Safety is always my Focus
Baby safety is always my number one priority when planning and carrying out newborn sessions in my clients’ homes. I pay great attention to their needs and signals to ensure I create a relaxed environment for them where they can be comfortable and feel secure. Here are some of the steps I take for each session to make sure the environment is a safe one for the shoot:
I bring very heavy counterweights to use at the base my backdrop and lighting stands to make sure they are super sturdy. Each weight is 6KG and the combined weight is pretty hefty so if the new Dad offers a helping hand unloading my car they are usually encouraged to carry the weights!! Any props such as baskets would also be counter weighted in the bottom.
Warmth & Comfort
The room is warmed up using my space heater to make sure the baby is nice and warm even though he or she is swaddled in a wrap rather than wearing baby clothes. As newborns cannot regulate their own temperature at this stage I am always making sure they are comfortable and not overheating. The temperature in the womb was 98 degrees F so they are used to being surrounded by warmth. It can get rather warm for the parents though so I do advise that they wear lightweight clothing (although to be fair some are still in their PJ’s which is also fine!)
Safety In Posing
Although newborn babies still retain much of their flexibility they had when curled up in their mother’s womb during those first few weeks, they cannot support themselves – especially the weight of their own head. Many effects are achieved after the session by post production techniques. A good example of this is the following shot where it appears the Dad is holding up the baby in his hands. In actual fact the baby is safely resting on a posing beanbag and so are the Dad’s arms. The placement of his hands suggest the baby is balancing there but actually they are just resting underneath the baby.
There is an association in England which advocates safety in posing and good working practices (Baby And Newborn Photographers Association. As a pro member of BANPAS www.banpas.co.uk I adhere to their guidelines and advocate their association to fellow photographers working in the field.
Fresh & Clean
Hygiene is important and so I ensure my nails are clean short. Once I have set up the space I always wash my hands before handling your baby. Blankets and wraps are freshly washed before each session and if I am unwell I will offer to reschedule the shoot.
A nice Cuppa
I have a rule that I never drink hot drinks at any session. I prefer to just drink cold water and wait until I get home for a nice cuppa. Hot drinks and babies don’t mix. Maybe that is the reason that as a new Mum you always end up with cold tea?!!
Rest assured that the comfort and safety of your baby is my utmost priority at all times.
Thanks for reading! Sally