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How To Find a Good Newborn Photographer | Virginia Newborn Photography

Newborn Photography has become all the rage as of late, and of course being a Newborn Photographer it thrills me! It’s also insane to see the amount of drive by night photographers that are popping up every day. Before booking your Newborn Session, please do your research. I love it when my clients come to me after spending days researching, it means that they know what they want and are educated on Newborn Photography.

The newborn stage is so fleeting and magical, I can’t help but sigh when I think back to the first few days with both of my boys. Your baby will NEVER be this tiny, this sleepy, this curly, this perfect again so make sure you are hiring the right person to capture it. Here are a few tips to help you find the right professional while looking through their portfolio:

- Are their photos technically correct?

(these next few images are examples of what not to do, I’m editing them to show you what is bad on purpose, my client saw the perfect images;-))

This is a BIG one! Look through all of their images on their website and blog.

Are they blurry or out of focus? If the photographer can’t take a photo that’s in focus, it’s probably best to pass. You want to be able to see every detail of that perfect little face.

Are they too bright/overexposed? You want the images to be bright and airy but you don’t want them so bright that they look like blobs when they are printed out.

This is so bright it hurts my eyes, but here’s an example of an overexposed image.

Are they over-processed? I see this a lot as well, neon colors, “antique” actions thrown on the images, too much contrast, etc. You want the beautiful baby to speak for itself, not the crazy photoshopping that was done to it.

A few examples of over-processed images:

Baby looks like a mime-zombie, yuck.

This baby might be nuclear, step away.

-  Do the babies look safe and peaceful?

I’ve seen some scary set ups/newborn images around the interwebs, babies hanging from branches, shoved in bowls, on the cold ground, etc.  If the baby looks unhappy & uncomfortable, it probably is. Posing a baby correctly and safely takes years of training and experience and chances are the person who just picked up their camera last week probably won’t know how to do it correctly.

A lot of the popular poses are achieved through the magic of  Photoshop. This is one of them, there are hands on the baby the entire time. Babies do not do this naturally and sometimes even if they hold the pose for a split second, it’s still important to have hands on them because it’s better to be safe than sorry.

-  Are they charging professional prices?

This is kind of a touchy subject but it’s important. Real professional photographers aren’t charging an arm and a leg because we are greedy, we are running a legitimate business. Charging $10 for an 8×10 and $200 for a CD of all of the edited images is not ever going to make a business profitable, it’s just not possible. In fact, I’m going to say that once taxes (if they are even paying them) and expenses are taken out, they are not even going to make minimum wage or cover the gas getting to the session.

Running a business is expensive, we pay:

  • taxes (federal and state, that’s about 30-40% of our sales right there)
  • rent (if you have a studio space)
  • utilities
  • insurance – if the photographer doesn’t have insurance I’d run away, because it means they aren’t taking their business serious.
  • equipment – having the right cameras & lenses and keeping them in top shape is not cheap!
  • training
  • professional organizations
  • accounting fees
  • software
  • marketing
  • daycare – my business is a full time job so I need care for my kids while I’m working, it’s not cheap!

I’m sure I could add more but trust me, the list goes on. If you aren’t careful you could spend more than you make and that’s when my next point comes in handy.

These photos are going to last a lifetime while that Prada handbag you bought will be out of style in one year, good photography is WORTH the investment.

- Are they running a real business?

I have a degree in Marketing/Management from Virginia Tech, while I love photography, I love running a business even more. Having a photography business is 80% business and 20% photography and if someone doesn’t know how to run a business, they won’t last in this industry. I have talked to a lot of people who have had horror experiences with photographers that take ages to get them their order, don’t return emails or phone calls or even worse, gone out of business and disappeared before they even got their photos. Trust me, it has happened! Running a good business and good customer service is key. Newborn Photography is art and you are making an investment in your session, make sure it’s with the right person.

I am not making this post to say you should hire me (though of course you should, duh;-)) but I would love it if everyone did their research first. Your baby will only be little for so long and there are no do-overs if the photographer you hire screws up. Once you you get your photos back, your newborn won’t be a newborn any more and it will be too late. Make the right decision from the start and you will not only have a fabulous experience, but beautiful art for your walls of your own baby that you will look back on for years to come and sigh at how it was impossible little Suzy was ever that small, or how beautiful that time in your life was. Don’t look back and look at your photos with regret.

