Finding an experienced photographer who emphasizes newborn safety is the most important detail you should look at when searching for a newborn photographer.
Below is a list of questions you should ask prospective photographers. You can download a PDF at the following link: APNPI - Questions to Ask Your Newborn Photographer. The list is here to educate and help you choose a photographer who will handle your newborn properly and safely. Please do not hesitate to ask any questions. I am very happy to help!
1. How many years have you been working as a newborn photographer and approximately how many babies have you handled up to this point?
Both my grandmother and father were photographers. I grew up in my father’s darkroom, making photography a huge part of my entire life.
My business has been in operation since 2013 and I started focusing my craft on newborns in 2015.
I am experienced working with newborns with feeding tubes, hip dysplasia, down syndrome and those recently circumcised. I have worked with well over 300 newborns over the years.
2. Have you received any newborn specific posing training and with whom did you train?
Yes, I have completed a mix of in person and online workshops focusing on safe newborn posing and the art of newborn photography.
In person I have worked with:
Online I have completed:
3. What are the safety practices you have in place in your studio specifically geared towards the newborn client?
Everything I do with regards to newborn photography is done with safety in mind. All props (containers, buckets, chairs) have been purchased for proper sizing and weight. Weight and posing beans are also added to ensure safety, and an extra set of hands is used to support baby when needed. Beanbag posing is done on two different posing beanbags specifically designed for newborn posing. They provide a safe surface to pose baby. Posing beans and towels are using under the beanbag drop blankets to support baby in each pose. I have studied safe newborn posing to learn the safest ways to pose and have a lot of experience to know when a certain pose will not work for certain babies. Your baby is my boss and he or she will let me know if they are willing to do a pose.
I provide my Newborn Session Prep Guide with important information on how to prepare your home and baby for the session. An example of something to prepare is to warm your home, or the room I will be working in. I monitor the temperature and baby to ensure safety.
All items and linens are cleaned after each session. In our home, we use natural organic products, including our laundry detergents. We do not use fabric softener, when needed vinegar is added to the wash to add softness. Some items that can not be fully washed as spot cleaned when needed and the sun bleached to ensure germs are removed.
Please see Infection Disease Prevention for more detailed information!!
And as always, should the baby show signs of hunger such as the rooting, I will pass baby to Mama for a feeding.
4. Will my newborn be supported by human hands in all upright positions as well as any poses requiring suspension?
Most certainly. All poses that are upright are fully supported by adult hands. I use two images to create a composite of your little one.
Some of my images are made fully on the computer to ensure the utmost safety of your baby, instead of moving baby multiple times into various containers, a digital backdrop is used to create a Fine Art Portrait..
5. Do you work with an assistant or provide spotters at your newborn sessions? If not, will you allow me to spot my baby during a session?
I use mom or dad as a spotter during certain poses. Parents are always welcome to sit and watch or sit back and relax, I have even had a few parents have a little nap during their session.
When needed (for example for twins or triplets), I bring an assistant with me who is trained and experienced in newborn safe posing. My assistants have either taken my One on One Mentoring Programs that I teach or are experienced Newborn Photographers with their own business.
6. What will happen in the case of illness, your own or otherwise?
If I were to become ill, the session would be rescheduled.
Depending on the illness and circumstances, if we are not able to reschedule in a timely manner, I know a wonderful group of local newborn professional photographers that I would refer you to.
Your babies safety is my main concern. As noted below, I am fully up to date on all current vaccines.
7. Are you currently up to date on the necessary vaccines needed when working with a pregnant or newborn population?
Yes, I am up to date with all current vaccines. All members of my household are also up to date and we all get the flu shot annually. Every 4 years I have my blood titered to ensure vaccines are still effective.
8. Can you point me towards online resources from which I can learn about safe practices when photographing newborns?
Absolutely! Here are some links to safety articles currently available online.
9. Are you a member of an organization or association directly servicing newborn photographers and their educational needs?
Yes, I have achieved the titles of Accredited Newborn Posed and Maternity Photographer, as well as a certification as a Qualified Newborn Photographer, with Accredited Professional Newborn Photographers International (APNPI), an association dedicated to safety and excellence in newborn photography.
Unfortunately, few organizations currently exist and no regulations are in place for the newborn photography industry. APNPI has been formed to fill the void and provide safety courses, educational resources and opportunities for growth and achievement for newborn photographers. Their website is a great place to start searching for your newborn photographer.
As some of you know, one of my past careers was a Home Care Nurse (six years). During the SARS epidemic of 2003, I was working for Saint Elizabeth Health Care. Travelling home to home to care for clients. Most of which were elderly, terminally ill, had compromised immune systems or were nursing moms with newborns. We were taught proper hand-washing and disinfecting of surfaces techniques to ensure we kept our clients safe.
To this day, I still implement the same techniques I was taught to ensure the utmost safety of my newborn clients and their families, and mine! Here at Shutterbug Imaging we have always been and will continue to be pro-active in our infectious disease prevention:
~ I am fully vaccinated/boosted and I get the Flu Shot ever year.
~ I will continue to wear a fitted N95 Mask while conducting indoor sessions.
How you can help to stop the spread of infectious diseases To minimize the risk of infection, everyone should take these necessary infection prevention measures.
Please know that this page was not designed to cause you concern or panic. It was created it to let everyone know that I am mindful of peoples fears and promise to be proactive in this uncertain time. I will update this page as needed should the situation change or new recommendations surrounding prevention come about. Facts not fear. Clean hands. Open hearts.
Do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or to let me know what I can do to
help you feel comfortable!
Cities we visit in Ontario, Canada: Cobourg, Baltimore, Port Hope, Newtonville, Tyrone, Cavan, Lindsay, Pontypool, Orono, Omeemee, Enniskillen, Solina, Hampton, Nestleton Station, Blackstock, Port Perry, Seagreave, Sunderland, Saintfield, Greenbank, Manilla, Cannington, Brechin, Uxbridge, Manchester, Goodwood, Stouffville, Markham, Scarborough, Richmondhill, Vaughan, Thornhill, Brampton, Mississauga, Oakville, Etobicoke, Toronto, Scarborough, Pickering, Ajax ,Whitby, Oshawa, Courtice, Bowmanville, Newcastle, Brooklin, Peterborough, Orillia, Barrie, Kirkfield ~ and everywhere in between! ~