When choosing your newborn photographer, it is imperative that your photographer is trained in safety. This training can come in the way of working under another well-known photographer, or in form of online classes. A well-trained newborn photographer knows the ins and outs of photoshop, indefinitely and can safely get images that appear very real. These are called composites.
One instance of a composite image would be the Froggy Pose. This is done with both hands on baby at all times. Baby is never let go of at any point. When I’m doing a Froggy Pose, I will only ever attempt it IF baby is totally asleep. I personally don’t believe every baby will do the Froggy pose, so this isn’t a staple of mine. But if I feel like baby is asleep enough, I get them into position, holding their wrists along their jawline and never putting pressure on the muscle in between their jaws, which is their tongue. Putting pressure in that area causes the tongue to partially block the airways. No good. You can see in my image that my hand is supporting right along the right side of his jawline and cheekbone, and no pressure is going to that fleshy area.
The second part of the shot is done by holding the top of the head. Hand placement here is also vital because baby’s have a soft spot called the fontanelle. It’s extremely important to avoid putting any pressure in that spot because under that skin is babys brain. Here, you can see me gently holding the back of Macks head. In this second shot, I get my image as quickly as I can and move on. Part of my safety measures is ensuring that baby is never left in any one position for too long. The rest is done as a quick edit in photoshop!
The next composite I often do is a sibling composite. This works extremely well for younger siblings who just won’t hold baby in a way that I feel is safe or aesthetically pleasing. I set this expectation with my clients and they are never disappointed. In this next set of images, I placed Finnegan in a prop and had Big Sister far away to reduce any interaction between them. I got my shot and had the mom take baby while Dad helped with Thea. Now, Thea is not my typical just over one year sibling. Thea was so happy to just be sat next to this empty bucket and laugh at all my hilarious noises and peek-a-boos. Normally, we have to toss something in the prop to grab their attention like a toy. Or in some cases, fruit snacks 😉 The rest is done in post-production.
These are just two small, in-depth examples of my safety measures during a newborn session. Other measures include but are not limited to:
- Masking up for every session
- Thorough hand washing
- Making sure baby is never wrapped too tightly and can take deep breaths
- Never leaving baby unattended at any time
- Using a 35MM lens to be as close to baby as possible
- Proper cleaning and sanitizing
- continuing my education yearly