"Why does newborn photography cost so much?"
I get asked this question all the time so I figured I should write a blog post about it so I can inform all my followers at one time.
I know you are all very busy with your children and jobs and everything so in that spirit I am going to to try to make this nice and short as to why it is so important to invest in the art of newborn photography!!
I know when people compare newborn session pricing to family pricing they are shocked by the difference of cost. I totally get that, because you think "hey it's just photos, why can't I get the lower price." This is why I am here to inform you all the details that go into your newborn session that you may not be aware of.
If you are going to pay under $200 for a newborn session, there are two things that may be happening:
1) Your Photographer may be unexperienced and just starting out.
2) Your Photographer is not running a legal business. In calgary, if you take money from a client for a service you need to have an active business license.
I know when I first started I was doing model calls and trying to get anyone in my studio so I could practice my photography skills. I was taking every online course there was and really just trying to build my portfolio. I have NOTHING against photographers that are still in that process of starting out. This is not a blog post to talk bad about any other photographer or anything like that! I just want to give my clients the proper knowledge as to why there are photographers charging $450+ for a newborn session and then others doing it for less than $100.
REASON NUMBER 1:
YOU WANT A PHOTOGRAPHER RUNNING A LEGAL AND INSURED BUSINESS
Newborn photographers that are charging $400+ for a newborn session USUALLY have a license so they can legally do business in Calgary, they are insured, and they have taken multiple courses in order to learn proper safety and to master certain poses. You can be assured that I (owner of Meagan Paige Photography) has a business license, insurance, and I have spent thousands of dollars on courses to enhance my skills. Even now I am always taking new courses because I believe that you can always learn new tricks no matter how experienced you are!
REASON NUMBER 2: SAFETY
Newborn Safety is a VERY serious concern of mine. Doing certain poses require knowledge of how to do that pose safety so that your baby will not be harmed at anytime!! For example the Froggy Pose everyone loves is actually 2 photos photoshopped into one. YOU SHOULD NEVER TRY TO PUT THE BABY IN THIS POSE AND HAVE THEM DO IT WITHOUT SOMEONE HOLDING THEM AT ALL TIME. Experience photographers know this, while someone just starting out may not have learned this fact yet.
REASON NUMBER 3: PROPS
I take a lot of pride in my collection of props I have gathered over the years. This is one of the reasons I believe that my prices are justified because I have a bigger collection that most and I am always adding to it every month. I want to be able to give my clients a unique photo with super cool props so when your family members look at your photos around your home they say "WOW THAT IS AMAZING!" However, even though my props are so small because they are "baby-sized", they are NOT CHEAP. Which when you think about it they really shouldn't be because they are carrying your precious brand new baby. Plus a downfall of living in Canada is basically all of my props come from the states and then not only do I have to pay crazy shipping fees, I also have to pay quite a bit in custom fees as well. Last thing to think about when it comes to props, is the amount of time I have to replace them. Those naked photos are super cute and I absolutely love doing them, however, shit happens (excuse my language but with my job this quote is really fitting.) Babies don't give too much of a warning when they are going to relieve themselves, this sometimes forces me to have to replace my props because they cannot be cleaned and sanitized in order for me to use them again with a new baby. Plus having to clean my props/outfits after each session, things tend to get worn out quickly.
REASON NUMBER 4: TIME
When it comes to family sessions, they take MAX an hour to photograph, normally only 30 minutes for me because I work super fast. Newborn sessions on the other hand take 2-3 hours depending on how happy the baby is. Once a baby arrives in my studio, we first change their diaper, dress them in the desired outfit, then I wrap the baby in a cozy little wrap, and lastly we feed them right at the beginning so they are nice and milk drunk. This can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes so even though you arrive at my studio at 12 pm, we don't even start taking photos until around 1. The process from posing, soothing, positioning, and rewrapping, can also take a bit of time depending on how sleepy your baby stays. It takes a lot of patience to photograph a newborn session, which I don't mind at all, but when it comes to justifying the cost of a newborn session, timing is definitely a factor.
REASON NUMBER 5: EDITING
For family sessions the only editing I really have to do is fix colouring, lighting, and if there are any blemishes my clients want removed. For newborn sessions, the editing time takes a lot longer because normally when newborns get to my studio their skin is flaking, they may have scratched their face already, or they may still have a bit of redness or jaundice. I want your baby to look absolutely perfect for you and taking the time to fix all these little details is a honour.
REASON NUMBER 6: SMALL WINDOW FOR THESE PHOTOS
Your baby is only going to be so little for so long. Ideally newborn photos should be done within 7-14 days of your baby's birth. During this time your brand new baby will sleep a bit more and will be a little more bendy to get those cute snuggled up photos. With this being said you can't really afford to pick a lower priced less experience photographer and then risk you hating the photos and having to get them redone. Even if the photographer you get the photos redone with does absolutely amazing, the timing of the 7-14 days will have been long gone and you may not get the poses you were wanting to begin with.
REASON 7: FLEXIBILITY Babies have their own schedule. When you book a session with me, we will pick a date that is 7-14 days after the due date. However, babies like to mix things up and come earlier or late. This flexibility that I have for my clients allows me to still have other options for your session date regardless when your little baby decides to come!
Lastly, my job is no longer a hobby. This passion of mine is a legitimate business. It provides for my family and allows me to provide my clients a professional and unique experience. Everyone makes room in their budget for entertainment and shopping. Why not also make room to document your family. Creating these memories that last forever should be priceless.
When it comes to newborn photography, you really get what you pay for!
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