Finding the Right Newborn Photographer
First off, CONGRATULATIONS! You are searching for a newborn photographer, which means you are either expecting or working towards starting a family. The birth of a child is such an exciting, incredible, unique time for a family, so of course finding the right photographer to capture those moments is important. There are so many amazing newborn baby photographers in the Des Moines, Iowa area, so this can become an overwhelming task. You may have already started the journey of finding the right photographer, or are just beginning, but regardless of where you are in the process, you should make sure you are asking these very important (and often overlooked) questions:
Are we compatible?
This seems to be one of those questions that is difficult to answer without meeting your photographer. However, it is impossible to meet with all of the newborn photographers in the Des Moines area, so first it is important to look through their portfolio. Do you like their styling? Do you have an emotional connection to their images? Do the styles and themes of the images match your home and nursery? If not, that is one clear answer for you! Newborn photographers with experience tend to have a clear vision and style for their photography, and even if they wanted to change to fit your requests, they may not be able to. It is always best to make sure the images in the photographer’s portfolio answer YES to these questions:
“Will these pictures look beautiful in my home?”
“Does this style represent me?”
Another important area for finding the right compatibility is personality. Is this a photographer that seems to have time for the type of care and service you are looking for? Is she/he responding to your voicemails or emails in a timely manner? Do you have the option to meet them free of charge before you hire them to photograph your baby? Do they have a vision of how your newborn images can be displayed in your home? Are these things important to you? These are all important questions to ask. Kristy Hall Photography is a full service boutique studio, which means I will walk you through each step of the process to make sure you get exactly what you are looking for in a newborn photography experience. I accept a limited number of sessions each month, so you get my undivided attention from initial inquiry through product delivery. Not every new mommy or daddy-to-be wants that from their photographer. It’s important to know what level of service your photographer of choice is prepared to offer and whether that fits your needs.
What do they have to offer?
This is a question that seems so obvious, yet the more research you do on newborn photographers in Iowa, the more you will see it is not. Every photographer has different talents to offer. You need to ask yourself:
“What do I want from this experience?”
Is it important to you that your photographer be able to travel to your home? Is it important to you that your photographer have a professional studio with a variety of outfits, props, and accessories for your newborn session? What is their turnaround time on their images? Some photographers have an average of 4-6 weeks for their turnaround time, so if sending out timely newborn announcements is important to you, this is an important question to ask. These are just examples, but the most important questions to ask are the ones that are important to you.
Along with what they have to offer in regards to their business practices (travel, studio, turnaround, etc.), it is also important to think about how you want these images to look. Are you hoping to capture beautiful family images with your newborn? Are sibling images a priority during your newborn session? Every photographer differs in what they include a typical newborn session, so making sure you know what you are looking for and asking your photographer their policies is important. If you are on the same page, you are going to have a much more enjoyable experience.
What do you plan to do with your images once you see them? Are you looking to have wall groupings? Specialty products like albums or other keepsakes? Not every photographer offers products to their clients or has established relationships with labs and that’s okay. It’s important to know what your goals are going in, so that you can find a photographer that offers the products you’re after. If you only want digital files it may be more cost effective to find a photographer that doesn’t offer products as those that do often bundle their digital files into packages.
Families who come to Kristy Hall Photography are looking for high-end, fine-art products, not all of their images on a disc. Digital files are secondary to the art-work and as such I have built my packages around this idea. What you will not find is an option to get all of your digital files alone for under $1000. Why? Because my focus is providing you with something archival and beautiful. As an artist, I am inspired by beautiful pieces of art, and that is what I create for my clients.
Are they legit?
This is a question I am sure very few parents think about when searching for a newborn baby photographer, but it should and here’s why:
A photographer that has respect for their business and their industry (is licensed, insured, has proper permits, etc.) is one that not only cares about themselves, but also cares about their clients. When a business is opened properly, it means that they are insured, their business has liability insurance, they pay taxes, etc. I can’t imagine, God-forbid, a child being injured at a photography session. But this is why I have substantial liability insurance for my business. This is also why I pay taxes. If my business was shut-down because I didn’t pay taxes, what would happen to all of the archived images I have on file? It is so important to find a photographer that has integrity in every aspect of their business. I love being an artist, I love newborn photography, but I also understand that in order to make my artwork my livelihood, I have to be a legitimate businesswoman.
Have they been trained on newborn photography?
