Choosing a newborn photographer can be incredibly overwhelming. Fine portraiture is an investment and it’s extremely important to choose a photographer whose style, experience, location and pricing is a good match with what you are seeking. All these things are great considerations, but the most important factor should be the safety of your newborn during the session. There is a great deal of training and skill required to photograph newborns, not just artistically, but also safely. I know how important it is that you hire a photographer who you can trust and know will provide not only beautiful, timeless images, but also the assurance that your newborn’s safety is put first at all times. I have created a list of questions to guide you in filtering out those who may not follow proper methodology, thus inadvertently risk the safety of your newborn. You may find that I may not be a good fit for your family, and that is understandable, but please use this list as an education tool so that when you choose your photographer, you can be confident that they will handle your newborn with the greatest care.
1. How many years have you been working as a newborn photographer and approximately how many babies have you handled up to this point?
I suggest they have at least 1 1/2 years experience and 50 babies handled as learning a newborn’s physical needs, reflexes and body language takes some time to learn. The more experience they have the faster they are able to respond to the newborn’s needs in a timely manner. At Alicia Poreda Photography I have been working with newborn’s since 2013 and have handled over 200 newborns to date, including preemies and those requiring oxygen.
2. Have you received any newborn specific posing training?
The knowledge that the photographer you choose has had extensive training in all areas of their chosen specialty is extremely important. The two most common ways to obtain training are online and in-person, while online learning is a wonderful way to gain information, in person training is essential in understanding the technique of newborn posing. I have taken several online workshops specific to newborn photography, as well as having been an assistant to another newborn photographer for 1 1/2 years, learning safe posing, wrapping techniques and newborn safety. I have discussed newborn safety with a NICU nurse, and local pediatrician. I have done hours of research online learning about newborn handling, movement, reflexes and how to safely achieve poses.
3. What safety practices do you have in place for your studio for your newborn clients?
This is an extremely important question as it will allow you to get an idea of how much understanding the photographer has for the needs of their newborn clients. Considerations are proper studio temperature, posing surface sizes, and cleanliness and sanitation of props and surfaces. I am happy to discuss with you all practices I have in place for our studio, there are no secrets, my goal is to be transparent for my clientele.
4. Will my newborn be supported by human hands while in upright or suspended poses?
Parents love those sweet little poses such as the froggy, potato sack, chin on hands and wrap hammock. These are poses that you need to know your newborn will be supported by human hands at all times throughout the pose. The human hand support ensures that the newborn is not at risk for falls or positional asphyxiation. Here at Alicia Poreda Photography all newborns will have human hand support during any upright or suspended posing.
5. Do you work with an assistant or spotter?
The majority of photographer’s don’t work with assistant’s in studio, however having a trained assistant is a great asset. They provide extra hands for posing as well as an increased level of safety for the newborn, act as a spotter and help in maintaining session flow and settling baby. It would be totally appropriate for parents to act as spotter’s during their newborn session is no spotter is offered by the photographer. At Alicia Poreda Photography there is always a trained assistant present at all newborn sessions.
6. Are you vaccinated against pertussis and the flu?
Both pertussis (whooping cough) and the flu can be deadly to newborns and young infants. When searching for a photographer you will need to consider if you are comfortable in working with those who are not up to date on vaccinations. This is a personal choice that only you can make. Both myself and my assistant’s are current will all vaccinations including the flu shot.
The precious newborn you hold in your arms is a miracle, a glorious gift that you have hopes, dreams and aspirations for. When choosing your photographer please make sure that whomever you go with is experienced and will take all precautions necessary to maintain the safety of your tiny new miracle.