Have you been thinking about starting newborn photography? Here are 5 crucial questions you need to ask before you start!
For those of you who have thought about shooting newborns, but haven’t taken that leap yet – you probably have a lot of questions before jumping in to this new niche. Maybe you’re not sure if newborn photography is really your thing – OR, maybe you really want to try it out but aren’t sure which direction to go in. If this sounds like you, then keep reading – because we have 5 questions to ask before you get start newborn photography.
1) Do I love babies?
The first question to ask is yourself – Do I love babies? I know this seems like a silly question, but this might actually be helpful for you! If you love holding your friends’ babies, and love all of those little snuggles when the babes are still teeny tiny, then this might be perfect for you. If, on the other hand, you’re not really a baby person; if holding a brand-new baby brings fear into your eyes, then you might want to think about sticking with family portraits.
OR, you may just need a little more experience with being around new babies. Posing and holding newborns is really important with this type of photography, but it’s definitely something that can be learned, and you can gain more confidence with experience.
2) Do I have flexibility & patience?
If you’re on the fence and just not sure if newborn photography is for you, the next question you should ask yourself is ‘Do I have flexibility with scheduling, and do I have the patience for a long session?” First, flexibility with scheduling is a huge factor here, because babies rarely come on their scheduled due date – so you really do need to be able to have a little wiggle-room with scheduling your clients’ sessions. Rescheduling and changing up your session dates is just a part of newborn photography, so you need to be prepared for that. And then as far as patience – this is because newborn sessions are typically very slow-paced and can last several hours. If you’re a fast-paced photographer who likes to have a quick session flow, this might not be for you. If you’re going to start shooting newborns, just know that you will need to be a little patient, and be prepared for a longer session with lots of breaks and down-time.
Ok, so if you answered yes to both #1&2, then I would say you should go for it! Sounds like newborn photography just might be a great option for you.
3) Do I want to shoot lifestyle newborns or portraits?
So your next question is: ‘Do I want to shoot lifestyle newborns or portraits?’ – or a combination of both? In a lot of other types of photography, this question may not be too important, but for newborn photography, it really IS important – because the answer is going to affect your approach to your newborn sessions.
Be sure to check out my other video that talks more in-depth about the difference in lifestyle vs portrait newborn photography if you want to hear more about that. Both styles have their challenges and both can be really beautiful – so really what it comes down to is – which style do you love, & which are you drawn to?
4) Will I shoot in a studio or in my clients homes?
Next you’ll need to ask yourself: ‘Will I shoot in a studio or in my clients homes?’ Of course, your answer to #3 will affect this – because if you’re only wanting to do lifestyle newborns, then you’ll want to do in-home sessions.
But if you’re wanting to just shoot the more traditional posed portraits of baby, then you can do that in either a studio space, or in your clients’ homes where you bring your portable studio set-up with you.
5) How much money will I need to invest to get started?
And your final question is, ‘How much money will I need to invest to get started?’ This one is important because you want to be sure you’re making really smart decisions in how you spend your dollars on your business. For example, if you decide you want to shoot newborn portraits, but you think you’re going to need to spend thousands of dollars to get all the right gear, then this might be something you’ll need to do slowly, over time. For example, you may just need to start small, with the very bare basics, and slowly build your gear up to where you’d like for it to be, all while making sure your business is staying profitable. Keep in mind that if you are going to shoot only lifestyle newborn sessions, you won’t need as much gear – so that might be a great option, too, if you’re just getting started.
Ok so I know I’ve given you a lot to think about with these questions. If you’re still on the fence, then take a little time to really think all of this through. But if you feel like you are ready to start shooting newborn photography, then I say go ahead and get started now! Make a plan, be strategic, and make it happen. And if you’d like a little guidance along the way, be sure to keep checking in here, because we have a lot of great ideas and tips coming your way to give you some inspiration with your photography journey.