When it comes to newborn photography, how much does it cost is one of the first questions that new parents will ask. And rightly so. While every new parent wants to capture their new bundle of joy, they are very aware that costs to have professional photos taken can vary enormously and quickly add up with hidden extras.
So how much does it actually cost to get baby photos taken? Unfortunately, there is no quick answer to this question I’m afraid. Simply because what each and every photographer brings to the table, varies enormously and because of this, the pricing and packages available also vary greatly.
However, to give you an idea of what you are likely to pay for professional images of your newborn, we can look at some standard services and products provided by each individual photographer. I’ll also try to give you some very broad pricing with an indication of low, medium and high price points to give you an idea of the costs involved.
1. Newborn photography session/sitting fees
Low = Free to $50
Mid Range = $100 – 200
High End = $500 upwards
When breaking down the actual costs involved with newborn photography, one of the initial costs will be sitting or session fees. This is where your photographer will spend the time capturing the priceless images of your new bub.
Session fees are the first costs you’ll become aware of when doing research for a professional photographer. Session fees and products costs will be your two main price points… But we’ll talk more about products shortly.
When it comes to session fees photographers usually charge anywhere from a free sitting to prices anywhere upwards of $500. And the big difference in pricing will be because of these important elements.
How much time a photographer is putting in will affect how much you pay. Some photographers may be just starting out or doing photography as a side business, while others will run their business full time and this is often reflected in the price.
Generally speaking, if a photographer is charging $50 or less they are probably not running a profitable business or they are starting out and growing their business. It is often not feasible for a photographer to run a profitable business charging only $50 per session (unless, of course, they are incorporating the session fee into the end product you receive). You’ll understand why as you read on.
Also how much time a photographer spends with you during a session can impact on the price. Some may only spend 1 to 2 hours with you and your bub while others will spend more time. If the photographer is coming to you, then they may also include travel costs in their pricing. It all varies.
And let’s not forget the time the photographer spends after your session editing the images to make them picture perfect and ordering your prints and products… It all adds up.
Experience and training
Experience and training is another critical factor that determines not only the price you pay but the quality of the photos you receive. The experience and training of each photographer can vary greatly and so to can their fees.
A more experienced photographer is going to charge more for their service simply because they are more in demand and have more to offer their clients. A well-trained photographer is ideally what you want to be looking for when it comes to newborn photography. Even better if they specialise in newborn and baby photography.
While there may be plenty of photographers who are talented behind the lens and can take some beautiful shots, it takes training and experience to handle a newborn, pose them safely and make sure they are content and happy the entire time. This is really not an area where the cheapest is the best. An inexperienced photographer could actually be doing harm to your baby in the poses they do.
Professional photography training workshops and specialist training courses (such as how to pose newborns) can cost anywhere upwards of $1500 per workshop/course. And a seasoned photographer will undertake more than one training course per year. Last year I did four workshops and these are all factored into the pricing I charge.
Investment into the business
The amount of investment a photographer makes into their business is also going to impact on pricing. To set up a newborn photography studio, invest in high-quality cameras, equipment, props etc, can make a significant difference to the quality of the images you receive… And a difference to the price you pay.
As a guide, the following equipment is required at a minimum to set up a photography studio:
This equipment combined can cost anywhere from $5000 right up to $20,000 if not more.
And then there are the extra costs of props that can quickly add up. A simple wrap can cost anywhere from $15 up to $100 while floor drops will set a photographer back $250 or more. Most good photographers will have a yearly budget for props and will replenish their stock regularly.
On top of this, you also have the cost of setting up a business and keeping it running. It’s definitely not cheap to set up a professional photography business. When undertaking research into the costs of baby photos, you can quickly see how much investment a photographer has made into their business.
Another factor to consider is the flexibility of the photographer. A photographer just starting out or doing photography as a side business to their main work will not have as much flexibility as a dedicated newborn photographer who operates their studio as their main business.
And, as we all know, newborns set their own agenda and come at their own pace. Some early, some late and a few rights on time.
As newborns are best photographed within 14 days, it’s important that your photographer has the flexibility to fit you in at the right time. This, of course, will be factored into the price you pay as flexibility often makes it hard for a photographer to forecast their workload and so will add a little extra to allow for this flexibility.
So as you can see, there is a lot that goes into being a newborn photographer. And this time, experience and investment are often reflected in the session prices you pay. And then on top of the session fees, you have the product outlay.
Low = $500
Mid Range = $700 – $2500
High End = $3000 upwards
On top of session fees, your biggest outlay will be the images and products you buy after your session.
If you’ve chosen a great photographer, trust me, you’ll want to buy all the images they’ve taken. So, while I’ve included a price range for products here, the pricing can and does vary significantly.
You may want some simple and stylish wall canvases for your home. Or you may have look books in mind for gifts to your parents and grandparents. Really, when it comes to products, there are endless options.
To get a better idea of the cost comparisons of products and packages, it’s a good idea to ask your photographer the following questions:
- What is included in your packages?
- Will the images be digital-only or prints?
- Will they be available in high resolution or low resolution?
- How many images will be available to purchase?
If you’re working to a budget or are worried about the costs, then it’s important to understand what type of products and prints you want to end up with so you can work with your photographer during the photoshoot.
Once you have found a few photographers that you like, talking through with them what you want to achieve and what is included in their pricing can help you narrow down to the best photographer for you.
Your budget should come into consideration, absolutely, but what you want to achieve in the end is also very important.
And, while I understand that finding a cost-effective photographer is important to a lot of new parents, there is a big difference between standard photography and newborn photography. When hiring a newborn photographer, you need to consider all the elements outlined above over simply the costs alone.
Your precious baby is only a newborn once and for a very short time… You really only get one shot to get it right when choosing a photographer.
Want more advice about newborn photography costs?
I am more than happy to run through my newborn photography costs, services and packages with you to give you a better understanding of what’s involved and how much it will cost you to capture images of your precious new baby.
See you in the studio