These last few warm days have me feeling all springy inside! I know it won’t be here to stay, but how can you not be excited about a 70 degree day in February, in Ohio? I took my baby girl to the towpath today for a run and dressed her in a little sleeveless romper and I wore a tank top and shorts. Simply amazing! It feels like spring is just around the corner, and that got me thinking about upcoming Easter mini sessions. I decided to create my promotional image tonight. I say create, because the ducks in the photograph are an overlay, not real animals. Using real baby chicks or lambs makes for adorable photographs, but there are many things to consider if you choose to use live animals for a photo session.
Concerns Using Live Animals
First is the safety of both the children you are photographing as well as the animals. Little hands are not always the most gentle. A little squeeze from an excited child could severely injure a tiny animal. Likewise an animal that becomes startled or frightened my nip or bite the hands that hold it.
Another concern is the sanitary conditions of you set. Animals are not potty trained, and well, accidents happen. Baby chicks and ducks can carry Salmonella, and after touching these animals, children should wash their hands. I know that my own daughter, and I’m sure many other little ones, would have their hands in their mouths long before the session is over and hands are washed.
Lastly, are legal concerns. Many states as well as the federal USDA require photographers to obtain a license to use animals in their sessions. These are two separate licenses and both need to be renewed each year. You can download the USDA’s licensing and registration information here, and be sure to check with your state to see if you need a separate license through them.
Being a child photographer brings on a responsibility to keep my littlest clients safe and healthy while capturing adorable photographs for their families to cherish. I think that animal overlays allow me to accomplish both of these goals. Happy Easter everyone!
Baby duck image used in this composite from Deviantart.
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If you are interested in booking a session, feel free to contact me.