Professional Newborn Photography Investment
...but what goes into the cost?
1. My Time…
Emailing, sending your prep package, answering your questions, selecting theme/colour preferences, confirmation reminders + contract agreement, and arranging payment(s);
Custom selecting and arranging props, wraps, outfits, backdrops, etc.;
Setting up a fresh (sterile!) change table, stocked fully with wipes, diapers, and receiving blankets;
Setting out bottled water, complimentary fresh baked goods, allergy/vegan/GF snack options, K-cup hot beverages for you, and snacks for your toddler/older siblings (that means I have crumbs, mugs, and garbage to clean up after you leave);
Stocking up toiletries in the washroom, and ensuring it’s clean for you to use;
Then there's laundry and clean up! I wash EVERYTHING, so it’s sterile and clean for my next newborn or studio session;
If you’ve brought older siblings along, I usually have a tornado of toys to sterilize and put away, too!
This is the amazing, but exhausting, part you see – it's especially strenuous if your newborn isn’t interested in sleeping or posing (which I’ve spent endless hours and thousands of dollars training to know how to do safely, and I have hundreds of hours of experience posing newborns!)
Have a toddler or older siblings? Awesome, I love them! But I’ll probably have to pull out all my crazy to get them to cooperate smile;
Don’t forget I have my own little ones too, so before and after your session I have travel and arranging childcare.
It takes time to load the images onto my computer and external hard drives, before even starting to edit!
To give you the best of all your session, I must narrow down sessions from approximately 200-400 captures down to roughly 30-40 edit-worthy images (but it’s usually closer to twice that with B&W);
I photograph + edit both weddings and newborns, and let me tell you: editing newborn sessions suck. up. all. your. time. Have you ever looked at a newborn’s skin? Your baby is beautiful, but her skin usually isn’t, and every photo needs to have skin retouching from recolouring jaundice, bruising, scratches, and pimples/rashes/eye goop/flaky skin/boogers, etc. Also, tired moms and dads need some photoshop love, along with your toddler with boogers and fell-yesterday-giving-him-a-bruised-forehead, and spilled milk all over his shirt on the drive here! lol
2. My Expenses…
Camera bodies can cost $2000-$3500, and I have two, along with lenses each running me $500-$2500, and I have four I utilize often (with a few others in my bag too!);
My studio lighting equipment is top of the professional line, and it was a $1600 investment.
Things break, need to be replaced, cleaned, calibrated, synced together, repaired, batteries need to be charged and the heat cranked before sessions (the electrical bill needs to be paid), and these maintenances can be costly and time consuming.
The license to use Adobe Photoshop for editing is just shy of $650 per year;
In addition to editing software, I pay fees for my business license, taxes + government fees, business insurance, my website, the Photography Agreement form (yes, even your convenient online contract comes at a cost for me), the Gallery sharing platform for clients, Memberships to International Professional Newborn Photography affiliates, and mentorships/courses/training to keep me at my best, and banking fees (and of course the Internet for all this online work);
All the advertisements, including social media ads (those aren’t all free!), 'free’ giveaways, promotions, and all promotional material for advertising (ie brochures, signs, cards/notes, business cards, bags, flyers, pens, logo gear + loot) AND the complimentary gifts I give my Newborn clients – these promotions and marketing materials are at my expense.
I value quality products from small, Canadian companies, and the majority of my supplies that you have access to for your session is sourced from small business owners supporting their families;
Some outfits + accessories can range from $30-$75, most sessions can include dozens;
Backdrops are typically $120-$200 shipped, and I often utilize 2-3 per session.
3. My Experience…
The person who is holding the camera cannot be replaced. Don't undervalue the merit and benefit of experience, talent, creativity, expert eye, and personality. My skill and style have been honed through training and experience for over 6 years. I also have an additionally significant strength working with toddlers, young children, and youth because of my teaching degree (yes, I was a teacher before I started my Photography business!)
I may charge more than a novice, but it’s my experience and unique expertise that makes me a professional photographer instead of a hobbyist or beginner ‘faux-tographer’
Do you like your Photographer? Is she easy to get along with, making you feel comfortable? What about the Photographer's editing and posing style?
YOU need to determine what is of highest value to you: spending less money, or investing in an experienced professional who carefully captures the memories you treasure most.
I LOVE what I do!
© Pamela Hawdon Photography 2019