I’ve had a STRING of babies since I reopened my doors after the first wave of Covid – it feels like the floodgates have opened and all the babies that were in hiding have come out. I am a Covid newborn photographer. I feel like there should be a badge for that 😂
I’m not sure if the gigantic influx of inquiries to my inbox is because my work is just SO amazing that new parents are panting for a spot on my calendar or because maybe lots of photographers aren’t accepting newborn clients right now (it’s probably the second reason). Either way, I’ve started to think about automating my systems a little bit. Maybe recording a video of the process and emailing that to each serious inquiry. Each consultation phone call can be 25-40 minutes long, depending on how many questions our discussion brings up. Prepping contracts and sending invoices takes time. Even just responding to each inquiry takes some dedicated office time because, while, yes, I am a maternity and newborn photographer and details within that realm tend not to vary too much, each family has their own slant to the process. Sending a canned response just doesn’t work. This is the current situation of a Covid newborn photographer.
And that’s not all. In addition to the regular questions, there are new questions about cleanliness and Covid precautions. Those are *very* important questions right now and I want to make sure that every potential client has these questions answered to their comfort – because I will be handling their newborn baby. Many people know but, for those who don’t, I am a registered nurse. The first nine years of my practice, I worked at Howard County General Hospital on their postpartum floor with the new mommas and their tiny, fresh babies. Newborn handling is second nature to me. I know their physiology, I know what’s going on inside their bodies, I know about feeding and growing and potential newborn issues. I’m familiar with newborn skin (and ask that, if there is a major case of newborn acne right before the session, you let me know because of the potential need for a reschedule) and I’m certified in CPR. All these things are in my wheelhouse and Covid precautions have become part of that. I wash my hands thoroughly before touching your babe. The studio is cleaned and sanitized between sessions. Every fabric that touches your newborn is washed immediately after so that it’s clean for next time. Parents are asked to remove their shoes in the studio and no outside props are brought in. I am masked the entire time, from a client’s arrival until their departure. Our HVAC system is equipped with a hospital grade virus and bacteria killing UV light. All the air that circulates through the studio is filtered through that technology so that the air you’re breathing is the cleanest it can be. Additionally, anything that cannot be run through the washing machine (ie baby handheld props like little teddy bear lovies or tiny teething rings) are put under a handheld UV light to have any bacteria zapped. This is my practice as a Covid newborn photographer.
And here is my buddy Ryan. His parents were the NICEST, most genuinely kind people. I absolutely adored having them in my studio and baby Ryan was utterly precious. With clients like these, I feel so fortunate to be a Covid newborn photographer.
Liz Viernes Photography is based in Burtonsville, Maryland, and specializes in maternity, fresh 48, posed and lifestyle newborns and first year milestone portraits.