After months and months of waiting, your baby has finally arrived. Congratulations! What better way of sharing the good news than by doing a newborn photography session? However, as new parents, you probably have no idea where to start. You’re probably asking yourself, “How much do newborn photos cost?” This article will give you a pricing guide to help you figure out the average prices for newborn photography.

Beginning photographers will also benefit greatly as they’ll know what costs to charge for infant portraits. We’ll cover all the essential factors and more in this handy newborn photography pricing guide.

What Decides the Costs of Newborn Photography?

1. Experience of the Photographer

As with most industries, the professional’s experience determines the rates you should expect to pay for a service. Why? Because it takes time to train and earn expertise in any field.

In this particular case, the photographer’s experience in newborn photography should reassure you that you’ll get high-quality photos.

Unlike other photographers, these experts are trained on how to work with newborn babies carefully. They know how to keep them content and happy while still sneaking in interesting poses to get the perfect shots. 

Engaging an inexperienced photographer will result in your baby’s discomfort and irritability, as well as yours. You might save a few dollars, but at the expense of quality snaps.

Even worse, your baby might be at risk of injuries as the photographer struggles to get them to pose. If you wouldn’t hand over your baby to an inexperienced doctor, why would you trust a newbie photographer?

2. Skills

Photo from Pixabay

So what special skills do seasoned photographers have that beginners don’t? Let’s delve into that below. 

  • First, a professional photographer will prepare their client in terms of the duration of the photoshoot and the costs involved.

    They’ll answer all your questions regarding expectations, what to wear, what to bring to the photo shoot, etc. They’ll help you relax and reassure you that all will be well.
  • It may seem obvious, but newborn photography requires patience and dedication. At that tender age, your baby is oblivious to what is required of them. They probably just want to sleep and suckle.

    However, a skilled photographer is patient enough to follow your baby’s schedule. In case your baby gets fussy, the photographer will be quick to soothe and calm them down throughout the session. You’ll be so impressed you’ll probably consider hiring them as your nanny.
  • You can’t have a successful newborn photography session without including your baby’s older siblings to share in the fun. Seasoned photographers can integrate kids from different age groups to create perfect photos.
  • Like all other photography disciplines, newborn photoshoots also require proper lighting. Expert photographers know how to position babies and capture their adorable faces in the best light.
  • If you’ve ever tried to get a toddler to pose for a picture, you know it’s a tall order. Now imagine getting an infant to do it. Would you even know where to start? Luckily, your skilled photographer will help your baby pose in creative (and safe) positions.
  • Seasoned photographers, regardless of discipline, know how to operate their cameras to expose photos as desired. This is valuable expertise that a newbie may not yet have.
  • We all know that a good photograph is only as good as the composition. Your photographer will help you create the right environment for your newborn photo shoot.
  • Good photographers should be just as good at editing as they are at taking photos.

Photographers who have specialized in newborn photography will typically charge higher prices than general photographers. This is because they have put in the time, effort, and money to acquire these specialized skills.

3. Location

Many people don’t know that most photographers base their newborn photography package prices on the number of locations used. This means that you’ll pay extra fees should you wish to change venues to create variety for your photographs.

For instance, some of the well-established photographers charge $70 for every additional site. You’ll also pay more should you want a more elaborate studio setup consisting of props and professional lighting.

Some photographers have gone extra lengths to set up exquisite studios. Such studio sessions can cost you as much as $425 per hour, giving you seven photos. Any additional images translate to anything from $20 per photo and up.

Photography gear is generally fragile, sensitive, and bulky. If you choose a custom location that requires the photographer to travel, prepare to pay more. They need extra equipment to stage the scene for you, so your final newborn photo shoot prices will go up. The further away the photographer has to travel to get to you, the more you’ll pay.

4. Insurance

If you’ve ever shopped for a high-tech camera, then you know how expensive cameras are. On the other hand, if you have no idea how much professional cameras cost, you’re in for a shock!

Some of the best camera brands, such as Sony, Canon, and Nikon, range between $1300 and $2500. That said, it’s paramount that photographers insure their cameras and equipment. General liability insurance can range between $21 and $42 per month, translating to about $250 to $500 annually.

In other areas like Canada, photographers pay up to $800 for annual covers. Given these hefty insurance premiums, you can understand why professional photographers generally charge as much as they do.

5. Session Time

newborn photography - sleeping baby with white headband

Session time refers to the time your photographer will spend capturing your newborn’s precious first moments. In this case, there are three types of photographers.

Some charge a flat rate, some charge separate prices for the studio session and the number of photos taken. Finally, some photographers only charge for the number of photos they’ll take. The latter group will often set a cap on the minimum photographs you can order to make sensible margins.

