First things first: CONGRATULATIONS on your new little bundle of joy!
Now that you’re ready to set up a newborn photoshoot, maybe you’ve gotten overwhelmed with all of your options for photographers. Maybe you’ve Googled “newborn photography near me,” and now you’re trying to sort through your search results. We want to help you figure all of that out.
Choosing a good professional photographer is essential for your newborn photoshoot. Lots of people can take pictures, but not everyone is really a professional. Think about it. If somebody is going to be working with your precious baby, you’ll need to closely consider some very important factors. For instance, does the photographer...
a. have the proper certification?
b. understand what safety and proper posing means?
c. have insurance for his or her business to protect your family in case of an accident?
I think you’ll agree with us that your baby’s safety is much more important than a pretty picture.
So, what exactly should you look for in a professional baby photographer? How can you tell a true professional from an amateur? How can you know that your photographer is qualified, understands what safety is, knows proper posing, and is totally capable of handling your precious newborn baby?
9 Must-Ask Questions
Since we’re experts in baby photography, we always like to offer newborn photography tips for parents who are looking for answers. So, here are some must-ask questions for any potential newborn photographer for your baby’s photoshoot. (These questions have been adapted from the APNPI website apnpi.com.)
1. How long have you been working as a newborn photographer, and how many babies have you handled?
Our photography studio has been in business for approximately nine years. During that time, we have photographed at least 200 babies.
2. Have you received training on newborn specific posing training? If so, with whom?
Stephany is certified in newborn safety from Accredited Professional Newborn Photographers International (APNPI). She has also attended many classes that deal with newborn safety and is part of several associations for professional photographers.
3. Can you tell me about the safety practices that your studio has specifically for newborn clients?
At our studio, we sanitize everything, and we wash all accessories after every session. We also make sure that all of our newborn photography props are safe; all wooden props are inspected to ensure that they're free of splinters, etc. At all times, we’ll watch your baby and strictly adhere to all of the safety practices that we mention in this article.
4. Will my baby be supported by human hands in all upright positions, and will my infant be supported in all poses that require suspension?
We will always support your baby with human hands. We’ll also do our best to ensure that your baby will never be placed in any position that will compromise his or her health.
5. During your newborn sessions, do you work with an assistant or provide spotters? If not, will you let me spot my baby during a session?
Stephany usually works with an assistant. However, if one will not be present during your newborn photoshoot, we’ll ask Mom or Dad to spot the baby during the more difficult poses.
6. What is your policy in the event of any illnesses that occur?
If anyone who is scheduled to be involved in the photoshoot is sick, we’ll reschedule. We won’t put your precious newborn at risk by proceeding with a photoshoot when anyone is ill.
7. Are you current on all vaccines that are necessary when working with expectant mothers or newborns?
Stephany is up to date on her vaccines. It is important that any newborn photographer be current on those.
8. Do you know of any online resources where I can learn about safe practices for photographing newborns?
The APNPI website is a great online resource: apnpi.com. You can find more newborn photography tips for parents and other helpful information there.
9. Are you a member of any organizations or associations that directly service and educate newborn photographers?
In addition to being members of APNPI, we’re also members of the Dallas Professional Photographers Association (DPPA), Professional Photographers of America (PPA), Belly Baby and Beyond, Portrait Masters, and many educational online groups. We always take the time to learn and improve our craft.
How the magic happens
Now that you can see that we’re seasoned professionals, we’d like to show you examples of how we create some popular poses during a newborn photoshoot—and how we do it safely.
For instance, newborn photography props and buckets that are lightweight must always be filled with weights to prevent tipping over. Furthermore, no matter how many layers of wraps, blankets, etc., that a photographer uses, there’s always a small risk of imbalance that can easily cause strain on a baby’s neck. An unsupported baby also has a risk of positional asphyxiation caused by the pressure on the throat and the underside of the chin as the baby’s heavy head rests on her hands/wrists. That’s why it’s essential to watch and support a baby at all times!
Why risk the safety of your precious little one for the sake of a photo op? We can achieve the desired effect digitally. In each of the following photos, you’ll see that several images are composited together. We work our magic this way to ensure that your baby is protected at all times.
