We live in a connected world, surrounded by all kinds of amazing technology and yet we still continue to learn the fragile art of newborn photography on actual newborns. We still learn poses, test new props, practice wrapping techniques we’ve seen online and invent new, more creative ways to make our art stand out from the crowd, by practicing on actual newborns. From the very beginning, to every time we buy a new prop, or try out a new pose, we are practicing on a newborn. We haven’t personally used that prop before, or tried that wrapping technique but we have an unrealistic sense of confidence, because we have x-amount of experience (maybe we are parent or we’ve been in the industry for a while or we worked in a perfession with babies previous to this one) we all believe we know what we are doing, we all go into this perfession believing we are safe. We have read all the blogs and ticked all the boxes on how to be a safe newborn photographer. But lets be honest. We don’t actually know this prop. We haven’t used it before. We don’t know if it has it been made sturdy or the best way a precious baby will fit into or onto it. Maybe you’ve seen another photographer you follow use a similar prop but you don’t know what they did in photoshop to achieve that image, what they have used to support the baby in that prop or even if it was the same size or dimensions. But you give it a go on your next client’s baby anyway.
I’m not being patronising, and we as newborn photographers are not bad people, this is just how it’s always been done. You’re not the first to say, “You have to start somewhere”, “We all had to learn somehow” or “Fake it until you make it”. And I agree, because I’m exactly the same. I’m no different to any other newborn photographer out there. I learnt and continued to learn by practicing on newborns and if I look at the first newborn I ever photographed and then look at the results of what I achieve now, I’ve definitely learnt a lot and come a long way. A long way by practicing on newborns … but that doesn’t make it right. That doesn’t make it ok. And I really believe this to be true, so rather then whining about our industry and all the photographers so called “doing it wrong” we have spent the last 2 years developing something to change it, something I am incredibly passionate about and something that I truly believe will change the way we as newborn photographers learn, create and inspire. We have created StandInBaby®. Because I can imagine a world where newborn photographers can safely learn, in their own time and at their own pace, where they can evolve their art to new levels and inspire others to do the same, without the need to first practice it on newborns.
Now there has been a lot of talk about StandInBaby® since it’s pre-release a few weeks ago and I’d like to be clear, StandInBaby® was not developed to completely replace the need to work with newborns, obviously we all know that each baby is different and unique and no training aid will ever replicate each of their individual quirks, no our baby doesn’t fuss, cry or pee on you but SIB™ does give you the chance to pretest and try new things before attempting them on a newborn. SIB™ does allow you to be creative in a way not possible until now, to try something new and to discover your own unique style. SIB™ does give you the foundations and the hours and hours of practice you need prior to stepping up to a real newborn baby. SIB™ does allow workshop trainers to break down each step of their poses and workflow and give their attendees valuable hands on experience. And SIB™ does give children the chance to have a dry run in front of the camera before being handed a baby. Because just like babies, children are just as unpredictable and we don’t know, what they may or may not do with their younger sibling.
StandInBaby® brings so many advantages to our industry, so please get on board and join the StandInBaby® movement. Lets be the change and encourage others to do the same.