As a newborn photographer in Milwaukee, I totally get that there are SO many things to consider when it comes to choosing the photographer that will be there with you when you bring that new little baby into your family; a moment you will only get to experience a finite number of times in your life, and a moment you cannot go back and re-do if the images don’t work out the way you had envisioned. I can’t tell you how many of my clients find me after they’ve had a seriously disappointing newborn session experience with another photographer and they wish they had invested in someone with more expertise from the getgo.
You need to find the RIGHT photographer for you! Period. Each photographer in Milwaukee is not created equally and I know it can be really hard to even begin to narrow it down. When it comes to a once-in-a-lifetime moment, like welcoming your new baby home for the first time, you do NOT want to chance it on an inexperienced photographer or a “friend” who has a nice camera.
Below you will find a few of the things we think you should be considering when selecting the photographer your family will entrust with these irreplaceable moments.
Remember how I mentioned that not all photographers are created equally- well this is where it really matters… Imagine for a moment with me the difference between two very different experiences.
Experience A (most photographers in the “sea” of photographers in Milwaukee):
You pay them, you shop for clothing for the whole family and try to figure out what to wear (after a zillion trips to the store with your kiddos en tow… not to mention the returns for items that didn’t fit right), you’re still not sure about the outfits, but you decide to go with it (jeans and tee should be fine right?), the day of your session you’re running around like a madwoman (on very little sleep I might add), and then you realize you still have to shower and make yourself look halfway decent. They take your photos, they send you an email with a link to download the photos. Now you have to find both a printer and a framer, figure out what sizes will fit on your wall, blindly order them without seeing them together on the wall to scale, figure out how to have an album made, design said album, all while you’re freshly postpartum and healing from having a baby and probably trying to keep your other kiddos alive as well. (spoiler alert- despite your amazing intentions to do all the things with these photos, they’ll sadly probably not make it off the hard drive any time soon, if at all).
Experience B (the rare service driven photographer in Milwaukee):
You commission your photographer, who sends you a beautiful welcome box with a portrait guide and luxurious gifts sourced locally from fair trade sustainable small businesses. You are invited in for your session planning meeting where your photographer has over 130 dresses in beautiful neutral tones and soft textures- wow, these dresses will surely create timeless, next level imagery! The photographer helps you select a dress that will be very flattering on you postpartum, and then even professionally styles your children with clothing that she provides. No shopping, no returns, no shipping things back, and better yet, the money you would’ve spent on high end clothing you’d only wear once can now be spent on that dreamy album you’ve been wanting for your coffee table!
It’s session day and your photographer’s hair and makeup artist arrives. You snuggle your sweet newborn baby while you’re lovingly pampered with professional hair and makeup in the comfort of your own home. Your photographer arrives with your dress and all of the clothing steamed and ready to go. She helps your children get dressed, swaddles your new baby for you, and poses everyone in beautiful soft light (and even shoots film for the most flattering soft looking skin in your portraits). After your session, you meet with your photographer and she helps you narrow down your favorites. She also designed some gallery walls for that huge empty wall you’ve been meaning to get photos on for years. Everything is mocked up to scale and she has the most beautiful classy solid wood frame options. And better yet- she even does the framing for you and delivers the whole gallery wall ready to hang! No guessing on what sizes will look good or fit on the wall together, no DIY sloppy looking gallery walls; just a perfectly polished professionally done gallery wall that your family will be able to enjoy every single day. SO worth the investment.
Here at Talia Laird Photography, we take this role extremely seriously and since you cannot go back and get a “re-do” on those newborn moments once your baby has grown, we know you’re going to want an expert who will help you from start to finish; someone who will worry about all of the details for you- wardrobe, hair and makeup, lighting, location, framing, album design, gallery wall design… we’ve got you completely covered and we specialize in providing a stress free photography experience for our clients. Learn more about our client experience and see if it might be a fit for your family. Experience B is an example of how each of our clients is cared for and each detail meticulously looked after.
Posing and Shooting Style
When it comes to newborn sessions, there are two “types” of styles.
