There are so many decisions that must be made when you’re preparing for a new baby; the baby’s name, bottle or breast, which car seat to purchase, daycare or nanny, and choosing a newborn photographer!

Here are 7 things to consider when you are researching baby photographers:

1. Style. Are you looking for a posed newborn session where the baby will be curled up on soft blankets and in cute little baskets? Or are you looking for a photographer to come to your hospital or home for a Fresh 48 session? Or, would you prefer a lifestyle session that takes place in your house?

2. Reputation. Ask your friends who already have children, post question in Mom’s groups online, and look at Google reviews to ascertain that clients have been happy with this photographer’s services before you commit to booking. Google is fairly strict about ascertaining that reviews are legitimate, so they are a good source of information.

3. Flexibility. Do you have an heirloom quilt or sentimental stuffed animal that is important for you to use in your newborn shoot? Some photographers do not allow outside props, while others welcome clients bringing their own props.

4. Portfolio. Take a good, strong look at potential newborn photographers’ portfolio. Dig deep to ascertain that the quality of their work is consistent. Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous photographers who take a few photos at a workshop and use those for their portfolio without the skills to replicate the setups on their own. Look for a variety of different babies on families on the photographer’s website: if you see just a handful of families, that could be a red flag.

5. Family and siblings. Is there an extra charge to get photos of Mom and Dad, and an older sibling? If you fear that you’ll have a few pounds to lose a week after giving birth, and are hesitant to be in photos as a new mom, does the photographer carry long lenses (that compress distance and automatically take several pounds off a subject!)? Can she manipulate her light and shadows to create a slimming effect?

6. Props. Does the newborn photographer you are considering choosing have their own props, or does she ask you to bring your own? If she stocks props, look at her Instagram page to see if she is using the same blankets, baskets, and headbands over and over again. You’ll want your photos to be unique, and you’ll want to choose from a large variety of props.

7. Legalities. It’s your right as a client to inquire bout the photographer’s legalities. Does she carry business insurance, and is she registered as a legal business? You want to make sure that you’re patronizing a photographer who has all the technicalities of running a business in place.

Let me know if you have any further questions about choosing the right newborn baby photographer, and enjoy these gorgeous portraits of adorable Iris!