As soon as you find out you’re expecting your heart fills with an indescribable love and joy. As a proud parent, you want to capture every precious moment to cherish forever. However, you may be wondering how much you should invest in maternity and newborn photography. As a luxury photographer in serving the Scottsdale, Arizona area, I want to help answer your questions and concerns. Today, I’ll help you think about the things to consider when searching for a maternity and newborn photographer and why these things matter.
Think about what you value and why it’s important to you
Is it important to you that your photographer…
- Is an experienced professional and can handle babies, toddlers, and kids with patience, love, and joy?
- Has an established business with hundreds of clients?
- Has expertise in working with and posing expecting and postpartum moms to make them look their best?
- Has a consistent, timeless style that isn’t trendy and won’t be out of date in a few years?
- Is a busy mother herself and understands your deepest desires and challenges with photo sessions?
- Can help you create tangible pieces of artwork to display your favorite images in your home?
- Is well-respected and highly revered for delivering exceptional service?
- Helps take the most stressful aspects of planning photo sessions of your plate?
Family portrait sessions have a reputation for being stressful and chaotic. But they don’t have to be!
When you’re searching for a photographer for your growing family’s most important moments, consider what your peace of mind costs.
Why does the price range of newborn photographers vary?
One of the most common questions parents have when considering newborn photography is, “Why does the price range of photographers vary so much?” It’s a valid question, especially when you’re trying to determine what you can afford and what you’re willing to spend.
There are a few factors that contribute to the varying price ranges you’ll see among photographers. First and foremost, experience plays a big role. Just like any other profession, photographers with more experience can often command higher fees due to their level of skill and expertise.
The Cost of Professional Newborn Photography
When considering newborn photography, it’s important to understand the cost of hiring a professional photographer. While prices vary depending on location and experience, professional newborn photography typically ranges from $500 to $1,500 or more. While this may seem like a large investment, it’s important to remember that you’re not just paying for the photographer’s time during the session itself. You’re also paying for their communication, prep, and editing time, as well their equipment, studio, wardrobe, and materials like backdrops and props.
Most importantly, you’re investing in preserving your most meaningful memories. It’s essential to do your research and find a photographer whose style and pricing fit your needs and budget. Keep in mind that investing in professional newborn photography is a way to capture memories that you’ll cherish for a lifetime. It’s an opportunity to capture your newborn in his or her most delicate and beautiful state. It’s an investment you’ll never regret making.
Cost of Portrait Photography at Different Levels
Amateur Photographer ($0-$250)
This is where we all started! An amateur photographer likely has less than a year of experience, may still be new to photography in general, and has little to no training on photographing newborns.
What to expect from an amateur photographer:
- Free or very low cost session fees
- Still discovering his/her photography and editing style
- Not set up as a legal business yet (not licensed or insured)
- Not very comfortable with posing or offering direction to clients
Beginner Photographer ($250-$450)
A beginning photographer isn’t brand new to photography, but still has a lot to learn. He or she is still figuring out how to turn this hobby into a profitable business.
Your experience with a beginning photographer:
- Has some training but hasn’t yet perfected his/her posing workflow
- May or may not be set up as legal business
- Session price includes all digital images and nothing else
- Still working a full-time job somewhere else so he/she doesn’t have the time to dedicate to making the client experience top notch
- Does not include wardrobe, hair and makeup, or artwork services
New Professional Photographer ($500-$1000)
A new professional photographer is several years into business. They have determined their specific niche and specialty.
What you may experience when you invest in a new professional photographer:
- Established photography and editing style consistent from session to session.
- Continuing education is a priority and this photographer has invested in several courses, memberships, workshops, and/or one-on-one coaching.
- A consistent client experience with a solid posing workflow.
- Services like hair and makeup, wardrobe, and client gifting may be offered.
- This photographer is full time in their business but will likely be overbooked and burnt out to meet their financial goals.
- May offer digital image packages and is starting to dabble in artwork or albums.
- Ideal for the client looking for an experienced photographer on a small budget.
Professional Photographer ($1000-$3000+)
A professional photographer has 5+ years of experience, has an established, luxury brand, as well as an exceptional client experience. This photographer understands the needs of his/her busy clients’ lives and removes all stress.
What to expect when you hire a professional photographer:
- Is confident and efficient with photographing in all environments and lighting scenarios.
- Is proficient with posing to save time during the session and flatter all clients’ bodies.
- Knows how to connect with your family to create and capture genuine moments.
- Is able to work with and calm children of all ages from newborns to 18+.
- Will be able to save you a lot of time, not only during the session itself but during the planning and image selection process.
- Goes above and beyond to offer wardrobe, hair and makeup, printing, framing, and album design.
Click here to learn about my experience and to see if my client experience is what you’re looking for.
What influences a photographer’s price?
- Number of years of experience
- Education and training
- Equipment cost and maintenance: cameras, lenses, lens filters, flashes, computers, hard drives, memory cards
- Dues, subscriptions, and overhead costs: website, blog, project management tools, marketing, taxes, editing software, gallery delivery, album design, artwork design, licensing, insurance
- Photographer’s availability and how many clients they’re able to take on at one time (supply & demand; high volume vs. low volume)
- Studio and/or travel costs
Why do some photographers charge more than others?
When considering the cost of maternity and newborn photography, it’s important to understand that there are different levels of photographers to choose from. The prices and quality of the photos can vary depending on their level of experience, equipment, expertise, and overall skills. It’s more than simply taking nice photos.
A qualified photographer has gained the experience needed to run a professional business and knows what to charge in order to make their business valuable and profitable. These qualifies include:
Business Know-How: This photographer has developed an incredible client experience from start to finish. She protects herself, and her clients, with contracts, has established professional work/life boundaries, and has all the back-end software systems in place so that no piece of communication falls through the cracks.
Photography Know-How: A professional photographer has spent years learning the art of photography from lighting, posing, composition, and editing. Not only that, but she’s taken countless hours of education and practicing to perfect her craft.
Personal Know-How: What makes a photo session a true experience? Fun, am I right?! I aim to make every maternity and newborn session enjoyable for the entire family–dads included. My clients’ husbands have said time and time again that their sessions with me are the most fun they’ve ever had while taking pictures.
Design Know-How: From wardrobe styling to tangible products, a photographer isn’t just there to take beautiful photos. We want to help you display your family heirlooms with artwork on your walls and albums in your hands.
I hope this article has been helpful to you as you go about deciding how much to invest on maternity and newborn photography. Knowing what to expect in any budget is something every new parent should be aware of. Capturing the first few days of your newborn’s life is priceless. Skilled photographers have the eye and the tools to capture beautiful, precious moments that new parents treasure for a lifetime. As the saying goes, “Time flies, but memories last forever.” So, capture those fleeting moments and create timeless memories with professional newborn photography.