Hello all! This is my blog where I'll be posting all about newborn photography training, interviews with delegates and all sort of other interesting snippets!


Newborn Safety – newborn photography tuition.

Newborn safety is one of my values, and anybody who has trained with me, will know that I put the safety of the baby before *any* shot.

You would think that newborn safety would be at the forefront of every newborn photographer’s mind wouldn’t you?

Sadly, that is not always the case. Many photographers who photograph newborn babies have either not undertaking adequate safety training on how to handle, pose and look after newborn babies, or they have undertaken training but safety has not been a key module of the teaching. This needs to change. I am so upset at some of the teaching I see being given to newborn photographers, where safety of the baby is disregarded, or where the teacher is not *adequately* considering the safety of the baby. I am always appalled when I see some of the unsafe practices newborn photographers are carrying out when photographing.

Examples of this include :

-baby left unattended in props while photographer takes a “behind the scenes” video for instagram.

-baby left unsupported in props

-baby balanced precariously in a bucket or other prop without a spotter/helper supporting the baby’s head. Babies startle – they can very quickly fall.

-baby posed too close to the edge of a prop/the beanbag

-baby wrapped in too many layers resulting in a thermoregulation risk

-baby posed in the froggy pose which may result in hip and airway issues. This pose is not considered safe by a consultant paediatrician, even when carried out as a composite.

-baby posed in the “potato sack” pose, which can lead to airway and thermoregulation issues

-room is too hot or too cold

-baby’s head is not supported when in a forward facing pose.

The list goes on and on – these are the main examples of where photographers are not working with baby safety at the forefront of their mind.

One of the issues, as I see it, is that photographers are copying other photographers, or they are learning online, from trainers who do not carry out the safest practices. They think “well they do it, so it must be safe”. And the problem here is, – it isn’t always safe.

I am working with a consultant paediatrician and together our aim is to change the industry, to change these unsafe working practices and to educate photographers *properly* on how newborn babies should be treated during newborn photography sessions. We will educate on the risks, what to look out for and what not to do. We firmly believe that taking *any* risk with a newborn baby is not acceptable.

Another issue is the practice of *some* associations to fly over newborn trainers from another country, based only on their Instagram following, to teach UK photographers. No regard is being given as to whether that trainer is working completely safety. Don’t even start me on the giving of awards and qualifications to newborn photographers when those doling out the awards have absolutely no idea whether the baby was safely posed.

I have offered to talk to associations absolutely free of charge on *what* they should be looking for and *how* to choose a newborn photography trainer. Already one association has taken me up on that. I can’t wait to work with more.

It’s quite simple – photographers owe a duty of care to their tiny clients. If they breach that duty, and that breach results in harm, then the photographer will be found to be negligent. They will be sued. They can say goodbye to their reputation and their career. But more important than that – they will have harmed a newborn baby. And *that* is absolutely unforgivable.

If you are interested in having me speak for your association, or to have me train *you*, then please get in touch with me via my website. If you have landed on this website and would like me to photograph your baby, child or family then you need my other site – which you can find right here.

newborn photography safety training
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Newborn photography workshops v 1:1 training

Hello! I thought I’d explain some differences between newborn photography workshops and 1:1 training, so that you can decide which is best for you. This is a question I am often asked, so where better place to discuss it than here?

I carry out both newborn photography workshops and 1:1 training. Newborn workshops are group workshops which I run in my studio in Bristol and are limited to just four delegates. The reason I limit the numbers so hugely is because it is vital to me that each delegates gains a huge amount from my teaching. With my workshops you are not just another face in the room. I see workshops for 20 photographers or so, and I wonder how much of a benefit that really is to the paid delegate. How much attention can that delegate really get? Is there the opportunity for that delegate to have their shooting angles checked or their exposures checked? Is there the opportunity for that delegate to properly feel as if they are getting the large amount of attention they deserve?

One of my values when I teach photographers is to ensure that they receive more than they ever thought they would. I want my delegates to feel that they are important to me, that I care about their progress and that I give them the care and attention they deserve during their day(s) with me. I want them to leave inspired and excited about the changes they can make to both their art and (if they have booked business training), their business. I want them to feel that no question is a stupid question. That they can ask me anything relevant, and be guaranteed a straight answer.

My newborn workshops typically cover lighting, safety and posing in the morning, and business in the afternoon.

When attending a workshop with me, the only requirement I have is a willingness to learn, and an understanding of ISO, aperture and shutter speed.

