Safety when photographing a newborn
Newborn photography isn’t easy, firstly from a business point of view all those beautifully soft & cute bonnets and props cost a pretty penny and all the extras you need are endless. However it is a deeply satisfying to create moments for parents of their perfect newborn to place on their wall to look at forever!
I have been a newborn photographer in St. Albans for over six years now. In that time I have photographed hundreds of babies. I have also invested countless hours in newborn training, setting up the studio so it is just right and making sure every detail is counted for. From nappies and wipes, to heating and nice comfy seats and snacks for mum and dad, it all counts.
The most important thing however, for me, is the safety of that brand-new baby, sometimes only a few days old, that you are holding and soothing. It struck me that I am the next person to hold your baby just as much or nearly as much as your midwife or health visitor does when you are in labour or after birth. That is a huge responsibility!!
I have attended health and safety courses, first aid courses, gotten midwives to check out my studio and heating, had endless training from the best newborn photographers in the world and most recently I was very proud to become the UK’s fourth certified newborn photographer with the Master Photographers Association.
I am going to give you my top tips for choosing your Newborn photographer and hopefully that will help you with your decision:-
- Choose someone with experience, in my opinion one training day is not enough, some photographers have no training at all, or with YouTube videos, to me this is not good enough, but I leave that to your own perspective.
- Choose someone that is insured. Whilst no-one would ever want anything bad to happen, the point of insurance highlights to me that the photographer you are dealing with respects their art enough to get it.
- Choose someone who has a full portfolio, I would be wary of anyone who is asking for newborns so that they can practice, unless it is for a very well-known trainer, or they are already experienced and are wanting to try out new props for example.
- Ask for before and after’s – Compositing of images is a must, a finger can hold a Childs head up not putting strain on their neck, an image I am showing you below, shows how baby can be seen in dad’s hands on a beanbag, and made to look like they are being held up. This should never be done without the safety of the beanbag.
- Make sure they use an assistant or a spotter. Babies can literally leap from certain positions, they should never be left unattended. My clients always help me out during a session, unless my husband is assisting me that day.
- Ask what training they have had. Photographers that are passionate about a business will invest in training for their business, and to become a better photographer.
- Choose a qualified photographer, this ensures they have passed a detailed selection of their images through some of the most qualified photographer judges in the industry. Especially in Newborn photography this is important.
- Not all babies can do all the poses, they are all born differently and although they are more pliable during the first couple of weeks of birth they must not be pushed into a pose. You will know if your child is saying NO! Just ask your photographer to stop doing those poses (they should have already stopped).
- Ask questions. You will know if you have a chat to a Newborn photographer their level of experience, we are all very nice people, we love chatting.
I hope that helps you a little, if you ever want to have a chat, feel free to give me a call about anything at all.
Carli – Bailie and Belle Photography St. Albans
You can contact Louise for any postnatal midwifery advice.