What are the qualifications for newborn photographers?
The qualifications for newborn photographers is a topic that comes up a lot. Both with potential clients, and within the photographer community. Parents want to know what qualifications for newborn photographers their potential photographer has, and new photographers reach out to me to make sure they do what they can to meet the qualifications for newborn photographers.
The short answer is there are no set qualifications for newborn photographers. That’s right. There is no defined qualifications for newborn photographers, at a state or federal level in the US. Depending on the location of your photographer, they may have business requirements (like license requirements, registering with local governing bodies, or other things related to their business – but nothing related to qualifications for newborn photographers).
Yep – Nothing. No set qualifications for newborn photographers at all.
If you are like me – a mom that was overly cautious about where I took my newborns, and who handled them – this can be shocking. I completely agree. I can’t believe there are no set qualifications for newborn photographers before they start taking clients and photographing newborns. Without qualifications for newborn photographers, anyone can be a newborn photographer. There is no first aid or safety training required. No medical training required. No knowledge of newborns and common concerns for newborns.
Newborn photographers typically deal with newborns when they are just a few weeks old. Their little newborn bodies are both fragile and flexible. Newborn photographers can be the first non-family or non-medical person these newborns spend time with. There are certain things that need to be considered when posing newborns. Many of the popular newborn poses are ones that put newborns in “non-natural” poses. While they may mimic ways newborns move their bodies on their own, newborn photographers have to move their bodies into these poses. It is important that newborn photographers have a good understanding of what those little bodies are capable of doing, and what types of poses need additional steps to assure the baby’s safety while posing and editing.
What Parents Can Do To Find a Qualified Newborn Photographer
Since there are no set qualifications for newborn photographers, it is important that parent look into specifically what their newborn photographers is doing to make sure the newborns they photograph are handled properly and safe.
There are a few ways new parents can do this. First, you can ask the photographer what qualifications they have. While it won’t be specific qualifications for newborn photographers, they should have training related to both safety and posing newborns. If the photographer cannot give you specifics on what they have done to assure the newborns they photograph are safe. Some examples of qualifications newborn photographers might have are: a newborn photography workshop, a background in a field like nursing, first aid training, and more. Anything that gives the newborn photographer more knowledge on how to safely pose newborns.
If your newborn photographer is hesitant to detail or does not have anything that would seem like a qualification for newborn photographers, that can be a flag to parents that they might want to look into the overall training and qualifications to assure they trust the newborn photographer to both keep their newborn safe and to also give them beautiful images.
I encourage clients to talk in detail with a newborn photographer before hiring them. Just because there are not qualifications for newborn photographers, it doesn’t mean parents can’t ask questions to assure they are confident with their baby being photographed by that photographer. I always invite potential clients into the studio to get a feel for what to expect. They can look through the studio, to assure it is an environment safe for newborns. They can also talk with me in detail and make sure I am a good fit for what they want from a photographer, in terms of me and my personality, my style, and the unique things in my background that are qualifications for newborn photographers.
In terms of what my clients can expect from me, I have things in my background that act as qualifications for newborn photographers. Here is a list of some of the qualifications and training I have.
First Aid – I have a background as a first responder. In addition to my first aid training and certification (in adult and child CPR and basic life support) I have also been in a number of emergency situations. In those situations, I was the person that kept cool and calmed, while administering CPR, treating injuries, coordinating addition first responders and more. I can assure you that if something happens at our session, not only will I be able to help your little one, but I will also be calm and make sure we take the appropriate next steps needed for your little one’s safety.
Newborn Poising Training – Over the last 11 years I have attended a number of training and workshops focused on safely posing your newborn. My training have been taught by both local and internationally recognized leaders in the newborn photography community. Some trainings are offered online, in a video format. I have sought out trainings where I work next to the instructor posing newborns with them or alone and evaluated by them. I have also been asked to co-teach some of these workshops in recent years. I have become a leader in newborn posing in the area, and helped training a number of local and non-local photographers.
Medical Advice – I have also sought out the advice of medical personal in the area. I have photographed babies of local medical staff like labor and delivery nurses, chiropractors, and pediatricians. We have talked in detail about newborn posing, safe positions for babies, and concerns for babies this young. A local pediatrician even commented on how gentle and patient I was with their little one, who was a little fussy and not always onboard with the plan for poses during their session.
Other Experts – In addition to leading newborn photographers and medical staff, I have also discussed newborns and newborn photography with local child educators and lactation consultants. The advice from these experts is not always used by me for posing, but to help answer questions parents have about baby behavior, identify feeding problems, offering additional resources for parents and more. It’s also given me amazing tips to draw from when dealing with a fussy baby, and trying to identify what they need from me or parents. Many parents leave joking about the things they are going to do at home after seeing me with their baby during the session.
Hundreds of Babies – I have photographed numerous babies over the years. I also have 2 children of my own. My son was a challenging newborn with colic and some additional health issues. I often joke that caring for him was the best preparation for dealing with newborns regularly
Covid 19 Precautions – It’s the world we live in today. Covid – 19 precautions are a huge concern for many newborn families. It is also a concern for me. In addition to my normal cleaning and sanitation policies, I have added additional ones related to keeping your newborn safe. In addition to Covid-19’s vaccine, I keep up to date on all vaccines and preventative medications. The health and safety of you family is just as important to me as the health and safety of my own family.
Since There Are Qualifications For Newborn Photographers, What Should You Do
Again, while there are not specific qualifications for newborn photographers, there are things parents can do to assure their newborn photographer is the best fir for their baby. I hope that in the future set qualifications for newborn photographers become an industry standards. That parents can easily decide on a photographer based not only on the images from the photographer, but also the qualifications for newborn photographers.
In addition to all of the other things you are shopping around for related to your baby, I encourage you to seek out photographers willing to share their qualifications for newborn photographers, and that they are qualifications that take away any concerns related to safety you have for your newborn session.