As a newborn photographer in Charlotte NC, I understand there are many things to consider when choosing a photographer. You are looking to find something who will be there with you when you bring that new baby into your family. This is a moment you will only get to experience very few times. There are no retakes for newborn photos if it is not how you envisioned. I receive many inquiries from mamas because they had a disappointing experience in the past with a photographer. They wish they had invested in someone with more expertise.
Finding the RIGHT photographer for you is the key to getting photos you will cherish forever! Since there are so many photographers in Charlotte, it cant be difficult to start the process. You DO NOT want to chance it on a new photographer or a “friend” with a beautiful camera. This is a once-in-a-lifetime moment and you cannot get it back.
You want to ensure that your family can trust your photographer with these irreplaceable moments. Below you will find a few things we think you should consider when selecting the photographer.
The Overall Experience
The most important thing you need to remember is that not all photography experiences are the same. Have you heard of the experience “you get what you pay for?” Below I discuss two different types of photography experiences you can experience from a photographer in Charlotte, NC
After paying the photographer, you can begin preparing for your session. You are left to shop for clothing for the whole family with no support or guidance. It takes about a zillion trips to the store with your littles… not to mention the returns for items that didn’t fit right. You lay your outfits on the bed, and you don’t like them. However, you are running out of time before the session, so you decide to go with it. (jeans and a tee should be fine right?) The day of your session you’re running around getting everyone ready (on very little sleep, I might add). Then you realize you still have to shower and make yourself look halfway decent. They take your photos; they send you an email with a link to download them.
You are now staring at the images gallery and trying to determine how you will use them. Of course, you download them to your computer, but you know you want something more. So you decided on framing a few, but now you need to find a framer and how to place them on the wall. Let’s be honest; that NEVER goes how you want it to. Or you decided you want an album made but have no idea where to start with the design. At the same time, you’re freshly postpartum and healing from having a baby and probably trying to keep your other kiddos alive.
You hire your photographer, who sends you a beautiful welcome box with a portrait guide and luxurious gifts. You are invited for your session planning meeting, where your photographer has dresses in beautiful neutral tones and soft textures. The photographer helps you select a dress that will be very flattering on you postpartum and then even professionally styles your children with clothing that she provides. No shopping, no returns, no shipping things back, and better yet, the money you would’ve spent on high-end clothing you’d only wear once can now be spent on that dreamy album you’ve wanted for your coffee table!
It’s session day, and your photographer’s hair and makeup artist arrives. You snuggle your sweet newborn baby while you get pampered with professional hair and makeup in the comfort of your own home. Your photographer arrives with your dress and all of the clothing steamed and ready to go. She will help your children get dressed, swaddles your new baby, and poses everyone in beautiful soft light. After your session, you meet with your photographer and she helps you narrow down your favorites. She also designed some gallery walls for that huge empty wall you’ve meant to get photos on for years. No guessing on what sizes will look good or fit on the wall together, no DIY sloppy looking gallery walls, just a perfectly polished professionally done gallery wall that your family will be able to enjoy every single day. SO worth the investment.
What experience sounds like one that you would be most interested in?
Here at Katie Petrick Photography, we take this role extremely seriously, and since you cannot go back and get a “re-do” on those newborn moments once your baby has grown. We understand you’re going to want an expert who will help you from start to finish; someone who will worry about all of the details for you- wardrobe, hair and makeup, lighting, location, framing, album design, gallery wall design… at Katie Petrick Photography your completely covered. We specialize in providing a stress-free photography experience for our clients. Learn more about our client experience and see if it might fit your family. Experience B serves as an illustration of how we treat each of our clients with the utmost care and attention to detail.
Posing and Shooting Style
When it comes to newborn sessions, there are two “types” of styles.
Posed: The first style is the photographer heavily utilizing a posing beanbag. In this style, a sleeping infant is positioned or contorted into several poses. This is not our style since we like to remember how babies looked in real life, in the sweet little positions they would naturally sleep in. There are many beautiful artists who do an amazing job when it comes to this style of newborn photography. If you find a photographer specializing in posed newborn sessions, be sure to find someone trained in safety, as many poses can be very dangerous for newborn babies if not executed with proper safety precautions in place.
Lifestyle/baby led: The next style of a photographer will create beautiful images of your baby, typically of the baby sleeping in positions that are more natural and resemble how your baby looks when sleeping in real life. This often includes images of a baby sleeping on the master bed, swaddled up in a crib or moses basket, snuggled up in dad’s arms or on mom’s chest, stretching on a bean bag, etc. You can see some samples of this style below.
There are a few main styles to consider when it comes to how an artist edits their imagery. Examples are airy, filmy, true to life, colorful, contrasty, and moody. You should consider how you want your family portrayed, the style that will feel right when you look back years from now and choose something that evokes the right emotions within you. This means we want something that will remain timeless regardless of trends. We want to create imagery that looks how you want your memories to feel. While some artists excel at creating moody images with deep shadows and moody tones, this isn’t the feeling that we prefer for newborn sessions. In my opinion, the newborn days should be remembered as a bright spot in your life and your images should reflex that. Our images will remain timeless forever when the moody trend comes and goes.
BUSINESS PRACTICES OF A TRUSTWORTHY PHOTOGRAPHER IN CHARLOTTE
Finding a talented photographer is nice, and it’s usually not too difficult to find one. But here’s the question you need to ask yourself: Do you want to be able to utilize the same photographer so that the pictures on your walls and in your books all feel cohesive as your family grows, hits new milestones etc. If your response is yes, you should consider whether your photographer has a business model designed to last a long time. You may not have given it much thought, but I can’t tell you how many mothers located me after working with several other photographers who have since left. The heartbreaking part about this is that, for the client, you now have an issue of mismatched and non-cohesive artwork in your home.
It may seem the simplest to find a photographer to submit each shot to an online gallery so you can download it. But for you, it’s not any easier! Now what? Now you have to choose where to have the prints created, what sizes to use, how to hang them, how to account for future additions to the wall as your family grows, and where to have the framing done. That’s a disaster!
As a full-service photographer in Charlotte, I never let my clients do everything independently. Our clients may rest easy knowing that my business is set up for long-term success. Choosing a family photographer is an example of when you get what you pay for. You might need to set aside some money for this each year. I always suggest skipping a few Starbucks runs for brewing coffee at home. Also, try to skip a few Targets runs (I know, but they get us every time!)Another great option is to request a payment plan. This will allow you to stretch the cost out over a few months. No matter what you decide, you won’t ever regret paying to have your memories printed by experts.
This is one of the few investments that will ALWAYS become more valuable with time.
HOW SOON TO BOOK YOUR SESSION WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER IN CHARLOTTE
Most of our clients inquire near the end of their first trimester. This allows for time for us to chat, and make a decision at the start of the second trimester. Due to this, our schedule books out far in advance. If you’re expecting, reach out now to see if we’re a good fit!
If you’re an expecting mother who doesn’t want to worry about all of the little details and you find it worth it to “outsource” some of these stressful parts of having photos made, we would love to discuss your family’s needs. For more information about the full-service, stress-free experience we provide for our mommas, fill in these few questions and we’ll send over all the details!