I think the topic speaks for itself this round, don’t you? We often get queries like these,
“Why are your packages so expensive”
“Why do other studios charge lower and offer many free items, but you don’t?”
In these cases, the most vital question is never asked.
“What is the difference between your photography style, service and experience, and does it warrant the price I pay for?”
Most have the misconception that a photographer who provides a cheaper service would have the same quality, caliber and skills as someone who charges higher. This may be occur in 1 of 100 cases. A doctor or lawyer who specialises in a certain field is heralded and often chosen for the experience they have. Is it not the same with a photographer, who works to specialise in their field?
How then you ask, do you choose a good baby photographer? For starters, an experienced baby photographer is NOT
- Someone who has knowledge in a DSLR but blindly shoots.
- Someone who does not understand babies’ various group ages and how each group behaves, or why they behave so.
- Someone who does not have knowledge of babies’ motor skills, not being able to comprehend how a 3 month old should be photographed differently from a 10 month old.
- Someone who does not understand how a baby moves. They will not know how prioritise the baby’s safety. They might place a baby prone to wobbling to sit on a chair and risk the baby’s fall for a photo.
These reasons may sound like common sense and it may seem like far fetched theories. However, we have had clients who have shared numerous stories of horrific past experiences with a non-professional photographer.
“The photographer placed my baby on top of a platform (he built it so he would not need bend down too much during the shoots; he gets to shoot at a higher level). But my baby crawled out of the platform and fell off. He was very near the baby yet did not look out for my baby”
“My baby was very afraid of strangers so she had been crying quite a bit initially. But she warmed up eventually but when she did, the photographer said “it’s 1 hour, we have to end the shoot.” She could have take more photographs of my baby for the next 5-1o mins as my baby was smiling continuously already!”
Choosing a good photographer is similar to choosing anything in your life. You have a myriad of choices. The experience you get at a professional studio will not be the same as a non-professional. There is a certain decorum that is to be maintained, and don’t forget, you will be paying for the quality of the craft and service.
Parents, this is what you should understand when thinking of engaging a baby photographer:
- An experienced baby portrait photographers has essential knowledge at his/her fingertips. They are able to tell you straight off the bat about the different poses for different month babies, whether they can sit/stand/lie down/ grab the toes etc. They will be able to propose the best prop, with safety as priority, and not place the baby is less-fitting prop.
- DO THIS: Look out for the photographer’s portfolio, and see whether the baby feels comfortable in the prop. Alternatively, have a chat with the photographer to ‘test’ if they truly understand the baby’s growing motor skills and the props they propose for it.
- An experienced baby portrait photographer does not emphasise super specifically on the duration of the session. Experienced studios understand that babies are unpredictable and should be prepared to provide appropriate leeway for this.
- DO THIS: If they tell you “1 Hour”, be sure to ask what will occur if your baby needs more time. Enquire whether the studio allows more time to buffer for this or if they offer a time frame such as “1-2 hours”.
- An experienced studio will nearly always offer a rescheduling or guarantee policy. Like we said, babies are unpredictable and if the baby happens to be cranky on the day of the shoot, do you pay for nothing and end up with only 10-20 photos to choose?
- DO THIS: Check when enquiring if they provide rescheduling or if they have service guarantee policies in place as contingencies.
- Parents should enquire or learn about the photographer’s experience. Bloggers posts and reviews usually provide a good gage of the level of professionalism the photographer adheres to.
- DO THIS: Read their website’s biography, photographer’s accolades, reviews and exactly what they offer.
Parents should also retain these facts:
- A baby photographer requires necessary skills to know how handle babies, and not just have the knowledge to use a DSLR.
- Certain parents may feel like they should not spend too much money on a photography session. But if invested well, they end up with many professional happy/cute photos of their babies, something they are not only able to share on social media now, but able to look back and reminisce on the funny moments of the shoot when they view these photos. It is not merely a temporary showcase on social media but an investment to look back on in the future. It is a memory preserved; a priceless treasure.
- Babies are not like older teenage or adult models. They will not be able to sit or stay still. They will move, crawl, call for attention and grab things when they want to. Their safety is vital and should never be compromised.
Here’s a food for thought after all you’ve read. A professional baby photographer with years of experience under their belt have all these skills. With years taken to build their craft, creativity and style, should they then be considered for less than what their service is worth?