Welcoming a new baby into the world is one of the great moments in anyone’s life. Of course, it’s only natural that you will want to document this special and fleeting time with professional images of your beautiful baby. Once you’re holding that precious bundle though, it may be that you wonder how safe a newborn shoot is.
As a professional newborn photographer based in Halifax, West Yorkshire, I promise to prioritise your baby’s comfort and safety at all times. Your little one is the most precious thing in the world, and there is nothing more important than keeping them safe.
In this guide, tailored specifically for parents seeking an experienced newborn photographer in West Yorkshire, we will explore the safety measures I employ, my qualifications, and real examples of how I prioritize safety during newborn photoshoots.
The Studio Environment
Before I discuss how I handle, pose and support your baby during their newborn photoshoot, it is good to look at the environment as a whole.
My studio is kept lovely and warm for your shoot, so your baby is happy and comfortable throughout. I will constantly monitor your baby to make sure they are neither to hot nor too cold, and you’ll notice me adjusting the heaters from time to time depending on whether they are wrapped up for example.
My workflow has been designed to minimise the need to move props and backdrops around, and my equipment and props are all high quality, professional items and checked regularly for defects.
Before opening my doors as a newborn photographer, I underwent hands-on workshops to learn safe posing techniques for babies from the UK’s leading trainers.
This training equipped me with the necessary skills to handle newborns with care and ensure their comfort and safety throughout the session.
I continue to refresh my knowledge regularly, staying up to date with the latest practices in newborn photography safety.
Qualification and Professional Memberships
You may have noticed the badges on my website telling you I’m a member of The Guild of Professional Newborn and Baby Photographers, and hold a qualification from the Academy of Newborn Photography. What does that actually mean though?
Newborn and baby photography is an unregulated industry – there is no organisation which randomly drops in on photographers to ensure they are working safely or to a high standard. By undertaking training with the Academy of Newborn Photography, who promote and educate parents and photographers in safe working practices, I have signed up voluntarily to adhere to their code of conduct and put safety first. Gaining this qualification meant studying a wide range of newborn safety subjects, and required me to complete a paediatric first aid course. After all, there’s nothing more important!
I’m also a member of the Guild of Professional Newborn and Baby Photographers, and hold “Qualified Status” within the organisation. This assessment for this level of membership strictly judged both the technical quality of my work, and that the 21 images submitted had been created in a safe and comfortable way for the baby.
As you will see from looking around my website, on the whole my posing style is very natural. This is how I love to capture babies and is usually the preference of my clients.
Whilst posing your baby I will constantly monitor them, ensuring the pose doesn’t cut off circulation to their tiny fingers and toes, or obstruct their breathing in any way. If their umbilical cord is still attached, I will take great care when moving through the posing process to ensure it doesn’t snag on the beanbag or wraps – though it’s not unusal for them to come off during the shoot if they are just hanging on!
Advanced Posing and Composite Images
Though most of my posing is very natural, there are certain poses or set ups that I am happy to include for you, which may require your assistance to ensure your baby’s safety.
For these shots I would usually shoot what’s known as a composite image. The most well known pose that should always be shot as a composite is the ‘froggy’ pose, where the baby’s chin rests on their hands, with their feet either side of their elbows. I will never leave your baby unsupported in this pose. Your help is crucial in holding and supporting your baby while I capture multiple shots which are later merged in post-production to create the final image.
The image below is a good example of how a composite works – the final image of the baby in his Daddy’s police helmet was actually created from three individual shots. The straps inside the helmet limited the space available and meant that the baby wouldn’t fit comfortably inside, so I photographed the Dad holding an empty helmet, photographed the baby in two stages. After I had safely posed him on his Dad’s knee, I took a shot with his Mum supporting his head from the top, and a second shot where she supported his head from below. I took care to ensure the angles were right, so when I put them together afterwards the result was convincing:
Other Editing Techniques
There are images that don’t require to be composites, and I can just edit out supporting limbs, or ask you to briefly lift your hand while I take the shot. Here are a couple of examples:
The first image is of a baby girl fast asleep on her Daddy’s army equipment. She was supported well behind the equipment which was heavy enough to hold her safely, and we used her blanket to make her comfortable. You can see her Daddy was standing very close to her, gently supporting her head.
Here is the same image with Daddy removed in Photoshop:
This next example is a baby boy in one of my prop bowls. There is a big chunk of solid Yorkshire stone in the bottom of the tree-trunk bucket which is much heavier than the baby, so there was no danger of the prop toppling over. Again I made him comfortable with soft stuffers. Here you can again see his Daddy supporting him while I set up the shot. This time as baby’s head was resting comfortably on his arms, I asked Dad to quickly raise his hand for a second or two while I took the shot, and then put it back down gently again afterwards.
Here’s the final image, which was taken with Daddy’s hand just out of shot, lifted for only a second:
Hopefully, reading about how I ensure your baby’s comfort and safety during their shoot has put your mind at rest.
If you have any questions at all about my newborn photoshoots, or would like to book your own, please get in touch!
I provide safe newborn photography in Halifax, West Yorkshire. The studio is within easy reach of Leeds, Bradford, and Huddersfield.