Newborn photographers, it seems there’s one on every block these days. How do you choose? Typically, I find the decision is based on two major points, the photographer’s style and the price tag. Both of these are important to choosing the right photographer for you, but I believe experience, education, and knowledge of how to safely handle and pose your delicate newborn should be a major factor in the decision to hire a particular photographer.
Parent’s, don’t be hesitant to ask these important questions. How much experience with newborns does the photographer have? Do they understand the important do’s and don’ts of newborn posing to protect their delicate heads, necks, and hips. What sort of training do they have? And, where did they get that training? Ask, ask, and ask again.
The safety of your baby is the most important aspect of your session. My personal philosophy is that it doesn’t have to be complicated. The simplest of images, absent of props and gadgets are the most beautiful.
These are the rules I have in place for my personal studio…
~ Never force a baby into a pose they aren’t comfortable in. Adjust until they are comfortable or move on.
~ Always have a parent next to the baby when using props.
~ Never leave a baby unattended. This is critical when using props or posing with young siblings.
~Have a camera strap around my neck when shooting from above.
~ Clean and sanitize hands regularly.
~ Use a support hand when necessary and remove later in photoshop.
~ Weigh down the bottom of baskets and buckets with weights to prevent tipping.
~Never stand on anything above the baby in case you fall, choosing the right lens is an easy solution to remedy this situation.
~Never suspend the baby in the air from an object. These images are shot in a safety sequence and composited later in Photoshop. Just because it can be done doesn’t mean it should.
The more comfortable the baby is during the session the more at ease they will be. It is important to use small gentle movements and a well- planned flow from one pose to the next. This will keep the baby from becoming over stimulated, and help to provide a calm, smooth session.
It is important to understand that every baby is different and photographed with that respect in mind.
Your newborn baby is a miracle and it is and honor and a privilege to document those memories. Newborn photography safety is of the ultimate importance. So together, let’s do it safely.
Amy Odom is a newborn, maternity, and baby photographer located in Central Texas. Prior to her life as a photographer she spent 25 years as a Registered Nurse in Labor and Delivery and the Newborn Nursery collectively. This along with countless classes and one on one mentoring with some of the finest newborn photographers in the US, she continues to educate and learn in all aspects of newborn photography.
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