There are a lot of new photographers coming into this business. I know a lot of newbies get their toes stepped on when I say this, but there is a huge movement of people who buy a digital SLR camera, and go into business within the next month or two. There is such a lot to learn prior to becoming a business. Of course I understand everyone has to start somewhere, I bought my first SLR in 1997, and I remember being all excited to see what I could do with it. I do understand, but please be aware that there are many new photographers, yes they charge very cheap for their work, but they aren’t necessarily operating legally, paying taxes, carrying malpractice/liability insurance, or most importantly, have the experience and know-how to keep your baby safe.
Your newborn babies safety should be paramount at all times especially concerning new baby poses or props.
Any industry will experience good healthy competition but we must remember these babies are not dolls, they are human beings they are alive. I have felt physically sick when seeing some images of babies hanging from branches or placed in a blender of all props! Yes you read that right. I have even heard horrific stories of photographers dropping babies when placed in these awkward positions.
Please be reassured a professional photographer is going to take every precaution to make sure your baby is safe at all times. Many of the “unreal” looking poses are images created by photo shop. These are images combined to create a final image that looks like it really happened but it didn’t.
Most photo sessions I do, I keep the baby nestled comfortably in a beanbag; but by request. The most important thing is your baby’s safety and comfort.
Another thing to be aware of is that professional photographers are watching for how your baby reacts to a certain position, not every baby will be comfortable in every position. Babies are flexible, but there are some unnatural positions that some babies will do, and some won’t. If a baby cries or shows discomfort when I am posing, I back out of that position. There is no need to force anything
Parents these are your babies… if you ever see a photographer put your baby in a position or in/on a prop or just handling your baby in a specific way, and you are not comfortable with it, tell them NO. You are mum and dad, this is your baby, never feel pressured to do something when your gut is telling you no.
I have specialised in maternity, newborn and family photography for ten years now and am a trainer within Photography for Little People, training all new franchisees in all aspects of photography. I am a proud member of Banpas, an Association whose members are amongst the UK’s leading baby and newborn photographers. The Association promotes safe working practices and we are dedicated to ensuring your baby’s comfort and safety takes priority whilst members create beautiful images for you to treasure.
Safety first when working with newborns.
Melanie Kemp: Durham maternity, newborn photographer.