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Newborn & Baby Photography: Why So Much?

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Everyone has different budgets, everyone lives in a different location that has different average incomes and a different housing market. So understandably everyone is looking for a different priced photographer to suit their needs. However, I thought I’d educate you on why certain newborn photographers have different price points and why high-quality newborn photographers charge what they charge. I do my best to offer the best value for my prices while accounting for all the time and high costs of running my business. I try to offer something for every budget but there are so many reasons for why every photographer has a different price point. I often hear, why aren’t photographers cheaper? Don’t you just take pictures?

When researching newborn photographers, looking for the cheapest one can be detrimental to your precious memories and the safety of your baby. The reason quality photographers charge more is because they have years of experience, training and know how to handle/pose a baby safely. They have learned that over the years due to all the time and high costs of running a photography business, they need to charge a certain amount in order to run a legal and sustainable business (especially with the high costs of running a business in Belgium).

Why do some photographers charge more than others? You may have found a photographer that charges €30 for all images on a disk and think it is a great deal. The main reason they are charging so low is because they are just starting out and trying to build their portfolio and get experience. This is all well and good for family sessions, wedding photography or headshots but have you stopped to think about the fact that someone with no experience will be handling your precious new baby? All the complicated posed newborn photography shots need training and experience to be carried out safely. Without the experience and training, a baby could get hurt as there is great technique to the safety of these poses. Wouldn’t you rather hire someone who has a vast portfolio with images that are technically correct and they are so experienced that they could pose and handle a baby in their sleep? Unfortunately cheapest isn’t always best when it comes to the safety of your newborn.

In addition to level of experience a newborn photographer has there is also the vast amount of time spent devoted to each each session. My family jokes that I just play with babies all day but there is so much else that goes into a session aside from taking the actual images. The amount of time that goes into each session is why I can only take 12 newborn sessions per month so that I can devote enough time to all my clients.

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Time Spent on Each Session:

1.) Prepping studio before/after- This can be a lengthy one- I spend about an hour cleaning the studio and planning out your session before you arrive. I plan my sessions in great detail so that they go as smooth as possible for baby. The studio also has to be very clean. By the time I’m done your session, the studio looks like a hurricane has hit as fabrics have poop stains on them and every set up is placed aside as I try to work as quickly as possible while baby is asleep. Then the cycle starts all over and the clean up begins again!

2.) Editing time and culling- Editing time can take me up to 10-15 hours. Just choosing the images to edit and discarding the blurry/blinking images takes me about an hour long. Professional-quality editing and retouching takes a long time because newborns can have blotchy, red, spotty and dry skin. Experienced and highly skill newborn photographers will take care of all this in editing but it takes a very long time. I often edit past midnight every night and have to take time away from my family to do so because there isn’t enough time in the day to edit all the images and have a session in the same day.

3.) Actual session time- Newborn sessions can run from 2-4 hours long depending on how baby feels that day. After a session a parent will often exclaim, “Wow, that is hard work!” A session can be very tiring and take a long time as an experienced newborn photographer spends time settling and soothing baby, getting them into poses, feeding and all in a very warm environment to keep baby happy! It is a very physical job!

4.) Emailing/ admin- For each clients I probably spend about an hour from point of enquiry to finally sending of your final images. There is so much email and admin involved that we often forget about!

5.) Marketing/advertising- In order for you to even be reading this, I’ve had to invest time into working on the SEO of my website and running advertising/marketing campaigns. These take a great deal of time and effort and are never-ending!

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Studio and Company Expenses:

6.) Training and continuing education- As a high-quality newborn photographer, I believe it is important to invest in lots of continuing education each year to further my skills. Also, when I first started newborn photography I invested in lots of training in order to be able to pose newborns safely.

7.) Prop Expenses- Newborn photographers use a lot of props. Prop trends are continuously changing and also our props get a lot of wear and tear. Due to stains, I’ve had to replace so many props. Just in this one image alone, the basket could be €100, the high quality wool bonnet and bear could be €150 and the wrap could be €20. The floor boards as a backdrop cost me €300. All this, and I do about 8 set ups for each session!

9.) Advertising expenses- In order for you even to be reading this and have found me, I’ve had to invest astronomical amounts of money into advertising each month. This is part of a photographer’s monthly budget and comes out of the money they earn.

10.) Equipment Expenses- Last month I had to have lenses calibrated and aligned (£400), I had to buy a new camera and also had to get my old one fixed to use as a back up (€600). The expenses and upkeep of expensive photography equipment is never-ending.

11.) Insurance Expenses- Check that your newborn photographer has liability insurance! Any professional photographer needs insurance, especially one dealing with newborns!

12.) Taxes– In London, we often forget that taxes comes out of our salaries and a small-business has to take it out of your session fee.

Newborn photographers charge a wide range throughout London and each have many different reasons for doing so! I hope this article helps you understand everything that goes into being a newborn photographer and helps you choose your photographer wisely!