Maybe you got into newborn photography after having your own baby (who hasn’t become obsessed with their own baby and taken hundreds of photos of them each day?! Please don’t tell me I’m alone here).
Or maybe you just left your corporate job to follow your heart and open your dream newborn photography studio.
It could be you’ve been a newborn photographer for years now, but still not hitting your goals.
Whatever your story may be, it’s important to keep your eye on the prize and avoid these commonly made newborn photography mistakes. These are mistakes I have personally made in the past (so don’t feel silly if you have too).
Mistake #1: Not being a Good Listener
When I first started my business, I talked too much and too fast (I blame it on my Jersey roots). I didn’t listen to what my clients were saying. If I had, I would have had a better idea of what exactly they were wanting from their newborn photography session and I could have served my clients better (and likely made more money), vs focusing on what I thought would be best for my portfolio.
You can avoid this mistake by being a better listener. Ask your clients exactly what they want from their session. Is it frames for the nursery, an album, digitals, birth announcements? Be mindful of their goals when you go into their session, shooting with intent, and the outcome will be so much better for everyone.
Mistake #2: Including Too Much
I’ll admit, I used to try to include everything and the kitchen sink into each session. I learned the hard way that trying to include 7 different backdrops, 15 different props, and 24 different newborn poses leads to nothing but frustration, exhaustion (especially for the baby and parents), and a lower sale. Avoid overwhelming your clients (and yourself) by remembering the “less is more” approach. Clients are easily overwhelmed with too many images. Keep it simple and everyone will be happier in the long run.
Mistake #3: Not prepping your clients.
When I first started out, I was just thrilled that someone actually wanted to pay me money to photograph their newborn. I was hyper-focused on the safety of the baby and keeping them happy that I forgot about the other important part — prepping the parents for the session. I would spend hours trying to get the baby to sleep, all the while wondering why he wouldn’t (aren’t babies supposed to sleep 90% of the day?!). Now I avoid this mistake by prepping my clients at least twice before their newborn photography session by emailing them tips and suggestions for a smooth and sleepy newborn session (download my free Newborn Photography Guide HERE).
Mistake #4: Lack of Confidence in Pricing
I don’t know about you, but there was a point in my business when I spent more time wondering what every other newborn photographer out there was charging vs figuring out exactly what I needed to charge to reach my goals. Honestly, I was just playing a guessing game. And let me tell you, you DO NOT want to be guessing when it comes to pricing.
You can avoid this mistake is by using a photography pricing calculator (join me at my Pricing class at Reset to get your hands on my calculator) to determine exactly what you need to charge per session, per product, per client and how many sessions you need to book per month to reach your goals.
Once you fully understand your pricing, it is key to go over your investment guide and package options with each client before a contract is signed, before you ever pick up your camera, before they ever see their photos (see a theme here? hint: “before”). It is so important that your clients completely understand the process and the pricing involved before you begin. Trust me, sticker shock is never fun for anyone.
If you found any of the tips I shared above helpful, then you should join me for my 5 Steps to Simple Packages & Pricing class at Reset in March! You’ll leave this class with the confidence you’ve been craving and the numbers to match.
And … if you’re a newborn photographer and interested in learning how to photograph Baby-led Natural Newborn Sessions, I hope you’ll sign up for my Unposed Newborn Session on Monday, March 30th at the Reset Conference!
With over 2 decades of experience, Jenni is a Boulder, Colorado based photographer, passionate about helping other photographers build profitable and viable businesses through workshops, retreats and online courses. You can follow Jenni’s work online on Instagram & Facebook.