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.