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What to look for when shopping for a Newborn Photographer

Shopping for a newborn photographer can get a little confusing and overwhelming.  There are so many options out there, so many styles and at so many different price points.  What is the difference?  To make the decision even harder, we are talking about selecting the person who will be handling your precious new little bundle, just a few days old.  Not only will she (or he) be rocking, shushing and swaddling your newborn, she will be capturing the photos that will document those first few days of your baby’s life forever. 

A newborn session should ideally take place during the first 2 weeks of baby’s life so you do have a finite amount of time to capture your baby’s newness.  Much like your wedding day, this is an experience that you only get one (maybe two) shots at.   Most people don’t think of it that way when it’s their first baby but the fact is that hey, marriages end…. your baby, will ALWAYS be your baby.  So newborn photos are arguably more important than wedding photos.
Wondering what you should be looking for in a newborn photographer?  Here is a guide covering the most important things to consider when booking a newborn photographer.

Newborn girl in chin pose

1 – STYLE
DO YOU LIKE THEIR AESTHETIC? What do you like about it?  Is it her use of color,  is it a specific prop or use of certain props?  For example, do you like when a photographer uses animal hats in newborn photography?  Do you like when there are a lot of objects and/or an elaborately designed sets? Or is your style more timeless and subtle?  Do you love clean, simple images where story in the image is more about baby?  Do you prefer lifestyle newborn photography where there is less posing and more interaction or candid captures? 

WHAT ABOUT THE EDITING STYLE? Do you notice a particular look to the images that feel like a filter or perhaps more like skillful Photoshop artwork?  For example, some photographers produce a high contrast look, some prefer a hazy, soft and airy look to their images, some include sophisticated compositing, while others let the editing take a backseat to the lighting, posing or set styling.  Some may offer a mix of all of those!
Editing is a necessary component of photography. Styles and skill level very greatly.  It’s also an element that shouldn’t be overlooked. 

An important thing to think about as you view a photographer’s portfolios is – can I see this image hanging on my wall?  That begs the question and brings us to #2:
Newborn Composite with Flowers
2 - WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WITH YOUR BABY’S NEWBORN PHOTOS?
Have you stopped to think about how you would like to enjoy, view,  & share your baby’s photos?  Not just 2 weeks after your session, but way further into the future.  Do you envision a newborn photo hanging in your baby’s nursery?   Or on a family portrait wall that grows with your family?  Or, do you see your kindergartner one day thumbing through a beautiful keepsake album?  Digital files are pretty much a given these days, but your baby’s newborn session is a very important milestone that you may consider to be conceivably even more important than your wedding photos.  So, it makes sense that you think about albums and prints just as you did with your wedding photos.
Once you’ve given some thought to how you’d actually like to use and enjoy your baby’s photos, you can start to consider whether photographers include prints and/or digitals (and how many) in their packages.  Does your photographer deliver the products you are interested in?  What is the level of quality of the print products they offer?  Do you like framed prints or canvas?  Are you the type of person that loves to design albums yourself or would you rather hand over the reigns on certain projects?   Will you have time after baby to actually spend putting together your portrait wall?  Would it be nice to have the expertise of a talented eye to guide you in starting it?
3 - EXPERIENCE
Once you begin your search for a newborn photographer, you will realize that you have A TON of choices out there!  And that’s a good thing, but it can also be a confusing thing.   You are about to hand over your newborn baby, just a few days old to this person for several hours.   You definitely want to find someone who is comfortable working with newborns and who has photographed plenty of them.   Look at their website, Instagram and Facebook pages.  What do they post the most of? Is it weddings, is it families, is it boudoir?  If another photography genre dominates her portfolio, s/he may not have quite as much experience soothing, burping, rocking and posing newborns as a photographer who specializes in newborns.  Another consideration is how long the photographer has been in business.  This can also give you a hint as to how much experience a photographer has handling babies. 


4 – PRICE
Now, many new parents shopping for their first newborn photographer might put this as the first thing on their list.   But -  I’m here to tell you that if you do your research focusing on # 1, 2, & 3 first,  the price question will seem to answer itself and you will have a pretty good idea of what to expect once you start inquiring with photographers about prices.    You see, the more experience a photographer has, the more refined and robust her newborn portfolio is going to be, and therefore the more you can expect that her services will cost.  Makes sense, right? 

Some other factors come into play as well – such as whether you prefer an in-home session or a studio session.   Some photographers have a studio that you can bring your baby to so an in-home session may carry a hefty luxury fee.  Other photographers who prefer to offer in-home services may charge only a small travel fee.
Last but not least, the overall services that your photographer is providing will play a role in the price.  Does she offer prints?  Does she offer album design services and custom birth announcements?  Or, is there a digital download option that is easy and convenient?  Take a close look at what her packages & services provide, include and/or what is available for additional purchase so that way when you are shopping, you can compare apples to apples.

