Criteria for Applying to be a volunteer RMB Photographer:
With regards to insurance, RMB has the following disclaimer:
“We strongly recommend professional photographers have their own insurance cover for their own protection and peace of mind. However, if this is not in place, you may still volunteer for RMB on the clear understanding that RMB’s Public Liability Insurance covers Volunteers only whilst carrying out their role as a RMB Volunteer. Damage to and theft of a Volunteer’s equipment is NOT covered and remain’s the responsibility of each Volunteer.”
As a volunteer photographer for RMB you will be required to have the following equipment as a minimum to undertake baby remembrance photography sessions on behalf of RMB:
- A DSLR camera or equivalent* and suitable lenses. (i.e *Mirrorless systems).
- A Speedlight, equivalent flash unit or studio flash head.
- Editing software – Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom or similar.
The RMB Membership Application Team (MAT) is made up of experienced remembrance photographers, two of whom will assess and score your application.
An average of at least 70 marks from the two assessments is required for your application to be considered successful. Scoring is from 1 ~ 10 in each of the following criteria:
- Natural/available light: regardless of whether this is your usual genre, your images must demonstrate an ability to use directional light to shape and sculpt the subject. There should be no blown highlights on skin; ideally there should be detail in highlight and shadow areas.
- Artificial light: artificial lighting includes flash/studio lights and speedlights such as Canon EX flash. However, speedlights used directly at the subject on camera are not acceptable due to harsh shadows. Bounced flash creates soft lighting and gentle shadows and this is ideal. Again, there should be no blown highlights on skin, and ideally there should be detail in highlight and shadow areas.
- Focusing: creative use of focus and shallow depth of field are ideal for recording details in remembrance photography. Your submitted images should demonstrate an understanding of accurate and creative focusing.
- Composition and posing: Your submitted images should demonstrate that you can pose your subjects to give a pleasing composition, sensitive to the nature of the people included in the group. Consider that we often work in tight spaces and with small groups, intimacy is a common feature.
- Attention to detail: Images submitted must demonstrate that you notice and rectify before pressing the shutter such things as untidy clothing or hair, distractions in the background, out of place protrusions such as lamp-posts or tree branches.
- Black and white conversions: Please include a minimum of 3 images in black and white. Your conversions should be crisp rather than greyscale and should retain detail in both light and dark or shadow areas. RMB sessions are typically delivered in black and white.
If you have limited experience with on-camera bounced flash and do not have studio lights, carry out the following exercise to practice your skills. Ask a friend or family member to pose, or use a doll or cuddly toy in a dimly lit room. Take a series of images using your speedlight. Bounce the light off the ceiling and walls to create images with soft and directional light. Shoot close and shoot details such as hands cradling the doll’s head.
It is essential that applicants have adequate command of using artificial lighting due to the nature of our work – we are often in small dimly lit hospital rooms or bereavement suites. If you only work with natural/available light, you will need to enhance your skills to be able to volunteer for RMB.
Applications can take 2-4 weeks to process depending on the number of applications received and the workload of the team members who are all volunteers with their own businesses to run. Unsuccessful applicants are welcome to ask for information on weak areas in their submission, and to re-apply at a later date when those areas have been addressed.
If your assessment application is successful you will be invited to become a member of RMB and will be required to confirm that you agree to the terms and conditions detailed in the Volunteer Services Agreement (VSA) and Code of Conduct (CoC) and pay the annual membership fee of £15.00.
Once your membership profile has been activated, you will receive a new member’s welcome email and the following:
- RMB parent flyers.
- RMB hospital trifold leaflets.
Plus you will have access to an online mini seminar with a member of the MAT team where there will be a discussion on what to expect as a RMB photographer and have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have and get you started on your Remember My Baby journey and also exclusive access to our private official RMB Volunteers Support Facebook group.
Please click HERE to fill in your Assessment form.