One of the biggest concerns for me as a newborn photographer is the safety of the baby. When posing a newborn, there are specific ways to do so as well as specific conditions which are important to be knowledgeable about in order to keep the baby comfortable and safe.
Believe it or not, at this time there is no actual certification for posing a newborn baby. Essentially anyone with a camera can call themselves a newborn photographer these days. This kind of blows my mind! Newborn photography is the most hands-on type of photography there is and we’re dealing with fragile little newborn babies! I think most new parents who come to me with their newborn do not realize this until they see it in person. This is why I chose to become accredited through an organization called Accredited Professional Newborn Photographers International. I wanted my clients to know I take my work very seriously and am genuinely concerned about the safety of their newborn. I had to go through safety testing and qualify at 100% in order to earn their seal of safety. And, I also had to go through a rigorous portfolio review to earn their accreditation as a quality photographer. It’s the closest thing to being certified in my opinion.
At times, I am posing a naked baby and in order to do so, I follow important safety rules. I always use heating mechanisms to try and keep them warm, however there is a limit to it. A newborn cannot regulate their own temperature so they can also overheat. I try to be mindful of the areas where they can show signs of overheating and remedy that as quickly as possible. Also, when handling their fragile heads, I always am mindful of how I move them and where I’m allowed to touch their heads as to not affect their soft spot. If a baby resists a certain pose more than a few times, I stop and move on to the next set-up. I will never FORCE a baby into a pose. Sometimes babies experience complications at birth without the parents or doctors noticing and for instance if there’s a broken clavicle the baby will be uncomfortable in certain positions. This is something I am always mindful of.
I think the reason I decided to write about this is I’m seeing quite a big trend in the pop up of new “newborn photographers” advertising affordable sessions and I can’t help be concerned with at what cost? If they have invested their time into training, have quality props and especially a designated, clean area to work in they would not be able to afford to stay in business as a “cheap newborn photographer”. You get what you pay for! If you had a choice of taking your newborn baby to a safe photographer versus the SAFEST photographer, which would it be? I know what my answer is!!