If you are considering booking me for your newborn portrait session first of all, thank you very much!
As a new parent, you may be wondering what to expect. You may have read some of the recent worrying reports about safety during newborn sessions and be understandably concerned about putting your precious baby into the hands of an unknown photographer. I have written this blog to hopefully put your mind at rest about booking with Ellie J Photography.
I have been photographing newborn babies for over six years now and have lots of experience in posing and soothing my little clients. You can be assured that I will always put the safety and comfort of your little one above all else in fact, please be prepared for me to refuse to undertake any pose, even one you've requested, that I feel may upset your little one or put them at risk. Not all babies will adapt to all poses and I would never make a baby uncomfortable or put them at risk for the sake of a cute photo. This hasn't happened too often over the years, but when it has my wonderful clients have always been completely understanding because after all, when it comes to the care of their baby, they feel exactly the same way I do.
I am a member of BANPAS, the Baby and Newborn Photography Association, whose members must demonstrate that they are working safely and that they have in place the insurances necessary for business.
As a professional photographer, despite technical advances and the development of cameras that promise to do everything bar make a cup of tea, there is so much more to be learned than just how to release the shutter. Before setting up my business I undertook a lot of photography and lighting training and I have continued to develop my knowledge over the years leading to my qualifications with both the British Institute of Professional Photography and the Guild of Professional Photographers. As a digital photographer, I use Photoshop on a daily basis to subtly and expertly process every image I take (for example to soften baby's skin and remove newborn blemishes) and add those finishing touches that will ensure my clients receive a beautiful set of photographs in their completed gallery.
As a professional newborn photographer there is even more that must be learned. For example, how to soothe a baby and recognise certain cues such as those which might indicate hunger or discomfort; how it is important to ensure cleanliness for example, by regular use of hand sanitiser/hand washing during a session and by washing all blankets used post session; how the studio must be heated to a certain temperature, as a young baby is unable to regulate their own body heat; how to spot signs that a baby's circulation has been restricted when placed in a certain pose and much, much more. Very importantly, a professional newborn photographer must know how to pose their tiny client safely for example, by using composite images, where a few photos taken with baby being carefully supported are expertly merged in post process into a final image where baby appears to be supporting himself. In any poses where baby is at risk of fall, a 'spotter' (someone close by baby supporting where necessary) must be used to ensure safety at all times. As with all genres of photography, continuous professional development is important to keep up with industry standards and ensure safe practice.
I believe it is very important to provide my clients with as much information as possible and to this end, my web site carries an important newborn information page and my booked clients all receive a PDF booklet containing advice about how to best prepare for their newborn session.
When I got to this point in drafting my blog it occurred to me that, no matter what words I might put down here, word of mouth recommendation has always and will always be my best source of recommendation. And so I will finish now with the words of Mandy Smith and Mariyana Mihaylova, whose beautiful daughters I had the privilege of photographing back in 2014, and who have both kindly sent me the following comments about their Ellie J Photography experience.
"We loved our visit to Ellie J Photography with our tiny 4lb newborn premi. As you can imagine we were very overprotective especially as she was so tiny... The room was lovely and warm so we didn't worry about Maddison getting cold and from the minute we walked in we felt at ease. Everything was worked round how happy Maddison was, even stopping for a feed part way through and if she didn't look comfy in a pose Lorraine would know how to move her so she was, or wouldn't do the pose at all. Our favourite picture was a composite image created from two poses with daddy holding Maddison and the finished picture just amazed us. It was a fantastic experience from start to finish and Lorraine didn't even flinch when Maddison decided to wee all down the front of her twice oops.
The only worry we had was the fact we loved all the photographs and trying to pick one for a canvas was such a nightmare we ended up with three." Mandy Smith