Some BIG News! | Leesburg Virginia Newborn Photographer

I signed the lease for a 1700 square foot natural light studio today!

(Not my actual sign yet but you can see what it will look like with a little photoshop help. And yes, that is my cute baby right there.)

Not only will this allow me to get more creative with my newborn photography, it will also allow me to be more full service to my clients. While I work hard to get  photos of their little one, they can relax, have a cup of coffee and look at all of my gorgeous samples without having to worry about if the house is clean.  Another bonus is that the light will always be consistent so no more walking into a house and hoping it will work out. I will still give the option of doing on-location work but am planning on primarily shooting all newborns in the studio.

The studio has two huge rooms and is located in an old mansion right on King Street in Historic Downtown Leesburg with it’s own parking lot in the rear of the building. The first room will be a sitting room/office while the second larger room will be the shooting room. The building dates back to 1885 and has gorgeous old wood floors and an old fireplace but, has been updated so the modern luxeries like  the bathroom, is brand new.

Not only will I be able to shoot inside the studio but for babies & family stuff all we have to do is step right outside the door and you have all of the charm of Downtown Leesburg for some more “urban” photos or we can drive 2 minutes up the street to a huge park/garden for outdoor photos.

Here is a quick iphone photo I took today as the carpets that were covering those amazing floors were being ripped up.

The walls will all be white/cream except for the wall where the fireplace is, that will be painted the same aqua from my logo. Here’s my design board, I can’t wait to see it all come together!

I’m SO SO SO excited about this and feel like this is exactly what I needed to do for my growing business. I of course will be posting a ton of photos as it comes together and other studio-related news so stay tuned!

Little Posers | Newborn Photography Workshop

Yesterday I travelled up to Philadelphia to teach a Newborn Workshop. I got to meet 6 amazing & fun photographers and had two of the most adorable litle models who let us pose and play for hours. While it was a long and exhausting day, it was so worth it to watch other photographers “see the light” as far as newborn posing and lighting goes. I have to give a big thank you to Jamie Siever of Jamie Siever Photography for being a wonderful host, I have “known” Jamie for many years and it was so nice to finally meet her, and all of the other ladies, in person.

On to the photos!

First we have adorable 3 day old K, she was actually supposed to be a St. Patricks Day baby but ended up being born on Friday making her the youngest baby (besides my own) that I’ve photographed. She was so sleepy and such a great model for us!

Look at those lips!!

And here is 11 day old W who was so alert for us!

But gave us some awesome sleep to get in a few poses.:-)

Isn’t he just perfect?

Thank you to our adorable little models for making this workshop a sucess!!

Note to photographers: I will be offering my Little Posers Newborn Workshop in the future but am up in the air on dates right now as I’m super busy with my photography clients. I will announce them here on the blog and Facebook page as soon as I get it figured out.

Calendar Updates & A New Look! | Virginia Newborn Photographer

Hi all! Just an update to let you know that March & April are completely booked and I am now taking appointments for May & June. I will be on vacation the last week of June and first week of July so if you want a summer session or if you are due in those months, book your session now.

If you haven’t noticed yet, I’ve got a new look around here. I wanted to freshen up my logo, blog & site so I hired Jayme over at Lucid Design & Photography to help me out. She did an amazing job and I am in love with my new branding. I’m still working on tweaking a few things so keep checking back.

New logo and a few new patterns.

New splash page & blog header.

And a new business card, the grey circles are where I will insert photos…

Fun stuff!

Newborn Models Needed in Philly! | Philadelphia Newborn Photography

Do you know someone who is pregant and lives in Philly? We are looking for a few tiny models for a newborn posing workshop on March 21st in Philly. Our ideal babies will be 2 weeks or younger  around that date so if you are intersted please email me amber@littlemoonphotography.com. There will be no session fee and complimentary digital files.

And I can’t post without including some more adorableness from last week’s newborn session.

And one more from yesterday’s little beauty.

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