Starting a newborn photography business can feel intimidating. Between learning how to work with babies to the business nuances, there’s a lot to learn.
I’ve worked with many newborn photographers over the years, and I’ve found that you’re much more likely to succeed if you focus on five key areas. Today, I’m going to give you a free lesson on what to focus on to have a wildly successful newborn business!
We’re going to start with the most important area – safety.
How to start a newborn photography business
Take newborn safety classes
Newborn photographers have one of the most stressful jobs out of all the niches. I remember being a new mom and how gently I handled my kids. Back then, I was nervous to breathe wrong on my baby. Let alone a stranger’s baby.
Imagine holding someone else’s kid in your hands and then having to position their little limbs around to cute positions. A misstep can be dangerous. You have to know how to keep newborns safe while in your care.
Taking newborn safety classes can help photographers learn:
- How to pose a newborn safely
- What props are safe to use for newborns
- How to safely pose a newborn with its parents
- How to get above the baby for the best photo angles
- How to calm a fussy baby during a photoshoot
Even after your class, it may be good to get certified in infant CPR and investigate what insurance is the best for your business.
Invest in newborn photography props and lighting
The upside of starting a newborn photography business is the props. Most newborn photographers have a few staple props in their collection. At the very least, you’ll need some fluffy blankets, a few options for the baby to lay in (like baskets, cradles, etc.), and some swaddles that match your photography aesthetic.
All of these can easily be purchased at stores like Target and TJ Maxx. You may want to shop on Amazon for some higher-end swaddle designs or fabrics.
Most newborn photographers work in the client’s home or a studio. That makes it hard to guarantee great lighting. You will also want to invest in high-quality lighting that can be easily transported along with your props.
Spend less time typing and more time behind the camera
As a new photographer, your job is to be shooting and marketing your business as much as possible. The more you shoot, the more photos you have to use in your marketing. (Which leads to more visibility to potential clients.)
Don’t get caught up in things that take away from the time you could be doing these two things.
The biggest time sucks for new newborn photographers are:
- Client communication
- Learning to close sales
- Figuring out your processes
Most photographers use trial and error to find what works for them. This takes time, a lot of missteps, and missed communication opportunities. When you’re just starting out, it’s best to bypass these frustrations. Anything to help you save time is welcome.
If you have the ability to, I highly recommend purchasing an email template that comes with a proven workflow and guides to help you go from inquiry to gallery delivery. You can pick up one of my 5-star rated email templates and complete client experience templates from the shop.
Use a newborn photography contract template
This tip goes right along with the first one on this list. Just like the insurance I recommended, I’m going to recommend you protect yourself with an attorney-drafted newborn photography contract template.
You could write your own contract. Many freelance photographers start with self-drafted contracts. But newborn photography is different.
Between the liabilities involved in handling newborns, payment protection, and all the normal reasons why you would want a contract – I recommend you don’t DIY your contract. You need a real contract that has been ok’d by an attorney. Don’t risk it to save a few dollars. You can easily pick one up from my shop or save even more with a Newborn Starter Bundle that has everything you need to get started as a newborn photographer.
Create upsells and service add-ons
Speaking of bundles. The easiest way to increase your income as a new newborn photographer is to perfect your upsells, and offer add-on services. An upsell is typically going to be when you upsell a higher-priced package. You could also offer certain product upsells at a lower price (while still being profitable to you) when bundled with a product collection.
An add-on service is something that compliments your main photography service packages. For instance, one of my favorite add-on services for newborn photographers is to offer a milestone mini photoshoot for the baby’s one-year anniversary. You can offer it at a price point that makes it an easy “yes” from parents.
Check out my comprehensive blog post on photography pricing to learn more about other ways to increase your income.
Build the photography business of your dreams!
Starting a new business can be scary, but it’s also very rewarding and wildly in demand! The key to being successful is to stay focused on building a solid business foundation and taking beautiful photos. You will make time to uplevel your skills and add swaddles to your collection over time. But getting the basics of running a new photography business will set you up for more success in the long run.
In the meantime, feel free to join my email list for more tips and tricks to help you build your business!