Julie Kulbago Photography is a nationally published photographer who is trained in newborn safety practices and has mastered the technical knowledge & experience to use advanced photoshop techniques to capture challenging poses safely.
Her full service boutique photography studio works with families to capture fleeting moments so they last a lifetime. Let’s plan your perfect session!
If you are in the market for a newborn photographer in the Pittsburgh and surrounding areas (Youngstown, OH, Weirton, WV, Morgantown, WV, Akron, OH etc) this is the blog post for you. I am hoping to provide an overview of what you should be considering when you are shopping around for the perfect newborn photographer for your family.
Hiring a newborn photographer should be something you work on early in your pregnancy. This is because there are many choices in the area and you want to make sure you take your time to consider your options, evaluate the body of their work, talk to / email the photographer and make sure you have a great rapport with them. I typically say that you should be booking somewhere in your 2nd trimester. This will ensure that you get the photographer that you really want and it will allow you time to complete any necessary forms, review their portfolio and be ready with any special requests that you may have.
While this process should be very enjoyable, there are so many things to consider that it can quickly become overwhelming. Different photographers have different styles, approaches, policies, offerings etc. Comparing is not always easy!
With 9 years of experience as a newborn photographer I am hoping to share my knowledge with you so that you make sure you find the right newborn photographer for you.
Not all newborn photographers are the same. While a lot of poses and props may look similar it’s the details that matter and that can make your image go from good to great. Great images that are created in an unsafe way are the most dangerous kind. Since the newborn photography industry is not a regulated industry there is no specific qualification/test that a newborn photographer has to pass before they can hang their sign on the door. While some people will tell you that they are a member of a certification group that doesn’t mean anything! It just means that they paid their annual dues. What this means is that anyone can grab a camera and start manipulating and posing babies. If this scares you it should! Knowing what to look for and what to ask about will make your search for the best newborn photographer not only easier but it will ensure that your baby is safe and that you end up with beautiful newborn photography images.
I’m a firm believer in that you get what you pay for – not just in photography but in all things! Newborn photographers who excel at their trade are in demand and can charge a premium for their time and talent. Even if you are willing to settle for images that aren’t flawless you should NOT settle for someone who may not have the experience to keep your baby safe. In addition to “perfect posing”, an experienced photographer has worked with thousands of babies and can handle any situation that comes their way. Not all babies are sleepy and moldable. Some have belly aches, reflux, get overstimulated, nursing challenges etc. Having an experienced photographer means that your photographer can “read” the baby and can adjust the session accordingly to still give you a complete and beautiful gallery.
Do you know where your photographer works? And no, I don’t mean the city they are based in. Does the photographer work in a photography studio or is he/she working out of their house? Is there parking right outside or will you have to find parking and then walk a ways with your newborn baby. How large is the studio? Will there be room for you to relax and get out of the heat? Is there room for grandma and/or siblings to come as well? Are siblings welcomed? Do they have an area they can hang out / relax in when they aren’t in the pictures? Is there a private place for you to pump or nurse if needed? While some people may look for the studio that is closest to them I actually think proximity should NOT be a factor. Newborn photography images are a once in a lifetime event – the closest photographer may or may not be the best. While it may seem daunting to travel a few weeks after giving birth I can guarantee that it is worth it! All studios are not created equal and the location you and your baby will in is just as important as the end product. If you haven’t had a chance to view my newborn photography studio you can take a virtual tour here -> Julie Kulbago Photography Studio.
Does your photographer provide all of the blankets, headbands/hats, wraps and props or are you expected to bring it. Are there snacks and beverages or will you have to pack food for the morning? Has your photographer thought about the little things like bottle warmers, extra wipes, extra diapers etc. Is there a mother’s wardrobe to select from? A truly boutique experience will allow you to pick some beautifully curated dresses from the photographer’s wardrobe to ensure that your final images are beautiful and it saves you time and money! What is the booking process like? Is it online and easy or do you have to print out and mail in forms. A photographer who has been doing this for a long time will the experience down to a science!
I had a client work with another photographer before me and told me that she had wanted a picture of her newborn hanging in a hammock – like the one you see below. This first photographer failed to get the shot because the baby was wiggling . . . OH MY WORD!!! This baby is NOT hanging in the air. When I explained that this was a composite image the mother was horrified that she almost let her newborn be suspended in the air! I strongly implore you to be vigilant and only hire a reputable, experienced, and professionally trained newborn photographer.
Newborn photography is NOT an area to try to save money on. Personal recommendations are always the best way to find a newborn photographer. If you don’t know of anyone who has recently worked with a photographer you should: review their portfolio and social media, look at the google reviews, ask to meet in person/at their studio, talk to them over the phone and ask questions. Ask how many years the photographer has been photographing newborns, how many newborns per week they photograph and what training they have had.
If you have any additional questions after reading all of this please don’t hesitate to contact me!