Safe Posing for Newborn Photography. NJ Newborn Photographer

I’ve been a newborn photographer for a few years, and whilst I welcome the increasing popularity in this genre, I’ve seen and heard of some really scary practices when posing fragile newborn babies. The safety and well being of our littlest clients needs to come first before the pursuit of our artistic vision.  I absolutely love taking the adorable shots we all see on Pinterest and the Internet, though it’s really important to never compromise the safety of a baby.

A few months ago, I was on the Internet and saw a newborn photo taken by a local photographer that shocked and saddened me.  There was a little baby in a “prop” that was way too small for the baby and I couldn’t image any safe way that pose had been photographed.  I’ve wanted to say something publicly about the importance of newborn photography safety, but I wasn’t sure how to put it.  I hope that all expecting parents, when searching for a newborn photographer take into consideration the experience and training of the photographer in newborn safety, not just photography.  Ask questions, get the facts and know that being a professional photographer does not mean you are experienced in this niche art.  Please do not hand over your new baby for someone to practice with.  Photographers, we all start somewhere so please invest the time and money into learning newborn photography from a Certified Professional Photographer with years of experience in this art.  There are many courses all over the country and the only way to get hands on experience should be with the guidance and supervision of someone specially trained in newborn photography.

To give you more of an insight, I want to share some of my own posing methods.  My number one tip is to use a spotter. I ALWAYS have an assistant right next to the baby, babies can be much stronger than they look and can push themselves forward with their back legs, or roll over off a beanbag. Also, Mom & Dad are not trained assistants.  They are tired, not familiar with the poses, and brand new parents may not know what to expect yet from babies that can flinch or startle for no reason.  A trained assistant is a must.  With props such as boxes, baskets and bowls, I put something heavy in the base to weigh it down if there’s a chance of it tipping, and I line any hard edges with soft padding such as a thick blanket or fur. Again, I always have a spotter next to baby, and support their head as needed.

Many final images may appear to have been taken as they look, that is the luxury of Photoshop. Often we find that people do not realize a lot of images are created in Photoshop by compositing two images together. Both Rachel & I have invested a lot of time in attending workshops and training to learn all these posing tricks. While there are a lot of photographers out there who say they do newborn photography, please do the research and make sure that you choose a photographer who has proper training, an assistant, and respect for your newborn child’s safety.

Erica Haller

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