fiddle leaf photography
Dec 6, 2017
Although it was almost 7 years ago now, I can so clearly remember being pregnant for the first time and having about a zillion question and thoughts rolling around in my brain at all times. Should we buy a bassinette? Will my baby really need a tiny bath tub? Do I need more than 10 pacifiers right now? (For the record, the answer to that one is no. Your baby will have a very strong opinion of which brand is correct and you’ll end up buying ones anyhow!)
On top of all those (very important) questions, there are questions about newborn photos. Should you do them? If you do, what type do you want? Do you want them in your house or do you prefer to go to a studio? Do you as parents want to be in them? Can your pets be included? I could go on, but you get the point.
Once you peruse the websites of various photographers and narrow it down to the one you want, there are a few things you should be asking to make sure that you’re going to receive the session you expect, and that you’re investing your money into a legitimate business.
Each and every newborn photographer runs her/his business differently and each will have different policies, so it’s important to make sure those policies jive with your expectations. I receive many questions about what to wear, what products I offer and when to book a session, but there are a few more obscure questions that you might not have thought of that are also important to ask.
What happens if we just aren’t ready?
Depending on the style of newborn photography that you’re wanting, there will be different time constraints on when the session should take place. Many posed newborn photographers prefer to do the session before 2 weeks of age as then the baby is still bendy enough to pose. That being said, I know some posed photographers who are willing to wait, but you’ll need to be aware that some poses may not be as easy as the baby gets older.
The beauty of an unposed session is that there’s very little time constraints. The majority of my newborn sessions take place when the baby is 1-3 weeks old, but if you feel like you need more time to adjust then we postpone as long as needed – even up to 8 weeks. I’d much prefer to wait and make sure that everyone is settled, feeding is going well and you’re rested (at least a little – you do have a newborn after all!). I advise all my clients that if they just aren’t feeling up to the session to talk to me and we’ll figure out the best way to proceed, which is generally postponing for a few weeks.
What if I’m not comfortable feeding the baby with other people around?
Most photographers I know are willing to give you as much privacy as you need, but if you know you’re going to want total privacy, it’s always a good idea to ask ahead of time to ease any fears.
During my pre-session meetings, I always talk about breastfeeding images and ask if you’re comfortable with it. There’s absolutely no pressure and I’ll follow whatever parameters you’d like. I can take breastfeeding photos from quite far away so that they are still very modest, or can move in a little closer and focus more on the bond between you and baby. Or, if you’d rather keep that moment private, I’ll chat with your husband or play with your other children while you feed and we’ll pick back up with the session when baby’s belly is full. I’m also happy to take breastfeeding photos but leave them out of your slideshow or remove them from your viewing gallery before you share it with family and friends.
What’s your guaranteed turn around time?
Any photographer you hire should have a client agreement or contract which clearly outlines the expectations on both ends. Included in that contract it should state a guaranteed turn around time, so that you know the longest you’ll have to wait for your images. This is especially important if you’re wanting to send birth announcements or if you’d like to gift photos to family.
My client agreement states that all images will be available for viewing and ordering within 30 days from the date of the session, although my typical turn around time is 1-2 weeks.
How do you keep my images safe?
There’s a saying that gets tossed around in the photography industry: it’s not if your memory card will fail you, it’s when. I’ve been there. A card that worked perfectly one day, then decided it’s done life the next day.
It’s a legitimate question to ask your photographer – how they’ll ensure your images are backed up. Although it probably wouldn’t be the end of the world to re-do a session, it’s a nuisance and can save a lot of stress on both sides if all bases are covered.
I shoot with dual cards acting as duplicate copies, which means that every time I click the shutter, the images is written to 2 memory card in my camera. This means I already have a backup copy of your images in case one card should fail. Once I get home, I take one of the cards and upload the images to my computer, then back up to multiple external hard drives, one of which is stored off-site. Within 48 hours, there will then be 4 copies of your images: 2 memory cards, an on-site external hard drive and an off-site external hard drive. I keep one card with the original RAW images on it until I upload your gallery and deliver the final products to you. Once you have your final products I format both memory cards, but by then, your final images are also backed up within my gallery software which never gets deleted.
What happens if your camera malfunctions during our session?
Much like keeping your images safe, it’s good to know if your photographer is prepared if her camera has issues during a session. She should have a backup camera that is ready to go at the drop of a hat.
Do you offer plans if I want to document the whole first year?
This isn’t always top of mind when you’re pregnant and booking your newborn session, but it’s worth asking what sort of options the photographer offers if you do decide to document the first year. Some photographers offer plans that allow you to have smaller sessions throughout the year or a package of multiple sessions at a discounted rate, while other photographers treat each session on its own.
Once a newborn session is booked, I then offer shorter in-home mini sessions throughout the first year until your baby is 1. Sessions can be purchased individually or in a package of 3 and can be used at any time during the year, including as a maternity session before baby arrives.
Expecting? Let’s chat about these questions and more! Before each and every newborn session I come to your house with a Welcome Guide and we spend half an hour or so chatting over coffee about what to expect, what my products feel like in your hands and what will happen after your session. Your baby is only a baby for a few short weeks, so ensuring that you have the right fit with your photographer is important as before you know it, those little baby chicken legs will be big chunky rolls.
Fiddle Leaf Photography offers in-home, casual newborn photo sessions in Edmonton and all surrounding areas including Sherwood Park, St. Albert, Beaumont, Ft. Saskatchewan and Spruce Grove.
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Lifestyle family & newborn photographer based in Edmonton, Alberta
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