Newborn Photography Safety

It has always worried me when I see babies hanging over a prop of some description pop up on my Facebook newsfeed. The alarm bells ding in my head and I wonder whether or not there has been a secret hand or finger removed from the shot. You see that is the thing that has become almost taboo amongst good photographers- we don’t like to share trade secrets! If we tell Joe Bloggs how we create our beautiful newborn shots then everyone will be doing it and we’ll be out of a job. Now let’s stop for a minute and consider what would happen if Joe Bloggs didn’t know how to do it? Well you would be right in thinking he would probably try and do it anyway, with disastrous consequences. We need to put a stop to unsafe newborn photography by encouraging everyone to get trained and shoot safe and encouraging parents to hire safe and experienced photographers.

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This week a news story has broken that in two separate incidents in a well known high street studio, a baby has fallen off the posing block and another baby’s head was allowed to fall from the ‘head in hands’ position. I was relieved to hear that neither baby was injured but nonetheless it must have been a frightening experience for them and their parents to witness. What is very wrong here is that the photographers in question clearly did not know the safety elements and training needed to take these type of photographs. We are proud to be members of BANPAS (Baby and Newborn Photography Association)  they are currently the only UK body that promotes safe practice within our industry and have a great directory of trained and experienced newborn photographers. Members have to demonstrate their knowledge of composite work and experience before they are assessed and allowed to join. I want people to know that those amazing newborn images you see of babies positioned in beautiful props or  with their heads laid on their hands are composites – or they’ve had a hand or finger edited out! What is a composite?! I hear you ask. Well it’s very simply 2 (or sometimes 3 or 4) images taken separately and then edited together to make one final image (demonstrated below)


We do this because ultimately it’s the safest way to photograph your baby. It may take three times as long for me to edit – but it’s too dangerous to leave your baby unaided. If your baby is very comfortable in a position that’s great! but you will never find your baby left without you or someone immediately next to them, spotting to make sure your baby doesn’t suddenly have a bad dream and startle (this happens a lot!) and be left to fall out of position. I’m not sharing our images in the hope that untrained and inexperienced photographers will automatically know how to handle and shoot newborns. This is something that takes years of practice and training  (and lots of wee and poo related mishaps!)  The message is ultimately the same- hire a safe photographer, hire an experienced photographer and please do not ask your photographer to replicate these images if they are not trained. It is simply not worth the risk. Wherever you are in the country BANPAS is a great resource and directory that will aid you in finding a great Newborn Photographer!

If you love our work and are expecting a new baby please do give us a call to chat about your newborn session now: 0208 390 5558

Cate x


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