The safety of newborns in newborn photography is so incredibly important. Over the last few years, there has been a huge influx of newborn photographers. I have seen some truly frightening examples on social media of these inexperienced “photographers” putting babies in dangerous situations. As the newborn photography industry is not regulated, anybody can pick up a camera and advertise themselves as a newborn photographer. The onus is then on parents to do their research…
If you are looking for a newborn photographer, PLEASE ensure that you choose someone who is a professional. Someone who is experienced working with newborns, is insured, and has your baby’s safety as their first priority.
Safety Rules for Newborn Photography
Babies must never be left unattended on any surface where they could roll or fall, in a prop, or with a young sibling.
In more complex poses such as the “froggy” pose, babies must never support their own head. Images must be constructed using multiple images in Photoshop.
Babies must never be placed in or on any prop which is sharp or made of glass or where they could potentially fall.
When taking a shot above baby, the photographer must always use a camera strap to prevent the camera falling on the baby.
The photographer should regularly check that the baby is not too hot or cold, and check extremities such as fingers and toes for lack of circulation.
The photographer should not attempt to force the baby into any pose which the baby is not happy to go in to.
The photographer should be up to date with their whooping cough vaccination.
Finding an Experienced Newborm Photographer
In Australia, there are a few things to look for when choosing an experienced professional newborn photographer.
Look for the AIPP logo The AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photographers) has a newborn directory on their website which lists photographers in your area who specialise in newborn photography. Of course, there are some fantastic experienced photographers who aren’t members of the AIPP, but it is an added bonus knowing that the listed photographers are insured, and have been assessed and accredited by the AIPP.
Be prepared to prioritise experience over price. Experienced professional newborn photographers are inevitably going to be more expensive than new photographers just starting out. If new parents are focused on price alone, there is a high risk that they are going to choose a less experienced photographer who may not adhere to the best practices of safety.
Find a specialist newborn photographer Newborn photography is an incredibly specialised field of photography. Understanding the physiology of newborns and how to photograph them safely and beautifully is a skill that takes many years of training and practise. It is unlike any other niche in photography. The best way to get beautiful images of this precious time and to find someone who takes newborn safety seriously is to find someone who has been specialising in the field.
Don’t be afraid to ask! Any professional will be happy to answer any questions you may have about their experience or vaccination status. If at any time during your session you feel uncomfortable, be sure to speak up and say something. Your precious baby is more important than any photo.
Amy Tong is a specialist newborn photographer in Sydney’s Inner West with over 5 years experience. She is a fully accredited member of the AIPP.