There are so many newborn photographers, and anyone and everyone can now become one...or so it seems! Google search is full to the brim of photographers, claiming to be the 'regions leading specialists' and other such statements. So, as a parent, what should you be looking for and what should you be avoiding? - it all seems to be a bit confusing!
As a mum of two precious girls my very first thought when I decided to specialise in newborn photography was how I would feel as a customer looking for someone to take pictures and handle my own precious babies - and for me personally, safety was high on the priority list. So, in order to become trained and qualified in my field of expertise I researched where I could get the best training from in order that I could give my clients the peace of mind that I wasn't just learning on the job or that their baby was being used as a guinea pig! It might surprise you to know that newborn photography is not currently regulated, literally anyone can pick up a camera and profess to be a newborn photographer - so photographers like me, who take safety seriously, have to take it upon ourselves to be trained and educated on how to ensure the beautiful images we create, are done safely.
So, in 2016 I enrolled on the first Newborn Photography School set up by the Guild of Photographers and successfully finished this and then went on to gain the Guild's Qualified status in Newborn and Baby Photography. This was a huge achievement for me, as this meant that I could give my clients some verification that I am trained and qualified to a high standard in this field of photography.
We covered many aspects on the course, from wrapping a baby, posing, lighting, using props, shushing (yes, we were taught how to make the babies nice and sleepy!), along with all the safety aspects from handling through to creating a composite image (two images 'sewn' together in Photoshop, so as to ensure the baby is kept safe at all times). But once the course was over, the leader of the course, Claire Elliott (who is a leading, award winning newborn photographer) became my mentor - critiquing my work and advising on ways to improve. This still goes on today and she is my go-to person in all areas of my photography, from advice to critiquing - she calls herself my Fairy 'Tog' Mother and she really is!
Being a newborn and baby photographer requires a unique set of skills and there is a worldwide organisation that exists to support photographers like me, who want to have access to safety training and resources that we can use to provide clients like you with a better service. I’m delighted to have joined BANPAS (Baby &Newborn Photography Association) and you will be able to find me on their directory of photographers. They also have a fabulous facebook page for pregnant and new parents here. I’d be delighted to chat to you about how I can create a beautiful gallery of images for your newborn and very happy to chat to you about how I do that safely. Please contact me for booking and availability information.
I also photographed the ballet school where both of my daughters attend - Marlow School of Dance - and it was so lovely to watch the pre-school and primary girls dancing so elegantly and gracefully. My girls have loved this ballet school and started as soon as they were old enough - age 2.5 - and both have continued doing this every week for the past few years. I've had so many comments about my daughters posture and people telling me they can tell that they do ballet just by the way they sit/stand. I hope they continue with it as it is such a wonderful talent to be able to dance! I believe Miss Carrie who heads up the dance school will be updating the website shortly (and you'll be able to see all the pictures I took), but do join the Facebook page as well! (https://www.facebook.com/marlowschoolofdancelimited)
So, looking forward to 2018 this will be another year of doing more professional training, for both outdoor children's photography and newborn/baby photography. Even though I have gone through the Guild of Photographer's Newborn Photography School in 2016 I always look to improve and develop the art of my photography - one of my residential's is for a week so that will be a big step for me leaving my little brood! I'm taking bookings now for outdoor sessions from April onwards so please do not hesitate to get in contact if this is something you're interested in!
Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2018!