Is your baby in safe hands?

May 19, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

If you're a regular visitor to my Facebook page, you'll no doubt have seen me talking about baby safety during newborn sessions. It's something that I take incredibly seriously because if someone is trusting me enough to take the first professional images of their precious newborn, the very least I can do is make sure that baby is safe. 

Over the past couple of days, there have been several articles posted by regional newspapers about two separate incidents which occurred at a large, well-known studio franchise. In the first incident, a baby rolled off a posing prop and in the second, a baby's head was left unsupported and allowed to flop down whilst attempting to do the much-loved head in the hands pose. Both situations are completely unacceptable and could have led to serious injuries. 

Last year, in order to show my commitment to baby safety, I joined BANPAS (Baby and Newborn Photographers Association). All applications are assessed to make sure that they are working safely and competently which means when parents choose a BANPAS registered photographer, they can be sure their baby's safety wont be compromised. And in a totally unregulated industry where literally anyone can pick up a camera and call themselves a photographer, I feel it's incredibly important that such an organisation exists to help educate parents. 

So, in an ever-growing market, how do know which photographers are working safely whilst keeping your baby comfortable during their session? The BANPAS website is a great place to start, you can use their search facility to find registered photographers in your area. Here are some key elements to look out for in photographs:
 

  • Baby's skin - Is the skin mottled? Mottled skin means that the baby is cold which in turn means the photographer hasn't made the studio warm enough. As babies can't regulate their own body temperature, they need to be kept very warm during their session. A cold baby is not a happy baby.
  • Arms and legs - if the baby is placed in/on a prop, are the arms and legs safely inside? Babies should look safe and secure rather than precariously dangling out of a prop. It's especially important to make sure that their arms are not resting on the edges of a prop as this can affect their circulation, not to mention it's very uncomfortable. 
  • Purple hands or feet - if the baby's hands or feet are purple, this can indicate that their circulation has been cut off. It's vital to keep a check on this during the session. 
  • Composite - a composite image is a photo made up of 2 or more images to create one final image. This is done to ensure that the baby is never left unsupported or put in an unsafe situation where they could fall or injure themselves. My composite images will always be labelled as such.

    I used two photos to create this final image of little Quinn. Firstly, I photographed just the stool to use as a base image. Then I settled Quinn onto the seat and posed with him with his feet tucked under his bottom. Babies have surprisingly strong legs and even at such a young age they can push themselves forward. Tucking their feet under them like this stops them being able to push forward. 
    I had Quinn's mum keep her hands on him to keep him safe and settled until I was ready to take the shot. On my count, his mum removed her hands for a split second whilst I took the photo and then put them back on him. The top and bottom photos were then merged to complete this final image. 


The image below has become very popular with my clients and it's one of my favourites for showing just how tiny the baby is in their daddy's hands. Whilst it looks like the baby is being held in the air, they are in fact lying safely on a beanbag.

If you want any further information on newborn safety, checkout the BANPAS website by clicking here.


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