If you have recently found out you're expecting,
CONGRATULATIONS! That is such exciting news
Allow me to assist you in finding that perfect-fit photographer for your precious new bundle!
Start looking when you first find out you're expecting!!!!
Think it is too soon? Worried your surprise will get out?
At Jen Isackson Photography I am often one of the first to know that a couple is expecting! I don't take this responsibility lightly. I make sure to protect that information until the couple has shared their exciting announcement with the world.
Where to begin?
1. The First Look….
Google “newborn photographer (your city or surrounding areas)”
Look through their portfolio or FB images. Do you like what you see? What draws you to the images? Do you like the colours? The way baby is positioned? The extra items in the images? Do you want simple photos of just baby? Are you looking for themed photos? Do you want photos with parents and siblings? Do you want your family pet included? What type of images are you looking for? Prints, digitals or both?
Important aspects to consider….
EXPERIENCE - Does the photographer's portfolio show they are experienced? Do they appear to have newborn clients on a regular basis? Is their work consistent and shows professional quality images from numerous sessions. Do you have a friend who can give a personal recommendation?
TRAINING - Is there any mention of the photographer's training or education on their website or Facebook page? If you can’t find this information ASK!!!! Newborn photography requires lots of education and training. It can be online learning or in-person but you should make sure your photographer has made it a goal to learn their craft.
SAFETY - Do they show images that seem “dangerous” or ‘unsafe’? Read the comments with these photos because usually photographers will mention that the image is a ‘composite’… meaning it is 2 images compiled together in post processing in order to have hands on baby at all times. Safety should be a newborn photographers TOP PRIORITY. Often the images you see will have a spotter right beside baby (edited out or sitting within reach outside of the frame).
After you have investigated and considered these questions select a few of the photographers you liked the most. Send them a message asking for pricing information or any other relevant questions you may have about what they offer.
2. Decide on a budget
Talk with your partner, or those who will be involved with paying for your session. How much money are you willing and able to spend on your session? How much can you put aside each month to work towards purchasing a session? Does the photographer offer a payment plan? Are there items to be purchased following your session (print packages, albums, canvases)? Set aside money for these as well.
A budget is a personal thing… and something you need to figure out before you involve a photographer. We photographers always appreciate not being caught in the middle of a couples argument over money. Make these decisions in advance so you can be clear about what you want when it comes time to buy.
Jen Isackson Photography offers payment plans. I will work with you to help you set aside the right amount, each month, in order to complete your session purchase prior to the session date.
If you are looking at doing a payment plan it is best to contact the photographer as soon as you are expecting. This gives you the most time to save for your investment.
3. What type of session are you interested in?
There are a few different types of newborn sessions. Let me clarify these for you.
Birth Session - Photographer attends labour and delivery, photographing the entire event.
Fresh 48 - Photographs taken within 48 hours of birth at the birth location (hospital, birth centre, home). These are unposed and natural.
Lifestyle - Photographs taken around your own home/nursery following the birth. These are unposed and natural
Studio Newborn Session - in-studio session (occasionally offered in your home by travelling photographers) where baby is specially posed and positioned to capture professional, artistic images.
At Jen Isackson Photography I offer Fresh 48 and in-studio Newborn Sessions.
4. When to book your session?
Some photographers are fully booked up to 3 months ahead of time. You should have your session booked by the 20 week mark to ensure you get your top choice of photographer. It never hurts to book even further in advance and often there are still last minute openings if baby has already arrived… but that can be a gamble. Some months are busier than others and if capturing these early memories is important to you then don’t wait till baby is already here.
When you book a newborn session in advance, we can’t know the exact date baby will arrive. At JIP your ‘due date’ is put on the calendar and once baby arrives the final session date is determined. I book a limited number of newborns each month in order to accommodate early/late deliveries.
5. What to expect when booking…
When you call to book a session with a professional photographer, you should expect the following things to occur.
a) You will be asked to pay a fee in order to secure your booking.
At Jen Isackson Photography your session deposit is due upon booking to secure your spot. The remainder of your session fee is due 2 weeks before your due date. If you choose to purchase prints or products this occurs after you see your gallery of images following your session date.
b) You should also expect to sign a contract with your photographer. This contract protects the photographer as well as you! Make sure to ask about a contract before payment is made.
c) You will likely be asked about some preferences for your session. This can occur in person, on the phone or through online questionnaires.
d) Many professional photographers are in regular contact with their clients. Jen Isackson Photography sends regular updates, reminders and prep guides as we approach your session date. You will not be left wondering what you need to do next. I also have an online Client Portal where you can track your Client Progress as well.
e) Finally, you should expect to sign a Photo Release Form granting permission for the photographer to take pictures of your ‘minor’. This is very important, especially in our world of social media.
At JIP this form is signed in person when you arrive for your newborn session.
Even when we plan ahead and prepare we can't always know the outcome...
When the unimaginable happens….
Sometimes birth doesn’t always go as planned. There are occasionally tragic, heartbreaking circumstances when parents go home empty handed. There is no consolation for this great loss. At Jen Isackson Photography full session refunds are given in these circumstances, along with truly heartfelt condolences.
I hope this guide has been helpful and given you a great place to start your search. My hope is that you will be able to connect with your photographer…. to befriend them… to feel confident in their abilities… and to feel welcome!
When you come to Jen Isackson Photography I love to hear about your experiences becoming a mother. I don’t shrink away from the gory bits and I don’t blab stories all over town. I feel SO PROUD of every parent who comes in. You DID IT!!!! It is such a gift, a miracle, a blessing and so unbelievably challenging. Please ask me any questions… I have 3 children and have been through many familiar things you are now experiencing. If I can make the process even a tiny bit easier for you I count myself blessed.
Contact me today if you are interested in booking a newborn session with Jen Isackson Photography!