And what an honour it is to be chosen to photograph this miracle. The parents chose us so they trusted us. They want to put their little one in our hands. Not an incredibly responsible task. Creating a safe and loving environment is our responsibility as photographers. Parents need to feel that their child is safe when they come to the studio. The person doing the shoot is responsible, experienced, and wants to do it as well as possible. We have to take care of the smallest details such as room temperature, light, atmosphere, and others.
Here are some of A&M Mazur Photography tips and tricks for successful and safe newborn sessions.
Before they come to the studio, check all items which should be such as bowls, and small beds. All clothes, materials, and others should be checked out beforehand. Use neutral washing products to be sure that they do not irritate the baby’s skin. Wash your hands. Hand sanitizer comes in handy in many situations and is something I always have on hand. I also like to use cotton gloves.
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I always have a place where parents can change the baby and feed him. A disinfected changing table, some pampers a waterwipes, and a cotton blanket to cover the baby are prepared. This is the place where I change the baby into his first outfit, doing it close to the parents so they can see how I take care of their little one.
It is important to keep the studio warm. I try to keep the temperature no lower than 23 degrees. During the session, the lamps get warmer and warmer. The children like it especially when I shoot them naked.
Some children do not want to be naked, so I wrap them up. They feel warm and safe. This helps them fall asleep more quickly.
Always have help on hand when placing a newborn in any position where they could move or fall. This includes the main bed, the sofa, and even the floor. Newborns are strong, and can move a lot. If I don’t have an assistant then I ask for help from one of the parents. A&M Mazur photography are marriage whom both are experienced photographer, you can trust them.
Every session is different, every newborn is different. We cannot always put the baby in the position we want. Some newborns have hip problems so they cannot lie in the ‘frog’ position. Others don’t like to lie on their belly or their sides. Not every newborn will be happy in the pose you set them in. Don’t force him or her into it even if the parents insist. Try it once, twice, and three times if it doesn’t work let it go. Don’t waste time. Move on and find a pose newborn likes. Remember, when it comes to touching and handling a newborn, always ask the parents first.
A newborn session is often the first time an older sibling has the opportunity to hold an infant. Extra precautions should be taken as babies can be spontaneous. For children under the age of 3, it is safest to pose them in a supine position next to the newborn. I prefer that they sit next to the newborn placed in a bowl or bucket. Older or calmer babies can hold the baby on their lap or in their arms while sitting on a flat surface. Do not allow them to stand, any position must be sitting.
If the baby is reluctant to pose, do not push them to pose with the newborn. Always have a parent nearby during sibling shots so they can jump into action when needed.
I always have a camera hanging around my neck when taking pictures. I do not hold it in my hand without protection. It is a small thing but very important.
Should you reschedule if you, a newborn or even someone in your household is ill? Yes, absolutely. Changing the due date can be an epic pain, but in this case, it is necessary. Because a newborn’s immune system is immature, take extra precautions. Contact your clients as soon as possible to let them know that you or someone in your household is ill and offer alternative session dates.
Before the session starts, I inform the parents how the session will go. If I am not working with an assistant then one of the parents helps me during the session. He or she sits close by to protect the baby. The other parent and siblings need to be further away. I need to make sure that no one is behind me, that no one is walking around the lights, tripods, etc. There are cables around, a warm lamp, and props. All the studio equipment is secure, but if pushed, it can fall and hurt the child.
Safety first. The newborn session is the first and perhaps the most important session for the baby. We must make it perfect. The parents need to feel secure, the baby needs to be comfortable and I need to be sure that everything is going my way. Read more about newborn sessions and how to prepare for them on the website ammazur.com.