There has been a lot of talk in the media and social networking sites recently about the safety aspect of Newborn Photography.
Newborn photography is becoming more ambitious with photographers attempting to try a variety of new ‘poses’ with their newborns.
We wanted to point out to any new photographers in this area that the majority of the images that you see are composite images, such as a baby hanging from a branch in a wrap and the pose with a baby with their head balanced on their hands.
A composite image is created in Photoshop merging two images together – meaning that the baby wasn’t dangling from a tree, they would have been held In a wrap, with a spotter supporting them, just inches from a beanbag, and the branch would be merged with the image later to create the illusion.
Unfortunately not all images shown on the internet point this out and it is easy for a new photographer to not realise and attempt these shots untrained with a newborn. We have read recently on a forum a new photographer saying they had tried to get the baby to hold his head up but that the baby wasn’t strong enough do it – so they had attempted this pose and this is so dangerous, even if the baby does have good head control this pose should not be done without the baby being fully supported.
We have even seen a few images of a newborn in what looks to be a glass vase full of sweets, we hope that this was a composite but the image didn’t say and therefore someone new to the industry may think it’s something to try.
Also when attempting poses, if the baby looks uncomfortable and scrunched up, they look that way because they probably are uncomfortable, so gently move them until they look peaceful.
We strongly urge all new newborn photographers to research this area of newborn photography and where possible attend workshops, have 1:1 mentoring sessions with an experienced photographer and to read and learn all you can about newborn safety. There is a world of information on the internet about newborn safety with plenty of advice. You Tube is a great place to start.
When photographing using our beanbag, always ensure that the baby is placed in the centre of beanbag and that you have a spotter. Never leave the baby unattended on the beanbag, it is a photographers prop to be used under close supervision by the photographer and a spotter, ie the parent – it is not a sleeping device.
It goes without saying not to smoke or allow anyone to smoke when the photo-shoot is taking place and be extremely careful if using studio lights and heaters near the baby and near all your newborn props and accessories.
Newborn Photographers should also have personal liability insurance.
Newborn Photography is becoming an art and it really is a rewarding career, but the newborn’s safety is your prime concern.