Starting a new photography business can be one of the most rewarding experiences for someone who is passionate about photography. But, like starting any new business, it can be hard to know what to do first, and what is most important to focus on. Not to mention the nerves you may have working with unpredictable newborns and learning how to best handle them. Newborn photography is like no other form of photography, but can also be the most rewarding!
In an effort to help all the newbie photographers out there, we consulted the experts! As a photo prop company, we work with the best of the best everyday. Recently, we spoke to over 20 veteran photographers from across the US and we came up with 10 things every photographer should know when starting their newborn photography business. We broke the advice they gave into two sections, five main things you need before starting your business, and the biggest things to remember once you have taken on your first clients.
In the first blog post, we are going to cover the top five pieces of advice every new photographer should know before starting their business. In the next blog post we will cover the five pieces of advice every new photographer should know in the starting days.
Before You Start
One of the biggest pieces of advice we received across the board is the importance of mentoring. Mentoring sessions with veteran photographers can teach you how to create the best studio, safety techniques, camera techniques, the best equipment, editing techniques, and how to get the perfect poses. Your mentor can also help you determine pricing and show you how to best market your business online.
Susan Hinds of Purest Light Photography told us, “Invest in Mentoring! My business would have excelled so much quicker if I hadn’t spent years figuring things out on my own. Which is why I now offer mentoring”
Classes and workshops are also important, at the start and throughout a photographer’s career. Trends are always changing, meaning any good business owner will adapt with those changes. Classes are a great way to do that to stay current, and always evolving.
Amanda Caldwell, of Sweet E Photography says, “Lighting makes all the difference! Perfect your lighting first, then work on the rest.”
In this selfie generation, we all know how important lighting is. Research and invest in the best equipment for your needs. Lighting can affect image quality, the feel of the photo, and even how the baby’s skin and props will photograph. Lighting is a great topic to take classes on or discuss with your mentor as well! They will know the best equipment for your needs and the lighting that has the best bang for your buck.
There is a lot of equipment that you will need that is specific to newborn photography. Heaters, white noise machines and even a drier to help keep blankets warm are a must when working with newborns.
A computer and editing software are extremely important for photographers of all kinds. If you are a novice, editing classes are a great way to get your feet wet so that you are not editing blind after your first shoot.
Last but not least, the camera. Finding the right camera for your portraits are everything! DSLR’s are the most popular, and great for newborn photography. They can shoot raw and have a high ISO range.
With so much out there these days, it may be hard to know what to get, what your style is, and how much to spend on props. While going to a fabric store and getting a cheap fur may seem like a good idea, it won’t turn out well in the end. There is no harm in getting refurbished bowls, cribs, etc., but when it comes to furs, fabrics and headbands, its best to invest in good quality items that will last, as they photograph much better than cheaper items.
Abrea Crackel mentions, “simple props will help your work stay more timeless as you build your brand and figure out your style.” Katelyn Michelle echoes that idea saying, “Don’t go crazy with props, get the basics in neutral colors so it works for boys and girls and nail the poses and lighting”
Check out our full blog on essentials that every newborn photographer needs.
Practice with a cat. You learn to get them comfy and sleepy, but they will only put up with it so long.” Says Debra Scantlin.
Don’t have a cat or just not a cat person, no worries, there are many options. You can purchase a doll that helps when practicing poses and swaddles. Swaddling can be hard, especially the more intricate styles. Taking a class or watching YouTube videos can help you look professional. We also have a relaxed swaddler sleep sack that helps lull those little beauties to sleep while keeping their feet in so you can perfect your swaddle.
Three other great ways to practice and build your portfolio include model calls, session type calls and freebie gift sessions.
Make sure to stick around and read of next blog post about the top five things you should know once you start!
What advice do you have for any budding newborn photographers? What did you wish you knew before starting out? Leave us something in the comments below and check out Part 2.