Greenville SC Safe Newborn Photographer: Picking a Photographer for Your Baby
A couple weeks ago, I talked about judging a photographer’s skill with a camera and retouching software. This week I’m going to show you how to look at their work and judge whether or not they are a Greenville SC Safe Newborn Photographer.
What are the Safety Challenges in Newborn Photography?
Most newborn photographers prefer working with newborns who are under 14 days old.
Photographers prefer this age because the babies have what we call “womb memory”: they are extremely flexible due to their time confined in their mothers womb. This age allows us to curl them into the beautiful poses featured in our work.
But there are unique safety challenges to photographing a baby at this age.
- Newborns have very weak immune systems.
- Newborns are used to an environment that is 98.6 degrees. When unclothed, babies loose body heat very rapidly.
- Newborns have several reflexes for their safety. The following reflexes can cause a baby to move from a prop or beanbag if the photographer is not aware of them: Moro or Startle reflex, the Rooting Reflex, and the Galant Reflex.
- Newborns have poor circulation in their limbs called acrocyanosis.
- Newborns can not support their own heads and have to be supported at all times.
- Newborns have varying levels of flexibility and not all babies find every pose comfortable.
Identifying Safety in a Photographer’s Portfolio
You can ask some questions about a photographers sick plan/vaccinations, how warm their studio is, and how they were trained. But prior to calling a newborn photographer, you can evaluate their skill and safety just by looking at their work.
The first tip I’ll give: Never hire a newborn photographer who shows any images of babies in glass or ceramic props. It’s just not worth the risk to put baby in something breakable!
The second tip: If a pose looks impossible (baby’s head supported by hands, hanging from a branch, or suspended off the ground), ask that photographer how that pose was created. All of these images should be created via a Photoshop composite. Most photographers who do these poses will talk about the “magic” used to create the pose, but some inexperienced photographers actually believe these poses are possible without Photoshop. It never hurts to ask.
I’m going to show you some images from my first three newborn session years ago so that you can clearly see the difference between a well posed, comfortable, and safe baby and one who is clearly not comfortable. These images were taken in my portfolio-building season and before I took my first workshop. I’ve grown so much since then, but I don’t think it’s fair to display any other photographer’s work but my own on this blog.
You can see that this baby is not comfortably through it’s grimace. Perhaps he had gas or perhaps he was posed uncomfortably.
The clearest sign of safety in a photographer’s images is the contentment of the baby. The baby should always look relaxed and may occasionally even smile for the camera.
The baby here is poorly posed. While physically she’s comfortable, this image is not a good one because you can’t see baby’s face.
Here is a better image of a baby lying in a similar pose.
The baby here is cold. You can see how his skin is blotchy from the cold and also that he’s awake. Cold babies rarely sleep. While I had a space heater running, it was not able to keep this client’s home warm.
This is the same pose in my adequately warm studio. One of my primary reasons for creating my home studio was to keep baby better heated and to ensure that I had the necessary light.
This baby has poor circulation. While his hands are not as purple as they could have been, he was clearly left in this position for too long without restoring circulation.
A careful newborn photographer will patiently assist a newborn in relaxing the fingers and re-position the baby if circulation becomes an issue.
Are you as concerned about your baby’s safety as I am? Please contact me today for your free pre-consult and we’ll see if you and I are a great fit in style and budget. If we’re not, I’ll happily refer you to another Greenville SC Safe Newborn Photographer who can meet your needs.
Are you an aspiring newborn photographer or parent wanting to learn more about baby safety? Let me point you to this series of posts on Newborn Photography Safety.