No Compromises – Ensuring Newborn Baby Safety with Stephanie Robin
Stephanie Robin is one of the leading advocates for baby safety in the photography industry, and she shares her expertise on keeping newborns safe and secure during sessions.
How has your training as physiotherapist helped to train photographers in baby safety? (3:19)
I’ve always had an interest in physicality and movement. Because in no other photography genre are you handling subjects like this, it is important to have an understanding of unique baby characteristics and how baby’s joints move.
Why is newborn baby safety training so important? (4:52)
There are so many risks involved, especially with more complicated poses. Photographers should provide a safe environment and be able to handle baby safely before operating a business. Also take note of the credentials of people teaching baby safety.
What are the current posing trends in the industry? (7:53)
The industry is trending towards natural poses that focus on connection. It should be less about your ego, and only about the story you want to tell for parents.
Have you found trends in which photos parents choose? (11:40)
Clients purchase what is most meaningful to them. Most often:
- Eyes open
- Baby with parents
- Baby with siblings
- Baby is expressive
- Reminds parents of something they recognize from real life.
What are the biggest safety mistakes you’ve seen? (14:30)
Unsupported heads – baby’s breathing tube is so tiny and can be cut off in almost every direction.
Is having a spotter training your competition? (18:10)
There are enough clients for everyone. Stay unique and creative, bring your personality into business, and you won’t have to worry about competition.
Advice for creating a safe studio environment (20:03)
Covid protocols produced some good ideas in general, like masks and handwashing. Watch for tripping hazards (cords, props, rugs), and check props for splinters and cracks. Also watch how you are heating the area around baby, and look for baby overheating.
What are your thoughts on the froggy pose (25:17)
It is too much of a risk and not worth it. It involves the end range position for a lot of joints – wrists and necks and hips are extended. Newborns can’t give you feedback, and not every injury can be seen right away.
How do you feel about posing tables? (30:12)
I don’t know yet – they are great for photographers biomechanically, and better than kneeling over a beanbag. I will want to see stable legs and locks in place.
Tips for reading baby’s cues (34:10)
Start with the birth story to discover any trauma or injury. But overall, subconscious learning through working with many newborns will help you recognize cues like smiles, yawns, poops, hunger, etc. over time.
Additional resources to educate photographers (38:15)
Happiest baby on the block, Dunston baby language, Hip dysplasia website
The importance of insurance (42:43)
Do not photograph anyone, anywhere without it! Every and any business needs insurance, both equipment and liablity insurance. Talk to your insurer, because where you work and how you work will determine your needs. Do not be put into a position where you will lose your business or your possessions.
Tell us more about APNPI (46:10)
APNPI (Accredited Professional Newborn Photographers International) was formed to bring baby safety awareness to the industry and advocate for safe practices. Members have access to safety course and complete safety test.
What are you artistically curious about? (50:45)
I am becoming a plant mama!
Facebook Group: @apnpi
Bio: Stephanie Robin is a physiotherapist, photographer, and co-founder of APNPI Inc. Stephanie was named Canon Canada’s preferred newborn and baby photographer and was awarded Photographer of the Year by NAPCP in 2011. She holds many image competition titles from various rounds of competition through NAPCP and her work has been featured commercially by Canon Canada and JardHus Norway.
Resources shared in this episode:
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