hands you might think, “Wow, how did they do that?”. The truth is, a baby’s head is giant and heavy. Babies cannot hold themselves up in this way. The rare baby is able to hold this pose, but only years of experience has taught me how to first create the set up. And then next how to coax the baby, safely, in to this pose (see middle photo above). The majority of the time the photo is a composite done in Photoshop. That means my assistant’s hands have never left your baby’s head or body for a second. Her hands are Photoshopped out after. Which leads me to the second reason you should hire a professional.
2. The hands of an assistant.
The second reason why you should hire a professional photographer to take your newborn’s portraits is because you generally need more than 2 hands to pose a baby safely. I do recommend making sure the photographer you hire has a trusted assistant or two at the ready. My assistant helps the session run smoothly by helping to sooth your baby and keeping your baby safe during each and every pose. I call the collage below “Hands of an Assistant”.
3. The stuff.
The props, head wear, blankets and photo equipment needed to take photos like the ones you see in my newborn portrait gallery would make your head spin. My portraits are meant to feature your baby in a simple and organic way. You wouldn’t believe how much stuff is required for this feat of simplicity! Hiring me as a professional means access to my ever growing collection of props. These are items that wouldn’t realistically be things your baby would ever use again. This is certainly true for the photo equipment. Below I’ll show you a bit of the contents of my studio. These photos were taken about a year ago after I had repainted the walls.
The studio looks generally the same now, only if you can believe it, there are more props, clothing and blankets! These photos don’t show the basement full of unique and vintage props, either.
4. Post processing.
Half of the magic of newborn photography is done in the studio with styling and poses. That leaves half of the magic on the table. So where does it come from? The polished, crisp look you see in my images comes from Photoshop. Photoshop is a program I first starting learning how to use in the year 2000. That’s a lot of years ago. Although I consider myself a proficient Photoshop user, I will freely admit that I likely still only use a fraction of the program. It is a powerful program that I am very thankful for. Especially when you consider reason #1 above, safety.
Without Photoshop there would be a lot of strangers’ hands in your portraits, ha! In general, your newborn session itself will last about 2 hours. What most people don’t realize is there is another 2-4 hours of editing in Photoshop required to “finish” the look of your portraits. Below is an example of a before, straight out of the camera portrait, and the resulting edited portrait.
Lots of my clients are on baby number one, or two. But even if this is your 4th child and you most certainly have loads of experience with babies, you don’t have this exact type of experience. I have been photographing newborns specifically since 2009. I’d venture to guess I have seen just about everything there is at this point! I provide you with over 20 tips and tricks to help you prepare yourself and your baby for your session. But every baby is different and only after years of experience am I able to know instinctively and quickly, what a baby might need in that exact moment. I also know when a baby simply has had enough.
So whether or not it is me that you hire to capture your new baby’s photos, please be sure to find a photographer with years of experience under their belt. (Photos below taken by Dina Rudick, edited by me).
BONUS REASON TO HIRE A PROFESSIONAL NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER: The poop.
Oh the poop. And pee, and spit up. As the parent of a newborn you likely spend a lot of time shaking your head in wonder at how much waste your new tiny person can create! Although naked baby shots are certainly not required for beautiful newborn portraits, a lot of my clients are looking for these particular photos. What happens when you ask a newborn baby to go diaperless? Poop and pee (and spit up) ‘errrrywhere. A professional newborn photographer is not phased in the least and actually expects they may be pooped or peed on in any given moment. In conclusion, leave the being pooped on to the pros!
Crabapple Photography is located in Andover MA and serves clients from around the area including Chelmsford, Westford, Lowell, Billerica and more. We specialize in newborn, baby, and childhood portrait photography. Kate McKenna has been photographing babies, children, and families of all ages since 2009. If you’re looking to get your newborn professionally photographed, contact Kate today to get booked in in advance of his or her arrival!