How much is a newborn photo shoot?

Baby boy newborn photo

How much is a newborn photo shoot? – The answer is asked daily in my world.  It is also a question with numerous answers depending who you ask.  The cost of a newborn photo session depends on a number of factors.  These are worth considering when selecting your professional photographer.

How much is a newborn photo shoot – determining factors:

  1. Level of Experience

Typically those with less experience will have lower rates than seasoned professionals.  With newborn photography, it is imperative to have trust in the photographer not only to create images, but to keep your baby safe.  Don’t hesitate to ask how long a photographer has been working with newborns, or better yet, how many newborns they’ve photographed.  This will give you an indication of their expertise.

  1. Training

Another gauge of a photographer’s experience level is their training.  Professionals who make newborn photography into their career will have also countless hours of training and education.  Ask the photographer you are considering who their mentors are, what conferences or workshops they’ve attended, and whether they have received safety training specific to newborns.  Each of these items will increase the value of that photographer, giving you peace of mind that your session will be both safe and beautiful.

  1. Professional Equipment

While equipment such as a photographer’s camera, lens, and lighting can be used for multiple sessions, it is important to note that it is also a cost of their business.  Those with a higher level of professional equipment may charge higher rates.  Cameras don’t last forever and have to be continually serviced between sessions to maintain the best quality images.

  1. Availability of Props and Clothing

The inclusions in a session fee can span quite a range.  Some photographers or photo studios require you to provide all the props, wraps, and clothing items you would like photographed.  Others have client closets, and full walls of props to choose from.  If bringing your own props and outfits appeals to you, that is definitely something worth talking to any photographer about.  Keep in mind that there is an extra expense with purchasing each of those items.  Often a full service professional photographer will have similar items in their studio, and be able to create exactly what you envision, without all the extra work on your part.

  1. Product Offerings

A full service photographer will always offer top quality professionally printed products.  Items such as archival quality albums, linen lined boxes full of beautifully matted prints, and high-end frames to suit any style of home are just a few of the best pieces available.  Choosing a photographer who offers product choices may give you peace of mind.  This means you know they have researched the available options and are offering what will best present their artwork.  While digital images are fun to share online, not knowing how to print them properly may lead to later dissatisfaction that can be best avoided by trusting your photographer to do the printing.

  1. Post processing

This is another term for editing or retouching.  The level of post processing on your final gallery images will increase the amount of time spent by the photographer on your images, and may increase the expense.  Some of the post processing offered also allows for images to be more safely created.  Those with years of experience running a business will only provide fully edited images rather than unedited copies.  The final prints will only be as stunning as expected if the editing is on par with the photographer’s body of work.

  1. Licensing

Is the photographer a hobbyist or a professional business owner?  To operate a business in California, licensing is required.  There are many types of business licenses and all come with a unique set of fees.  These fees are not paid by the client, but it is important as the customer to understand what type of entity you are doing business with.

As you can see there are many things to consider when you ask ‘how much is a newborn photo shoot?”

Knowing answers to the above questions will help you determine how much a photographer should be charging for a newborn photo shoot.  Those charging hundreds of dollars may likely be starting out, not have the experience, training, or amenities that a higher-end photographer does.  If a photographer is fully licensed, invests in yearly training, equipment maintenance, and a full studio of props, gowns, and styling pieces, you can expect to spend in the thousands.

When having conversations with any photographer about pricing, always make sure you know what those prices include and do not.  Not all photographers are the same but asking questions will help you find the one that is best for you!

Follow this link to find out Everything You Should Ask Your Newborn Photographer Before Booking!

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