So you find out you are expecting a little bundle of joy and think to yourself you would love some gorgeous shots of your precious baby like the ones you see in calendars and online. You begin to shop around online and discover there are a multitude of photographers offering this service in your area. To distinguish between them your head goes to style/taste and lets face it $$$.
As you are researching you see many photographers do not list their prices on their website so the journey of emailing begins. The ones who do reveal the costs on their sites take you back a bit as you are surprised to see the Newborn Sessions tend to begin around the $350-500 mark.
You then think to yourself, okay thats not too bad if it includes all the images. As you delve deeper into the photographers pricing you find out those prices are just the sitting fee! Flabbergasted you don't know how they can charge this much, surely it's just snapping a few shots with a really good camera and a couple of props right??
I would love to share with you how it is so much more. Here's the big naked truth behind the price of Newborn Photography...
How many hours of hands on experience does your photographer have? You are about to entrust THE most precious gift into their hands for 3-4 hours!
Newborn posing is a fine art that takes years of refining and perfecting. You want to be 100% certain your little one is in the safest hands possible as they are being moulded and folded into super cute, intricate poses.
With years of experience comes confidence. You want to hand over your baby to an individual with full confidence in themselves and their baby skills.
Professional photographers do have to own professional level equipment which runs well into the thousands for the most of us. My equipment runs into many thousands and includes a back up camera body incase something were to happen to my main one during the session, we wouldn't have to cancel and reschedule, we just carry on. We have to distribute these ongoing costs between our sessions. We also need highly functional computers/laptops to handle the editing software used.
Within this category I would also have to mention all of our props. We as Newborn Photographers become prop addicts. It's a terrible addiction but much needed. It's essential to keep your prop stash fresh and up to date. Lots of props need regularly replacing/updating due to wear and tear.
The cost of public liability and business insurance varies throughout the world. Here in Canada it is not cheap for professional photographers. My yearly insurance is just over $800.
#4 SESSION TIME
Newborn photography sessions are a game of patience. A good session runs anywhere between 3 and 4 hours.
#5 CREATIVITY & TALENT
You cannot put a price on the creativity of the photographer. Newborn photography at this level is ART. The concepts for poses and props and including family heirlooms at the last minute is truly a testament to the photographers imagination and adaptability.
#6 EDITING TIME
I am sure that for every newborn photographer this time varies but I spend on average 5 hours editing each of my Newborn Sessions.
#7 EDITING SOFTWARE
The professional software used by photographers is not cheap. My annual editing software costs are $360.
#8 ONLINE GALLERIES & IMAGE STORAGE
I love that I get to provide my clients with Private Online Galleries for them to view their images. These services do not come free to us. Annual Gallery Facility Fee $120.
Of course we as professionals do not erase your images after you have ordered. We keep them on file for anywhere from 1-5 years incase you need new copies etc. There are of course multiple methods to storing images. I use online services which cost $75 annually.
I am an on location, natural light photographer. This means that I come to you! I truly love going to my clients for their newborn sessions. It enables them to be stress free and can just sit back and relax in their own environment. On average I commute 1.5hours for a roundtrip. So not only is this more of my time but there is gas on top. There is also the time spent loading the car full of equipment and props.
We did not reach this point in our careers without countless hours of training. Many photographers have invested thousands of dollars into practical and online courses to get to where they are. The great thing about photography is that there is always more to learn and master so our training is ongoing. I personally invest 3-4 hours per week researching and investing my time on developing my art and style.
This may be one you have never thought of but a job hazard is newborn bowel movements. I swear they always wait until i have them wrapped up in cream and white to release the biggest poops. Of course when I get home I have to wash all the props and blankets/backdrops.
#12 WEBSITE & MARKETING
This area of the business can vary with cost however website design, development and maintenance is an ongoing cost to every photographer. We are always having to be on the cutting edge of marketing and jumping into the latest social media.
I hope that these 12 areas give you a real insight into the breakdown of costs behind high quality Newborn Photographers prices. We are looking to give you the best quality product for your money.
As you go forward searching for a Newborn Photographer keep these thoughts in mind as you view their pricing. Spending good money on your Newborn Photos is a real investment. These images become family heirlooms themselves.
Owner/Photographer @ CopperRedPhotography