{The Cost of Studio Newborn Photography} - Lehigh Valley (Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton) Newborn Photographer & Lehigh Valley Baby Photographer

Yay! You find out you have a little bean coming! Of course you have to have professional images of this amazing milestone in your life - so you start your journey searching for the perfect Lehigh Valley newborn photographer. You open up Google and suddenly you have a long list of local newborn photographers. You click on the first website - you scroll around for a bit, go to the pricing, may decide its too much, and return back to the long list on Google. You will likely encounter a variety of different photographic styles, editing differences, pricing and packages - but many people only focus on the price. I’m very often tagged in posts on Facebook & other social media where someone is asking for a “reasonable” newborn photographer. Since money is a huge factor in choosing a newborn photographer, I want to help break down the “why” behind the cost of professional newborn photography and why spending money on the right photographer is truly an important investment. While we all know that pricing is typically always commiserate with experience, there are other factors that the average consumer is unaware about.

Allentown Newborn Photographer

#1 - Education

I spend several thousand dollars each year on continued education. Between in person hands on workshops and online courses, it feels important to me that I continue to educate myself on everything newborn. From safety courses, to posing and editing, you deserve an educated photographer. This year, I’m attending a 2 day in person newborn & maternity workshop with two globally recognized amazing photographers. There is always more to learn and room to grow!

Many new photographers purchase a camera and with no training, decide they are going to start photographing newborns. Are you willing to trust your bundle of joy with someone who isn’t educated on newborn safety? Is saving a bit of money more important than hiring someone who knows the safest, correct way to pose your baby?

#2 - Equipment matters!

Most true professional photographers are using higher end professional equipment. Here is a rundown of the equipment I use during a posed newborn session:

Canon 5D Mark IV Body - $3500.00
Canon 35 mm 1.4 II Lens - $1799.00
Canon 50 mm 1.2 Lens - $1399.00
Canon 100 mm 2.8 Macro Lens - $599.00

This means I am using approximately $7300.00 worth of equipment during a session. This doesn’t include the cost of memory cards, extra batteries, my light set, light triggers, bean bag or props.

Many low priced photographers may be photographing with hobbyist level equipment which will not give you the best possible image quality.

Lehigh Valley Newborn Photography Pricing

#3 - The Cost of Props

Professional photographers can spend thousands a year on props. We spend anywhere from $10-25 on a baby girl’s headband, $30-$50 for a romper, $15-40 for a hat. $150-$200 for rubber backed faux wood flooring, $50+ for seamless paper, $50-$100 per wooden prop, $40-$50 for fabric backdrops - I could go on all day.

A more experienced photographer will not only likely have more variety of props, but may also have higher end quality props. The difference truly shows on camera.

#4 - Session Length & Extensive Editing

Posed Newborn Sessions can vary among photographers - mine run on average, 3 - 4 hours. In addition, we spend an hour or so before the session setting up and putting together setups. After the session, we break it down, re-organize the studio, wash all the blankets and scrub the outfits (can you imagine scrubbing out mustard baby poo from a cream romper!)

Newborn editing, in particular posed studio editing is EXTENSIVE. While I know of some people who do very, very basic editing, most of us want you to have the most beautiful edits possible. This means we clean up baby acne, remove redness & smooth bumpy skin. Photoshop is not magic. We can easily spend 20 minutes per image depending on necessary edits. I typically edit a newborn session in 6-8 hours. This is a full work day. I don’t believe in just adjusting exposure and calling it a day - I want your photos to be perfect.

Allentown Newborn Photographer Before After

#5- Other Behind The Scenes Costs

Online Galleries, Blogging Software, Editing Programs, Websites, Editing Templates, Email Servers, Photography Association Dues, Maintenance of Equipment, other monthly subscriptions. These things add up to hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year. I am also insured and pay just over $600/year for everyone’s protection. Is someone who is charging $100 for a newborn session insured? (It’s not likely!)

#6 - Taxes, Taxes, Taxes

A licensed, registered business pays taxes - I estimate that 25-30% of each session goes straight to Uncle Sam. I haven’t seen a tax refund in years! This means on a $500 session, I expect to lose $150 to the government.

There are MANY photographers who get around this by operating as illegal businesses. They can price their sessions lower because they’re not paying $150+ per session in taxes. This is extremely unfair to our industry as a whole and honestly, unethical.

At the end of the day, we all want to be able to provide for our families. As a Lehigh Valley Newborn Photographer, I just want to do the same. We professional photographers are not trying to take advantage of anyone with our pricing. Photography is more than just snapping a shutter. When someone refers to professional photography pricing as unreasonable, it stings. We totally understand that everyone has a budget, and that perhaps not everyone can afford or budget for professional photography. We truly understand that. But it doesn’t mean that what we need to charge in order to cover the cost of our business and make a living is unreasonable. I hope one day more people will understand and truly value what we offer - priceless, gorgeous memories of a time you will never ever be able to return to again. If you ask me, my newborn photos of my baby girl are absolutely priceless.

I hope this is informative and helps you make your decision when you hire a Lehigh Valley Newborn Photographer. I would absolutely love to photograph your little bean for you, but even if you choose to work with someone else, I hope this helps you choose the best photographer for you!

Kristin with an I Photography is a Lehigh Valley Newborn Photographer who LOVES Lehigh Valley Baby Photography. To book your Lehigh Valley Newborn Session, please click here or email: hello@kristin-with-an-i.com