FEATURE: Danielle Loxton ~ South Australia Newborn Photographer
I am excited to introduce to you another fabulous photographer who is joining the Baby Safe Photography Community of helping educate and inspire new photographers entering this crazy love we call Newborn Photography. Please give a warm welcome to Danille Loxton, owner and professional photographer of Words are Not Enough Photography.
I began my business a little over 2 years ago. When starting out I knew I wanted to be a sought after Newborn Photographer, this was to be my niche!
I have always loved children, babies in particular, and have 4 beautiful boys of my own. Combined with my love of photography from a young age and previous experiences with Photographic Studios and studies, I knew this was my calling.
My first newborn session was with a 4 week old baby boy and still today I love the images, simple images of baby in Mum’s arms and all curled up, no baskets or buckets and not hanging from trees, just natural and as beautiful as the little baby was himself.
It wasn’t until I attempted hats and props that my work didn’t look as flattering, I wondered why this was? This is when I decided I needed to do a workshop.
I absolutely loved the work of Kelly Ryden and Tracy Raver, but flying to America to participate in their workshop just was not feasible at the time, so I began to search for Australian photographers who had attended the workshop.
At the time, there really was not a lot of information on the Internet about how to do these poses safely and a mentor was even harder to find. I decided to find a photographer whose style I loved and would want for myself and asked if she would mind teaching me. Lana Bell accepted and before I knew it I was on a plane to meet with my amazing and lovely mentor!
It took a lot of work to get to where I am today, lots of money, a lot of patience and many many hours each week of learning and practice. Today, I am still learning and improving. Even though I have defined my own style, I like to push myself to go a little further beyond my last session.
This doesn’t necessarily mean trying out the latest pose or prop. I don’t jump on to the latest craze, I like to keep things a little bit more natural and simple. Instead, I work on perfecting what I already know, trying out new angles and crops and trying new ways of using natural light. I felt that if I focused all my energy into perfecting what I learned at the Little Posers Newborn Workshop, my dreams of being a sought after newborn photographer would come true and they did!
It’s not so much that I had a great camera, or that I did workshops, it is because I worked hard to perfect what I learned in those workshops and had enough business and marketing sense that I became successful.
When expecting parents make the decision to hire a professional photographer, the thought that their baby could be at risk may not even enter their minds, but it is a very real possibility!
With DSLR cameras being so affordable, it seems everyone is considering themselves a ‘professional’. There is a whole lot more that goes in to newborn photography that both parents and amateur photographers may not know. I have made the decision to educate as many people as I can on the safest ways to photograph newborns.
This way amateurs will hopefully hold off on the tricky poses until they have found a true professional to train them and parents will know when their baby may be in danger. I want it to be known that parents have the right to question any photographer if they feel at any time their baby’s safety may be compromised and that if a baby looks uncomfortable at all… It probably is!
Parents put so much trust in us as photographers, we need to ensure that they are as comfortable and at ease as the baby we are photographing!
When it comes to newborn photography, the safety of the baby is paramount! When posing a baby on a beanbag, I ensure it is a full sized posing beanbag, it is firm, baby is placed in the middle and a parent or spotter is along side incase baby were to lunge forward or roll. Even at just a few days of age this is possible.
If you are just starting out as a photographer, it is best to keep to these poses until you have been trained, but even still, it’s not as easy as it looks!
When setting up I ensure the studio is warm. Keeping baby warm is important for keeping them comfortable and asleep, but it is more important to not overheat them. I use a wheat bag under a protective blanket under baby and in winter I also use a fan heater with a temperature gage. I set it to around 22 degrees celcius, the warmth and quiet hum continue to sooth baby. I never face it directly onto the baby, keeping it around two feet away and rotating. In summer, sometimes there is no need to use either, on really hot days I will have the air conditioner on in the morning and turn it off about 20 minutes before my clients arrive so it isn’t too cold, but it’s just enough to stop the studio from getting stuffy and humid.
Once baby is undressed, he is wrapped in a cotton wrap and gently lulled to sleep by me. I always start off with the beanbag poses and work my way to the props.
When using baskets and buckets I ensure I have ankle weights in the bottom to weigh it down to prevent it from tipping, but I still always have Mum or Dad spotting to the side just in case baby were to lunge forwards.
Thank you Danielle for joining the Baby Safe Community! I am so excited to see so many Professional Photographers willing to open up and share their knowledge and education with aspiring photographers. I would like to continue to encourage all of you, that when in doubt regarding newborn posing, keep it simple, keep it safe. ~ Michelle
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