how to become a newborn baby photographer
Each month, people leave the corporate world and make the leap into a more creative self employed business, desperate to manage their own time and work for themselves. This leap into the unknown needs to work as once you move away from corporate life and become your own boss, you never want to take that step backwards again.
Newborn baby photography is a career that can earn you a good wage and allows for you to build a strong work/life balance that you can dictate. Knowing where to start though can feel like a minefield. So I thought I would put together a post to help ambitious new photographers and give some insight into what it takes to become a newborn photographer.
1) A love of babies and children! If not, you need to forget it! Now! You need to adore this age group. Have compassion and be incredibly patient.
2)Creativity. Do you have a creative flair and a good eye for what looks good?
3)Equipment. Depending on your style of photography you will need varying amounts of equipment and props. I use very little in terms of props but if you are aiming to be a more posed photographer with props you will need to decide what is important to you. Regardless, there are some bits of equipment that you cannot do without...
a) A good camera. I use the Nikon D750. It is a great place to start, easy to use and navigate. But there are heaps of great cameras out there. Lots of photographers are going Mirrorless now and this is what I will be upgrading to.
b) A great lens. I photograph newborns on a 35mm and I find this is perfect for overheard shots and for incorporating lots of negative space. A 50mm will more likely require you to be a bit taller and gives less field of view. Not sure? Check this article out.
c)Light. I use Natural light but you may need a soft box or LED lighting. Research in to this as it is another big purchase. Think about the natural light you have. Is it enough? How much space do you have? Lighting equipment can be large!
d) A beanbag. I still use a beanbag as it suits my style of photography. Lots of photographers use dog beds or tables. Again, this is down to preference and style. Spend time looking into these options. Whatever you use, make sure it is safe.
e)Heater. Make sure you have a warm room to ensure baby stays warm. Newborns cannot regulate their own body heat so always be mindful of this.
f) White noise. An app or Shush Machine works wonders!
4)Somewhere to photograph babies. I used to change my dining room into a studio each time I had a booking. It wasn't ideal but it was very low cost and kept overheads low. If you can do this then I thoroughly recommend it. I eventually built my own garden studio and used Tranquil Gardens for this. Or you could rent a room somewhere. Think about local parking and amenities! Or you can photograph babies in their own homes.
5) An automated business organisation system. I use 17Hats but there are other options like Studio Ninja etc. Implement this as soon as possible as it will streamline your contracts, emails and invoicing.
6) Adobe. If you want to edit like a pro then you need this and you need to learn how to use Lightroom and Photoshop. Don't be daunted. If I know how to use it, let me assure you that you can learn too!
7) Training. It still amazes me the amount of people that want to get into newborn photography and not bothered about training. It will catapult your learning. It will make you stand out from the rest and move you away from amateur photography. I offer newborn photography training and editing training but lots of other experienced photographers do too. Train with someone who inspires you! Interested in training with me? Take a look at my 1:1 training page.
8)No business is complete without a website and ideally an instagram page that is regularly updated and posted on. How will your customers find you without?
9) A well thought through business plan. Look at your competition. Does the area need more of the same or something different? How much will they pay? How much do you need to earn to make it a viable business?