Keeping Baby Safe during a Newborn Photoshoot

Newborn photography has been a growing industry, but there are currently no safety regulations in place.  Anyone who owns a camera can take photos of newborns without any training and with absolutely zero knowledge. This could potentially put all infants at risk because no one has any training or knowledge on how to properly care for them!

SAFE POSING WITH COMPOSITE IMAGES

A photographer is an artist capturing the beauty of your child in their own unique way. They are responsible for creating breathtaking portraits that you will treasure forever!   The beautiful images these professionals produce often depend on composites, made up of two pictures that ensure the safety and well-being for your child such as risk of imbalance, risk of asphyxiation, risk of overheating, etc.

Potato sack

potato sack

Froggy pose

Froggy Pose

Siblings

sibling pose

Suspended

suspended pose

SAFETY CHECKLIST

As per APNPI (Accredited Professional Newborn Photographers International) https://apnpi.com/

These are some items to keep in mind at your session.

While taking pictures of your new baby should be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved, it’s important to remember that nobody owns or controls these moments but you. If something makes you uncomfortable as a parent, then do not hesitate in speaking up and letting us know so we have time keep them from happening again!

  • Room temperature – most photographers will heat the room so that baby is not cold.
    • Watch for signs of overheating – sweaty neckline, mottled skin, redness in the face, irritability.
  • Air quality:
    • Props/blankets look and smell clean.  Musty and mildewy smells could indicate the presence of mold growing in a damp, warm studio.  If you are concerned about your baby breathing in mold toxins, don’t hesitate to choose to leave with your baby.
    • Essential oils are trendy right now, but can cause allergic reactions and sensitivities.  Don’t hesitate to ask your photographer to remove the use of oils if you are uncomfortable with them.
    • Other environmental allergens such as dust, pets, foods, etc.
  • Tripping hazards
    • Cords are taped down, rug grippers are used with flokati and floor boards. Props are put away.  Waste and spills should be cleaned immediately, without delay.
  • Antiques and props
    • watch for splinters and nails
    • Props are weighted properly.
    • Newborns should never be positioned in or on glass containers or objects that can break or shatter.
  • Posing surfaces should be an adequate size to prevent accidents
    • biomechanical supports should be in place to lessen the chance of ergonomic injuries
    • wooden backgrounds should be secured to avoid tipping and falls.
    • Sandbags are used to weight props and light stands.
  • Your newborn is supported by human hands at ALL TIMES throughout risky poses.
    • This ensures that babies will not be at risk of falls, central cyanosis, or positional asphyxiation – three very dangerous scenarios that can result in very seriously injury or even death.
  • In the absence of an assistant, parents, especially mothers, should never be asked to stay further away from babe as is sometimes requested due to the idea that the smell of mother’s milk will cause the baby to become unsettled. Should the baby show signs of hunger such as the rooting that can occur when they sense and smell their mother, they should be given appropriate time to feed. A satisfied baby will not be unsettled due to the smell of milk, and it is better to have an extra set of hands close by than not.
  • Your photographer, assistant or other people present are not ill.
    • Where and when illness may delay your session beyond an appropriate timeline of around 1-2 weeks, a good photographer should either have an assistant photographer on hand to complete your session or provide referrals to other respected photographers working in a similar style. For posed newborn work, your session is time sensitive and should be completed sometime within the first two to three weeks of life. Unposed, documentary or lifestyle sessions can be completed in longer timelines and rescheduling should be easier with these types of sessions
  • Your photographer does not touch, move, or attempt to remove any medical items such as belly button clamps, circumcision gauze, etc.
  • Your baby is not showing signs of central cyanosis – the bluish discoloration around the core, lips and tongue.  This can be quite dangerous. According to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre, central cyanosis is never normal in the newborn period, and is almost always linked to a lower amount of oxygen in the blood. For this reason, the photographer should be concerned regarding the cause of deoxygenation whenever central cyanosis is present.
  • Your photographer has hand sanitizer available.
  • Adequate seating and changing areas are available and suitable for new moms and those recovering from C-sections.
  • Easy access to drinking water.
  • Your photographer is insured in order to protect you in the event of accidents.

Questions to ask potential photographers before hiring one:

  • HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING WITH NEWBORNS?
  • DO YOU HAVE AN ASSISTANT OR SPOTTER?
  • DO YOU DO COMPOSITE IMAGES?
  • IS YOUR BUSINESS INSURED? ARE YOU A LEGAL BUSINESS?
  • IS YOUR STUDIO SANITIZED BETWEEN SESSIONS?
  • WHAT PRECAUTIONS DO YOU TAKE TO KEEP BABY SAFE AND COMFORTABLE?