How to choose a Newborn Photographer- Jenna Marshall Photography, Stevenage, Hertfordshire

newborn photographer stevenage hertfordshire

Choosing a Newborn Photographer can seem like a daunting prospect. There are constantly advertisements on Facebook and other social media websites all offering a range of prices. I have put together a little checklist for you so you know what to focus on and what to look out for when it comes to finding the right photographer for you! Any respectable, trustworthy photographer should have no trouble answering any questions 🙂

1. Safety

The priority of your photographer should be safety. There should always be someone next to baby at all times.


In this unedited image you can clearly see my assistants hand, keeping close to baby at all times!

Ask your photographer, do they have an assistant for this or will they be needing you and your partner to assist them for the session? Please keep this in mind if you are having a c-section or have previously experienced complications after birth. What will your photographers plan be if you are unable to assist? I have my assistant Jenni who will be present during your session. I will be doing a blog in the future about myself and my assistant to introduce ourselves 🙂

Second question you should ask your photographer is have they been trained? And I don’t mean in how to use a camera. Have they been trained specifically in Newborn Photography, how to pose a baby, how to move baby and keep them comfortable. Although I am a mum of two myself so have plenty experience with babies, this does not make me an expert in how to pose a baby safely which is why I felt I must have specific newborn photography training. It looks easy when you see all these lovely images on your Facebook feed but it really is an art that takes practice, time and patience. If your photographer is really taking their newborn photography seriously, they should either have had training or be booking in for training.

I have been trained by the wonderful Jillian Greenhill who has helped me no end since the training. My photography has changed an awful lot since I became trained in this area and now I specialise in Newborn photography. I do not dabble in a bit of this and a bit of that. My focus in surrounding newborns, maternity and toddlers as that is what I am best at and most enjoy 🙂

Third question, are they an insured, registered business? No photographer should have any problem proving to you that they have public liability insurance!


2. Style

Please take a look at photographers galleries and social media pages. We all have our own styles and taste. I LOVE colour. Pastels and bright mixed with neutrals are my thing. I like to use props- wooden, wraps, hairbands, pants and other accessories. If you are looking for a photographer who doesn’t pose baby or use props. Also a photographer who only uses white, then I am not the photographer for you. And that is OK. These images are going to be with you and your family for generations. If you love the images you see in a photographers gallery and can picture  something similar on your wall, then that is the photographer for you.

Here are some examples of different styles:

Mine- Vibrant, Sleepy and Timeless

Pure and Simple

My friend Samantha Dempster is a newborn photographer based in Chester, Cheshire. Samantha’s images are beautiful. Her style is earthy, pastel and neutral colours making her images look so clean and pure. If you are looking for a photographer in Chester then please take a look!

Classic Lifestyle

Sarah from the photography company ‘The Whispering Willow’ is not only a lovely lovely lady but very talented. Based in Wirral,  her lifestyle sessions are fantastic. Sarah visits your home and takes photos of you and your family doing every day family things. The images are beautiful. I am planning on offering sessions like this by the end of the year.

Some photographers specialise in Black and white images, some do not use props at all. There are many styles. Which style is for you?

3. Price

Now I know having a baby is expensive and peoples budgets vary, but saving for the right photographer will be worth it. The phrase “you get what you pay for” applies greatly in the field of photography.

People have no problem paying out £300 for a cot that will be replaced in a few years or a £450 on a designer pram that you won’t need in a matter of months. Yet every day I see on Facebook, “I’m looking for a cheap photographer to take my babies photos.”

These images are going to be with you forever! You will never get back those two weeks to redo a session when you are not happy with the ‘cheap’ photographers work. Once that time is gone it is gone forever. So please think carefully about whether the designer accessories are more meaningful or needed than an expert photographer who will work safely with your baby and create the most beautiful art for your family to treasure for a lifetime.

There are usually two business models when it comes to photographers and their pricing.

The Free or Cheap Session 

Like I said I always see photographers advertising free sessions or cheap all inclusive sessions on Facebook. There are usually two reasons for this.

1. They are just starting out with their photography business so are looking to build their portfolio. In this case, all photography studios have to start somewhere, gaining experience and building their reputation. I was doing this myself a year ago. Look at their existing portfolio to see for yourself what standard of photography you can expect to see from your session.

2. They rely on you falling in love with your images and then hard-sell you their products at a viewing appointment. In this case, do they have any prices detailed on their website? Can you set yourself a budget before you book an appointment? Can they give you an idea of their customers’ average spend? If the studio is not portfolio building, they will be looking to earn their money from up-selling after the free session. Another tip is to ask if your viewing session is run by the photographer? If your viewing appointment to choose your images is with a sales person, you might want to be on your guard.

The Independent Photographer

This is the category I am. I charge a session fee for my time then products can be purchased after the session. I have it listed on my website the cost of the session fee and when someone enquires, I email them the detailed prices of individual product prices and packages that are available.

A newborn shoot can take up to four hours of time, other sessions can take up to two hours, that is without the time it takes setting up the studio, editing or preparing your images – booking a ‘free’ or very low cost photography session should set alarm bells ringing for you. There are lots of costs to running a photography business. Props, frequent training, equipment, insurance all cost money. That studio has to pay for their time and assets somehow – and that’s not done by offering free or cheap sessions. Especially if that includes all digital files for £75 😉

Please take the time to look around different photographers and find the right one for you 🙂

jenna marshall JEN

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