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Newborn Safety

Any photographer that photographs newborns must have safety as their number one priority. There are many things that can go wrong if this is not practiced with each and every one of your little clients.

I am very stern on the fact that if a baby is not comfortable in a pose I move on to the next, I tweak poses all the time to whichever way the baby is comfortable and relaxed. I will never for any reason force a baby into a pose.

I have parents ask me all the time for certain poses especially the "froggy pose", I always tell them I will try, but I cannot force baby into this. Safety is number one with this pose and I like to share how it is done safely. Someone is ALWAYS holding baby, I do not have an assistant so I always ask Mom or Dad to give me a hand spotting for me.

I am holding baby in place in one shot (Dad is just right beside him spotting even when I am doing this), and in this case Dad came in a held baby's head.

The final image above is how it is done safely, we never under any circumstances put baby in this position unattended.

We call these types of images "composites" where we merge one image with another in Photoshop.

The "froggy pose" for example really requires a sleepy baby, usually within the first 14 days of life there is a better chance to achieve this than with an older baby.

I wanted to make my clients aware that I am always willing to try a pose you like, however if your baby is uncomfortable and is showing cues of stress I will immediately change positions. Your child's safety is far more important that getting that pose.

The following diagram shows how your baby is in mummy's tummy, some babies may or may not be able to go in certain positions in the first place depending on how they were in the womb.

Some babies can be placed in certain poses without discomfort as that is how they were in the womb where as some babies hips etc. cannot bend that way.

It is also very important for clients to advise your photographer if there are any hip etc. issues at birth as this could effect the poses and there may be some poses that should not be done as it can worsen the situation.

I truly hope this was a little insight as to what us photographers need to look out for when working with your little one. In most cases it is not because we may not want to do the pose for you, it is because your baby has shown cues of distress in them and their safety is what is most important at the end of the day.

I like to think of your baby as my own when I work with them, if I feel that a certain pose etc. would harm or cause stress to your child I will stop immediately.

Lastly, just practicing common sense - always have your camera strap around your neck when shooting over head and no not use glass or flimsy props and the list goes on. If you wouldn't do it to your own child do not do it to others.

I am a BIG believer in "prevention is ALWAYS better then a cure"



Milton, Ontario Canada

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