As a newborn photographer, it goes without saying that I take the safety of my little clients seriously, and it is always my number one concern during a shoot. Your child is precious and I will always treat them with the respect and attention they deserve. I always raise this topic of safety with parents, when they first enquire with me.
It might surprise you though to hear that the newborn photography industry is completely unregulated. But for photographers like me who take safety seriously, we know how important it is to be correctly trained. For example, an image like this, often requires the support of a parent’s hand to ‘spot’ the baby’s head, and then the hand is removed in post production.
Or a in a shot like this, the baby is not balanced mid-air, but in fact sitting on her mother's lap.
When you see an image where the baby looks like they are being held in the air, they are in fact resting safely on a bean bag with their parents hands cradled around them. The rest of the shot is created in post production.
As a sign of my commitment to this aspect of newborn baby photography, I hope it reassures you to know that I have undergone 1:1 training with some of the UK's and world's most renowned and award-winning baby portrait photographers, and continually receive more training each year: Tracy Willis (internationally awarded photographer, awarded "Masters" status by the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers, and currently in training with them as a judge) and Claire Elliot (qualified Master Craaftsman and panel member (judge) of the Guild of Photographer). I have also attended a range of training sessions and seminars by the likes of the internationally-aclaimed Ana Brandt & Aoife Millea (for a newborn photography, newborn composite editing, and maternity posing workshop in my studio), Sue Bryce (on posing for portraits and business mentoring at the SWPP convention in 2017), Kelly Brown, (including her latest baby safety course), Maddy Rodgers (on newborn baby posing with parents at my studio) and Gary Hill (on studio portraiture lighting) I am of course also a member of BANPAS (the Baby & Newborn Photography Association) which supports the on-going education and training of baby photographers, as well as a member of the Guild of Photographers and Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers for their ongoing professional support and mentoring programmes. I also undergo regular baby and child First Aid health and safety training every 12-18 months to refresh myself on the correct and latest guidance on first aid for young people.
You can find me on BANPAS’s directory of newborn photographers. They also have a fantastic facebook page for pregnant and new parents which you may find useful.
Get in touch to find out more about how I can safely create a beautiful gallery of images for your newborn baby, to check my availability or to book.
PS. At the time of updating this blog post in June 2018 I only have limited availability for babies due over the summer (only two spots available for July, one for August and two for September 2018). It is best to get in touch after your 20 week scan to pencil in a newborn portrait session.
PPS. Following some interesting commentary and discussion regarding this blog on my Facebook page, I wanted to add some other comments, which go into a little more detail on the topic, but expectant parents may find interesting:
Parents often ask my why a newborn session can take 3-4 hours and I always tell them the same thing. The photography part is quick (obviously assuming you know how to handle the equipment) and can be done in half an hour, but the part that takes the time is ensuring the well-being of their baby. From the basics like making sure they are well fed, warm enough, clean (bottoms), and comfy to then making sure that when the baby is being posed they are being moved whilst respecting the ergonomics of the body of a baby, and understanding where one can touch / hold and where (e.g. the fontanelle) should never have pressure applied etc.
It is also worth mentioning that newborn photography training also covers things like how to settle babies, how to swaddle them safely, how to pose them in props (e.g. never, ever, ever use a breakable object like a glass bowl), and of course how to create images and memories that look beautiful as well as being safe. As an example, a lot of less experienced or less trained photographers who attempt newborn photography may struggle to recreate poses like those where the baby’s hands are under their chin, or cheek.