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  • Writer's pictureTamara Duffy

How to hire a newborn photographer...

It's quite often on social media groups that I always find someone needing a baby photographer.

When my clients come forward to boast about my business and post the links to my website - it warms my heart and makes me beam with pride - I would like to thank all of you who continue to do this!


There are many photographers you can find at the tips of your fingers and they all carry their own variety of knowledge in photography and their own set of camera skills. Just ask to see their portfolio and they'll gladly show you.


Let me ask you something that might throw a curve ball in your thoughts.

Tamara J Photo YYC Photographer

Do you know how to hire a photographer?

Think about it. What do you know about hiring a photographer?

Unless you're in the industry or know someone who is, chances are - not a whole lot.

That's okay - I'm here to help you develop the confidence to booking your next photographer.

I have developed this blog to help you learn the process of what to look for, how to make an educated decision so you can have a successful session and in the end - enjoy the results, your gorgeous photos!

First, let's look at the varieties (or genres) of photography - we are just naming a few, nothing too complex here.

  • portrait photographers - these photographers photograph people, pets and other living creatures on God's green earth.

  • landscape photographers - think national geographic here (sans people). We are talking nature, plants, wildlife - you get the idea.

  • architecture photographers - in this case you will see buildings, designs, real estate, lots of lines and so on.

There are a huge number of genres (fancy word for type) in photography

and it would take me too long to list them all.

Second, let's look at some common scenarios that we see with photographers:

Would you hire "Uncle Bob" your family amateur wildlife photographer to shoot your wedding?

Probably not. (no offence to any Uncle Bob intended)

Or what about your friend in real estate - they have a camera, why don't they do your next family photo session?

Don't forget "what's his name" who did your Comic-con photos - would you hire them to do your newborn shots?

For each photographer I previously mentioned (Uncle Bob, the real estate guy, and the comic-con fanatic):

Do they have the skill sets to fit the requirements to shoot a wedding, a family session or even a newborn session?

No, they don't. They'd rather be off somewhere else capturing what they love.

This does not mean they aren't professional in their areas. It means their skill sets will not fit your needs.

Calgary Newborn Photography

So what do you do?

  • determine what your photographic needs are: (ie: wedding photos, family portraits or some sweet snaps of your newborn baby).

  • Set a budget!  Photography in any form can cost you as much as $500 or become an investment of well over $10,000. Your own budget depends on many factors, especially on how much you will value your baby's photos. Let me say this and please listen - You get what you pay for.  

  • Decide what you wish to do with your photos. Do you want just the digital images or would you like to design a wall art collection? Think about the end product. What do you wish to create with your images? I'm not talking on your phone or to social media platforms. I'm talking about where in your home do you wish to display them? (more on that later)

Alright, you've got your needs and budget identified, now let's start building on.

How to find the right photographer:

  • Ask around! Ask your friends who have had experience with the photography you need. Word of mouth is best.

  • Google - type your area, your needs (ie: wedding, family or newborn) and photographer) Don't forget to check those google reviews!

  • Social Media is another excellent resource - especially local mom groups.

Now, before I go any further - this blog could go in a thousand directions thanks to my squirrel brain but I'd like to keep the focus on the point I'm trying to get across - finding a NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER.

Why should I/we get newborn photos?

Are newborn photos worth it?

They are worth every penny. Newborn babies are so small for such a short time. As a new parent, these photos will become your greatest treasure as your baby grows and you will never get tired of seeing them.

Truth is: once those newborn days are gone - you can't get them back.

I have yet to meet a client of mine who does not love their baby's first portraits.

Ask those who have had them done - they will gladly tell you how important they are.

When it comes to newborn photography, there are a variety of styles you can choose from.

I have narrowed it down to help you decide what you would like to see.

  • Lifestyle newborn photography

YYC Photographer Tamara J Photography

This style of photography takes place using your home and the natural daytime light it provides.

In these images, you will see shots of baby brand new - I'm talking within 24 hours of arriving at home or birth.

Poses include Mom and Dad posing in bed with their newborn to baby's new bedroom and of course the reactions of the family pet. The skill sets, this type of photography is quite easy to learn. Trick is to get your angles and exposures just right. If you're trying your hand at this remember: practice makes perfect. The style of the images from these sessions typically have a light and airy feel to them as they are taken in a home setting with natural lighting.

  •   Newborn portrait photography

Calgary Newborn Photography

This style of photography is a completely different ballgame to the shots of the lifestyle variety.

Photography in this genre requires a fully trained photographer, studio space, strobe lighting/natural day light, backdrops, props, outfits, accessories and much much more. Due to the delicate newborn posing procedures with this photography, your photographer should have at least 1 form of educational training in newborn safety with photography.

Now to make your choice:

  • Do you like the light and airy styles taken in your own home with your baby in their brand new state?  - then choose lifestyle

  • Or if you prefer the posed portrait on those dreamy backdrops or bucket poses - perhaps a portrait session is best.

  • You can also have the best of both worlds by choosing lifestyle and posed photography - no harm in that.

  • Check out the portfolios of the photographers that appeal to you and make a list.   Does their photographic style reflect to what you would like to see for your baby? If so, then inquire and get to know more about what they can offer you.

YYC Photographer Tamara J Photography

No two photographers are alike.

Each of them have their own ideas and style to bringing out the best in each portrait.

All that matters is how to capture your baby best.

Now for my final conclusion to this article -

from my perspective to you as a photographer

and as a parent.

You've invested into your photographer to create these wonderful images. Now it's time for you to begin to enjoy them.

If you get digital images - back them up onto a trustworthy online database such as Dropbox or Back blaze.

For the love of God - print and create them into something that you and your family will enjoy seeing as the days go by.

A USB flash drive will never look good on a wall no matter how you display it and the technology will become obsolete. A wall portrait of your baby will never go out of style.

If you have your images printed - get them framed whether you do it yourself or have it done professionally.

Try to keep your images out of direct sunlight as the suns rays can ruin your portrait.

Display your baby's portraits in areas where people will see them. Aside from your baby's room, try your hallways or any space next to a doorway. There is something so heartwarming when I see a baby photo in someone's home and it makes for great conversations.

It's not just a professional portrait it's your very own masterpiece.

If you enjoyed this blog entry and would like to know more, I'd love to hear from you as you are welcome to connect with me through my email at:

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