Importance of Newborn Safety

As newborn photographers, you are in charge of photographing someone’s newest little member of the family. It’s a huge honor and a responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly. For a few hours, you are in charge of that baby’s well being. Whether you are new to this type of photography or someone who has been doing it for awhile, its a good reminder to double check the safety measures you use while photographing these important bundles of joy. Here are just a few steps to do each session: 

-Always have a spotter for the baby during the session. If you don’t work with an assistant, have mom provide an extra hand. Babies can move suddenly and you don’t want their head to be unsupported or have them fall in any way.

-Always check arms, legs, fingers and toes for good circulation during the session. Don’t wrap them too tightly in wraps. Make sure there isn’t any fuzz from rugs that have wrapped around anywhere. Have the parents do a double check before they leave as well.

-Pay attention to the comfort level of the baby. If it seems like they don’t want to move into a pose, don’t force them. Some babies don’t like to bend certain ways. Find what’s most comfortable for them and work in poses based on that.

-Don’t rush into advanced posing if you’re just beginning (head in hands/froggy pose). Take your time mastering simpler poses before you move to more complicated poses.

-Keep the room nice and warm, but make sure any heaters are not too close and a safe distance away.

-Never never ever put the baby inside anything that might break or harm them. (No glass items.)

-Advanced: Always keep the baby in a low position when doing hanging poses or holding poses. Keep a supportive beanbag really close, right underneath the baby and always have an extra set of hands to spot the baby. 

-When you are laying the baby in a prop like a box or basket, make sure you put something the bottom is weighted down to prevent it from tipping. Also put soft padding or blankets over the edges to keep baby comfortable.

-Use compositing when necessary and know what poses it needs to be used for. It’s as simple as merging a few images in photoshop! If you’re new to this type of photoshop skill, there are many YouTube tutorials out there that you can watch to learn how it’s done. Examples of how this is accomplished:  

  • Head in hands – Take one image that has your spotter supporting the the head from the top. Then take a photo where your spotter is supporting by holding the arms. Then merge the two images by creating layers and erasing where the hands are in each image, being careful to line them up. 
  • Baby in sling – Have mom or dad hold baby in a sling low over a beanbag with spotter hands on the baby. Then take a second image that has the sling without the baby, using something inside to weigh it down to get a similar pull in the fabric. Combine the two images in photoshop.

We recommend also reading this amazing post on posing safety by Kelly Brown. It does a great job of explaining how to use composite images for certain poses and how to understand the comfort level of the baby for a successful session. 

What are your safety tips for newborn photographers? Let us know in the comments below!

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