How will my Newborn Photography session differ post pandemic?
Covid-19 has changed all of our lives in 2020 but as the UK lockdown begins to ease a wave of normality starts to resume. If you’re new parents or anxious parents-to-be ready to welcome your little one into the world, you may be left wondering about the current experience of a Newborn photography session.
Socially distanced baby photo shoots
Capturing your Newborn’s early precious moments really is irreplaceable but in the current situation what can be expected?
We give you an insight into the world of Newborn Photography at present through the eyes of two professional photographers who give us their words on what they have or will be putting into place and how they are adapting through innovative ways to make sure you don’t miss out on treasured images.
Are Newborn photographers open for business?
Newborn photographers are beginning to pick up their camera again. In our members only survey conducted at the start of July 2020, 74% of Newborn Photographers who responded have started photo sessions specifically for babies.
However ongoing restrictions mean your Newborn Photography experience will differ from pre-pandemic photo shoots, quite rightly with safety of foremost importance.
How are Photographers ensuring safety in-line with distancing guidelines?
Social distancing regulations need to be adhered to and as with most industries photographers have had to adapt, whether it be an innovative new approach or strict guidelines, we find out from the professionals how the experience will differ.
Lorraine from Ellie J Photography tells us…
I have opened my studio and I’m also offering outdoor sessions. I’ve done six newborn sessions since opening and I’m only booking two Newborn Photoshoots per week. Luckily, I have a large enough studio with an entrance/exit at either end to easily ensure social distancing of 2 metres at every session. A detailed booklet explaining the precautions taken and what I require of clients in relation to those precautions is sent out prior to every session.
The steps I have taken to ensure safety include:
- The client is contacted 24 hours before their session to check no-one in their household has been ill over the past two weeks however mildly, or been in contact with anyone showing symptoms. If the answer is yes, their session is postponed for two weeks.
- Likewise, if I or any member of my family have been ill over the past two weeks..(etc), the session is postponed for two weeks.
- Should a client fall ill (however mildly) within two weeks after their session, they must notify me.
- I am no longer photographing large groups. Maximum of four per family (including newborn). If there are two older children, one parent will be in the studio for the sibling photo while the other waits outside and then that parent can then come in briefly for one family portrait.
- Older children must be taken out of the studio as soon as the sibling photograph has been taken
- Clients are to wear masks at all times in the studio (I have a supply if they don’t bring one), other than when having their photos taken
- I am carrying out shorter newborn sessions while indoors.
- No fan heaters are used during the session
- I no longer photograph babies completely nude.
- Windows are kept open during the session to ensure the circulation of fresh air
- I wear a mask for the duration of every session
- I have a non-contact posing policy. Parents are instructed how to place their baby into a pose or how to use themselves to act as a ‘support’ while I take photos. (Since the shortening of the 2 metre distance rule I will now very briefly and wearing a mask plus a visor ‘fine tune’ a pose if absolutely necessary)
- Complicated posing (such as baby’s head in hands) which require a lot of close contact, touching of baby’s face and close proximity to a spotter are not being undertaken.
- I regularly sanitise my hands with at least 60% ethanol hand sanitiser during the session and certainly before each and every contact with either baby or the props I am using.
- Clients must sanitise or wash their hands on entering and leaving the studio
- Clients must leave coats, outer wear, car seats and un-necessary bags in their car
- Clients must remove their shoes and leave them in a box outside the studio prior to entering
- I am booking only 2 studio sessions per week to ensure time for the deep cleaning of the studio between sessions. This includes disinfecting the seating area, floor, light switches, door handles, changing unit and any area a client may have touched.
- The changing unit is fully sanitised, but I ask clients to ensure they bring their own change mat to put on top of it for added protection.
- I’m only using props that can be fully sanitised. This is done after every session
- Soft props (blankets, wraps etc) are thoroughly washed after every session
- Clients must bring their own drinks as my kitchen is closed
- Clients can use the toilet facilities but must flush the toilet with the lid closed. Disposable paper napkins are used rather than a towel. The bathroom is deep cleaned after every session.
- To avoid cross contamination, I do ask clients to bring their own pen to sign the consent form
I think that’s about it!
Finally, I would say the following to any new parents who may be nervous about coming to a newborn photography studio, and I am sure many photographers feel the same as me.
This is not just my business, this is my passion. I have taken a lot of care over and spent many, many hours working to ensure I can re-open as safely as possible. The health and safety of my clients (and my own family) is my top priority. I have carried out risk assessments, re-arranged the studio, prepared guidance for clients and adapted the way I work to ensure that I can still give my clients a range of beautiful images of their newborn whilst abiding by social distancing and safety guidelines. I’ve been in business over twelve years and would not want to risk my reputation by doing anything less
Jackie from Babies by Jackie tells us…
My studio is temporarily closed and I am not shooting any newborns in person. I am instead offering a digital composite service (Collab Baby Photography), where parents follow my video instructions to take photos of their baby that I can composite to create beautiful pieces of art for them.
I am continuing to monitor the situation, and am hoping to re-open the studio soon, but photo sessions will, of course, be a little different to ensure the health and safety of my clients and my family. Some of the extra precautions I will be taking in the future when open:
- Attendees will be limited to parents and baby only. Any siblings will be allowed in for a family group photo at the beginning of the session, but then must be taken home – only parents will be allowed to stay.
- I will wear a mask throughout and weather permitting the studio windows will be opened to allow fresh air to circulate.
- Anyone not in the photos (e.g. parents while photographing baby) must wear a mask at all times. Initially I plan to not handle baby but to direct parents so will be offering a limited set of simple poses, plus parent and baby photos.
- Any wraps, blankets, layers, outfits, etc used will be bagged up and washed immediately after the photosession. Any props will be wiped down and put into 7-day quarantine. Studio will be cleaned immediately after the session, including all doors, door handles, banister rails, toilet, etc.
- Only one photoshoot per day.
- My drinks and snacks station will be closed.
- All clients will be asked to confirm in writing (by email) that no members of their ‘bubble’ have tested positive or shown any symptoms, that they have not been in contact with anyone who has tested positive or shown any symptoms within the last 10 days and there will be clear instructions that should anyone feel unwell they must not attend the studio appointment and should re-schedule.
- No penalties for rescheduling, however, if any member of the party arrives at the studio and displays any symptoms of being unwell, they will all be asked to leave immediately and will forfeit their session fee.
I think couples need to do their homework, ask the photographer for their Covid-19 policy before booking to make sure they are comfortable with the risk management plans in place and use their own judgement. If they are not comfortable at any point (Covid-19 or indeed any other safety practices) they should walk away immediately.
If parents really want some professional quality photos of their newborn but do not want to attend a studio, then my Collab Baby Photography service is a completely remote service, available to any new parents. I will be continuing to offer this service for as long as people want it – and am using this time while my studio is closed to the public to create lots more beautiful and unique digital art pieces.
At Your Perfect Newborn we champion the need for quality Newborn Photography and understand just how special it is and will become as your little one grows but whether we are coming out of a pandemic or not, safety needs to be forefront. Do not be afraid to ask your photographer direct questions no matter how silly you may think they sound and ensure you feel entirely comfortable.