How to Choose your newborn photographer:
Finding a photographer that fits your budget may seem like it is the most important factor when selecting a newborn photographer, the truth is that finding an experienced photographer who emphasizes newborn safety is the most important detail you should look at.
Below is a list of questions you should ask prospective photographers. You can download a PDF at the following link: APNPI - Questions to Ask Your Newborn Photographer. The list is here to educate and help you choose a photographer who will handle your newborn properly and safely. Please do not hesitate to ask any questions. I am very happy to help!
1. How many years have you been working as a newborn photographer and approximately how many babies have you handled up to this point?
Both my grandmother and father were photographers. I grew up in my father’s darkroom, making photography a huge part of my entire life.
My business has been in operation for six years and I started focusing my craft on newborns in 2015.
In that time I’ve photographed well over 250 newborns, over 50 preemies and over 25 sets of twins. I have experience working with newborns with feeding tubes, hip dysplasia and those recently circumcised.
2. Have you received any newborn specific posing training and with whom did you train?
Yes, I have completed a mix of in person and online workshops focusing on safe newborn posing and the art of newborn photography.
In person I have worked with Ana Brandt of Belly Baby Love by Ana Brandt at a hands on workshop, focusing on newborn safety; Corrie Michael of Corrie Michael Photography on all aspects of newborn photography, focusing on newborn safety; Shelly Ferguson of Shelly Ferguson Photography on safe baby posing; Tamarind Spender of Azure Photography on parent posing and safe bucket posing; and I attended the Uncommon Creative Photography Conference, attending workshops by Jessica Nip of Jessica Nip Photography, Ali Beck of Glow Portraits, Stephanie Robin of Stephanie Robin Photography, Bryan Caporicci of Bryan Caporicci Photography, and Katie Andelman of Katie Andelman Photography.
Online I have completed an online course through APNPI on newborn safety. Completed two of the Milky Way Online Newborn Retreats, the Anna Brant Twin Newborn Photography Course, The Kelly Brown Online Newborn Retreat, and various other courses run by Creative Live and Click n Moms.
3. What are the safety practices you have in place in your studio specifically geared towards the newborn client?
Everything I do with regards to newborn photography is done with safety in mind. All props (containers, buckets, chairs) have been purchased for proper sizing and weight. Weight and posing beans are also added to ensure safety, and an extra set of hands is used to support baby when needed. Beanbag posing is done on two different posing beanbags specifically designed for newborn posing. They provide a safe surface to pose baby. Posing beans and towels are using under the beanbag drop blankets to support baby in each pose. I have studied safe newborn posing to learn the safest ways to pose and have a lot of experience to know when a certain pose will not work for certain babies. Your baby is my boss and he or she will let me know if they are willing to do a pose.
I provide my Newborn Session Prep Guide with important information on how to prepare your home and baby for the session. An example of something to prepare is to warm your home, or the room I will be working in. I monitor the temperature and baby to ensure safety.
All items and linens are cleaned after each session. In our home, we use natural organic products, including our laundry detergents. We do not use fabric softener, when needed vinegar is added to the wash to add softness. Some items that can not be fully washed as spot cleaned when needed and the sun bleached to ensure germs are removed.
Once in your home, after I have set up for the session, I wash my hands before I handle your baby.
And as always, should the baby show signs of hunger such as the rooting, I will pass baby to Mama for a feeding.
4. Will my newborn be supported by human hands in all upright positions as well as any poses requiring suspension?
Most certainly. All poses that are upright are fully supported by adult hands. I use two images to create a composite of your little one.
Some of my images are made fully on the computer to ensure the utmost safety of your baby, instead of moving baby multiple times into various containers, a digital backdrop is used to create a Fine Art Portrait..
5. Do you work with an assistant or provide spotters at your newborn sessions? If not, will you allow me to spot my baby during a session?
I use mom or dad as a spotter during certain poses. Parents are always welcome to sit and watch or sit back and relax, I have even had a few parents have a little nap during their session.
When needed, I do bring an assistant with me who is trained and experienced in newborn safe posing.
6. What will happen in the case of illness, your own or otherwise?
If I were to become ill, the session would be rescheduled.
Depending on the illness and circumstances, if we are not able to reschedule in a timely manner, I know a wonderful group of local newborn professional photographers that I would refer you to.
Your babies safety is my main concern. As noted below, I am fully up to date on all vaccines.
7. Are you currently up to date on the necessary vaccines needed when working with a pregnant or newborn population?
Yes, I am up to date with all vaccines. All members of my household are also up to date and we all get the flu shot annually. Every 4 years I have my blood titered to ensure vaccines are still effective.
8. Can you point me towards online resources from which I can learn about safe practices when photographing newborns?
Absolutely! Here are some links to safety articles currently available online.
Newborn Safety APNPI
NAPCP Newborn Safety Week 2011
Learn Shoot Inspire: Newborn Safety week 2015
NEWBORN SAFETY WEEK 2013
NEWBORN SAFETY WEEK 2012
NAPCP SAFETY POSTING
NAPCP NATURAL NEWBORN SAFETY
9. Are you a member of an organization or association directly servicing newborn photographers and their educational needs?
Yes, I have achieved the titles of Accredited Newborn Posed and Maternity Photographer, as well as a certification as a Qualified Newborn Photographer, with Accredited Professional Newborn Photographers International (APNPI), an association dedicated to safety and excellence in newborn photography.
Unfortunately, few organizations currently exist and no regulations are in place for the newborn photography industry. APNPI has been formed to fill the void and provide safety courses, educational resources and opportunities for growth and achievement for newborn photographers. Their website is a great place to start searching for your newborn photographer.