Family Photographer in Indianapolis | How Much To Invest On Newborn & Family Photography



When you have been in the photography business for a while, you hear all the opinions about how much a photographer should cost: the good, the bad, and the ugly. As a luxury family photographer in Indianapolis myself, I’m certainly aware of all the opinions. So how do you know how much to invest in newborn and family photography?

The quick and simple answer is that there are photographers for every budget, and we do not all offer the same services. So how do you decide what to invest in?

Today, I’ll highlight what to consider when planning to invest in a newborn or family photographer in Indianapolis and why it matters.

27 weeks pregnant mother holding baby bump under a willow tree during session in Carmel Indiana, how much to invest on family & newborn photography


How important is it to you that your family photographer in Indianapolis can:

  • Handle various lighting conditions and has all of the necessary equipment to handle an overcast, rainy Indiana day
  • Is a professional who is also a mother and understands the challenges of motherhood, with experience working with young children, babies, and toddlers and has many tricks up her sleeve 
  • Has expertise in posing the pregnant and the postpartum mothers for a flattering appearance, providing a wardrobe and styling services and coordinating hair and makeup 
  • Provides an experience that removes the stress and pampers you when you’re in such a vulnerable time right after having given birth and as a busy mama to young children
  • Delivers a gallery where all of the photographs feel cohesive and like a magazine spread, with both consistency and variety
  • Offers assistance with choosing high quality prints and has experience and expertise in custom framing and gallery wall design to take the printing and framing process off your plate
  • Is able to create a physical album of your session so that you can build a library of your family’s memories through the years
  • Runs a legally sound and thriving business with close ties to other small businesses and is involved and known within the community
  • Provides a timeless, light and airy style that is well regarded, respected and trusted by other professionals within the industry 
  • Has a reputation for providing only the best for clients when it comes to quality


Family photos notoriously have a bad reputation for being stressful, hurried events that everyone feels they just have to get through. When you are looking for a photographer for your portraits, consider what peace of mind costs. Look back over the list above: how much stress do all of those things alleviate?


Newborn twins facing each other during their community north hospital fresh 48 session in Indianapolis, How much to invest on family & newborn photography





Brand New: $0-200


Everyone has to start somewhere! This photographer has likely just purchased a camera and begun tinkering with what they can do and how they want their photos to look. They typically have a year or less experience under their belt, and likely haven’t received much professional training yet.


What to expect with a brand new photographer:

  • A brand new photographer typically will not have a cohesive editing style established yet. The images may feel very different depending on the lighting and location.
  • You will likely be responsible for determining the location and wardrobe for your family. They will charge a flat rate and deliver a large number of images (200+ photos in a gallery), leaving you to sort & determine the best images.
  • Additionally, they may not have a ton of experience with natural poses or working with children, including safely posing infants. This can impact the flow of the session as well as everyone’s stress levels. 



Amateur: $200-400


While they aren’t brand new to the industry, amateur photographers are still learning and developing their individual style. They’re also likely continuing education in all areas of their business.


The experience you might have with an amateur:

  • With an amateur photographer, the session price is likely all inclusive with digital images included.
  • They’ve started learning tricks to wrangle toddlers and soothe babies, but posing may still be a bit stiff and unnatural. 
  • Typically, this photographer doesn’t offer a wardrobe or makeup services. This photographer might be ideal for a family looking for ‘just a few good photos’



Beginner Professional: $600-1000


Your beginner professional photographer is just beginning to bridge their passion from hobby to a real, flourishing business.


The experience you might have with a beginner professional:

  • Your beginner professional photographer has an established style & offering, but is likely overbooked because of the desirable price point they are in.
  • They may have a session fee in addition to their digital files cost, as they’re learning to value their time more.
  • Their galleries will have variety and more artistic style, and they likely offer a small wardrobe or wardrobe consultation.
  • They’ve established a workflow and are able to photograph a session in 2 hours or less, including time to soothe a fussy baby or nurse. They might offer low cost products like canvas. 



Professional: 1500-5000+


A professional photographer will have a defined, luxury experience, meant to take all of the stresses of newborn and family photos off of your plate.


The experience you might have with a professional photographer:

  • Your professional family photographer will have every detail of your session, big or small, taken care of for you.
  • Sessions include things like a planning appointment, hair and makeup, and even custom, heirloom artwork for your home. They will either have a photography studio or extensive knowledge in lighting to come to your home for portraits, regardless of the weather & light conditions.
  • A professional photographer will focus on capturing your family’s authentic connection and character, in addition to your traditional, posed portraits. They also know all of the good angles to use when posing pregnant and postpartum mothers.
  • The session will flow easily, the photographer will bring out your kids’ sweetest smiles, and in the end, you’ll receive a gallery where every single image is your favorite.


Pregnant mother in white and blue floral dress with her young son on the terrace at Newfields in Indianapolis, how much to invest on family and newborn photography


  • Number of clients: The amount of clients your photographer works with per month will change how much time and energy they put into each client. Cheaper and higher volume photographers will offer less individualized time and services. 
  • Services provided:  Luxury photographers will have more services included like consultations, access to the client closet (and the care that goes into maintaining the wardrobe such as cleanings & repairs), hair & makeup, and ordering appointments
  • Location and cost of living: A photographer in LA will have a much higher cost of living than a photographer in Indiana 
  • Quality of products being offered: Trendy products can be good for aesthetics, but will they stand the test of time? Heirloom albums & quality artwork will last for generations
  • Cost of running the business:  Marketing materials, insurance premiums, editing software, subscriptions, equipment, repairs, rent, park passes, etc. are all expenses that a professional photographer has to budget for. Also, state sales and income tax (if applicable) and federal taxes. 
  • Continued education: Every professional photographer is constantly looking for opportunities to grow in knowledge through courses and mentoring programs.
  • Years of experience, which leads to…
  • Expertise in all things running a sustainable, profitable business, elaborated on below






Running a professional, profitable photography business requires more skill than just taking pretty photos.

Ultimately, it comes down to how each business owner values their time & what they invest into the business. A seasoned photographer has gained the expertise to charge what they value their time and resources to be. That expertise extends into:

Business skills – The key to growing a successful, thriving business begins with consistency. Software, management systems, and applications all help an owner provide a consistent client experience, and ensure no steps are missed. That includes sending a contract to protect both the photographer and you as the client.

Personal skills – This makes a huge difference in your experience during the session when your photographer knows how to wrangle toddlers, soothe infants, crack jokes for dad, and make mom feel at ease in front of the camera.

Photography skills – Lighting, focus, and editing are just some of things a photographer must master to produce quality art. I’ve spent countless hours taking courses, studying professionals, and learning everything I could about how to use my camera, how to edit, how to pose, how to wrap a baby, and so much more. And more hours practicing, tweaking, and practicing some more.

Design skills – Understanding what texture, colors, and patterns photograph well together is a special skill in photography. True professionals also know and understand how to create the custom gallery wall or album of your dreams, and can successfully bring it all together.


I hope this breakdown of what experience different photographers provide in each price range is helpful in determining what you want out of your newborn or family photos. These precious moments deserve to be documented authentically and held dear. Although it can be difficult to know how much you should invest in newborn and family photography, this information will hopefully make that decision a little easier.



Mother and father looking at newborn baby boy in an Indianapolis studio


Looking for a family photographer in Indianapolis?

Learn how to find the right photographer in Indianapolis for your needs.

Brittney Lear Photography is a full service photographer providing styling, wardrobe, professional hair & makeup, and custom artwork in Indianapolis. We would love to help serve your family! Schedule your consultation call today to learn more.

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