There are so many theories around where newborn photographers obtain the things they need to put together a photoshoot. Many of my clients think I make outfits, or there is this giant baby store where I get all of my props. But there isn’t. Over years, I’ve narrowed my vendors to the ones that fit my vision for a session. There is Oh So Fleeting for my fluff, Cloth Apothecary (Dainty Miss) for my stretchy wraps, Goodnight Moon Props for those exquisite floral headbands, Mr & Mrs. Company for my favorite moon prop, and Woodsy Wonder Props for my ultimate favorite birch prop to name a few of my favorites.
But I wanted to provide an entertaining view to some of the odd (non-baby) places you can find a newborn photographer.
1. Home Depot/Lowes: One wouldn’t think that a home building store would be a place where you would find a baby photographer getting things delicate for a photo session, but these stores have a treasure trove of goodies for us. There is wood flooring which we use for our backdrops, some photographers build their own backdrop stands from PVC piping, there are things like curtain hooks to hang our hats, and curtain sheers for backlighting. It’s amusing when I ask for help and an employee asks me what home project I’m working on. Needless to say, they are quite intrigued when I say it’s for a baby session.
2. Office Max/Office Depot: There are absolutely no baby items in these stores…I don’t think. However, I need several backup drives to hold the numerous photos at such a large size. When I ask for a 2-3TB drive, they often tell me I don’t need that much space. But when I explain that an image can be anywhere from 3-23MB, they quickly get me what I need.
3. Kroger/Fred Meyer: I LOVE shopping for scarves at Kroger (Fred Meyer in Alaska) on the clearance rack. I find really great patterns, florals, and fringe in scarves which add that extra layer of texture to an image.
4. Garbage: I’ll admit…it’s something I don’t actually do regularly. However, I have driven by a neighborhood before on their trash day and found some pretty unique props.
5. Antique stores: Newborn photographers LOVE antique stores!! Anything old, vintage, rickety, full of grit and rustic texture we swoon over. Haha! I actually bought this Boulangerie bucket from an antique store. I thought it was straight from France. Needless to say, I was extremely bummed when I saw it in three different locations after that. But there are other companies that specialize in creating vintage looking props. I love JD Vintage Props because you can find replicas of antiques that are what newborn photographers dream of.
6. Michaels: I actually do not enter it unless I actually need something…because I know I will leave with so much more. I just can’t! Michaels is where we as photographers create. I love the greenery and flowers, the Christmas ornaments, the ribbon, the baskets, wreaths, fill to make fake snow and clouds…there is just so much stuff in this store.
7. Joann Fabric and Craft Store (and any other fabric store): There are lots of vendors that specialize in making our soft and stretchy newborn backdrops. I like Roses and Ruffles, Fancy Fabric, AR Backdrops, and Cloth Apothecary. One thing clients don’t realize is the average cost for our coveted backdrops are $30-$50 EACH! They are obviously a must for our business! These vendors get some amazing quality fabrics that meet a newborn photographer’s every need. But sometimes, I look for fabric to save a buck. I pretty much know that I need 2 yards of fabric, I like mine somewhat stretchy, and I really don’t like see-through fabrics. Enter in…Joann’s. The place where you can get whatever you want from backdrop materials, to tulle and get creative. See some of my favorite poses on fabric backdrops in my last post: My Top 10 Favorite Newborn Poses.
8. Wine Stores: There was a time, while in Alaska, I was on every wine store’s contact list for a specific wine crate. I saw an interesting image on Pinterest and wanted to do a newborn session with it. I never got the crate, but for a while I was constantly in and out of wine stores…for babies.
9. Rugs USA/Overstock: When I started looking for the uber desired flokati rug, I was trying to save a buck. I bought my first three from these companies. For a 5×7, I paid around $50-$80 each. They totally did the job! Once I got busier…and snobbier (lol) I bought from the renowned Texas vendor Luneberry. I have to say…the $170-$240 you spend…it’s so worth it!
Hopefully you enjoyed this list of places that aren’t baby stores where you might find a newborn photographer. If you see me out and about, stop by and say hi! Contact me to book your maternity, birth, and/or newborn session. 907-350-3390 www.joannaboothphotography.com