THE DANGERS of newborn baby portraits have been exposed by two city snappers.
Coventry photographers Maxine Hooper and Lorraine Jardim have joined forces to warn parents about the risks involved in newborn portrait sessions and stress the importance of safe practice.
The sessions, which have become increasingly popular in recent years, see young babies pictured in poses with parents or with props.
But, following reports that two babies were injured after falling during sessions with a high-street photographer, Lorraine and Maxine have renewed their calls for increased regulation and safety checks in the newborn photography industry.
Speaking about the dangers parents could be submitting their precious little ones to, Lorraine said: “Parents, or even inexperienced photographers, might look at baby photos online and think they could save themselves some money and do it themselves – without knowing how they are safely created.
“Very young babies are ‘top heavy’ and need to be supported to avoid potential injury to their head and neck.
“The incidents of babies being injured at photoshoots are worrying and their publicity risks creating negativity around the art of newborn photography.
“As professional photographers ourselves, we want to speak out for safe newborn photography.”
To create the posed images, Maxine, Lorraine and specially trained photographers across the country to create ‘composite images’ – a series of pictures where the baby is fully supported which are then edited into one final photograph in which the baby appears to be holding the pose itself.
They also advise concerned parents to do their research – suggesting the Baby and Newborn Photography Association (BANPAS) as a good place to start.
A spokesperson from the Association said they were very concerned that amateur or hobbyist photographers may try to recreate some of the complex poses which require patience and skill with the delicate clients.
Echoing calls for parents to carefully research their photographers, Maxine said: “Safety should be the main priority.
“Your baby is your most precious gift and, for the time they are in the studio, your photographer should treat them as their own.”
New parents searching for a newborn photographer can visit the BANPAS website at www.banpas.co.uk for listings of approved newborn photographers.