My 1:1 teaching days are just that – One to one. Just you and me. These have great benefits. One of which is that we can go at exactly your pace. Everybody has their own learning style, and not everybody learns in the same manner. I take the time to find out which learning style suits you, and then teach accordingly. The day is completely tailor made to your exact requirements. This might be lighting refinement (or learning lighting from scratch). It might be posing refinement. It might be wrapping. It might be beanbag work or prop work. It might be creativity and finding your style. It might be editing or business. Whatever it is, my 1:1 days are there to suit your exact requirements.

Whichever you choose – all delegates receive a certificate of training from me.

To find out more about my workshops and 1:1 please click here.

If you live more than 40 miles away from Bristol and you are interested in newborn photography training then come along and join my Facebook group.

newborn photography workshops

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Newborn training with twins

I had the pleasure to teach an established newborn photographer who wanted to learn how to safely light, pose and photograph twins. I therefore created a bespoke twin newborn training one to one day.

One to one’s are bespoke training days completely tailor made to your exact requirements. They are perfect because it means you learn simply one on one. No other delegates. No other distractions, just you and me, meaning that you can learn completely at your own pace.

I taught Cary, who travelled from South Wales for the day. I have taught Cary a couple of times before, and she’s a very lovely photographer. Cary believes in the importance of safety with newborn babies and absolutely did the right thing in coming to me to be taught before posing twins herself. I have taught Cary a couple of times before and she is always a complete pleasure to teach.

We had the delightful Millie and Benjamin come to model for us. They were completely lovely little babies (as all babies are!). Cary wanted to learn how to light two babies at once, how to be creative within the session, ideas for posing, and, of course, safety.

I use one light when I photograph newborn babies and photographing twins was no different. There is no need to complicate matters by adding in additional lights when they are not needed. My studio is painted white, so I am able to use one of the walls as a reflector to lift shadows should I wish to do so.

As well as photographing each baby individually we also, of course, photographed them together. There is a real art to doing this properly and safely. I never ever take risk with newborn babies – and I always teach photographers that safety comes before any shot. When posing twins, you need to be aware of the health and safety of *both* babies at the same time. You also need to take into account the parents, who will be quite rightly watching your every move. You need to ensure you don’t block their view – it amazes me when I see newborn photographers working where the parents can’t see their babies!

Cary had a great day – and says:

“I can’t recommend Melanie highly enough. I’ve come away from every training session invigorated and motivated, and progress has been clear in the next session. It’s been worth every penny!”

Here is just one of the images from the day.

Newborn training with twins

To find out more about my one to one training – please click here. If you would like to take part in newborn training with twins let me know and I will source twins and book you in! To book me to photograph your baby, please click here

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Newborn Photography Training – Welcome

Welcome! I’m guessing you are here because you are interested in newborn photography training, or I’ve taught you before and you follow my work. Whatever your reason, welcome to this blog.

The first thing you should know about me – is that I absolutely *love* my job. I love photographing newborn babies, children and families. If you want to have a look at some of that work then please follow this link.

I *really* love teaching photographers! I teach all levels, from beginning right through to advanced. I teach in the UK and worldwide. I’ve taught in the Cayman Islands, Italy, Belgium, Denmark and Spain. I am due to teach for the fourth time in Italy 2020 and will be teaching in Canada also in 2020.

I run workshops at several points through the year and my one to one newborn photography training is very very popular indeed – I’ll be writing a separate post on one to one training vs workshops shortly.

I’ve been a newborn photographer for fifteen years, and training photographers for nearly a decade. I really love to see photographers get those “lightbulb moments” – and to realise all that is possible for them both in their business and their art. Rightly or wrongly I feel a sense of pride when I see photographers improve vastly in both and to reap the successes they truly deserve.

I first started teaching when I was asked to do so by a well known photography institution. I thought long and hard about whether to do so, because being a great newborn photographer, and being able to teach are two totally different things. I didn’t want to let anybody down if I couldn’t get my knowledge across in an engaging, intuitive and easy to follow manner. So I gave this a huge amount of thought and then thought “well if I don’t, I will never know if I can”. So I did, – I carried out a two day photography workshop and the feedback both from the association and the delegates was phenomenal. So I’ve never looked back.

That’s all from me for today – this really was just a quick “welcome” post. Follow along, feel free to comment and we will go from there!

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Melanie East is a specialist newborn photography trainer and newborn safety expert. Her belief is that newborn safety should come before any shot, and that taking risks with newborn babies is unnecessary. Melanie is a published author on the subject of newborn photography and teaches newborn photographers throughout the world.


T. 07590 813858


E. melanie@theartofthenewborn.co.uk