Well, I thought it was about time I blogged again about a very important subject - the importance of safe practice, especially when photographing newborns and babies.
Posed newborn photography is becoming more and more popular in the UK, and more and more photographers are beginning to offer this service to new parents.
It is important to realise that the professional newborn 'posed' photographs (eg tiny babies propping their heads up in their hands or apparently being suspended from tree branches) seen on professional web sites are the result of carefully planned and executed photographs, which are then expertly post processed to produce the finished image.
I would advise all new parents to use caution when selecting their photographer. Have a look at their work - have they photographed many different babies? Do they have experience? Do they provide information about what to expect? Most importantly - will they work safely with your precious baby? It might also be a good idea to see if they are a member of any newborn photography associations.
I myself am a proud member of the Baby and Newborn Photography Association BANPAS (who have recently changed their name from BANP). In their own words, this association is:
"...the foremost group of leading newborn photographers dedicated to ensuring your baby's comfort and safety whilst creating beautiful images for you to treasure. We strive to encourage high standards of customer service, quality images and safe practice across the profession of newborn photography."
I joined this organisation because, like many of my fellow professional photographers, my primary concern whilst working with babies is their safety (as well as creating some gorgeous photos for mum and dad, of course!)
An experienced newborn photographer will know how to set up today's popular 'posed' shots safely, without causing discomfort or distress to your baby. He or she will have either an assistant or parent close by to lend a supporting hand wherever necessary (for example in any shots where there is a risk of fall). Post processing skills will later be used to produce many of your final images; some of these might involve the removal of a supporting hand or in more complex shots, the blending together of more than one image to create a composite shot. In addition to all this, an experienced newborn photographer will know how to soothe your baby, be incredibly patient and calm and also make sure mum and dad are looked after during the session!
I'm sharing below a photo from one of my recent newborn sessions. This gorgeous little baby was under 5 lbs in weight when this image was created and quite obviously would not have been able to support her head in her tiny little hands. This is a very popular pose requested by many of my clients and an example of a 'composite' image (i.e. the result of two images blended together). To the side of the main photo you will see the original 'straight out of camera' shots that were used to create the final image.
Someone once asked me if I was worried about giving away my 'secrets' like this - the answer is no. Lots of newborn photographers I know regularly update their own blogs with similar posts to this. I suspect that like me, they do it in the hope of educating new photographers and parents and preventing, Heaven forbid, someone trying to copy one of these poses thinking the baby was posed just so and risking harm to the little one.
Thanks so much for reading. If you know anyone who is considering booking a newborn photographer perhaps you could share this blog with them.