So…. you wanna be a newborn photographer? Yessssssssssssssss! Newborn sessions are the sweetest ever! You get to capture all the special little – and I mean tiny- details of that fresh baby! It’s totally how we get our baby fix, since my kiddos are grown and off to college. Except 1, she’s still here and I’m seriously absorbing all the time I can with her. LOL!!!
OK well if you ever read any of my blogs, this should be the one you read. Especially if you are in the market for a newborn photo session. I can’t emphasize how important it is to do your homework. Research the qualifications of the photographer and their business before you book. Should you like their style? Yes! But, you should make sure they are qualified to handle your few day old new addition. Would you buy a car without test driving it or looking up to see what the specs are? This is YOUR baby. You cooked it and waited for 9 (kinda 10 actually) long months to meet he/she. Do your homework.
Please do forgive me if I get carried away and on my soapbox. But this is so important. I want to give you some tips on what to look for and what to ask when your scouting newborn photogs. Also, I’ll ad a few secrets most people don’t know about when they see those cute little baby pix with their chins propped on their fists. So, here goes!!!
Always ask a photographer if they are a licensed and insured business. You want to know that when you book them, they have been responsible enough to buy insurance to cover you if God forbid, something goes wrong. And truly, you want someone that pays their taxes. (OK, that was mean, sorry. But it’s so frustrating. And, this is my blog so… ) OK, moving on!
Ask the photographer about their credentials when it comes to working with newborns. Does the photographer need to have that safety certification? NO. BUT, yes there is a but… they should know basic safety things about the newborn stage of a baby at any rate. So many different people are photographers because they love it. But, it’s not their full-time gig. So if you hire someone that is a nurse, or has worked with newborn babies before and has been trained… you are at least on the right track. (I was a child care provider for 11 years, licensed through the Air Force. OMG! Have you seen the regs they have. I completed all these modules about children from newborn age and up, how to care for them, how to safely care for them, and I attended monthly training to keep up on all my certifications. CPR, First Aid, etc. It’s important that you know and are trained). Is a Newborn Safety Certification for photography required by law? No, but I think it should be. I would want to see it from whomever I hire as a parent. But that’s me.
What can help make a session more safe?
OK, so hands down: I ALWAYS have a second set of hands in the studio that is trained in shooting for newborn sessions. If any of my photographer friends aren’t available, the parents get a crash course in being my second set of hands. They are necessary. And that leads us to reason number 4.
The hands are necessary for those cute poses where baby is propping their chin on their sweet little fists and such. Ummm hello!!!! No baby at the age of 4 to 10 days can hold their head up, much less prop it in a cute little pose. Those darling images in what we photographers call the froggy pose? Those are what we call composite shots! Yup… our second set of hands supports the baby where it is needed and we take a few shots in different support positions. We then combine the images in Photoshop and erase what we don’t want seen in the pic. 😉 Yup good and safe. Check out these two articles on dangerous newborn poses. The lesson: NEVER EVER COMPROMISE YOUR BABY’S SAFETY!!!!
When doing your research, check and see if your photographer has good reviews and recommendations from people you know. I think word of mouth by what my friends and family are telling me is worth so much more than what any stranger writes or says. Your friend or family member will have your best interest at heart!!! This is just my opinion, but I think it’s the truth!
So, to help out my quest to make newborn photography safe for the general population, lol, I’m offering and hosting a Newborn Safety Workshop!!! That’s right. But here’s the kicker. It isn’t just for photographers (professional or hobbyist). I’d love to see mom’s and dad’s that love to pull out their fancy camera and document every single detail of their brand new addition join me. I have a friend of mine who is a registered nurse that has worked in labor & delivery before and has taught many classes to expecting moms & dads, who has agreed to pop in and offer up some of her expertise along with me giving you some important info. Not only that, but we’ll be shooting a mini session or two as well!!! I want you to have some observation and maybe a little hands on training time. And if you have any questions about the craft of photography or your camera, maybe we can squeeze a little bit of that in too.
I’m not locked in on a date yet. I’ll keep you guys posted. But, the workshop will be hosted at my studio and at the very least, we’ll get to have some fun and meet new people.
Jennifer Norrick is a Maternity, Birth, Newborn, & Family photographer out of Rapid City, South Dakota and the surrounding Black Hills area. Her work has been seen in places like The Wandering Photographer Magazine and”How He asked, by the Knot.” Jennifer is available for world wide travel and has enjoyed working with both, clients here in the United States and internationally.
When she’s not shooting or editing the days away, Jennifer is busy being a wife and a mom to her kiddos and fur babies.