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Is newborn photography safe – or am I putting my baby at risk?
The answer to this question is yes and no! But thats not really helpful to you is it? Every parent should know these facts before considering newborn photos!
Why newborn photography is dangerous.
Newborn photos – when done right, can be the most amazing magical photos in the world. But did you know that many people are putting babies at risk when trying to achieve the perfect shot?
My name is Elicia, and I am a safety trained newborn specialist photographer based in Swansea, South Wales. I am fully trained and Insured and know what I’m doing when it comes to newborn babies.
You may or may not know that newborn photography is NOT A REGULATED industry. That means that any Tom, Dick or Harry can buy a camera and call themselves a newborn photographer, and before you know it they are throwing babies into buckets and hoping for the best. THIS IS NOT OKAY! The thought of handing a newborn baby as little as a few days old over to an untrained person makes me feel sick. As a new parent you want to do everything you can to ensure babies safety, so here’s what you need to know.
Price or safety – and at what cost?
Its the first question I normally get asked. I get a notification from social media or my emails and it starts with… “How much do you charge for newborn photos?” when really it should be “Are you safety trained?” and “Are you an experienced newborn photographer?”
If you’ve never hired a newborn photographer before then baby safety is probably not the first thing that comes to mind, as you’d assume that a newborn photographer is safe, right? Well actually you’re wrong and I’ll explain why….
I have heard absolute horror stories of photographers getting baby into the above position known as the ‘froggy’ and then counting to 3 and letting go – hoping to catch the shot before baby falls and face-plants the fabric below. Yeah – I know. My jaw hit the ground too when I heard this. Not only is this unprofessional, it’s so unbelievably dangerous and can cause serious harm to baby. Baby should NEVER be let go in this position, and should never ever be left to support their own head. This is what is known as a composite image – and its probably easier to show you how it’s achieved.
This is what is known as a composite image. I have fully supported baby during all stages of this pose and have not let baby go at any stage. I take 2 photos – one while supporting under the babies head, and another while supporting the top. Using photoshop I then carefully merge the two photos together removing my hands from the image. This is the ONLY was this image can be achieved safely. And should NOT be attempted by anyone that has not been trained to do this safely.
Lots of images are not always as they seem, and a lot of my work will have my hand supporting baby that I later remove when editing.
Along with supporting baby during these complicated poses – there are lots of other considerations newborn photographers need to be aware of.
Baby’s are adorable tiny little humans with great flexibility. After all they’ve been in the womb for 9 months, and their journey into the world isn’t exactly an easy one. But just because they’re flexible doesn’t mean that all babies can be folded up like a taco. Some baby’s can do every single one of my poses with ease and sleep through the whole process none the wiser. While other babies are not so flexible and may not manage certain poses. A TRAINED newborn photographer will be aware of each baby’s limits and will know not to push or distress baby.
Baby’s are also very very sensitive to temperature. A good newborn photographer will monitor baby’s temperature throughout the session, and will keep the studio at optimum temperature to maximise baby’s comfort.
Baby’s circulation also needs to be monitored during certain poses – making sure that no stress is being put on baby’s body at any time.
As you have probably started to notice – there’s a lot more to consider than just taking a good photo.
Top tips for parents
1️⃣ Always ask your newborn photographer what training they have had, and if they are experienced. A safety trained photographer will have no problems listing off the experience they have. Always make sure that your newborn photographer is also insured.
2️⃣ Does your newborn photographer mention safety anywhere on their website – if not then ask yourself why?
3️⃣ Is your photographer aware of safe practices and making sure that baby is comfortable?
4️⃣ Look at the photographers previous work – are the babies supported? Are they being safely posed when using props?
5️⃣ Ask yourself what’s more important- price or baby’s safety?
Lots of love
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