This post is a public service announcement to protect the most fragile among us. Don’t try this at home.
Newborn photography has become increasingly popular! Those first few weeks of life are so beautiful and special, so of course you want to document that precious, tiny bundle of joy! But before you browse through Pinterest for DIY newborn photography inspiration, keep in mind that some of those adorable images are not real. Read that again. That’s right, not only are some of those images not real, but attempting to recreate them could actually be dangerous for your baby.
Professional newborn photographers use advanced photography techniques to achieve some of those adorable images that make your ovaries swoon. Here are just a couple of examples of images you shouldn’t try to recreate at home:
“Support the head!” That’s the classic instruction when a proud father or big sister is handed the new baby. It’s also completely applicable here. Newborns haven’t yet developed the neck muscles required to hold their own head up. Failure to keep that adorable head in the correct position could obstruct the airway or strain or tear the muscles and ligaments in baby’s neck.
As an example of advanced photography techniques, this baby was fully supported the entire time. That’s right, Mom’s hand never left the back of her head/neck. I removed the supporting arm using Photoshop.
It should be pretty obvious that this one required some post processing “magic” to complete. It wouldn’t be safe to dangle a baby in the air like this, especially over water. I used advanced photography techniques to create this image, too.
Can we all just agree that suspending a baby from any height would not be safe? Okay, good! I photographed baby and the swing separately and digitally combined the two images to create this final photo. To clarify, baby never left the ground.
As my 4 year old son likes to say, “it looks like the baby is in a dangerous spot!” New babies have what’s called a “startle reflex” that can make them jerk and twitch in their sleep. As a result, they can end up in a dangerous situation if they are not properly posed and spotted. This is another example of a composite image where the baby and setup were photographed separately. Baby was never in any danger.
Even poses that seem “safe” can be dangerous if not performed properly. Newborns have immature circulatory systems. For this reason, improper positioning of the baby can cause blood flow obstruction. You should always take care to make sure blood can reach the hands and feet at all times. If you haven’t had training from a reputable source on how to properly pose your baby, I’d recommend sticking to poses where baby is on his/her back for safety.
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