Questions You Need to Ask When Hiring a Newborn Photographer


Here are the top questions you should ask when choosing a newborn photographer.


Finding a newborn photographer can seem so easy! You do a quick Google search and there are literally hundreds of photographers offering their services for newborn photography. Lifestyle. Studio. Props. Lights all these different terms that might make your head spin. All of a sudden the task of finding your perfect photographer is a bit more difficult. Here are my top eleven questions that will help you decide who will be the right fit for you:

  1. When is the best time to book my maternity portraits or newborn photography session?

  2. What if my baby comes early or late?

  3. What should we wear to the newborn session?

  4. Do you use props or do stylized newborn poses?

  5. Can you come take newborn photos in my home?

  6. How long will my session be?

  7. Why do photographers recommend babies be under 2 weeks of age for their photoshoot?

  8. How much does a newborn session cost?

  9. How long will it take to be able to see my full gallery of portraits?

  10. Do I get to choose the final photos that go in my heirloom album?

  11. Do I get pampered with my session?

It's truly an honour to be a newborn photographer and create those first family photographs for all to treasure for years to come. There's a lot to consider with hiring the right photographer for you and your family. With the Collections I have for you, you will leave your experience with heirloom quality art work that you will keep for life - your grandchildren will hand them down to their grandchildren. Here are some frequently asked questions to help you plan for your newborn session:


1. When is the best time to book my maternity portraits or newborn photography session?

The ideal time frame for maternity portraiture is between 30-34 weeks. You can also book your newborn portrait session at this time. The best time for newborn photography is within the first month, ideally between 5-15 days old. I take on a very limited number of newborn portrait sessions per month to ensure flexibility in dates. As it turns out I haven't had a baby come on their expected due date as of yet... flexibility is essential!


I highly recommend creating a tentative booking around your estimated due date at least 3 to 4 months in advance of your due date. Once your baby is born, contact me and we will arrange a date and time for your portrait session. If your little one has already arrived, let's chat! I've photographed newborns as 'old' as three months. I'm happy to do whatever is best for you and your family.

2. What if my baby comes early or late?

Hakuna Matata. No worries! Get in touch with me when baby has arrived and we'll confirm your booking on a date that works best for you and your family. I only take a limited number of newborn sessions per month for this reason.

3. What should we wear to the newborn session?

I recommend wearing something comfortable and simple - avoid bold patterns and prominent logos, graphic T's or writing on your outfits. Neutral, light tones (creams, whites, grays or pastel tones) work great. I also recommend layers and texture. For example, a loose cardigan, a cable knit sweater or a flowy dress.


That being said - patterns can be gorgeous. Use your best judgement but you can use my judgement, too. Feel free to snap a pic of your outfits and send them over to me to help consult over your outfits.


Here's a link to my Pinterest Board with all kinds of wardrobe inspiration for your next newborn, maternity or family photo shoot.


4. Do you use props or do stylized newborn poses?

I offer in-home lifestyle photography which means there are no props. I use a method called 'baby-led-posing'. This method is exactly how it sounds. We do what baby wants to do. Cool, right?! Your newborn is like my little assistant telling us what we're going to do each step of the way.


5. Can you come take newborn photos in my home?

Of course! I offer lifestyle sessions which are casual and relaxed while featuring your baby in their very first home - I travel everywhere from West Vancouver to Chilliwack. Lifestyle newborn sessions are held in your home in the mornings - utilizing the soft, natural light. Ahh it's the best!


Your newborn will be photographed with your immediate family and alone with each of the family members and then by themselves, too. Have a family pet you want to include. Here's a blog post I made about including the family dog!

6. How long will my session be?

Generally speaking, newborn portrait sessions last between 2-2.5 hours, depending on the needs of your baby (feeding, changing diapers, etc). Each baby is very different and because I use baby-led-posing each session will be fluid and depend on the needs of you and your baby.


Your newborn will be photographed with your immediate family and alone with each of the family members and then by themselves, too. Have a family pet you want to include, let's include them! I have a blog post about including toddlers in your maternity session, check it out if you want to know more about how to prepare for that... it's very similar to prepping them for your newborn photo shoot btw ;)

7 . Why do photographers recommend babies be under 2 weeks of age for their photoshoot?

This is common for studio photographers - not lifestyle photographers. The reason they recommend your baby be so young is because when babies are born their bones aren't fused together quite yet and it makes it easier for the photographer to mold your babe into unnatural positions because of their flexibility. This is something I will never, ever do during your newborn session.

8. How much does a newborn session cost?


Newborn Collections include specialty art work that you will treasure forever. There are three Collections to choose from and you'll have the option to purchase specialty keepsakes a-la-carte. You're going to love them. Here's a link to get the Collection Guide with all pricing info for a session with me.


9. How long will it take to be able to see my full gallery of portraits?

It takes approximately 3 weeks to receive the link to your personalized online gallery, at which time you will be able to select your favourite images. Once you've chosen your faves, your selections are fine tuned and retouched by hand to be ready for your heirloom keepsakes. I will design your heirloom album and/ or your fine art prints and deliver them to you within 2-4 weeks after they've been edited. High-resolution digital images will be provided as a digital download according to the terms of your Collection.


10. Do I get to choose the final photos that go in my keepsake album?


Absolutely! You will receive a personalized online gallery, at which time you will be able to select your favourite images. Once you've chosen your faves, your selections are fine tuned and retouched by hand to be ready for your heirloom keepsakes. I will design your heirloom album and/ or your fine art prints and deliver them to you within 2-4 weeks after they've been edited.


11. Do I get pampered with my session?


Yes you do! Included in every Collection is a professional makeup application. Fun fact: I went to school at Blanche MacDonald and received a Diploma in Makeup Artistry and worked for M.A.C for years. I also worked as a freelance makeup artist for many years - doing makeup for events, weddings, grads and even offered lessons. Now, I’m using my skills as a makeup artist to make you feel pampered and taken care of during your photography experiences.


And to sign off... Here's a little message I received from a mama who just had her newborn session...


"Hi Mel, thank you so much! I had a great time getting pampered and you made me feel so comfortable through the whole shoot, it was absolutely amazing! And great job directing my husband... I can't wait to see the results. And thanks for the coffees too, that's usually a family visit tax, so it was a nice touch this morning.


I'm so glad I found you, I couldn't have asked for a better experience with my first professional photographer. I'll save your contact info for our next one😉 Thanks again! 🥰"


Feel ready to book your session? Let's do the darn thing! (reference to the Bachelorette eeeek).



Get in touch and we'll schedule a call. You can share everything you've been dreaming up for your newborn photoshoot. It'll be awesome.


Toddler girl laying on bed looking at her newborn baby sister during lifestyle newborn photo shoot with Meliza Orellana Photography