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Newborn photography guidelines

The newborn industry is crying out for newborn photography guidelines during the Coronavirus Pandemic. I work closely with a fabulous consultant in emergency medicine. He also has a specialist interest in infectious diseases and immunology. Together, Dr Langer and I have created the following newborn photography guidelines for newborn photographers.

Please note that these guidelines are just guidelines. Advice for newborn photographers. They are not an exhaustive list and photographers must carry out their own risk assessments relating to their own working practices. These guidelines simply set out what newborn photographers should be considering. Neither Dr Langer nor I accept any liability for any omission. Please remember that these newborn photography guidelines have been created with your and your client’s best interests.


BY Melanie East, specialist newborn photographer and trainer, newborn safety expert.


Dr Daniel Langer, Consultant in paediatric medicine with specialist interest in infectious diseases and immunology.

The following guidelines have been drafted for newborn photographers during the Covid-19 pandemic.


The studio must be thoroughly disinfected with disinfectant before each session including the floor.

Limited studio sessions per week to allow deep clean between sessions.

A study published in the New England Medical Journal by researchers in the US looked at the survival of the coronavirus on a variety of surfaces. Those surfaces being plastics, stainless steel, copper and cardboard. Viable virus was still detected on plastic and stainless steel after 72 hours. For cardboard and copper it was no longer detectable after 24 hours and 4 hours respectively. Fabrics were not studied. However, we would suggest that delicate fabrics are quarantined for 72 hours between sessions to remain on the super safe side.


Cottons, linens and other non delicates should be washed at 60 degrees after each session regardless of whether that item has been soiled. This should be standard practice for newborn photographers in any event.

Props should be thoroughly wiped with disinfectant before and after use.

Teddies, felt hearts, snugglies, headbands and any other soft props or material which cannot be washed at 60 degrees celsius should be quarantined for at least 72 hours between sessions to remain super safe.


Parents should be sent a questionnaire which should be returned the night before the session confirming that they, and anybody within their household are not experiencing symptoms relating to Covid-19

The photographer should confirm that they and anybody within their household are not experiencing symptoms relating to Covid-19

If either of you or anybody within the client’s or your household are experiencing symptoms you should postpone the session for at least 14 days.

Your camera should be sanitised before use.


Whereas there isn’t specific evidence regarding fan heaters we would suggest these are not used to prevent possible spread of droplets.

Windows should be open throughout the session to allow ventilation.

Consider whether you will allow clients to use bathroom facilities and if so then there must be sanitising facilities. The lid must be closed when flushing and the bathroom must be sanitised before the next user. There should be at least a 2 minute gap between users.

No refreshments – clients should bring their own.

Parents must sanitise hands on arrival.

Shoes should be left outside.

Face coverings should be worn by photographer and parents.

If photographing parents, when parents remove mask in order to be photographed, then you must stay at least two metres away.

Hands should be washed thoroughly and hand sanitiser used before you touch the baby and whenever you touch the baby.

Whereas we appreciate you cannot maintain a 2 metre distance when posing a baby, as much distance as possible should be between the photographer and the baby whilst still maintaining baby safety.

Baby must not be left unattended in props.

Close up posing work with babies such as heads on hands or arms – in forward facing poses or indeed any poses which require very close up posing should be avoided. This is because those particular poses require a lot of touching of baby while posing and refining. It also means you are extremely close to baby when posing.

Touching of baby should be strictly limited.

Photographers should avoid touching baby’s face.

Sessions should be limited in time – no three hours sessions in a hot room!

If photographing from above, the photographer must remember not to stand on anything to achieve a 2 metre distance.

Photographers should not wear gloves. This gives a false sense of security and prevents proper sanitisation. The best way to keep as safe as possible is to wash your hands for 20 seconds using soap if you have facilities within your studio. Alternatively hand sanitiser with at least 60% ethanol should be used. Remember standard anti bacterial gel without enough ethanol will not be effective. You are advised to check the ethanol content on the back of the bottle before purchasing. This is a virus not bacteria.

This is our guidance, and is not an exhaustive list. You will need to make your own risk assessment based upon your own studio set up and working practices. No liability attaches to the provided guidance.

Copyright: Melanie East and Dr Daniel Langer

If you are a newborn photographer and you would like to know more about my newborn photography training which *always* has a huge emphasis on safety, then please click here. If you are due a baby and would like me to photograph your new arrival then you need my other website which you can find by clicking here.

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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