If you're a follower of my blog or Facebook page, you might know that I am incredibly passionate about newborn safety.
I tend to write very lengthy posts about this topic because I just feel it is so so important to share the information and ensure that expecting parents in the market for a newborn photographer have all the information they need to make the right choice, whether they book with me or not.
I look at it as planting the seed and getting parents thinking of the necessary factors they need to consider when choosing a photographer.
Part of our job, and not everyone thinks this way, is to educate our clients and to make sure people have the right information so they can ask the right questions and know that they and their new baby are 100% safe in the hands of someone else.
There are no shortcuts when it comes to newborn photography and it takes years of learning and practice to gain the skills necessary to properly handle and pose newborns. It is not something one wakes up one day and decides it would be fun to do. There are serious risks involved if the photographer is uneducated and attempts to do this blind.
New or expecting parents don't know what all is involved in newborn photography, they only know they see the finished result, love it and want it and they trust the person they hire to deliver it. They don't go in thinking something terrible is going to happen, and if they do then they have not been educated or assured by the photographer that they know what they're doing and explain how.
Regardless of this, new parents have a whole bucket full of fears and no matter how much they are reassured, they can still come into their newborn session with fears but it is the responsibility of the photographer to put them at ease and show them their baby is nothing but safe in their hands.
If your photographer has little to no experience, little to no education, little to no training and cannot confidently say that they have what it takes to perform the poses safely and not only say it but show it by previous work, explanation and even reference from past clients, then they are not the right choice.
I get that professional photography in general is an investment and newborn photography definitely is as it should be, but you're not only paying someone to capture this wonderful time in your life, you're paying for the years of hard work, education and training the photographer has invested so they can do this right. Price matters, no getting around that but it should matter more in terms of what you're getting than what you're paying if that makes sense.
Someone who has put in the time and the work and continues to learn all that they can to do this the right way, the safe way, will cost more than someone who has no education or experience. The majority of super cheap photographers also have one thing in common that differs from the rest, legality.
Simply owning a camera, creating a free Facebook page and charging money for a service does not make a professional in any way shape or form. Most of these people are not licensed, they do not have insurance which is also super important, and they don't pay taxes which means they are operating a business illegally and the people who book them are knowingly or unknowingly supporting that. What would you do if something happened during your newborn session and the photographer did not have insurance? I wouldn't even consider hiring any business who did not have insurance and was not legally operating.
All of these factors go into a photographer's pricing on top of numerous other costs they have to do this job. I could probably charge about half my price if I too did not pay taxes or any other fee required by law to just exist as a business but in reality, business owners have to cover their costs AND pay themselves a wage. Less cost = less they need to charge but this isn't the case with professional business owners doing things the right way, no matter the industry.
I've written a handful of posts regarding safety and the legalities of running a photography business but to save you from having to search for them, here is a list of all the links. If you're in the market for a newborn photographer and you want it done right and safely, make sure you take the time to find out the necessary information before you book someone solely on price. Price matters, but what you're paying for matters more.