Newborn Photography Safety and What You Need to Know
Something my client's often mention to me in their Newborn Portrait sessions, is how much time and patience goes into each set up and more often than not when I am setting up for a pose and explaining to mum what i'll be doing and how, they say they never knew that's how the photographer's got that image.
I can't stress this enough, what you see on your screen with that beautifully curly baby dangling from a tree branch, or resting its head on its tiny hands, or even sitting beautifully in a bowl... I can assure you the image as it was taken on the day of the newborn session looks very different!
A good friend of mine was telling me about their first newborn photography experience, they had taken their first born to a lady who was just beginning her photography business. My friend watched on assuming this lady knew what she was doing as her precious newborn fell over (on a soft bean bag) as she attempted to rest the newborns head in his little hands. A newborn baby's head so over-sized for their body, they cannot support their head in this way, even when balanced beautifully we shouldn't be putting the strain on their hands or wrists to do this.
My friend assumed this photographer, although new, wouldn't be doing anything to put at risk the safety of her baby. Her baby was fine, by the way, but it shouldn't ever be risked.
Now I want to talk to the mum's and dad's thinking about hiring a newborn photographer, you need to be aware of some basic newborn safety before looking at all the beautiful pictures, before asking about pricing.
Before all that, you need to visit this website - BANPAS
BANPAS are are UK based organisation but their website is full of amazing useful information for parents and photographers alike. They go through safe ways to pose a baby and what images should be done using composites.
How to tell if your chosen newborn photographer is up to date on baby safety when posing and photographing
There are few things you can do, firstly look through their work, is it consistent? Does the baby look awkward or uncomfortable? Are they producing good results? You will get a pretty good feel for the quality and knowledge of the photographer by going over their images on their face-book or website. Current trends in newborn photography require a lot of knowledge and skill in editing software, so if they are producing clean polished images while it's not a given it's a safe bet to think they are also using composites to create their work.
Secondly, while again, it's not a given, price is an indicator of experience and skill level. So you found someone offering newborn sessions for $100? Chances are they are just starting out, they are not skilled, and you need to be asking for more information.
You can get beautiful images while not going outside your skill level with newborns, so a cheap-o-grapher isn't always a bad choice! ( I was a cheapie too once!) But if you're looking for professional newborn portraits, it costs more than $100 to produce professional quality newborn portraits.
If you're unsure, if you have doubts, you could always ask. I say that as a mum and not a photographer, because no one wants to have their work practices questioned, but as a mum, I say trust your gut, if you're in doubt then ask them - do you utilize composites to create your final images? Do you have much training/experience with newborns? If their answer doesn't satisfy you then you know you need to look for another photographer.
Hopefully this will help you to choose the right photographer for you, once they check all these boxes then you can start to look at who has a style to suit you and your family :)
Carris Geyer - Photographer and Owner at Captivated Photography in Albury Wodonga.