 

Summary

A newborn photography session is typically a significant investment,  regardless of your budget.  The photos you will have after your session will be irreplaceable and will document a major milestone in your life and in your baby’s life.  You’ll be sharing them with friends and family for years to come.  And, one day, your little one will be looking back on those photos of his/her family in its infancy.   So, take some time and start researching your newborn photographer early.  That’s a bonus tip – many photographers book several months in advance for newborn sessions.  Starting your research at the beginning of your 2nd trimester will give you plenty of time to also consider a booking maternity session. Keep in mind these 4 tips when booking a newborn photographer and you are sure to find a newborn photographer that will deliver more than just a great experience, but also beautiful newborn photos that you will treasure for a lifetime.
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Princess Diana | Long Island Newborn Photographer | September Blue Photography

 

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Editing Workflow Review | September Blue Photography | For Photographers

So this week I had the opportunity to check out a premium Lightroom Workflow developed by SleekLens. I tested out their Strike A Pose Portrait Workflow aimed at making editing portraits faster and easier.

The package consists of whole slew of Lightroom Presets – everything from “one click and done” type presets to stackable, targeted editing presets. Also included are tons of Lightroom Brushes that further let you tweak and customize your portrait editing workflow.

While the All-in-One presets are great for inspiring new looks for your images and playing with different editing styles – some dramatic, some more subtle – for the photographer that prefers more control and gravitates toward hand editing like me, the stackable presets are the way to go. You can tweak an image step by step working within the well-defined categories of editing that coincide with the appropriate Lightroom modules. For example, “Base” presets will affect the basic setting of your image such as exposure and contrast – corresponding to the “Basic” module in Lightroom. You can then stack your presets and basically create your own recipe for your editing style.

You can then further tweak individual images with the well-thought out Lightroom brushes designed to address common needs in a portrait workflow such as skin softening, teeth whitening and so on.

To sum it up, I would highly recommend trying these presets out especially for those new to LR and presets… you’ll learn a lot about the power of LR and get inspired when editing your own images. For the seasoned pro who is already settled into their LR workflow, you might be surprised to find that many of the aspects of your workflow that you have not yet taken the time to automate, are done for you here in this workflow and are still very configurable to your tastes. And the All-in-Ones sure are fun to play with! Check out the Strike A Pose Workflow and all their PS actions for photographers.

Sample edit shown below. For this edit I used Summer Ten for toning, Color Pop for polish, and the Black Dreamy vignette. Then a tap of the Soften Skin Brush and Define Dark Hair brushes to finish.
Check out these presets and more HERE

BEFORE

AFTER

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Protected: 2015 Pricing

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Protected: 2015 Mommy and Me Sessions

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5 year anniversary giveaway! | Long Island Photographer | September Blue Photography

Wow it’s November!  This year is flying by… almost the way 5 years have flown by for me since officially launching September Blue Photography back in October of 2008!  To celebrate, I’ve decided to give away by giving back some of the photography love my clients and fans have all shared with me.  I know that most of my clients and followers are lovers of photography like me so I’m giving away a One-on-One Photography Class with me!  You’ll come to my studio in Massapequa and/or we can go outdoors and I’ll give you the basics of digital photography,  portrait photography, and even a little bit of post processing tidbits.  Bring your camera – whether it’s a DSLR or a point and shoot and I’ll show you how to make the most of what you’ve got!  All levels of photography lovers are welcome to enter as I will customize the class to you.  PLUS… you get to take home my Clean Post Processing Photoshop Action Set for you to play with at home on your own pictures! Just follow the instructions below to enter – giveaway ends Saturday 11/9 at midnight.

I leave you with a shot of my three little troublemakers…I took them out the other day to attempt our holiday card pictures.  Sigh.  Shenanigans. This is what I got.

 

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Protected: 2013-2014 Pricing & Session Information

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Rocco | Long Island Newborn Photographer | September Blue Photography

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2013 Fall Session Special

Fall/Holiday Session specials are back this year!  Here are the details:

  • Session includes your immediate family (mom/dad/siblings)
  • I recommend one outfit change per child maximum
  • Outdoor locations will be carefully chosen by me to showcase beautiful rich fall colors and ideal lighting conditions
  • Within 3 weeks of your session, you will be shown at least 10 professionally edited proofs in your online viewing gallery.  If your gallery includes more than 10 images, you will choose your favorite 10 images.  You will have the option to purchase the entire gallery for an additional $200.
  • Files will be delivered via digital download only (no CD or USB drives) and will be available for download within 2 business days of placing your order
  • This special does not apply to newborn sessions and it is recommended that babies be 6 months or older; cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion
  • Due to the custom nature of photography products, all sales are final
  • If weather prohibits our session, we will reschedule.  Rain dates have been blocked out but must take place by Nov 8 2013.
  • Please send email to info@septemberbluephotography.com to book your session
  • Session slots will be booked first come, first served based on when retainer is paid; all sessions slots are October weekdays.

 

 

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