Choosing a newborn photographer is a serious situation and can be quite confusing for new parents. Many factors should be considered including finances, style, location, but most importantly safety. Currently there are NO REGULATIONS in place for safe handling of babies at photography sessions, so caution should be taken and questions should be asked when choosing a photographer for newborn photography. As a parent myself, I've taken the time to create a list of questions to help you find a photographer that fits your needs and concerns. This list is based off safety in mind. My intention is to provide you with assistance in educating yourself so that whomever you choose, you can be assured they will handle your newborn with the utmost caution and care.
-How many years have you been handling newborns for photography reasons and how many newborns approximately?
I have been in involved in handling newborns in photography for 2+ years. I have had 70+ newborns in a photography posing sense. The newborns I have handled have included preemies, multiple newborns in one session, those recently circumsized, those with medical equipment and special care needed, and those with mental/physical conditions which need special caution .
-Have you taken/received any specific newborn training to include safety, posing techniques, and care? If so explain....
I started my newborn photography journey by first learning then gaining experience. It is important to be that I continue to educate myself for better performance and a high quality of service provided. I am CPR and first aid trained and newborn safety certified. I have taken courses/workshops from professional experts in the newborn photography field that include over 40 hours of training from over 25 different newborn photographers all over the world. I continue to use my resources I have invested in to preform the safest service possible. Training workshops for newborn photography includes posing techniques, handling a newborn safely, conditions of a safe newborn studio environment, preparing for sessions, techniques in keeping baby comfortable, and more. While learning is important, hands on experience can be crucial to the understanding of what is learned. I have taken the time to offer many learning experiences hand on with newborns to become more confident and comfortable with using what I am learning.
-What are your safety practices and features in your studio specifically designed for newborn clients and families?
Health and safety in my location uses are extremely important to me. I always start with hand washing just seconds before touching baby or items in use, followed by a hot dry. All products such as props are always sanitized either in washer and dryer or with baby safe/friendly cleaning methods to avoid spreading common germs. Any items washed such as blankets and outfits are washed in hypoallergenic fragrance-free soap. If there is a special need it shall be discussed in the communication preparing for your session. Tripping hazards are avoided and the location is always thoroughly prepared for each session before client arrives. Proper temperatures are put in place to keep baby from becoming too cool or too warm during the session. Proper assistance with props are performed such as weighting baskets, and having extra support with human handling for composite image posing.
-Do you work with professional assistance for spotting during a session or will a parent be able to assist?
Most professional photographers vary with having an assistant on site. I choose to take a lot into consideration about each session indivisually. Of course if you feel this is absolutely needed, be sure to request this at the session consult before booking. A second set of hands is crucial to most posing and a parent of the newborn is usually educated and asked to assist in simple spotting and or handling/holding the newborn during set up changes. The newborn is never left alone or unsupervised during any session moment. It is always encouraged that a parent stay involved in the decisions of staying comfortable with safety. Nothing is ever performed without prior knowledge and explanation.
-What is done in instances with illness, your own or otherwise?
Many photographers are parents themselves and often get exposed to a variety of germs including those from their own children, but as well with other clients they become in contact with (just as anyone else would). In the event that I (the photographer) or my children become ill before a session, it is a requirement that I be cleared by a medical professional prior to the session. When an illness lasts beyond an appropriate and given time for newborn sessions, an equally skilled professional will be referred and your contract will provide details on this situation to provide peace of mind in the situation.
-Are you properly vaccinated for newborn concerns such as flu and whooping cough?
My vaccines are up to date always and include flu and pertussis (TDAP) which are crucial to anyone in contact with an infant.