In this “baby on the shelf” image, you’ll notice that the baby is safely posed on a beanbag. In Photoshop, we create an image composite—the baby isn’t actually sitting on a shelf.
In this classic “potato sack” pose, you can see how the baby is fully supported by an assistant. The baby isn’t actually left by herself inside a “potato sack” without any support.
In these poses, you’ll notice that we always have an assistant or parent present to support the baby’s head and watch the infant closely while being photographed.
If you like what you see and you’re ready to schedule your design consultation with us, click here and we’ll get started on the preparations for your newborn photoshoot!
9 Things to Watch Out For When Searching for your newborn photographer
While all of the magic is happening during your newborn photoshoot, no matter how much you trust your photographer, it’s important to look out for potential dangers. If you’re uncomfortable with anything that your photographer is doing with your baby, don’t hesitate to say something. You’re the one who will need to speak up for your baby anytime you sense a safety issue or anything that just makes you personally uneasy.
Here is a list of important things that you should watch out for and consider during your baby’s session. (These newborn photography tips for parents have been adapted from the APNPI website apnpi.com.)
Make sure that your photographer is insured so that you and your baby will be protected in the event of an accident that could occur during the session.
Remember that your photographer, your photographer’s assistant, and anyone else present during the session should not be sick during the session.
3. Basic hygiene
Make sure that your photographer has hand sanitizer available.
4. Essential oils
It’s too early to tell if your new baby is allergic to anything. What if he or she is allergic or sensitive to essential oils? If your photographer is using essential oils and you aren’t comfortable with this, don’t hesitate to ask your photographer to not use them.
Many photographers will keep their studio temperature at around 80 degrees so that your baby will not be cold during the session. Since the studio may be a bit warm as a result—especially since blankets may be used during photography—always watch for signs of overheating in your baby:
a. sweaty neckline
b. mottled skin
c. redness in the face
6. Mold or mildew
Since a studio might be rather warm or even damp due to the temperature, it is possible for mold or mildew to form. If the blankets or props smell musty or like mildew, that could mean that mold is growing in the studio, so make sure that all of the blankets and newborn photo props look and smell clean. If you’re concerned about your baby breathing in these toxins, and if the photographer can’t resolve the issue, it’s okay to simply end the session and leave safely with your baby.
7. Medical items
Make sure that your photographer doesn’t touch, move, or try to remove any medical items from your baby such as belly button clamps, circumcision gauze, etc.
8. Safety with newborn photography props
Make sure that your newborn photographer and/or the assistant places your baby in newborn photo props that are free of splinters or nails. These props should be weighted properly. In addition, your newborn should never be positioned in or on glass containers or objects that can shatter or break.
9. Support during the session
Most importantly of all, please make sure that your newborn baby is supported by human hands AT ALL TIMES throughout risky poses. This safety precaution will ensure that your baby will not be at risk of falls, central cyanosis, or positional asphyxiation—three very dangerous scenarios that can result in serious injury or even death.
At our studio, we know how to safely handle your infant during a newborn photoshoot. We’ve gone through extensive training, and we receive new training on an ongoing basis. Since we're experts in baby photography, we know how to react to any situation that may arise during a session. Don’t worry, Mama—your baby is in good hands with us!
Let us take it from here
We hope we’ve helped you understand that finding a newborn photographer is so much more than just finding someone who takes pretty pictures. We also hope that we’ve equipped you to make good decisions while you’re choosing your photographer. Those beautiful photographs will capture memories that will last forever, but safety should always come first! (If you’d like more newborn photography tips for parents and information about newborn safety, check out the APNPI website: www.apnpi.com ).
That being said, we also hope you’re not overwhelmed with all of this new information. We can help you relax during your newborn photoshoot with our pampering package. With this option, a hair and makeup artist will come to the studio and pamper you for 90 minutes while we photograph your baby. After your pampering, we’ll end our time with a family session. During this session, we’ll make sure you have something amazing to wear—you can use any gowns from our wardrobe collection!
So, rest assured, we’re experts in newborn photography. From keeping your baby safe to making you and your family look fabulous, we’ve got you covered.
Click here to schedule your pre-session design consultation. We'd love to hear from you!