Helpful Tips for Parents searching for the right newborn photographer
I would like to first give you a little background about my knowledge of photographing, posing and safety of newborns. I have been taught and certified by some of the worlds most prestigious, talented and well know photographers around the world. Including but not limited to Heidi Hope, Nicole Smith, Kelly Brown, Julia Kelleher and Ana Brandt just to name some. I have attended multiple day seminars doing hands on workshops and one on one mentoring. I am a certified EMT, public safety dispatcher, 911 certified, first responder and CPR. Safety is my number one concern when doing newborn sessions. So please don't just consider the price when choosing your newborn babies photographer please know what their experience and background is. Remember, your baby is growing fast and before you know it, with a blink of an eye this precious time will have passed.
Hiring a professional photographer can be overwhelming! How do you know who will provide a good service? A good product? Who will connect well with your family? Is what they’re charging a reasonable rate?
Having a newborn is an exciting time in your life and you only get one chance to experience those fleeting moments in their early lives. Picking the right photographer is key to preserving these memories. We have some helpful tips to help you sort through all the many factors that may be weighing on your mind.
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.
The following is a list of questions to keep in mind that will help you choose a conscientious and skilled photographer who will have the safety and well being of your baby as priority.
How many years in business and approximately how many babies has the photographer handled up to this point?
Specific Newborn Posing training and with whom did they train?
Knowing not only that your photographer has trained extensively to learn the ins and outs of their craft is highly important but just as important is understanding where the information has come from. While online learning can be great, training in person is crucial to developing a complete understanding of posing methodology. Lastly, knowing who they have trained under allows you to look up the source of the information they have received. As our profession is not regulated, any person, photographer or otherwise, can offer newborn posing training with no safety creditials necessary.
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. A safety conscious photographer will be able to easily identify a variety of safety practices, everything from tripping hazards to the proper studio temperature and humidity. 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. These practices are extensive and we encourage our APNPI photographers to be as transparent as possible to their clientele.
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, you will want to know that your newborn will be handled by human hands at ALL TIMES throughout the pose. At APNPI, our photographers are trained in the art of creating composite imagery and educated in the appropriate support needs of newborns. Our goal is to minimize the risk of falls or positional asphyxiation – two very dangerous scenarios.
Do you work with an assistant or provide spotters at your newborn sessions? Or will you allow me to spot my baby during a session?
Most photographers do not work with assistants in studio. When possible, a trained assistant can be a valuable asset at your session. A second set of hands are critical for many poses (especially those performed in props) and a trained assistant can provide an added level of safety with appropriate spotting and aid in the session flow by helping to settle babe throughout posing. When an assistant is not present, it is entirely appropriate that parents participate in the session assisting with the posing of their baby. Parents, especially mothers, should never be asked to stay further away from babe as is sometimes requested due to the idea that the smell of mother’s milk will cause the baby to become unsettled. Should the baby show signs of hunger such as the rooting that can occur when they sense and smell their mother, they should be given appropriate time to feed. A satisfied baby will not be unsettled due to the smell of milk
What will happen in the case of illness, your own or otherwise?
Many photographers are parents themselves and are 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 cleared by a medical professional prior to conducting the session. Where and when illness may delay your session beyond an appropriate newborn timeline, we encourage photographers to work in teams, and have quality referrals for you to consider. For posed newborn work, your session is time sensitive and is best completed sometime within the first two to three weeks of life. However, a skilled photographer can still provide you with a beautiful gallery of images beyond this optimal time frame, and so we encourage both parents and photographers alike to be patient and keep health and wellness of infants as top priority.
Are you up to date with vaccinations against pertussis and the flu?
Pertussis (whooping cough) and the flu can be deadly to newborn babies and unlike medical professionals, photographers are not required to be vaccinated. If you are concerned about having your baby handled by vaccinated individuals, then this is certainly a question to ask your photographer and photographer’s assistant ahead of time.
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.