1. One of the most important things that should be thought of when booking your newborn session is “will my baby be safe?” With Shannon Luther Photography all of my newborn sessions are done safely! I don’t use hammocks, I don’t do dangerous poses, and I absolutely will not put your baby in danger. Someone will always need to be seated next to my set up within arms reach of the baby. In some cases, you will need to keep your hand or finger on your baby, and I will edit it out later. Newborns naturally startle which means they can roll over pretty easily. If I deem it dangerous, I don’t do it. Also, I make sure every clothe item has been washed in All Clear after every session, anything that can be wiped down gets wiped with Clorox Wipes after every session, and if it can’t be washed or wiped down it gets sprayed with Lysol. I wash my hands several times during the session and use hand sanitizer. I don’t play around when it comes to germs. Newborns are not ready for all those germs until they’ve had their first shot. Also, I know this may be frustrating for you, but if I am sick, I will reschedule your newborn session. I don’t take any chances. Even if this means that I have to photograph your newborn beyond the first 10 days of life (see the next paragraph for more information).
2. Please keep this in mind, I prefer to photograph newborns before they are beyond their 10th day of life. Why you ask? Those first 10 days are exhausting for your baby, and it’s the best time to do those sleepy newborn photos. It makes it easy to put baby to sleep and to keep baby asleep. The more we can get done in 3 hours the more photos you will have and the more variety you will have. Once those 10 days are up, your baby will be more aware, and really may not feel too keen on going to sleep with a stranger holding them. Which brings me to this bit of information: I prefer to be the one to put your baby asleep. Why? Well, it is so much easier to transfer your baby to the setup and keep your baby asleep if we’re not transferring baby from person to person. Now if I can’t get your baby asleep, then I will get you or your helper’s help. It usually takes a good 30 minutes in the beginning to get your baby in a deep sleep where I can pose them and make sure their eyes will stay closed. And your baby’s eyes need to stay closed! Newborns eyes are way too sensitive to light to have a high powered flash go off with their eyes open. Back to the 10 days; I will still take your newborn’s photos after the 10 days, but I promise you it will be difficult and frustrating for everyone. But sometimes things happen that make it hard to get to the studio before the 10 days like NICU stay or Mommy had a C-Section. It’s tough to make it in that little window of time, but if you can, please do. It will make for some great newborn photos and a bunch of them.
3. If you’re booking with me because you like my style and love my newborn photos, you may want to consider letting me do my style with your baby. I do naked newborn photos. It’s part of my style. Of course, I do incorporate wraps and blankets to cover baby in some photos, but I mostly do naked newborn photos with maybe a hat or headband. Why do I prefer to do them this way? Your newborn is a new, fresh little bundle of joy. There are some pretty awesome things that your baby will go through only this once. They have that peeling skin that I love to capture (I do remove it in Photoshop from the face, but I leave it on the rest of the body). Newborns have an umbilical cord still attached. I know you’re probably thinking gross, but it’s part of them. It’s going to fall off. Don’t you want photos of when your baby was so new he/she had an umbilical cord? And one of my favorite parts that newborns have, hair on their body! It’s so precious to capture that little bit of hair on their shoulders or back. It’s going to fall off too so why not capture it before it does? You really can’t capture those awesome things if you’re covering your baby from head to toe with clothes they would normally wear out in public. And to me, I don’t like taking photos of newborns in an outfit. It restricts my poses and use of props. Do you really want to be showing off the outfit and not your baby? And if you’re worried that your baby will be cold, don’t. I have the heater on and a space heater keeping the shooting area nice and toasty. And if your baby is cold, I’m going to warm them up. I want your baby to be comfortable. It helps them relax which helps me pose them. So please think about this before you book with me. If you want to photograph your baby in outfits that cover them up, you may want to think about using another photographer.
4. This goes along with the third one above, please consider using the hats, wraps, etc. that I have available for you to use. I have spent a lot of money on these awesome props so that you can use them. It’s part of my style so you know you will get those amazing photos with your newborn session that you fell in love with looking at my previous newborn sessions. It’s easier for you too! It means no stress over buying things for your newborn’s photos. When you arrive for your session, I’ll bring out all my hats, headbands, wraps, etc. You pick a hat or headband and I can build the setup from there. It’s easy, convenient, and it’s actually fun for you. You will be much happier with your photos if you allow me to do my style, I promise!
