Is a newborn baby photoshoot dangerous?
This is a question I hear often and the answer is it shouldn’t be.
The training required as a professional newborn photographer includes not only “technical” photography, but also posing (how to safely achieve those curly poses we all love) and safetly – an incredibly important matter when it comes to working with a tiny baby.
“That’s great” – you might be thinking.
And it is! Except, newborn photography is not a regulated industry – meaning potentially anyone can pick up a camera, buy some cute props and call themselves a baby photographer.
This is when things get more complicated for you as a parent, as looking at a Facebook page might not be enough for you to know for sure whether or not that photographer is fully trained.
For example, if you see behind the scenes images or videos with babies lying on high beds and props with no support or with no one to watch them closely… that is a big red flag! Babies have what is called startle reflex (“Moro reflex”) so even when they are fast asleep they can awaken instantly, arch their back and extend their arms.
Which is why professional newborn baby photographers use a “spotter” (could be an assistant or one of the parents) to support the baby with a hand while the shoot and this, obviously, is fixed in editing – meaning the photographer will edit your image to remove the hand of the spotter, and create a beautiful portrait of your baby.
Safety or Price?
Now, as you can imagine all of this has a cost for your photographer: the additional and recurring training, the long hours spent editing your images and, in some cases, extra staff.
Which explains why you might sometimes see sessions offered at a super-cheap price: as appealing as that is, whenever you see such a price, you should take time to ask the photographer for some references in terms of safety and posing training.
It would also be a good idea to check that they are fully insured.
I totally understand that everyone has a budget – and from minimum wage to high income every client I have in my studio is welcomed the same way, I have products and payment options for everyone and I genuinely believe in photography for every family.
I would rather have a conversation with parents about prices and safety, than knowing you are unknowingly compromising the safety of your baby because of price.
A little bit about my sessions: photographing the baby
Every image that I take of the baby is thought out, making sure that baby is comfortable and supported.
Part of the work is also done ahead of the session, when I will always ask the parents if there were any specific issues at birth, if baby was breech or if there were concerns with their hip checks or other small concerns.
Depending on this, I might decide not to attempt specific poses as they might cause discomfort to the baby.
Throughout the session, when baby is wrapped, we will also make sure baby is totally comfortable, that their circulation is good and that the temperature in the room is right for them.
Of course, there is so much more that goes into a session to make sure the baby is safe and happy at all times: it’s why almost every parent leaving my studio says they never realised so much went into creating the images.
Newborn photography at Jenny McDonnell Photography
Newborn photography is my passion and my craft.
Not only my studio, but also my energy and time is dedicated to ensuring the quality of my work and the care I offer to my little clients are at the highest levels.
To me, there simply is no other way of working.
If you want to know more about my studio and how I keep your baby happy and safe during newborn sessions, please get in touch!