Regardless of the selected package, most photographers will typically require a 50% deposit. You pay the remaining balance when the photos or digital images are delivered. The quotation your photographer shares with you is often one of the clear indicators of their experience. If they charge you $50 or less, they’re probably in the beginning stages of their photography career. An even kinder newbie can surprise you with a free photo session to gain experience.

Needless to say, it’s the photographer’s prerogative to decide whether they’ll offer you free services or not. The standard rates you should expect to pay for a sitting session can range from $100 to $200. However, if you’re interested in working with a high-end photographer, you should be willing to cough up $500 and above.

As mentioned, the higher the newborn photography prices, the more elaborate the session. Such a costly session might entail the photographer coming to your preferred location. It will also include using unique props and the incorporation of expensive photography gear.

6. Investments

To pay a premium insurance cover worth over $500 annually means that the equipment costs a pretty penny. As mentioned, some of the best cameras cost well over $1300. And this is the camera alone without the rest of the supporting accessories and equipment. These include tripods, lenses, lighting, batteries, data storage devices, backdrops, props, computers, editing software, etc.

newborn photography prices - camera and laptop

In addition to all these items, there are also intangible expenses. These include a business license, rent for studio space, transportation costs, website management, marketing expenses, and other numerous investments. None of these items are cheap: you can end up investing $10,000, if not more.

When starting new businesses, most people fail to account for the not-so-obvious expenses. In photography, especially, a photographer should have an all-under-one-roof business setup.

This means that the studio should have photography equipment, a reliable means of transport, editing software, and printers to produce hard copy images. That said, the photographer should also keep up with the ever-changing trends to stay on top of their game. This means they’ll need to continually update software, upgrade props, and replace old backdrops, among many other items.

7. Editing

A professional photographer will not give clients raw images. They will usually include some retouching and visual enhancements for free. As mentioned, editing software doesn’t come cheap.

Most photographers pay over $300 annually to renew their software license. On average, professional photographers can take as long as five hours editing images from newborn photography sessions. Now imagine how long a newbie photographer would take.

This is with the assumption that they have top-notch editing software or even took great photos in the first place. Typically, newborn photographers will charge you a flat rate for light photo retouching, and charge extra for “extensive” editing.

8. Number of Photos and Products

Some photographers charge their clients a fixed hourly rate, while others will charge for the number of photos produced. Each option has pros and cons for the consumer, so it’s just a matter of preference.

It is not uncommon to find newborn photographers charging clients an extra fee to get their photos printed. A significant majority provide digital images and leave the rest to the client.

That said, you must ask your photographer in advance what packages are available. It is also crucial to know if they’ll give you low-resolution images or HD. When it comes to printing, there are numerous options available. This, in turn, translates to varying newborn photography prices.

Whether you want small frames or life-sized canvases, the possibilities are limitless. If your demands are on the lower end of the scale, you should expect to pay as little as $500.

If your needs are reasonably extensive, you should expect to pay anything between $700 and $2500. However, if you’re pulling all the stops, you’ll be looking at newborn photo shoot prices of $3000 and above.

Tips for Hiring a Newborn Portrait Photographer

newborn photography pricing guide - camera gear on table

Before making any deals with a potential photographer, you’ll need first to scrutinize their portfolio. This “reconnaissance” will help you determine if their aesthetics and style agree with yours. Thanks to social media, this information is just a few clicks away.

  • Once you have shortlisted your photographers of interest, engage them, and ask about their safety practices when handling newborns. This part is crucial as it can make or break the deal. After all, who wants to entrust their baby’s safety with an untrustworthy stranger?
  • Once satisfied, you can also inquire about the package details. Check if they provide props, the expected product delivery time, number of images they’ll give you, etc. If the photographer has not insured their equipment, chances are they are not trustworthy. It also shows that they don’t value their customers. Like all your other business deals, follow your gut!
  • Last but not least, let’s not forget the much-needed contract. Remember, you will probably have to give them a 50% deposit upfront, so make sure you’re confident with your agreement. You can always ask for a package discount from your photographer.
  • If you want to save a few dollars, there are ways to do that too. You can go with a junior photographer, request fewer images, and limit your photoshoot to just one location.

Conclusion

As with any business transaction, you should always get value for your money. Ideally, it’s best to use a photographer recommended by your family and friends.

However, since this option may not always be available, do your due diligence before entrusting your newborn’s life with strangers.

Newborn photography sessions should be a happy and memorable moment. Keep your baby warm, comfortable, and safe, and you’ll be good to go!

Also related: Newborn Photography Tips: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners (2020)

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