Newborn Photography is becoming more and more popular, and it seems there are now new photographers popping up each day offering this type of session.
It can be really difficult to choose which photographer to capture your precious new bundle when their is so much choice out there, and often such big variations on pricing and what is included in your session.
I always recommend the BANPAS website as a great place to start for any new parent looking for a photographer. BANPAS is the Baby and Newborn Photography Association.
Unfortunately the newborn photography industry is completely unregulated, meaning it is easy for anyone to pick up a camera and call themselves a newborn photographer. There is nothing wrong with this - we all start somewhere and I think it's great that so many people are becoming passionate about capturing those early days of a baby's life.
However, as a Mum myself I know that (just like the rest of you) my son is the most precious thing in my world, his safety is my number one priority at all times.
As parents we spend countless hours looking into what food our children eat, the toys they play with, what childcare we use, what school they go to, and always their safety is at the forefront of our minds.
It really shouldn't be any different when booking a newborn photographer. Lots of the beautiful posed newborn shots you see, particularly those using props or where baby's head is held in their hands, should be done as a composite image.
This means that baby is held at ALL times. Hands should NEVER leave baby when they are in these positions. To leave baby in these poses without hands on could be incredibly dangerous if baby were to slip, stir, or make a sudden movement.
Two or more images can then be stitched together later during editing, to create that perfect final image (without hands showing) ensuring that you have beautiful memories to treasure without compromising your baby's safety.
Below is an example of how this is done using an image from a session I shot at the weekend. In this instance I used Dad to hold baby safely in position whilst I captured the shots I needed.
I always try to explain what I am doing when I am handling a newborn, why I am posing them a certain way, what measures I am taking to ensure their comfort at all times. If you ever feel uncomfortable with the way your photographer is handling your baby, or you just want your baby back for a few moments you must always stop and ask - after all, your newborn session is likely to be the first time you have spent any length of time NOT holding your baby, and entrusting their comfort and care primarily to somebody outside your immediate family.
It is so important to me that parents feel comfortable to ask me questions at any stage during the booking process. I want to ensure that you are 100% happy with the experience you receive so please do feel to ask away when enquiring about a newborn shoot - no question is too silly!
BANPAS have lots of fantastic information not only on newborn safety but also what questions to ask when looking for a newborn photographer. They also have a great search facility where you can search for nearby newborn photographers using your postcode!
You can find their website here:
I have also compiled a list of things that you might find helpful to consider and think about when booking your newborn photographer:
# Safety! Has your newborn photographer been professionally trained in how to pose newborns? Does your photographer have full public liability insurance?
# Environemnt! Does your photographer provide a safe and secure surroundings in which to photograph your newborn? If they work from home is it a smoke free environment?
# Budget! Does your photographer suit your budget? Are they honest and upfront about their pricing and what's included in your session fee? There is no point booking someone if you cannot afford to purchase any of the beautfiul images they have captured, after your session.
# Style! Do you love the photographers style? Look at their portfolio, are these the sort of images you want of your new baby?
# Quality! Are the images sharp, in focus, well lit with correct colouring? Images that are blurry, apear to be out of focus, have a yellow tinge, have filter-type effects applied to them or appear to be too dark/too light are NOT good quality, high resolution images and will not print well at large sizes.
# What's Included!? Do you have siblings you wish to incorporate into the shoot? Would you like parent or family shots aswell as individual newborn poses? Make sure you check your photographer is happy to include these as part of the same session without additional charge, as not all photographers do.
If you take all these things into consideration you can't help but end up with beautiful, timeless, portraits of your newborn that you will treasure for years to come.
Congratulations on your beautiful new bundle of joy and happy newborn photographer hunting!