As an expecting parent, you are undoubtedly in a planning phase of your life. Putting together a crib, buying baby clothes, preparing the nursery, installing a car seat, and possibly thinking of… getting Newborn Photos.
It seems obvious that this once-in-a-lifetime moment is worth capturing, but you may be asking yourself, “Is it worth hiring a professional photographer for a newborn photo session? And if so, what does it cost?”
The short answer to the first question – in my opinion – is a resounding YES! Totally worth it! And I’ll share my thoughts on why throughout the article.
The second question – how much does it cost – is a little more complicated. Why? Because there is no industry standard for newborn photography pricing, which can be very confusing.
There are two obvious things you’re paying for when you hire a newborn photographer: their services (taking your photos) and their products (the actual photos.)
But there is a “hidden” third element you’re also purchasing: the experience.
Whether you’re treated like a VIP, or have a less personalized relationship with your photographer, will also influence the overall pricing.
I wrote an article about Finding the Right Photographer For You. It’s worth checking out if you’re currently shopping around! There are short videos covering everything you should consider before hiring a newborn photographer, including the one below where I discuss Price Point. It’s a good place to start!
Considering how phone cameras have become more sophisticated and the fact that everyone has that one friend who’s pretty good with a camera – this is a valid question!
But let me tell you this: even as a professional photographer, I still chose to hire another professional photographer when it was time for my own newborn photos.
Here are 6 reasons why I think you should, too:
When you hire a professional newborn photographer, there are two obvious things you’re paying for: their services and their products.
Their service covers everything from the time it takes them to prepare for your photo session, to the session itself, editing your photos, and delivering the final products, whether those are digitals or print products.
The products are the photos they deliver. Those can be digital images, print products (such as loose prints, print packs, framed prints, albums, display walls, etc) or a combination of both!
But there is also a “hidden” third element you’re purchasing: the experience.
Your experience has to do with how you feel each step of the way. Are you relaxed and confident in your photographer’s ability to serve you? Or do you feel anxious and confused about what you just got yourself into?
Of course you won’t know for sure until you’re actually going through the journey with your photographer, but here are a few question to ask yourself before committing to someone:
Now let’s dive into some of the more literal aspects of what influences pricing. Let’s talk about the hard costs.
This is what makes up the overhead for professional photographers. Some items are obvious, while others might not have occurred to you:
This is where experience and expertise come in. With any kind of photography, the photographer not only needs to know their equipment like the back of their hand, but they must know how to deal with the people on the other side of the camera.
What good is it to have a person who’s a master of lighting but is uncomfortable around babies?
For newborn photography, the list of intangibles looks like this:
The two most common business models for newborn photographers are:
With an all-inclusive model, you pay a fixed fee that includes the session as well as the photographs. And in most cases, the photographs are offered as digitals only, not print products (such as print packs, framed prints, albums, display walls, etc.)
All-inclusive photographers are usually in the lower end of the spectrum, charging in the $100’s.
The service/product business model means you pay for services and products separately. Usually the photographer will require a session fee or deposit at the time of booking and offer packages or collections after your session. They may have 3-5 collections for you to pick from, each including a certain number of digitals plus either specific products or print credit.
Service/product photographers are usually in the higher end of the spectrum, charging around $1,000 or more.
Because there is no industry standard when it comes to newborn photography pricing, there will always be a variety of options. Some photographers will charge hundreds of dollars, while others charge $1,000 or more for newborn photos.
Keep in mind: In order to run a successful business, a photographer can charge less money and serve more clients, or charge more money and serve fewer clients.
So at the end of the day, it depends on your budget and what kind of experience you’re looking for.
If you spend $300 for an all-inclusive package, then realistically, that photographer would have to take hundreds of clients per year to run a profitable business. Which means you wouldn’t be able to expect a very personalized experience.
If you spend upwards of $1,000, on the other hand, then it’s reasonable to expect a high-touch, VIP experience throughout your time working with that professional.
Check out the article I wrote on Finding the Right Newborn Photographer which contains short videos walking you through each consideration you should have. Here’s the intro video to give you a peak:
In summary, here’s what you might consider before hiring a newborn photographer:
There are so many wonderful photographers out there! Doing a little research before hiring someone will go a long way.
I hope you choose to invest in Newborn Photos and that you find the perfect photographer for your family.
If you’re local to LA and think we might be a good fit, please reach out so we can schedule a no-commitment chat! I’d love to get to know you!
©marjorie cohen photography | los angeles photographer