From the moment the team at BANPAS set eyes on Stand In Baby, we knew it was an incredible idea. ‘Why has no-one done this before?’, we asked each other – it’s true that the best ideas are often the simplest. As a photography association that supports newborn photographers in the UK we are uniquely placed to understand the health and safety implications that come with photographing tiny newborns.
From the moment the team at BANPAS set eyes on Stand In Baby, we knew it was an incredible idea. ‘Why has no-one done this before?’, we asked each other – it’s true that the best ideas are often the simplest. As a photography association that supports newborn photographers in the UK we are uniquely placed to understand the health and safety implications that come with photographing tiny newborns. We make every effort to ensure photographers and the general public understand that in our line of work the camera really does lie. Newborn photographers require a diverse skill set to be successful – it goes without saying that they need to understand all of the technical aspects of photography but they also need empathy and patience to gain the respect of their clients who are new mums in the throes of getting to grips with breastfeeding and new dads learning how to dress a wriggling 7lb bundle in an item of clothing with poppers that never seem to have an equal number at each side! Most importantly they need to preserve the safety and dignity of the newborns in front of their lens. In no other genre of photography is the photographer so ‘hands on’ with their subject.
At BANPAS we are passionate about safety and have many detailed posts on our website showing how common poses are made up of two or more images [read our article here www.banpas.co.uk/composite-poses] so that babies are never left unsupported. Our rule of thumb is that if you are posing a newborn in a position they would not take up naturally – they need to be supported. So you can imagine how excited we were the first time we saw SIB. Here was a doll that mimicked the flexibility AND the fragility of a newborn. Finally, newbies would have a better way to practice.
One of our biggest concerns is a photographer may attend a newborn training course and receive no ‘hands on‘ tuition in terms of posing the baby themselves. Instead, they may watch a trainer demonstrate how to achieve the pose. They may leave the course with confidence that they are ‘trained’, but in reality they have no experience with real babies so they leave the course to go and practice on real live newborns. SIB allows them a stepping stone – a way to perfect and refine their posing before moving on to real babies.
The fact that SIB is articulated in a very similar way to a real baby and is weighted accurately – with weight distributed as it would be with a real newborn (ie heavier at the head) should make practice with him as close as possible to the real thing. You don’t give a trainee pilot a 747, you give him a simulator and that’s exactly what SIB is. But it doesn’t just end there for SIB, we see so many uses for him. Using SIB to try out new set ups, new props, different angles, improving your workflow and perfecting your lighting will save time in sessions and make you more efficient and profitable. Using SIB to demonstrate poses to parents, showing how you are going to place their baby in their arms, again saves time and shows you as a true professional.
Prop makers might find SIB a really useful addition to their business too – lots of prop makers give props away in return for images of them in use – which is probably economical if they have lots of one style of prop to sell. But for one of a kind props SIB could make the perfect sales assistant. He could also help in the design stages for prop makers in terms of sizing and weighting. Finally, the uses for trainers are even more far reaching.
Having SIB around helps demonstrate poses to students first before moving onto a real baby. Trainers can let their students pose SIB under supervision before letting them pose a real baby. SIB can also be used where you don’t actually need a real baby – such as during lighting demonstrations or styling instruction. You can probably tell by now that we think SIB could be a fantastic tool for newborn photographers. In a market where you are regularly bombarded with the next ‘must have’ item for your studio or business, it’s hard to sort the wheat from the chaff but we think that SIB could tick all of the boxes
– we can’t wait to get our hands on one and try him out for real!
Did you know?
A good quality posing bag will help ensure your baby's safety by providing the right support in the right places?
Our Posing Pillows are made from a stretchy, durable, light weight material that perfectly contours to your baby's shape, ensuring a more comfortable supportive posing surface.