5. I always let you know what you need to bring with you for your newborn. Bring everything that you will need while away from the home! And bring someone to help out (like your Mom, sister, husband, or friend) especially if you had a C-Section. I don’t want you over doing it trying to help me with your baby. In fact, I prefer for you to relax on the love seat in my studio while I get help from your helper. Also, if you breast feed, it helps if you are not helping me. Babies can smell their mother’s milk which can wake them up. I’d like to keep you out of smelling range…lol. And if possible, I prefer to set up your appointment so that you can feed your baby right when you get there. That way he/she will be full and sleepy when we get started.
6. Don’t worry if your baby pees or poops on me or my props. It happens! It happens a lot! And it doesn’t bother me, and it won’t hurt my props. Everything is washable or wipeable. So please don’t be upset if it happens.
7. I won’t do anything you aren’t comfortable with. If you don’t want your baby completely naked in his/her photos, I won’t, but please consider at least letting me keep the diaper on and wrapping your baby in one of my stretchy wraps. Also, I will only do what your baby will allow me to do. If he/she doesn’t like the pose I’m trying to do, I’ll do something different. You and your baby’s comfort are very important to me.
8. Please book your newborn session while you are still pregnant. This way I can secure your due date in my calendar and you have a spot during the month saved for your newborn. Please don’t wait until you have had your baby to contact me. I may not have any availability to fit you in. And I don’t like turning anyone away, but if I’m already swamped, I don’t need to add to it. Also, we only have a small window of time to get you in the studio after you leave the hospital, and if you haven’t booked prior to having your baby, it’s pretty difficult to fit you in.
If you are considering choosing me to photograph your newborn and have any questions, please email me at email@example.com I look forward to hearing from you!
2013 was an excellent year! Looking forward to newborn sessions this year as well!
Call 318-509-9866, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the contact me option above to book your 2014 newborn session!
The year flew by, and sweet Lillian turned 1! It breaks my heart when my baby plan babies graduate. Luckily, Lillian’s Mommy is my good friend so I’ll get to see them still!
On a side note, Lillian decided she was going to start walking on her own at her 1 year session! It was pretty awesome to behold!
So shouldn’t I treat your investment with a great return! That’s what I do, that’s what I strive for. The end result is high quality images that you will treasure for a lifetime. Sure I charge more than “other photographers.” You could save a lot of money if you went with the “cheaper photographers.” But what would your end result be? Images that are out of focus, images that are not exposed properly, images that are over edited, images that you can’t use…Who wants to have wasted their money on something they can’t use? Not me, and I would hope you feel the same way. I could go on and on about how my prices are structured and why I charge what I charge, but as a client, you don’t want to hear that. What you want to know is if I invest this much on photographs, is it going to be worth it?
This has been weighing on my heart tremendously today. It has reminded me of a conversation I had with one of my clients. This client in particular has used services from a few photographers in the area, and she has been my return client for over two years now. In fact, she is the main referrer of most of my clients. That’s how much she values my work, and I so very much appreciate her! The topic of our conversation was when she had used a previous photographer that was lower priced she wasn’t happy with the results. She received digital images from a session and had them printed at a few different labs, but the images were out of focus and it was so overexposed that the prints were basically trash. She had wasted her money on something she couldn’t use and had no desire to return to this photographer. I don’t blame her! Since then she has been my client and has been overjoyed with her babies’ pictures. She has no problem having them printed at the labs she uses, and she displays them proudly on her walls. That’s the way it should be! Her main point was “Sure I want to save a buck when I can, but I would rather pay a premium for something I am guaranteed to receive my monies worth. That’s why I come to you for my photography needs, and that’s why I tell everyone I meet about you!”
In the end, which would you prefer? To save money on a sub par product or invest in something of value?
I want you to know that if I could afford to do it, I would do this for free. That’s how much I love my career. But I’m not rich, in fact I’m far from it. I’m just trying to make a living, trying to pay my bills, and trying to take care of my family by doing something I absolutely love to do. I would love to compete with lower priced photographers on price, but my quality is better. Plain and simple. I provide professional level products so my prices reflect that. I’m sure I will receive some backlash from this, but it’s the truth.
And to my fellow professional photographers, don’t give up! Don’t bend to compete by price. Your work is worth it.
P.S. I’m certainly not saying that lower priced photographers should stop doing their photography business. They should do just like the rest of us and continue to learn, grow, improve so that they can provide quality products to their clients, and price their work appropriately. We all started at the same place, eager to learn everything as quick as possible, eager to grow our business, eager to improve…You’ll get there!
P.P.S. I appreciate every single one of my clients (my mini-session clients all the way up to my wedding clients). You allow me to have a career that makes me truly happy! Your investment in me is appreciated!!!