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Meet Chelsea. Corporate-America dropout, lover of all things old and firm believer in loving without counting the cost. 

MEET Chelsea

Choosing the right newborn photographer is an incredibly important decision. Your newborn photographer will capture some of the most precious moments of your life. So you want to make sure you find one who can deliver the experience and quality that you are looking for. The fact of the matter is, not all Denver newborn photographers provide the same level of service that you may be hoping for. The newborn phase only happens once, so you want to make sure you get it right! In this post I’ll explain how to choose your newborn photographer the right way.

The Experience

The first thing to consider in choosing your newborn photographer is the experience they offer. In other words, what does the photographer offer as part of the booking? There are a couple of experience options that we’ll look at together below.

The Session + Digitals Experience

The first experience option is what most photographers you’ll find in the Denver area offer; and that is a session and the digital images. You pay this type of photographer to take your photos and send them to you. That’s it!

You are required to spend the hours and money shopping for clothing and coordinating the whole family. You will be waking up after a sleepless night with a newborn and somehow doing your own hair and makeup on the morning of your session while nursing. You’ll receive your images from this photographer and then you’ll be left with the enormous task of getting your photos printed, bound or framed. You have to decide what sizes will fit on your wall, find the right frames, hoping that they’ll look good without seeing them on your wall to scale first. You’ll have find a place to make an album and then design it; uploading photos from your hard drive and finagling with a finicky online album printing service.

You’ll be doing all of this as a brand new Mom trying to recuperate and balance keeping children alive and everything else!

And unfortunately, 9 times out of 10, despite your best intentions, these photos never leave the hard drive. They often remain just a fond memory because of all the other important things you have on your plate.

The Service-Driven Experience

The second experience option is the much rarer, service-driven photographer. When you commission this photographer you’re not just hiring someone to send you a link with digital files. You’re investing in their expertise in taking beautiful photos, but also their expertise in getting them printed, framed or bound in polished and elegant manner. Plus, from the moment you book this type of photographer, you’ll be catered to and taken care of.

To start, this photographer will professionally style the whole family with flattering and timeless clothing that will create magazine-worthy images. No more stressing about how to coordinate everyone and spending your valuable time and money on outfits you won’t wear again. Plus, you’ll have more money to put toward that velvet album you’ve been wanting — a book you will all flip through together and that will only grow in value over time.

On the day of your session, you’ll roll out of bed, feeding your new baby while a professional hair and makeup artist makes you look and feel brand new. Then your photographer will arrive with you and your family’s clothing, steamed and ready to slip on. All you have to do is love on your people.

After your session, you’ll have a meeting with your photographer to go over your favorite photographs and select your artwork. She’ll have mocked up several gallery wall options on your exact wall space so you can see just how your new photos will look in your home. She’ll choose the perfect solid wood frames that go with your home decor and will elevate your portraits and provide you with a perfectly polished and professionally done gallery wall that your family will treasure for years to come. She’ll also design the ultimate baby book for you — a velvet or fine linen album filled with your favorite photos from your newborn session.

Four prints in white oak frames over changing table in nursery.

With this photographer’s expertise in wardrobe, hair and makeup, lighting, location, framing, album design, and gallery wall design, you can trust that every detail will be looked after for you, so you can simply relax and enjoy the process.

This service-driven experience is what every Chelsea Sliwa Photography client receives. If you want a complete, stress-free photography experience and to ensure your family’s memories are captured and preserved beautifully, we’re just the right fit for you. But let’s continue with my advice on how to choose your newborn Photographer.

The Value

After looking at what you get from each type of newborn photographer, the next step is looking at the value. With the first experience, you get a session and the digital files. The cost for these sessions may seem less expensive than a service-driven photographer. But that is because they are not providing outfits for the whole family, hair & makeup, printing, framing, & album design. However, all of these things add upl, even when you do them on your own. So, in the end you will be spending on the cost of the session PLUS hundreds more on all of these things (outfits, hair, makeup, printing, frames, albums) PLUS the huge chunk of time it takes to find outfits, print photos, find the perfect frames, figure out how to arrange them, design an album, etc, etc.

