Karen Wiltshire of Poole-based KW Photography, a specialist in newborn portraiture, is aiming to raise awareness among parents across the region of the need to choose a professional, safety-trained photographer following a spate of incidents in which babies, aged just days old, have been put in unnecessary danger during newborn photo shoots.
In the past week stories have come to light which have caused concern throughout the newborn photographic industry. Untrained in the art of newborn photography, these photographers have dangerously attempted complex poses with young babies and this has resulted in babies being propped up and expected to hold their own heads at just days old.
Karen Wiltshire, a leading specialist in this niche sector who has photographed hundreds of babies and who also trains up-and-coming newborn photographers, said: “These reports are appalling. It’s completely unacceptable that babies are being put in dangerous poses and handled like ragdolls by those claiming to be professional photographers but whom clearly have had no safety training nor adhere to safe practices.
She continued: “At no time during a newborn photoshoot should a baby be uncomfortable, squashed or at risk of falling. A professionally trained photographer knows how to safely handle and position the baby, and create complex poses without putting the baby in any discomfort or at any risk whatsoever.”
These recent incidents are not the first time that the UK’s newborn photographic industry has been called into disrepute. Karen believes that the problem lies in the fact that the industry is currently unregulated and therefore there are no formal safety training or qualifications that practitioners must complete before being able to setup a commercial studio.
She said: “The industry needs to become regulated in order to prevent these kind of situations reoccurring. The national organisation BANPAS (the Baby and Newborn Photographers Association) is working towards that goal, but until that is achieved babies across the UK will continue to be put in danger if parents unwittingly hire photographers who lack professional safety training.
Karen has photographed hundreds of newborn babies since establishing her photography business in in 2012, and is a qualified, and fully insured, member of both the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers (SWPP), The Guild of Photographers and BANPAS. She was the UK’s first ‘Craftsman of Children photography’ in the UK and the Guild of Photographers’ ‘Photographer of the Year’ 2013.
For more information about KW Photography visit www.kw-photography.co.uk.