So you are joyfully expecting? Aaand, you want to make sure to capture those sweet first curly newborn moments. This time in your baby’s life is so fleeting. Babies change so much in just a week or two. It seems that everyone is a photographer these days. How do you know who to choose for these once in a lifetime portraits?
I’ve created this little guide to help you know what to look for in a photographer and to be able to make an informed decision. There is a lot of info so I’m breaking it up into two parts. Today, we are going to start with safety.
- How much experience does the photographer have with newborns specifically? How long have he/she been working with them? Newborn photography is like no other with special safety precautions. If your photographer is new with newborns and is nervous, your little one will sense that and it can affect the session
- What safety precautions does your photographer take? There are certain poses that require someone to spot and can be very dangerous if not done. For instance, that cute pose with baby’s chin in hands (this is called the froggy pose). Newborns do not have the muscle strength in their necks to just hold their heads in their hands. For safety reasons this is done with what is called a composite. Two pictures are taken where the baby is supported in different areas and then merged in photoshop. Additionally a baby should never be pushed into a pose that he or she seems uncomfortable with. I will never force a pose on a baby that seems to not want to do one, especially a more complicated one.
- Is everything washed and sanitized? Does the photographer wash her hands and sanitize them before holding your precious bundle? Does your photographer reschedule if she or her family is very ill? It’s important that the baby’s health comes very first. A simple cold can lead to rsv and put a baby in the hospital.
- A second set of hands. Does the photographer ask Dad or a second person to be right next to you as you take portraits or does the photographer have a spotter/assistant? A strong baby can lurch forward in an instant and it’s important that your photographer directs that second person to hold a hand over baby when appropriate to make sure that doesn’t happen.
- What about keeping baby warm? The room needs to be heated to well over 80 degrees when you undress a newborn. Newborns cannot regulate their body temperatures well and it’s important to keep them warm when doing those sweet, hat only, curled up shots.
- Does the photographer take the baby’s cues into account? Every baby is different. We can do everything to prepare and help parents prepare for the session and it really comes down to how baby is feeling that day. Some babies sleep right through and some do not. Sometimes they are fussy or wide awake. Does the photographer know how to handle this? Do they know how to get beautiful photographs in this situation? Does the photographer allot two to three hours and allow this as well as for feedings and soothing time?
I hope this has helped you with some things to look for in your newborn photographer.
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