If you're seriously looking for a newborn photographer, remember this:
When your new baby is not so new, the feet are not so tiny, and the only way to remember how small they were is by the photographs you have, will you have a beautiful well done photo, or something you snapped with your cameraphone that's too blurry to even try to hang on the wall?
If you're on Craigslist looking for a professional photographer or a bargain page on facebook, you either don't know too many people or your budget is not the greatest, so I want you think about this a lot:
You will buy more DIAPERS than you will remember changing which will cost you at least $100-300 a month, and once they are used they are going into the trash.
They will wear those tiny CLOTHES only for a short time before they grow out of them. Unless you are gifted all the clothes you need, you will spend hundreds to thousands in just the first few years, and how many of those adorable outfits will you be holding onto?
How about the BOUNCER, SWING, BABY CARRIER, STROLLER or the CRIB? They all are going to cost you some good chunk of change, but like the rest of them... GONE BEFORE YOU KNOW IT!
And guess what you'd be left with: the images your photographer took?
Are you sure you want to go cheap on the only thing that will remind you of that first precious week or the milestones as they quickly change in the first year?
You think 10 years from now you'll care about all the gifts you got from the baby shower or who even gave you half of them? You think 5 years from now you'll be remembering how many times you had to change clothes because of a diaper blow-out? Are you even going to think about it?
Outside of your memories, the photographs will be the only thing remaining from their childhood.
So skip the fancy designer diaper bag if you have to. Cut diaper coupons if you must. Buy less of the adorable outfits they are going to grow right out of. Make your own baby food, and postpone that family vacation another year. Do want you need to, but whatever you do, DO NOT GO CHEAP on your photographs; splurge on your photographer.
I don't care what you've read. Don't let that friend with a good camera take your pictures, you'll hate yourself later. Don't fall for phone photography, they're crap and you know it. Don't try reading up on doing it yourself with your own camera, they are never going to come out the way you thought, and you won't even be in any of them!
Take my advise: dial up a professional newborn photographer who is as passionate about your baby as you are. You'll give birth to your baby only once. If you have to have a yard sale, so be it. You can always get new stuff, but you can never rewind time to when your baby was only a week old again.
Don't say I didn't warn you.
Oh, a good starting budget for the real deal? $200+. Go for it. You'll thank yourself later.
By the way, if the photographer is worth their salt, you'll need to budget another grand or two for professionally prepared wall art and prints for your home and to give as gifts- something that your photographer will help you choose in person when you come back after the session. You may want digitals on a cd or usb, but are you actually going to print those or are you going to lose the cd in a drawer after a couple of months? Just get it over with and have something to hold onto.
I would like to thank Lemuel Ayudtud for inspiring me with his wedding version which you can find here- http://newyork.craigslist.org/stn/crs/5212675856.html