Choosing a newborn photographer can be incredibly confusing. There are many factors that may weigh on your mind including style, finances and location among others. I would encourage you to, first and foremost, think about the safety of your baby at the session. Currently NO REGULATIONS are in place for safe handling of babies at photography sessions and photographers can self claim safety expertise. As someone conscious about newborn safety i have created this to help you find a qualified newborn photographer. . This list is not meant to scare you into hiring me as your photographer because honestly, I may not be the right fit for you. The list IS intended to help you to educate yourself so that whomever you choose, you can be assured they will handle your newborn with the utmost care.
please feel free to use any of this questions when trying to find a suitable newborn photographer.
How many years have you been working as a newborn photographer and approximately how many babies have you handled up to this point?
My preference would be at least a years experience and many babies handled as it will take some time to learn to respond to a newborns physiologic needs and reflexes. The more time a photographer has spent handling newborns, the more likely they are to be able to respond to these needs and reflexes in a timely and appropriate manner. I have been a newborn photographer for 3 years and have handled over 150 newborns to date including preemies, babies with feeding tubes, those recently circumsized and those with physiological impairments.
Have you received any newborn specific posing training and with whom did you train?
Knowing that your photographer has trained extensively to learn the ins and outs of their craft is highly important. While online learning can be great, training is crucial to developing a complete understanding of posing methodology. As our profession is not regulated, any person, photographer or otherwise, can offer newborn posing training with no safety credentials necessary. As someone who is extremely passionate about newborn safety, i can attest to going the 'self-taught' route, but being said although 'self taught' that is not all online, in-person training is crucial. Before i took on my very first newborn session i met with a friend whom had just had a baby, it was her third. She showed me proper holding techniques. From here i met with a physiotherapist who taught me the 'dos and dont's' when handling newborns. I am proud to be an advocate for newborn safety and use an approach focused on safe practices and handling at all times.
What are the safety practices you have in place in your studio specifically geared towards the newborn client?
Here you will get to see the depth of the photographers understanding for the needs of the newborn. Everything from scents to the proper studio temperature and humidity should be covered in their response. Posing surfaces should be an adequate size to prevent accidents, biomechanical supports should be in place to lessen the chance of ergonomic injuries, wooden backgrounds should be secured to avoid tipping and falls.
Will my newborn be supported by human hands in all upright positions as well as any poses requiring suspension?
If you are like many parents and interested in trendy poses including suspended stork inspired imagery or potato sack poses such as the imagery you see in my site, you will want to know that your newborn will be handled by human hands at ALL TIMES throughout all of the necessary poses. As photographers, we must be trained in the art of creating composite imagery. This ensures that babies will not be at the risk of falls or positional asphyxiation - two very dangerous scenarios that can result in death. Photographers with a diverse range of poses should be able to composite necessary images together in photoshop, as not all images you see are as they appear.
What will happen in the case of illness, your own or otherwise?
Many photographers are parents themselves and exposed to a variety of germs from their own wonderous children. In the event a photographer's child or the photographer themselves becomes ill prior to the session, they should be sympton free for the appropriate number of days before handling babies. Where and when illness may delay your session beyond an appropriate newborn timeline, a good photographer should either have an assistant photographer on hand or be confident in posing newborns of an older age so the session can be rescheduled for when the photographer is healthy.
Are you vaccinated against pertussis and the flu?
Pertussis (whooping cough) and the flu can be deadly to newborn babies. It is important that your photographer and their assistants are up to date with vaccinations against these conditions to ensure they do not pass along illness to yourself, your newborn or their siblings. I keep up to date on all my vaccinations, including yearly flu shots.
Can you point me towards online resources from which I can learn about safe practices when photographing newborns?
The amount of information available online nowadays is astounding! Your photographer should be aware of at least 5 resources online that cover newborn photography safety topics and be happy to share these with you. This shows you that they are not afraid for you to read through safe practices prior to attending a session at their studio and reassures you that they are both aware of and also likely follow many of the principles covered in such articles. Photographers should welcome educated parents to their sessions and push themselves to be as safe as possible when handling these tiny miracles of life.
Believe it or not, from conception, your baby has beat the odds in making it into your arms healthy and happy. They are tiny miracles of life and love and hold generations of hope in their sweet little body. They have been through the trauma of birth and are resting safely in your arms with love and reassurance. Please make sure that whomever you choose as your photographer respects the miracle of your baby and takes every precaution during your time together.
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