Who doesn’t love sweet, cuddly newborn babies? It seems more and more popular to specialize in newborn photography, but how do you truly tailor your business to the newborn client? Read on for tips and tricks to do just that!
- Show What You Love : My first tip is to show what you love. If you’re currently working with multiple markets but deep down want to specialize on one, begin by showing only work relevant to your specific target market (i.e. newborns). From your website to your business card and blog, your clients will hire you based on the content you show. If weddings and older kids just aren’t your thing, take them down and focus on your true passion instead. Building a strong brand in your chosen niche is the first step in attracting your target market and showing what you love is a big part of that.
- Build a Specialized Working Space: If you intend to work with newborns, it’s important to tailor your space to their specific needs. Making sure you have not only white noise and a heater but also a change table, privacy for nursing parents, a rocker and feeding pillow, wipes, diapers, diaper pails, burp clothes, nursing covers and extra soothers. Stocking these items in your studio sends the message that you know babies and genuinely care about your client’s experience. You should also be well-versed in settling and handling techniques and hone the ability to quickly sooth an upset baby. Leave your clients with the impression that you are knowledgeable and passionate about newborns and their needs and they will deem you “expert baby whisperer” to all their friends and family.
- Offer Appropriate Products: Working with babies means you may not sell many oversized wall galleries, but it also opens the door to many fabulous products specialized directly for your niche. Birth announcements, storyboards, colorful frames, brag books, canvases, photo pendant jewelry and albums are all hot sellers in this market. Ensure you have these on hand at your sessions so parents can fall in love and preplan purchases.
- Shoot For Your Products: Plan your shoot around the products you offer. Asking parents what types of products they may or may not be interested in purchasing, the colors of the nursery and any other style specific questions will help you to meet their needs when it comes to their ordering sessions. Consider styling your session so that sets work well with one another, or are within certain color schemes like earth tones or pastels. Then, shoot to ensure you have images that pair well together for albums and storyboards as well as crops to fit the ratios of your birth announcement templates and jewelry pendants.
- Tailor Your Packages: When building your pricing, tailor your packages toward the needs of the typical newborn client. Generally, parents want to display images in the nursery, share gift prints with friends and family and preserve the memories of baby’s first days in the pages of a beautifully-crafted album. So why not structure your packages specifically around their needs? Doing so will make your packages an easy and attractive choice and discourage a la carte purchases or a DIY mentality. You can even guide clients toward higher value packages by offering conveniences such as framing and birth announcements. After all, who has time to do these things on their own when already so sleep deprived?
- Package With Baby In Mind: Ensure your branding and packaging are baby appropriate and then play off of that in every way possible. Consider the feelings you wish to evoke in your imagery and pick colors and materials consistent with that message. Perhaps you’re going for soft, serene and delicate and you opt for pastel ribbons, lace and smooth cream boxes? Or maybe you prefer earthy and organic imagery focusing on neutrals with jute and burlap adored kraft boxes? Whatever you decide, ensure your packaging tells the same story as the images. Consistency is key. Also consider throwing in baby specific gifts. Not only will these go a long way toward building your customer’s satisfaction, they will also reinforce your place in the newborn photography niche.
- Safety is Key: Last, but perhaps most important, ensure you are skilled in the art of safe baby posing. A specialist should have superior handling skills to ensure baby’s safety above all else and there is no shame in asking for help. There are a number of courses available offering the opportunity to learn and hone your craft in newborn posing. Please thoroughly check out the credentials of the instructors to ensure you learn from a knowledgeable and thoroughly skilled teacher. Knowledge and confidence in safely posing newborns go a long way toward successful sessions that lead to respectable sales.
So that’s it! If you’re truly invested in specializing, you now have some great tips to help you on your way! Just remember to start small and dream big. Now go on and review your portfolios. You can begin your journey today simply by starting with showing what you love and seeing where it takes you.
About Stephanie Robin
Stephanie Robin has a definite love for all things baby. With three small children of her own, she finds solice working with newborns in her boutique natural light studio in the heart of Burlington ON. Her work has been featured in international advertising campaigns and newspapers as well as many local publications. She is a proud member of NAPCP and the NAPCP Photographer of the Year 2011. Stephanie delights in finding art in the beauty of her small subjects and looks forward to many more years working as a newborn portraitist.