Your child's smile is the most beautiful thing ever. Dressed up or in jammies, covered in mud or squeaky clean, a mother is in love with their child's smile. Each smile is unique, each child has their very own. My Rose has a smile that is as wide as her face, you can hear the excitement in her smile. Rachel's smile pushes her cheeks up into her eyes, causing her to squint but still I couldn't imagine her without it. Chloe, my baby, has a surprised smile. Like she got caught off guard or she's about to get a prize. God, I love their smiles.
Even as early as newborn photography sessions a smile can be captured, preserved and enjoyed for generations. So blow that smile up big, frame it, print it on canvas, whatever you need to do to get it on display just do it.
But what else is in that beautiful image on your wall with your baby? Have you ever sat down with a photographer and discussed your upcoming session with her. Maybe she gave you a tour around her newborn studio and you saw the abundance of knitted wraps, outfits, props, buckets and so much more. Many of the items are vintage or made to look so. She has backdrops and floor drops and beanbags and options galore. How does she do it? I bet she's learned real quick in this business to be thrifty.
Newborn photography is pricy. You may gasp at my price list but let's be honest if I told you how much those little bottoms cost that is on your adorable baby you'd gasp there too.
So I'd like to break it down for you. The cost of props in your session if bought at retail price. Mind you I am thrifty and I am crafty, however, in a pinch, I will have to spend more to get what I want when I want it. So check out this image, make a list of all the props you see, and tell me what you think it all cost. Then I'll get real real with you.
You did the exercise right?? Ok, great. Here we go. I'll keep it on the low end for you.
1. Newborn headband $12
2. pants $45
3. bump blanket $35
4. Wood floors/wood backdrops $75 a piece
5. vintage doily $5
6.. moon prop $135+
Ouch! Right?? This is one image without tax and shipping. What about the multiple changes of clothing, bonnets, wraps. Everything has to be cleaned afterwards. What if the baby messes in the bottoms before you use it? And it's brand new! a newborn photographer's nightmare! Now you may be happy to know, that I didn't spend as much as I quoted you in the image above. Because I am thrifty and I am crafty. But I have looked at the prices of the newborn props and shiver shot down my spine knowing I couldn't quite afford it just yet.
The adorable headband I made, I'll keep the secret how to myself. The lace pants are upcycled from my daughter's shirt. I bought the yarn and watched some youtube videos and learned how to knit. The moon... I was looking to pay a carpenter local because I wouldn't want to know the shipping charges. I even started picking out the wood for it. Fortunately, my dad found time on a rainy day and he made it for me. The floor drop and back drop I picked up at the lumber yard, had it cut in half and got a lesson in dry brush painting with my mom so it was done to the color and shade I wanted it. I don't think we did half bad on it.
And let's be honest, nobody likes to work for free. Just because I made it doesn't make the value go down any either. My time with my family is expensive. But if I am busy sewing/knitting/painting for your newborn session then yes I am taking away from my family. And yes, some props can be reused. But most newborn photographers don't use their clothing props more then 2 times before they sell them again to keep their images fresh.
This is just the props side of the newborn photography world. I hadn't touched the equipment, editing and training sides. (Please make sure your newborn photographer has been trained beyond youtube and pintrest! Here's my mentor if you need to see my credentials. )
So yes, your baby's smile is so beautiful and it is priceless. However it takes so much more to make the image. I hope this helps you to appreciate all your newborn photographer does when she styles your newborn session.
See more on investing in your newborn photography session here on my webpage.
Check out more of my beautiful newborns!