With a service-driven photographer you get outfits for the whole family, hair & makeup, printing, framing, & album design AND you get the time back that you would have spent taking care of all of these things on your own. It’s truly the value of “done-for-you” portraits.

Some questions to ask yourself in deciding between these two approaches are:

  1. How much time do I have to curate my families outfits, do my hair and makeup on the day of the session, and design my own albums or gallery walls?
  2. What is my budget?
  3. Do I value time or money more?

Posing Style

The third thing to consider in this guide on how to choose your newborn photographer is their posing style. You’ll notice if you’ve done some research that there are a couple of different approaches to photographing newborns. The first is more posed, using props and wraps. You’ll see newborns in baskets, buckets or other containers, propped up or posed in an elaborate wrap. They may have fuzzy outfits on or be posed with stuffed animals.

The second is a “lifestyle” approach to photographing newborns. This type of photographer will use simple swaddles or none at all, and less posing, for a more natural look. It’s evokes the feeling of arriving to a person’s home to find the baby exactly the way they would be. Swaddled up in their crib or cuddled in with Mom and Dad. This is the approach we take at Chelsea Sliwa Photography.

Some questions to ask yourself in deciding between these two approaches are:

  1. Do I want my baby to posed with props?
  2. Do I want the photos to feel ‘posed’ or ‘natural’?

Editing Style

The last thing we’ll consider in this guide on how to choose your newborn photographer is the photographer’s editing style. There are about as many styles in this realm as there are photographers these days, so it can be overwhelming! Generally speaking though, you’ll see that they fall in two categories: dark and moody or light and airy. Deciding between these two styles is completely personal preference. However, I will say, many of the editing styles you see are based on “presets”, or filters, that photographers put over their photos to achieve their desired look. These are the types of things that may look outdated in a few years.

At Chelsea Sliwa Photography, we are all about timelessness. That’s why we shoot using analogue film. We use a Medium Format film Camera and professional grade film that creates the best quality and resolution. Think old rolls of film from long ago, on the best professional-grade camera that money can buy. Traditional analogue film has the special ability of capturing light, emotion and texture that digital simply cannot compare to. It perfectly smooths skin tones, truly stands the test of time, and makes the image viewer wonder what year the photograph was taken. That’s the kind of art we value here at CSP. You could say that we fall in the “light and airy” category, but with a little extra special something. It makes your photographs look more like paintings than photos.

Some questions to ask yourself in deciding between these two approaches?

  1. Do I like photos that feel heavy and moody? Or light and bright?
  2. Do I want photos that won’t look outdated in 20 years?
  3. Do I value analogue mediums for their proven, time-tested quality?

Ready to Find Your Newborn Photographer

Overall, choosing a newborn photographer can feel like a daunting task. My children’s newborn photos are just as precious to me as my wedding photos! So it’s a big deal. Remember, you get what you pay for. A photographer who has the expertise, provides a full service experience, is educated and equipped with the highest quality gear will cost more. However, you will get the assurance of stunning photographs that you’ll love in 50 years and you won’t have to lift a finger to get it here at CSP.

If you’re looking for a Denver newborn photographer whose heart is for service and stunning family artwork, you’re in the right place. Reach out to book your Denver newborn session here.

Already booked, but unsure whether to have a studio or in-home newborn session? Check out this post for the pros & cons of studio or in-home newborn session.

I hope this helped you in how to choose your newborn photographer!

In studio newborn session with mom and dad holding baby.
Mother, father and newborn on blue couch
Denver newborn photographer featuring mom, dad, and baby.
Denver newborn photographer captures a mother, father and newborn snuggling
Denver newborn photoshoot with mom and baby.
mother and father smiling at eachother holding newborn
Denver newborn photographer featuring mom, dad, and baby.
Denver newborn photographer featuring a newborn session with mom, dad, and baby.
mother and baby snuggling
mother with child in white studio
Mother, father and newborn in white studio
Newborn baby toes snuggling mother
Mother and father smiling at newborn baby.
In studio newborn session with mom, dad, and baby.
Newborn photography session featuring mom and baby.

How to Choose your Newborn Photographer

April 28, 2023

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