I just want to take a quick minute to talk about newborn safety. There are so many newborn photographers out there, but when you are entrusting your perfect little bundle of joy to them you want to make sure that they are using safe techniques to make sure your baby is comfortable and does not get harmed in the process. Of course, we have all perused Pinterest and other sites to see these adorable newborn poses and maybe thought to ourselves, how the heck do they get the baby to do that?! Well, if it is done safely, it is through the magic of photoshop and a composite of two or more images. Babies do not naturally hold their heads up when they are new. Here is an example of one of my images and the shots that I used to create it.
You will notice that mom’s hand is on the baby at all times. This is very important. She is actually supporting the weight of the baby’s head and holding her upright. With the magic of photoshop, I was able to put the two images together, removing mom’s hands to come up with the final image.
If your photographer is putting your baby on or in props, it is important to keep a hand on the baby at all times. You want to ensure that the prop does not tip over or the baby does not roll and they should never use a prop that could break, such as a glass vase or plate. I will frequently use a parent’s hand, rolled towels or even weights to support the baby or prop that I am using. It is also important to know that all babies will not naturally go into all positions. Your baby should never be forced into a position or rushed into a position. If I get a request to incorporate a certain prop or pose, I will be honest with the parents and let them know when it will not work. I will also keep my camera strap on, especially when photographing baby from above. I would never want my camera to slip out of my hands and hit your baby!
Another important note is that time and environment play a big factor in your newborn session. A sleepy baby is a relaxed and happy baby. Babies come from a warm environment so I always have the heat turned up to around 80 degrees to keep the baby comfortable when they are not fully clothed. They are also used to hearing lots of sounds when they are in the womb like mom’s heartbeat and blood flow through her body, the sound of her digestive system and even the sound of her voice. I keep white noise on during my sessions to mock the noisy environment that the baby comes from. This absolutely does NOT include the use of a hair dryer, which can be dangerous to the baby. I will always I allow plenty of time for feedings during the session to keep the baby nice and relaxed and sleepy. This allows me to really take my time and not rush through the poses. If the baby is wide awake, they will definitely not want to settle in to a pose like the one above! My typical sessions last anywhere from 2-4 hours.
When you are searching for your newborn photographer, it’s important to ask them what steps they go through to make your baby’s comfort and safety is priority number one!