Short answer is NO, you don't have to!
And in most cases you shouldn't, here's a few reasons why:
They are VERY different types of photography with VERY different skill sets.
Posing babies is completely different to posing women, especially pregnant women who may not be feeling at their most confident.
As a maternity photographer it is my job to make sure you not only look amazing but FEEL amazing and confident too. If you feel uncomfortable it will show in your images. I aim to empower every woman that steps into my studio and have them leaving feeling confident, and maybe even a little bit sexy, in their bodies and providing them with some stunning images to look back on.
I'm not saying there aren't newborn photographers that can do this as there absolutely are! But a lot of the time I see maternity shoots being used as a way to reel in newborn clients rather than an experience of their own.
Both newborn and maternity photography require a HUGE amount of investment but for different things. Newborns require a lot of safety training and masses of coloured wraps and blankets, whereas a good maternity photographer will have a fully stocked client wardrobe, different backdrops and props to make every session a little bit unique.
Put simply, most cannot continually invest in both - my dress collection alone is worth thousands of pounds and because maternity is my specialism that is where my investment will continue to go.
The same can be said for newborn, most newborn photographers have very limited client wardrobe options for maternity but a huge selection of baby outfits, wraps etc. If wardrobe is an important thing to you then it's definitely worthwhile booking separate specialist photographers.
Your experience as a client will be very different depending on if you choose a maternity specialist or just use your newborn photographer.
Booking the same photographer for both maternity and newborn does not always mean you will save money.
Yes, some will do a bump to baby package but often that just means they've put the total cost of both shoots into one package rather than having 2 deposits etc.
And yes, you may see offers of a 'free' maternity shoot with a newborn session but by the time you pay for your images from the free shoot you could have booked in with a specialist. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that but just make an informed decision before jumping at any 'free' shoots being offered.
So what should you do?
Well there is no right or wrong answer! If you have a newborn photographer that you love, they have a strong portfolio of maternity images and you're happy with the wardrobe options they have available then it 100% makes sense to book the same person.
If you don't have someone in mind though, I would highly recommend booking separately for the full client experience.
I openly do not do newborn shoots because I am secure enough in my work to say that I am not a super strong newborn photographer. I would HATE for my clients to have such an incredible maternity experience and be let down with my newborn images.
So that is why I recommend two AMAZING newborn photographers for all my clients, one in Neath and one in Cardiff depending on which direction you've travelled from.
Are you thinking of booking a maternity shoot?
Let me tell you how I can give you the ultimate pre baby confidence boost <3