I bang on about newborn safety A LOT, but I'm not sorry. Creating awareness for risking the life of baby can not be said enough, and that's because I cannot stress this enough! You don't learn to pose a newborn over night, it's not a case of practice, it's a case of training. I know parents like a bargain, but please don't compromise cheap by putting your baby in danger, newborn photography isn't cheap for a reason! Don't be afraid to ask your photographer questions prior to booking, ask what training they have taken part in, see if they've been approved by any newborn associations such as BANPAS, check they have valid insurance. A professional will not hesitate to give you evidence of the information you require. This isn't an advertising ploy, it's to promote awareness. Safety first.. Especially with newborns!
I'm guessing many of you have seen the cute adorable photo's of babies holding their own head up, leaning out of a bucket resting on their arms or wrapped up all snug and sat up? Well as amazing as that is, it's fake! No baby can possibly do this without any support, and it's highly dangerous to even risk trying. Parents who see these images coo over them, and want them for their own baby. Which is great until they ask a photographer who may not be qualified to carry out these poses, but will attempt them anyway. Photographers may also see these images and aspire to re-create them, again which is fine as long as they take out the necessary training to do this safely beforehand. It's not just a case of give it a go and hope the baby is fine. You need to remember it's a real little human being you're dealing with, not a play doll.
Whether you hire me as your newborn photographer, or somebody else, please still read this post and take everything into consideration. If you don't feel comfortable with the way your photographer is carrying out your session, ask them to stop. I know you may feel a little awkward but it's better that than something dreadful happening. Although, if you hire a professional, fully trained and qualified photographer, you should instantly feel at ease and not have to worry at all. I've had parents worry when they arrive, and feel nervous giving me their baby, to then fall to sleep and let me get on with my job. I'm not saying you should take the opportunity to snooze, but you should feel comfortable enough to do so. You get my point!
These images below are all done in the safest way possible, with baby being held at ALL times. You should NEVER EVER let go of a baby in certain poses which require a composite. Here's a few examples...
1 - Froggy: To get this 'froggy pose', baby should be held at all times, and two photos are merged together to create one. This pose should never ever be done with no hands on baby, no matter how sleepy they are! The froggy pose is a popular one, yet the most dangerous. If this is attempted by an un-trained photographer, there are many things that can go wrong. For example, if the baby startles, which happens a lot during a session. In this position they will fall flat on their face, not only shocking them but potentially breaking their tiny little bones.
It's videos like this that parents or amateur photographers see and try to re-create, and it's SO dangerous, I can't stress this enough. Yes this is going to be a such a cute photo, but IT IS NOT SAFE!! Click to view - https://www.facebook.com/350513791642076/videos/1543721518987958
A baby is not supposed to be balanced holding it's own head up. You can see in this video above it's a matter of seconds before she starts to fall, what if she startled during that and landed wrong? It's really not worth putting a brand new life in danger for the sake of saving a couple of minutes in photoshop!
2 - Hammock: Baby is photographed safely laying on a beanbag and photographed from above to look as though they are hanging, the object they are hanging from is photographed separately and two photos are merged together to create one. You should never actually attempt to hang a baby from a hammock. Firstly because fabric is very thin and flimsy, it could rip, or the knot could come undone. Also because it would require the baby to be balanced and it only takes a tiny flinch for them to rol