Posts tagged Thousand Oaks
How to Choose a Newborn Photographer

Obviously I want you to choose me if you're looking for a newborn photographer. I have been photographing newborns for 9 years, and absolutely love it! I love watching these babies grow and photographing them year after year. It is such a huge perk of my job. Some of you may feel overwhelmed trying to decide among the masses of photographers out there. Don't just choose based on price. You want to love the photographer's style of photography, experience, their attention to safety and cleanliness, and the way they conduct their sessions.

Style

Just like everything else in life newborn photography changes and evolves over the years. 15 years ago people didn't have their newborns photographed, and now it's more common than not. There are many different styles of photographers for newborns. There are those that are experts in intricate poses and sets. There are lifestyle newborn photographers who don't pose the baby at all, but just photograph them as they are. I have adopted a little bit of both worlds. I find so much beauty in both ends of the spectrum, and I try to incorporate them in my newborn sessions. 

Most newborn photography you see shows the baby asleep. There are many reasons for this, but mainly it's because newborns are unpredictable. It's difficult to get good eye contact through the camera, and we don't like to talk about it much, but babies do go cross eyed a lot. When they are sleeping their faces are peaceful and beautiful, but when they are awake their eyes are so beautiful and reflect so much personality. I love to photograph newborns awake for at least some of the session.

Really check out your photographer's portfolio. Do you love what you see? Do you want to see your baby photographed in that style? A great place to look for professional photographer is in the The Professional Photographers Association and The National Association of Professional Child Photographers list of photographers. These are the photographers who care enough to keep learning and growing as a photographer. 

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Safety

When you are selecting a newborn photographer please think of the safety of your baby first. There is no image worth injuring your child. You may see some poses on the internet that look amazing, and you're not sure how they pulled it off. Most likely the photographer used Photoshop to achieve that pose. It's NEVER safe to hang your baby from a tree branch, dangle on a shelf, or hold herself up with her own hands. Safe photographers will use photoshop composites to do this. I personally stay away from anything that is unnatural or will hurt the baby's body in any way, even by accident. I think babies look best in their natural poses anyway.

Newborns are usually photographed in the first 2 weeks after they are born. This is a vulnerable time for your baby. You want to keep them away from anything that could get them sick. Make sure your photographer washes her hands, camera equipment, and anything the baby comes in contact with before the session. Does she have her immunizations up to date?

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Location and Comfort

This session was photographed in my studio, but you might also want to consider a session in your home. It can be so personal and custom to only your family having it at your home. When I suggest this to some clients they shy away from it saying their house is too small or not nice enough, or they don't want to clean. I've done newborn sessions in studio apartments and mansions and it honestly doesn't matter. It's my job to make you look good. All I need is light (I bring my own in case you don't have it) and your baby and I can do it. Don't ever worry about cleaning for me. I have 4 kids of my own. I know what a well lived in house looks like.

I also discuss with my clients the best way to prepare for the session. I have found that sessions are much shorter and go smoother when the parents do some simple things to prepare. Nobody wants a 5 hour newborn session. That's just too long, especially when you're recovering from birth. My sessions only last about 1-2 hours, and that includes feeding and diaper changes.

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And the and winner is....

Every year I try to give back a little by photographing a deserving family that has been nominated by a previous client. The images in this post are from my 2016 session.

A few weeks ago I asked people if they knew someone who could use a break, or something to brighten their day. Your responses were overwhelming. THANK YOU to everyone who responded. It speaks to your kind hearts that so many of you took the time to do it. Here are a few snippets of the entries:

"He is hard working - works 7 days a week. After working an 8 hour shift he comes home and works another 2-4 hours. Alex and his girlfriend deserve to have beautiful pictures..." 

"She is always the first person to make sure everyone else is taken care of. I just can't say enough about how wonderful she is."

"Baby A has been a true blessing to our family. He is a true fighter as he has undergone 3 surgeries. (He) is now 14 months old and a healthy handsome boy. His parents had a very difficult first year and I think a photo session with their little warrior baby would be great for them as they can treasure it forever."

This mother of 4 beautiful children was burned by her husband and has suffered a great deal.

"Wendy is an amazing mom to 3 kids, one of which has special needs. She works so hard (along with her husband) to make sure they have what they need and is a sweet and caring person."

"She is a survivor of Domestic Violence and is raising her 2 children as a single parent. One of her children has autism among other disabilities and she has had to learn very fast what it means to be a mom and put your wants and needs on hold while raising your children. She now has a part time job and is on her own and is raising those kids on her own. She has a very low income so having family portraits is not in her budget but I know she would love to have them!"

"She is chronically and terminally ill with an invisible illness. Next month is her "6 yr anniversary" and she keeps going, but it isn't the same as life going on and friends and family moving forward. I would like to give her sweet 16 pictures, give her something that many families & girls have, let her FEEL beautiful and special and most of all... not forgotten. "

"She is forever doing for others usually behind the scenes never thinks of herself .. she is a relentless force for good in our community."

"He is my kids (4kids under6) best friend. this man does a ton of volunteer around Moorpark and is truly my sanity when i lose my mind being mom. A picture of him with his great grandkids would be amazing!"

"She's a hardworking single mother of 2 and she recently lost her car in this weekends storm...."

"He was hit head on by an out of control driver that crossed lanes on the old 118, nearly killing him and keeping him in the ICU for 33 days. He is still recovering 10 months later with another surgery needed to be able to properly walk again as his right foot was almost amputated. He had to close his business which was his pride and joy as he is not able to work anymore."

"Even in a tight spot, she offered to help me out with the kids for free(of course, I wouldn't let her) Anyway, they're a thoughtful and beautiful family of four. I just think they would be thrilled if this opportunity came up for them."

"She had a difficult childhood, she got pregnant when she was 15, placed her baby for adoption without parental support, finished HS without parental support, bounced around for a few years before she figured out she needed to make her own way. She married a great guy a few years ago, she went to school to become a nurse, then had to fight cervical cancer, now is healthy, but they are struggling financially, living with his dad and grandma. AND they are expecting their first son in April!!"

"He is a special teenager with dyslexia who is turning 18 and graduating high school and who works very hard to overcome disability and became a Jr member of the Magic Castle in Hollywood at age 15."

"She is a single mom who was in a abusive marriage and is going though a nasty divorce where her x is still trying to control her and be little her.... She always helps others and never asks for anything back."

"She fell in love with my Christmas Card and said that she wanted to have something like that for her family."

It was just too hard to choose from the entries so I put all of the names in a bowl and had my 7 year old choose a name. Kortney Baker's name was chosen, and she and her 2 children will be photographed soon. Thank you so much everyone for your entries! I may be able to squeeze in a couple more this year if I have time. I'm looking forward to it!!

Keep being wonderful!   -Julie

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