Great question! I completely understand where you are coming from. As a young mom myself I totally understand all the expenses you are facing. From the mandatory – like diapers – to the “do we actually need this?!” – like pacifier clips and wipe warmers, I know your head is probably spinning. So I wanted to make just one of those many expenses a LOT (hopefully!) easier to understand… newborn photography.
Yes, it’s expensive. Here are some of the things that go into it.
-Time: Before I ever even shake your hand or you get in the car to head over to the studio, I have already spent hours prepping for your shoot. We will have talked on the phone about what your dreams are for your session. I have asked your favorite color, hobby, sports team, and if your new baby has siblings. We have planned every detail together. I have probably gone prop shopping to make sure that your session is unique only to you and that we are bringing your specific visions to life. I have washed and laid out blankets and hats, hung up backdrops and set up vinyl wood flooring planks. I have tested lighting and drawn up your specific poses. All just to get ready to meet youFYI… I’m really excited about your session, just like you! So while I’m doing this, I’m happily humming along dreaming of the smile that these pictures will put on your face!
Once you arrive I am totally your’s for the next three to four hours. I make sure you are comfortable feeding your baby in the plush rocker we have here at the studio. I’ll bring you water bottles, swaddle blankets and a Boppy to make sure everyone is totally at peace. I promise I won’t rush you. Even if your baby is fussy and wants to eat for an hour, that is what we will do. I will hold and rock and swaddle your baby and play a heartbeat monitor and heat the room so your precious new gift feels just like they were back in your tummy.
Once your baby is fast asleep, I will gently pose her, making sure she is safe and comfortable and looking adorable (that part is easy!). I’ll work quickly so we can accomplish everything you’ve hoped for. Your baby might wake up at some point. No problem. You will feed her again, and I’ll sit with you and we can talk about the joys and woes of new mamahood. I’ll ask Daddy what he thought about the delivery and we’ll all laugh and reminisce together.
After about 3-4 hours, your session is over and you’ll take your sleepy babe home with you (hopefully to catch a nap!). I’ll throw in a load of laundry (it’s totally standard for a baby to pee and poo on all sorts of things during a session) and get the studio cleaned up. Then I’ll upload my memory cards to my computer and sort through the roughly 500 pictures I’ve just taken of your baby. I’ll color correct, crop, and adjust the lighting on them. Then I’ll cull through them several times to to get down to just 40-50 of the very best images. This process takes about two hours.
Then I’ll upload them to your proofing gallery within three days of your session. I’ll also choose two or three of the best to fully retouch and post to Facebook for a sneak peek (we know the Grandparents just can’t wait to see them!). You’ll choose your favorite images, and I’ll get started retouching. Depending on the number of images you have purchased, retouching can take up to an additional 5 hours. After I’ve finished retouching them I’ll upload them again to another gallery for you to download straight to your computer.
If you’ve placed a print or product order, I’ll prepare these at this time. I’ll design your announcements, send them to the printer and make sure they are shipped straight to you
Total time investment: About 12-14 hours
-Expenses: Time is definitely the heaviest expense in newborn photography, but photographers spend more than just time on your session. Props, backdrops, and equipment like lenses and lighting definitely don’t come cheap. I’ve also personally committed to spending at least 4 hours per month on continuing my photography education through workshops and online webinars (which also come at a price.) Like any other business, marketing, print products, and samples are also another time and monetary expense.
When all is said and done, newborn photography may be expensive, but it’s also priceless. Toys, wipe warmers, swings, bouncers… it’s only a matter of time before they are either lost, broken, or outgrown, but your newborn photos will last for generations to come. It’s worth the cost to pay a professional who will capture these memories in the most professional and artistic way possible, while also being a pleasure to work with and keeping your baby safe. I’m proud to say that I’m that kind of professional. Sure I’m a little biased, but I know this investment is worth it. And I know that as soon as you see the pictures of your precious babe, you will too. 🙂