Posed: The first style is the photographer who heavily utilizes a posing beanbag. This style involves a sleepy baby being posed/contorted into various different positions, sometimes including props/buckets. This is not our personal style since we like to remember babies the way they looked in real life, in the sweet little positions they would naturally sleep in. But there are many beautiful artists who totally nail it when it comes to this style of newborn photography. If you decide to find a photographer who specializes in posed newborn sessions, be sure to find someone who is trained in safety as many of the poses can be very dangerous for newborn babies if not executed with proper safety precautions in place.
Lifestyle/baby led: The next style of photographer will create beautiful images of your baby, typically of baby sleeping in positions that are more natural and resemble the way your baby looks when sleeping in real life. This often includes images of a baby sleeping on the master bed, swaddled up in a crib or moses basket, snuggled up in dad’s arms or on mom’s chest, etc. You can see some samples of this style below.
There are a few main styles to consider when it comes to the way an artist edits their imagery- airy, filmy, true to life, colorful, contrasty, moody. You should think about the way you want your family portrayed, the style that will feel right when you look back years from now; choose something that evokes the right emotions within you. For us, this means we want something that will remain timeless regardless of trends. We want to create imagery that looks the way you want your memories to feel. And that is why we shoot film (yes, old school rolls of film), and stay true to natural coloring with a nice bright and clean aesthetic. While there are some artists who excel at creating moody images with deep shadows and moody tones, this isn’t the feel that we prefer for newborn sessions- in our mind, those newborn days should be remembered as a bright spot in your life, not as a dark patch. When the moody trend comes and goes, our images will remain timeless forever.
Business Practices of a Trustworthy Photographer in Milwaukee
Finding a photographer who makes great pictures is wonderful, and probably not too hard to find. But here’s the question you need to ask- as your family grows, and you potentially welcome more children to the family, and those children grow and reach new milestones… do you want to be able to use the same photographer so your images on your walls and in your albums all feel cohesive? If you answered, yes to this, then you need to ask yourself- does your photographer have a business that is setup to be in business for the long haul! This may not be something you considered before, but I can’t tell you how many moms find me after using several other photographers who all went out of business. The truth is that many photographers, while they can make beautiful imagery, just simply don’t know much about business, and for that reason, they just don’t make it in the industry. The heartbreaking part about this is that for the client, you now have an issue of mismatched and non-cohesive artwork in your home.
Finding a photographer who will throw all of the images on an online gallery for you to download is great and may seem easiest… for the photographer. But it certainly isn’t easier for you! Now what! Now you have to figure out where to print, what sizes, how to lay them out on your wall, how to plan for future additions to your wall as your family grows through the years, and where to have your framing done. What a mess! As a full service photographer in Milwaukee, I would never leave my clients to manage all of this one their own. And my clients can rest assured that my business is setup to be sustainable long term. When it comes to finding a photographer for your family to work with time and time again, you truly get what you pay for. You may need to make some room in your budget for this each year, you may need to cut out a few trips to starbucks for those lattes you love and make your coffee at home, or even request a payment plan to space out the investment over the course of a few months, but you will never regret investing in having your memories printed for you professionally. This is one of the few investments that will ALWAYS become more valuable with time.
How Soon to Book your Session with your Photographer in Milwaukee
Most of our clients inquire near the end of their first trimester, and book their session by the beginning of the second trimester. Due to this, our schedule books out far in advance. If you’re expecting, reach out now to see if we’re a good fit!
If you’re considering a photographer in Milwaukee to take your newborn photos, you should take a good look through one of their sessions to ensure the photos resonate with you. Each session will be unique, however you want to make sure you like what you see before making your selection. Here is one of our recent newborn sessions!
If you’re an expecting mother who doesn’t want to have to worry about all of the little details and you find it worth it to “outsource” some of these stressful parts of having photos made, we would love to discuss your family’s needs with you to see if we’re a fit for you! For more information about the full service, stress free experience we provide for our mommas, fill in these few questions and we’ll send over all the details!
Hair and makeup by Liz