When you contact newborn photographers, one of the first things they want to do is “meet” with you. This is best in-person, but we all know it is very difficult as the birth of your baby approaches. Newborn Photographers are not just very social people who want to “talk”. They have good reasons why they want to meet and plan, plan, plan.
1. Your Style: Everyone has a personal style. Even if you think you are “up for anything”, when pressed, you will discover you prefer the look of some images over others. Photographers are not “magical predictors”. They need to know what kinds of colors, textures, moods, feelings etc. you want to have in your newborn and family photos they create for you. As a newborn photographer, I can honestly tell you that no matter how hard I may try, if I do not have this planning session under my belt, the images I create will not be ones clients LOVE. They may like them, but not LOVE them. To get images you love takes communication and planning. I am to the point now in my career that if there is no planning session, there is no shoot. I have learned that providing clients with high quality yet disappointing images is no fun.
2. Show Her Those Pinterest Photos. Nearly all clients I have ever worked with have come to me with a screenshot of a photograph they saw on Pinterest. Sometimes, it is a very basic photo that is not hard to recreate in my style. But most of the time, it is a “complicated” image that has been created with tricks of the trade in Photoshop or other post processing softwares. Further, many I have seen have shocked me with the risks to the baby’s safety someone took just to “get the shot”. Tell your photographer in advance of these images you like and think you may want. Do not just flash your phone in her face in the studio during the session and say “I thought this was cool”. It just does not work that way. Photography is planning. A lot of it. Do your part and plan ahead too.
3. Those Nagging Studio Policies: It is a fact of modern life that few, if any, people READ their emails. People skim over them. Everyone is busy and reading long posts (like this blog) is not always fun. But take the time to read the policies of your photographer. You need to know what kinds of images are available, what the session fee includes etc. Did you know that for most photographers, the session fee is NON-REFUNDABLE? This is because photography is an incredibly labor intensive endeavor. You are paying for the talent of the photographer just to “create” images. Usually, buying images is an additional charge.
Thus, listen to your photographer and have that pre-session consultation. You will get better images and there will be no surprises.
Katie Katsenis is a newborn and maternity photographer in Tujunga, CA 91042 just outside of downtown Los Angeles.