Expert Series - Hiring a Maternity/Newborn Photographer

I met with Kari at her Yaletown studio a few weeks ago for a consultation for my wedding photography package. Her studio is open and bright with gorgeous brick walls!  Kari was so warm and friendly, right away I felt like I was talking with a friend rather than a business/client relationship.  I did my research before going to meet with her and found out she was voted one of the top 50 portrait photographers. Her style of photography really seemed to fit my personality and what I was looking for. After looking at some of her photo albums of work she has done I was amazed. Her work is beautiful! She does more than just wedding & portrait photography she also does maternity and newborn photography so I thought she would be a perfect fit to be featured in our expert series. My interview with Kari on hiring a maternity/newborn photographer is below. 


Kari Heese – Kari Heese Photography


Describe a photo session and what happens?  

Each photo session takes place in either our Yaletown studio or in your home. We generally do Maternity sessions in the studio and newborn in studio or if it is easier for first time parents we can come to them. When we start with our shoot, we want our clients to feel as comfortable as possible, so we take a few minutes to get to know each other. Once we get going, we really feel strongly for our clients to be themselves, we want to capture the real person, that is our main goal. The session generally lasts for 60-90 minutes with time for a break/snack for the newborns. 


What is the average cost of a photo session and what does that include?  

$199 is the session fee which includes:

• up to four people 

• at least 25 images to choose from; 

• your very own private web gallery for 1 week;           

• convenient online or studio ordering;  

• additional prints and precious custom products available a la carte, from baby announcements to birthday parties.


What should people wear and/or bring when coming to a maternity or family photo session with you?  


Rule of thumb is coordinating, complimentary colours, no large logos. For newborns, we like to shoot in minimal clothing as not to distract from the "newness" of the baby. If we are photographing a toddler, it is always good to bring some snacks, a few toys to keep their attention. 


What are some tips to think about when hiring a maternity/newborn photographer? 


Mainly, find someone with experience, that you feel comfortable with and that you like their style of photography. 


Describe your style of photography


I would say my style of natural, organic. I want to photograph the real people in front of the camera. My goal is to see the real emotions of my client. Capture the natural expressions, especially with children, they are just the cutest and they make the best faces, no need for stiff smiles.


What made you want to get into maternity/newborn photography?


I started out photographing weddings, for me the natural transition was to photograph my wedding clients as they made their way through their married life. My goal is to be the photographer they go to for all of the steps of life. 


What are some reasons your clients come to you? 


Customer Service, quality and my personality, I have been told how much it shows that I truly care about my clients. I truly want to treat all of my clients as friends and give them amazing images that they can look at for years to come. Again it is about the relationship, I want to build solid relationships with all of my clients. 


What is the best thing about your job? 


Everything... well except the accounting part! No really, I love what I do. To have my clients give me the opportunity to photograph them and capture moments in time with them. It is truly an honour. 


If you would like to book a session with Kari or to find out more information about her you can visit her website at


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