Being a professional photographer, some of you may be surprised to hear that my wife and I hired another professional photographer for our daughter’s newborn portraits a couple of weeks ago. A lot of our friends and family have asked why we went somewhere else to have Ava’s newborn portraits done. After-all, I take great pictures, right? I have all of the equipment, right? And I have a great eye, right? Why not just do them myself?
Well … yes, I am a great photographer (just ask me, haha), I do have professional photography equipment, and I do have a creative eye. But all of that doesn’t mean that I am a newborn photographer.
You see, I believe in the value of hiring a professional and I believe in the value of trusting a specialist. This is true outside of photography, isn’t it? Would you trust a plumber to do the electrical in your house, even if he was capable to do so? Probably not, you’d want a specialist, right?
In the same way, just because I am capable of photographing newborns, that doesn’t mean that I am necessarily the best at it or that I would do the same kind of work that a professional newborn photographer could do. I don’t specialize in newborn photography, and I feel that it is a type of photography where you need a specialist.
What do I specialize in, then? I specialize in photographing people in their environment, being themselves, in a natural and relaxed manner. This is evident in my wedding photography, where I focus on capturing people, moments and relationships. It is evident in my boudoir work, where I excel at making women feel comfortable and in capturing their true beauty. It is evident in my business portrait work where I am able to “break the mould” from the traditional business headshot and create unique and relaxed portraits. It is evident in my family portrait work where I focus on capturing families being themselves in a natural environment. You see, it all comes back to photographing people being themselves in a relaxed manner, in a natural environment.
Newborn photography does not necessarily fall into this description, and after having our newborn portraits done by a professional, I am even more confident in referring my clients exclusively to a professional newborn photographer.
Jennifer Blakeley is a newborn specialist in Niagara Falls, and focuses on simple, natural portraits of newborn babies. She is also the mastermind behind Alphabet Photography and over the years, I have been able to get to know Jen, her family, and the Alphabet Photography Team really well. She has a beautiful spirit, is kind, honest and down-to-earth.
Here are 5 things that I appreciated most about our newborn portrait experience with Jen:
- Jen prepared us really well for the session and educated us on how to get the most out of our newborn portraits. Regardless of the fact that I am a photographer, Jen went through her whole spiel with us, going through details like when we should feed before the session, how we can help Ava be relaxed for the session, what to dress her in, and so on. She made sure we were properly educated about the whole process so that we had the best session possible.
- Jen knew exactly what needed to be done. Everything from the temperature of the studio and the white noise playing in the background to how Jen took Ava out of the car seat at the beginning of the session instead of us (so she didn’t smell us). Jen is a total professional and you can tell that she knows all of the ins-and-outs of newborn babies.
- Jen was patient with Ava, and took her time. The session itself ended up being just over 3 hours, yet she was careful, gentle and sensitive the entire time.
- Jen had a plethora of options available specifically for newborn photography. She interviewed us ahead of time about colour preferences, style choices and nursery colours so that she had a good idea as to what exactly we wanted. When we got to her studio, she had a whole wall of blankets, baskets and accessories, but she had specifically pre-chosen and laid out some of the options that she thought would be best for us based on her knowledge of our preferences. She was spot-on with her choices!
- I got to be in the photos! Let’s face it, every family has that one person (usually the Mom) who is always taking the picture, and not being in the picture, right? Being that I am a photographer, that usually ends up being me, so me being in the pictures was really important for us. Hiring a professional photographer allowed me to enjoy the process from the “client” side and have some beautiful moments to enjoy with me in them!
If that isn’t reason enough to hire a professional newborn photographer, how about the fact that I didn’t have to worry about cleaning all the blankets and accessories after Ava decided to pee all over them?! Haha … Jen was so great and understanding!
So there it is – my thoughts on the value in hiring a professional and in hiring a specialist. I refer Jen to all of my clients who inquire looking to have newborn photos done, and will continue to do so. Thanks Jen for the amazing memories you created for us. Here’s 2 quick behind-the-scenes photos of Jen photographing Ava during her session.
Note: Obviously, all newborn photos of Ava and portraits with Al and myself posted here within this blog post are copyright Jennifer Blakeley photography, and I am posting them here with her permission.