Newborn Investment: What is the Cost?


Investing in newborn portraits is a decision that you will appreciate for years to come.  As a parent myself to two beautiful children, and a surrogate to a third, I know all too well that the early days with your baby are all but a fleeting moment in time.  Most new parents try to kid themselves into thinking they’ll remember all those tiny precious details of their baby as they grow, but the reality is you probably won’t.  However, the portraits you invest in, will serve as a beautiful visual reminder into how tiny and fragile your child once was.  While it’s hard to put a monetary value onto how much these pictures are worth; there are a few factors that go into a photographer’s package price.  In this post, I’ll outline what are the contributing factors into pricing as well as some quick tips you can utilize when trying to find that perfect person to capture your new baby.

What Affects the Cost of Newborn Photography?

There are a variety of factors that affect the price of a newborn photography photo session.  These factors include but are not limited to: photographer’s experience, location of photoshoot, length of session, and the amount of prints and/or commissioned work that is bought.  

How a photographer decides on their prices is unique to the individual professional.  Some will charge a flat rate to include the photo session and photos, others will charge a sitting fee with photo prices separate, and others can choose to solely charge for the amount of photos purchased. 

One thing to keep in mind, there is an initial upfront investment.  Most photographers require a deposit or an initial session fee.  This fee is paid at the time of booking and secures your session date on the photographer’s calendar.  The rest of your balance will be due at the session or at the ordering appointment.

Cost of Shooting in Studio Versus On-Location

In Studio

Photographers who shoot in studios tend to have elaborate studio set-ups.  Professional studios will be equipped with props, outfits, lighting, and backdrops.  These elaborate set-ups and equipment will be factored into a photographers studio package prices. 

On location

If you would prefer to have photos taken on location or a specified site, bear in mind that some photographers will charge a fee for travel, time, and equipment set-up.  This fee may be worked into your overall package price or may be added on to package price, listed out as individual fees.

Hiring Your Perfect Newborn Photographer

Once you understand how a photographer decides on their prices and that this will be an investment that you will cherish for a lifetime; you need to pick a photographer.  Keep in mind, you generally will need to book about 2-months prior to the arrival of your baby. Below is my quick list of what you need to know when picking your newborn photographer:


When searching for a newborn photographer, make sure you love their style.  Each photographer will have their own shooting and editing style and it’s extremely important to find a photographer who’s style speaks to you.  Check out potential photographers websites and social media such as Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.  These platforms will give you the ability to see a wide variety of their work.  Be sure their portfolio speaks to your style and that their work conveys the artistic style you want up in your home.

Studio or On Location

Be sure to ask whether the photographer is studio, on location, or will do either.  If you go with a studio photographer, be sure to ask about parking, what to bring, and who can come with.  Knowing the answers to these questions will help calm your nerves the day of and we want parents relaxed to ensure the best possible experience and pictures possible!

Safety Practices

The top concern for any newborn photographer should be safety.  This is the only genre of photography where the person in charge, the photographer, is handling an extremely fragile subject, your newborn!  No photographer should put your newborn baby in harm’s way in terms of props and posing.  Ask your potential photographer if they are certified in newborn CPR, up-to-date on vaccines (yes, I know this is a hot topic but a newborn’s immune system is extremely fragile and you want the person interacting with them to be healthy), and what continuing education classes they’ve taken to stay-up-to-date on best practices. Any professional newborn photographer will be happy to answer all questions you may have in regards to safety!

Props and Clothing

When researching photographers, observe the props and clothing that are used in a portfolio.  Outfits and props used in a photographer’s portfolio should be available for all clients to use, however; if this is not the case, a potential client should be made aware.  Creating those Pinterest and Instagram adorable portraits takes more props than you may realize! And if the client has to provide clothing and props; this is another expense to take into consideration!

Delivery Timeline

Since new parents want to show off their newborn in these gorgeous photos, turnaround time is extremely important.  Be sure you ask how quickly you’ll receive your prints and any commissioned work you purchase.  Also, if you purchase any commissioned artwork, verify how these pieces will be delivered and the general turnaround time for receiving these pieces.

Contract, License, and Insurance

All professional photographers will carry the appropriate, and be up-to-date, on proper licensing and insurance for your state.  You should also receive a contract once you book with your newborn photographer.  This contract will list out all details, prices, and expectations of both parties.  And finally, be prepared to pay a session fee at the time of booking to hold your session date.

Booking a newborn photographer can be overwhelming.  However; it doesn’t have to be!  I hope my above list explains pricing as well as how to pick the right photographer for your family.  Here at Candice Swanson Photography we solely specialize in studio newborn photography in the Orange County area.  If you are interested in having Candice photograph your newborn, please click here.  Or if you would like to learn more about her packages please click here

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