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Is Newborn Photography Safe?

Newborn babies make for some of the cutest photography subjects. Parents adore pictures of their tiny babies sleeping in one of those adorable poses. But is it safe to put a young child in some of the poses you see online?

A professional photographer who specializes in newborns should have training and certifications in how to safely pose and photograph newborns in order to protect themselves and the newborns they photograph. These posed studio photos are a wonderful thing to have, but you should never entrust the posing of your baby to a photographer who is not a professional or who is not experienced in safely posing newborns. This is because your baby’s safety could be at risk. Posing a newborn for a photo can endanger your child if it isn’t done properly, but if it is, the newborn is completely safe.

As a professional Philadelphia newborn photographer, I have spent years studying and practicing to ensure the utmost safety for the babies I photograph. Here are some questions I’ve heard from new or expectant parents, and I hope these questions will put your mind at ease as you prepare to bring your newborn in.

Can I take pictures of the baby by myself?

Even if you have access to a high-quality camera and the equipment necessary to take your own photographs of your newborn child, you should not even attempt to do so. You should practice your photography skills on photographs of your family or other subjects rather than newborns if you are not specifically trained. It is not a good idea for a novice photographer to try to hone their skills by taking pictures like these because they are extremely difficult to capture and require careful posing. You should never pose a newborn unless you have received training and certification from a reputable professional organization and have completed educational classes on how to do so safely.

What newborn poses are safe?

When photographing newborns, the poses that are typically used have been designed to reduce the likelihood that the child will sustain an injury. These positions prevent pressure from being placed on your baby’s spine and neck, ensure that their airway is unobstructed, and make it possible for the photographer to move the baby from one pose to the next with as little adjustment as possible. Often these pictures are examples of a type of image known as a composite image. That indicates that the photographer’s hand is actually captured in the image, and that multiple photographs were edited together to create the illusion that the infant is in the frame by themselves.

When should my baby be photographed for newborn pictures?

The majority of photographers recommend scheduling your child’s newborn session between the ages of seven and fourteen days old if possible. Your newborn is likely to be sleepy and easier to pose during this time, which will allow the photographer to recreate poses that your baby may have assumed while they were still in the womb. Obviously this timing will vary, especially in the case of premature babies, or those who need time in the NICU after birth. Feel free to get in touch to discuss your specific situation and we’ll figure out how to make it work!

How can I determine if a photographer specializing in photographing newborns is trustworthy?

Talk to a newborn photographer about the measures they take to ensure the safety of your child before you hire them. When it comes to taking pictures of newborns, an experienced and skilled photographer should adhere to a whole host of guidelines, such as the following:

  • Ensuring that each prop is appropriately weighted and is secured before use.
  • Wrapping or swaddling a newborn baby for security.
  • Securing your infant in a position that causes them minimal stress.
  • Disinfection procedures in-between sessions.
  • Training and experience in newborn safety.

During the course of a session, you are welcome to stay nearby to ensure that you feel comfortable with the process. Ask the photographer to give you a rundown of their workflow before they begin taking pictures. Your child’s health and safety are of the utmost importance to any trained professional, and they will be happy to explain why the poses they are demonstrating do not present any danger to your child.

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