Newborn photography cost will depend on several factors, including: education, experience, and equipment.
Safety training is the bare minimum education an aspiring newborn photographer should invest in before handling a client’s baby. Additional training and education may be needed for photographers who want to learn how to safely pose babies into more advanced positions. Some poses can only be safely accomplished using composite work (combining two images in Photoshop). To learn more, read Don’t Try This at Home.
Education can take many forms anywhere from online courses to in-person workshops or mentorships. This training increases the value of a photographer’s skill and is likely reflected in their pricing.
[Sidenote: if you are an aspiring newborn photographer reading this, safety training is readily available from reputable sources. I’d rather direct you to resources than have you endanger a brand new baby, so please reach out if you can’t find them on your own. The only excuse for not educating yourself on newborn safety is laziness.]
This category has two aspects: 1) a photographer’s experience in newborn photography, and 2) the type of experience they provide for their clients. Both will influence a photographer’s pricing.
Experience with newborn photography-
“How long have you been photographing newborns? How many newborns have you photographed?” A photographer’s prices will increase with experience. Over the years, I’ve refined my style, workflow, posing, lighting, composition, etc, but there is always room for improvement. I can’t wait to see how my skills grow in the future!
Some photographers go above and beyond to provide a great experience for their clients. Helpful information or articles on a photographer’s website helps clients make informed choices while they look at their options. A consistent portfolio helps clients know what their final portraits will look like before the session even takes place. A welcome guide shows you what to expect and how to prepare before your session. Asking questions to understand what’s important to you helps a photographer design a custom session tailored to your needs. A welcoming studio can help you feel relaxed and cozy during your session. Offering wall art and albums makes it easy to enjoy your portraits in your home. So, all the little things a photographer does to make the session easier or more enjoyable for you adds value to your portrait session with them.
Great equipment doesn’t necessarily make someone a great photographer, but professional equipment is needed to provide professional results. Photographers invest in camera gear, lighting equipment (and knowing how to use it), props, outfits, wraps, software, etc to provide you with the best experience they can. So, your time working with your photographer will be an investment as well.
Considering all these factors, photographers choose to set up their pricing in different ways. Some create packages that include session time and a handful of images or products. Others will charge for their time, then allow you to purchase digital files and keepsakes a la carte after the portraits are complete.
Average Newborn Photography Cost
On average, you can expect to spend $100-$300/hour for session time with a newborn photographer. (That may or may not include any images). More experienced photographers will charge more than that for their expertise. Keep in mind that it’s common for a newborn session to last 2-4 hours.
From my research for this article, most of the local photographers with a consistent, professional newborn portfolio charge around the $250-$300 range or higher for a 1 hour swaddled session with a handful of digital images.
Learn more about Newborn Sessions.