Your Newborn Portraits and Safety

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Your Newborn Portraits and Safety

Last night I was chatting with another newborn photographer and she sent me a little video link from ANOTHER newborn photographers Facebook page  (Yes – there are a lot of us about!)

It was a little ‘Behind the Scenes’ clip showing a newborn in the studio being photographed.

The baby was in what we call  ‘The Potato Sack’ pose (I can’t show you a photo as it’s a pose I won’t do with my newborns. But if you Google it you will know what I mean)

The baby was TOTALLY unsupported. The photographer was moving in to refine the position and then stepping back to take the shot.

This is appalling and very, very dangerous.

Newborns need their head to be fully supported AT ALL TIMES.  Shots like this should be done with the babies head HELD by a spotter and then the supporting hands removed from the image in post production.

Peeps – if you are taking your precious newborn to be photographed PLEASE make sure that the photographer has had training in the safe handling of babies. Sadly this is an unregulated industry and ANYONE can say they are a newborn photographer when, in fact, they may have had zero training and yours may just be the first baby they have ever held!

And PLEASE do not be afraid to step in if you are not happy in any way.  Fully trained, professional photographers will NEVER do poses like the Potato Sack or the Froggy (another one to Google!) without the babies head being FULLY supported.

Similarly – regardless of the pose – newborns should ALWAYS have a spotter nearby. This may well be you as the parent….and that is fine. But babies should never be left on or in props without someone very, very close to them.

And I don’t mean the photographer! We are too far away, concentrating on the shot and holding a heavy camera. If baby startles we do not have time to react, put the camera down and to get back to them before something potentially happens.

In the last few days I have posted THIS Highly Commended Newborn image on my Facebook page:-


Newborn baby in tiny bed



I now want you to ALSO see the ‘Straight Out Of Camera’ Shot – because I want you to see EXACTLY where Mummy was whilst I was taking  this:-


Behind the scenes shot of a newborn portrait



She was RIGHT there. Right next to Baby.

This is a ‘spotter’. Someone working at a newborn shoot whose attention is SOLELY on baby.  Some studios will have their own assistant to do this ( I will always employ one if I know Mummy has had a cesarean and is coming alone. I do not want my cesarean mummies kneeling on the floor!!) Otherwise I will always ask the parents to spot.

If you are in a studio and have been left sitting on the sofa and not asked to assist in this way, then you should be immediately on your guard. Your baby should never – even if they are soundly asleep – be left alone on a prop or beanbag.

When you see Newborn images PLEASE be aware that they are not always as they seem. A lot of poses can only be done safely by compositing images (taking more than one shot with the baby being supported in different  ways and then ‘layering’ them one on top of the other)

Similarly shots where baby is lifted in the air (or ‘hanging’ in a sling) are all actually done with baby lying safely on a beanbag!!


newborn being held by both parents


Trust me –  a newborn portrait is not always QUITE what it looks like!


If you would like more information about Maternity or Newborn Sessions at Annie Bee just drop me a line below!