I consider myself to be an artist, and consider the art of newborn photography to be unlike any other form of art. Not only are newborn photographers considering color, style, lighting, angles, etc., but we are literally posing and molding a live subject. As with any other art type it requires training and lots of it. I take handling your tiny newborn very seriously. Yes, the images are hopefully beautiful, but at the end of the day, the safety and comfort of my newborn babies are my top priority. What you see are peaceful, sleeping, gorgeous babies in my portfolio. My goal is to make it look easy. True professionals make their work look easy. It absolutely is not. But it is absolutely worth it, like any piece of artwork, to pour my heart into it and make it perfect. Make sure that you choose someone who has had proper newborn photography training. I encourage asking if they have been to in-person workshops (ask for the names of them), or if they have been mentored in-person.
I have invested over 60 hours in hands-on training for newborn photography. I have learned how to check for signs of discomfort, how to properly spot your newborn baby so that they are never in jeopardy of harm, how and when to properly composite images so that difficult poses can be achieved without any risk to your baby and how to effectively soothe your little one so that I can capture beautiful newborn pictures. I actually now have other newborn photographers from all over the country come to Iowa to mentor with me, as my safety and posing practices are well-respected within the newborn photography community.
I have taken the time to hone my craft and to make sure I am doing everything with your child’s safety in mind. If you would like more information on who I have mentored with, please just ask! I am happy to share my experience and training in further detail.
Is their pricing the right fit?
Pricing can be a touchy subject. Everyone has a budget and I think it is wise to stick to your budget. I also understand that budget is all about priorities. I am not a person who drives a flashy car or has designer clothing, but I have high-end, archival grade artwork of my children in my home. I budget for amazing pieces of art for my home, because it is a priority for me. There are hundreds of newborn baby photographers in the Des Moines, Iowa area, but like every industry, the age-old adage rings true: You get what you pay for. Of course there are photographers who offer 40 images on a disc. But what do you want from your session? Do you hope to have beautiful wall groupings that are designed by a professional? Do you hope to have archival-grade albums that will be family heirlooms? Or do you want images on a disc? There is no wrong answer, but these are important questions to ask.
Look at their portfolio. Can you envision their images on your wall? If the answer is not an immediate “Yes” than you need to keep looking. True professionals and skilled newborn photographers know what the images they will be creating look like before they even step into the studio. They have a clear vision of their artwork, and a clear vision of how they will be posing and styling your baby. Skilled newborn baby photographers spend years honing their craft and countless hours perfecting their techniques. When you invest in a skilled artist, you are investing in their years of training and experience. Talk to your photographer and ask what kind of images they want to create with you. Give them your ideas on colors and styles, and you will have a pretty clear idea as to whether or not you have found the right fit. Investing in a properly trained newborn photographer will absolutely make a difference in the images you receive and the experience you have in the process.
I invest approximately 30-40 hours in each newborn session from start to finish. I work with each family so their session is unique. I design, sew, and knit most of the outfits you see in my newborn images, because I so strongly believe that each session deserves to have a custom designed look and feel. I take my time working with your little one to ensure their safety and comfort. I make sure my studio is stocked with snacks and drinks for my clients. I clean and sanitize everything I plan to use before each session. I hand edit each image in your gallery and then present it to you in an in-person viewing. I make myself available to my clients through the whole process. These are the things I value in my business. This is what I love to do! While we’re on the topic of love…
How are they showing you what they love?
It seems like a simple question – they must love photography, right? Well, yes, most photographers do, but there is more to it than that.
If you have ever seen a newborn photographer work, you know that they work incredibly hard for each image. It is a labor of love to create these images, but worth every ounce of my energy. I wouldn’t specialize in newborn photography if I didn’t absolutely love working with newborns. You will be hard-pressed to find wedding pictures taken by me (I have photographed one wedding) and the majority of my work displays my love of newborn babies. It is so amazing to be a part of the love and excitement a family feels when their newest member arrives. I feel incredibly blessed to be a witness to this love, and even more blessed to get to capture this love to create beautiful pieces of art for my clients. I love it, I simply love it.
My studio is entirely focused on newborn through your little one’s first year. This means that all of my training, props, and experience revolves around newborns and babies. There may be some wonderful photographers who do it all (weddings, engagement, senior portraits, etc.) but they are pretty hard to come by and I don’t claim to be one of them. When you look at my website, my Facebook page, my Instagram pageand my Pinterest page, you will find newborns, babies, and mommies and daddies who love them. When you choose your photographer are you choosing someone who absolutely loves what they do and will be able to give you 150% of their effort and passion?
Your babies will only be brand-new once. Make sure you choose the right person to capture these precious moments.
I am currently booking into August and have limited availability. If you or someone you know is expecting, make sure to book early! We will be meeting to discuss styles, colors, and look through product options to make sure your session is one that you will absolutely love. Let’s work together to capture this wonderful time in your life!
Contact me today to book your session!
Kristy Hall Photography – Des Moines, Iowa Newborn Baby Photographer
919 Main Street, Adel Iowa