I thought it would be a good idea to talk about the importance of newborn safety during a photography session. I know a lot of parents aren't aware of what constitutes safe posing and what really goes into those beautiful newborn images you see on Facebook, Pinterest, etc. There are plenty of poses that require no assistance, but there are others that I will ask Mom or Dad to help with. The reason for this is that during our session, your babies safety and well being is my responsibility, and I take this very seriously.
So what really goes into safe newborn photography? Well, that depends on a number of factors; is baby in a prop, or are we doing a pose that no newborn should be doing on their own? Almost anytime baby is in a prop, someone should be spotting the baby; sitting directly next to baby with a hand just above or around baby. Newborns have a strong startle reflex, and in order to make sure they are safe in a basket or bucket, someone should be right there if they flinch, or move, to make sure the prop doesn't tip over or baby doesn't push themselves out of the prop. Most of the time, the bucket or basket should also have something in it, to weigh it down. This is honestly newborn safety 101.
Now about those poses that no baby should be doing on their own, like the one you see in the image above; baby should always, always, always have someone either holding them directly, or spotting them with hands right next to them. Again, baby could startle or move just the tiniest bit and tip over. The adorable pose where baby is sitting holding his face, Froggy Pose, this is a composite, just like the image above; two images are taken, with baby being held at different points on the body, and then merged together in Photoshop.
Another important thing I should note is that not every baby will do every pose. Anytime parents ask me to do a certain pose, I tell them the same thing; I'm happy to try it, but every baby is different, and during our session baby is running the show, if they don't like the pose, or seem to be uncomfortable, then I move on.
Another important safety point to note about working with newborns is cleanliness. Every single item that I bring with me to your session has been washed or sanitized beforehand. Every wrap and blanket have been washed, and every basket, bucket and anything else that I can't throw in the washing machine has been sanitized with Lysol. This is part of the reason I limit the number of newborn sessions I take, I have to have the time to properly clean everything. I will not run the risk of spreading germs or potentially dangerous illnesses from one client to another.
So why am I telling you all this? Because your babies safety is the #1 thing that you should ask about when selecting a photographer. I know how much parents love these kinds of images, but please make sure that whoever you choose to capture them for you, is well versed in the safety of your baby.