Updated: Sep 2, 2020
Edited 20 March 2020
Update regarding newborn sessions ~ I have today taken the decision to cancel all of my Classic Studio Newborn and hospital based First 48 sessions. I am continuing to offer my Simply Authentic In-Home Newborn sessions and all of my booked clients have been offered and transferred to these sessions as an alternative.
I have agonised over this decision and have based it on a personal conversation with a midwife in a leadership role at Christchurch Women’s hospital, guidance from my professional bodies (NZIPP and APNPI) and the government.
My Simply Authentic Newborn sessions involve less handling of babies and by keeping them in their own environment reduces the risk of exposing them to Coronavirus while away from home.
My main priority is the safety of babies and their families and, as such, I will continue to monitor situation and further changes may be required in the future.
All other session types are unchanged at this stage.
Published 12 March 2020
Today the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has reached pandemic status. While here in New Zealand we have yet to see the levels of infection being experienced in other parts of the world; we must be prepared for this to increase and I expect most new parents are experiencing some degree of anxiety around keeping their baby safe.
I have been trained and certified in the safe handling of newborns and this includes taking preventative steps to guard against exposing babies and their families to potentially harmful illnesses. As a mother, I am also particularly wary of the impact illness can have on a newborn. My eldest son spent a week in a London hospital being treated for suspected meningitis as a 6-week-old infant. The tests and treatment were very invasive and I would not wish that experience on any baby or parent. Fortunately, my son was ultimately diagnosed with catching a cold from a family member and discharged home to recover. However, the helplessness and fear of the experience will stay with me forever.
What steps do I take to keep your baby safe?
I am fully vaccinated, including MMR (measles, mumps & rubella), whooping cough and I obtain the annual seasonal flu vaccination as soon as it becomes available (this is expected in early April 2020). My assistant is also fully vaccinated.
I monitor my health closely and will postpone the session if I am showing any signs of illness. If my assistant shows any signs of illness she will not attend the session and I will ask a parent to assist me during the shoot.
I ask that any client that is unwell also postpones their session out of respect to us and our other clients. No photograph is worth risking a baby’s health, and we are able to photograph older babies and still create beautiful images and collections you will treasure.
The current advice is that a person who is healthy does not need to wear a mask and currently I do not wear one during sessions. I will continue to monitor the situation in respect of advice on mask wearing and I am happy to discuss this with you.
I request that only those being photographed attend the session.
My assistant and I use a hospital grade hand sanitiser before and during each session. I will now also request that all visitors to the studio use the hand sanitiser on arrival. In addition, normal hand washing hygiene will continue to be applied.
Every outfit or textile, such as blankets, wraps, cloths and towels used during the session are washed using a dermatologically tested, fragrance free washing liquid.
All hard surfaces, such as door handles, seats and the bathroom facilities, are wiped with an anti-bacterial cleaner and sprayed with a microbe shield that has been proven 99.99% effective against Coronavirus and is safe for use around babies and infants. The spray will also be used on headbands and accessories that cannot be washed or wiped effectively.
I believe that it is still safe to get your newborn photographed and that you do not need to miss the opportunity to capture these precious images due to Coronavirus.
I hope that you will be reassured by learning about the steps we take to provide a safe studio environment – most of which are part of our normal studio practice and not in response to the pandemic. At the date of writing, not many babies and children have been infected with Coronavirus, and it would appear that those who have been diagnosed are experiencing milder symptoms. While this does not mean we
should be complacent, it does provide a measure of comfort for parents.
What other options do you have for getting newborn photographs?
If you are concerned about taking your baby out of your home during this period, I completely understand. You have a few other options to consider if you still want me to capture portraits of your baby during this precious newborn phase.
You might like to consider inviting me to your home for the session. My Simply Authentic collection is suitable for babies at any stage from 5 days after birth. These sessions are more documentary in nature and typically involve less props and styled shots, meaning your baby will not be handled as much. If you would have preferred a classic newborn session, I can bring some props and outfits/accessories to your home and we can incorporate a few more classically posed images in your gallery.
You may prefer to delay your session until your baby has had their first set of immunisations at 6 weeks. At this stage I would consider them to be an older newborn and it may not be possible to photograph all of the traditional curled up poses we achieve with a younger baby. However, there are many beautiful shots we can still create. I will typically begin with a series of wrapped images, which older babies enjoy, but many babies do still fall into a deep sleep allowing us to photograph them in a newborn style.
You may prefer to opt for a shorter session and a smaller gallery where you will have 10 images to select from. For these galleries we would typically use one prop of your choice, classic portraits on a simple blanket background and family portraits. Again, this will reduce baby handling and the length of time away from home.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to give me a call and we can discuss the situation in more detail.