I think we all have seen some articles featuring beautiful photos vs. the “failed” version. They show many people attempting things they see on a popular website, the results are often funny. They are good for a laugh but, when it comes to newborn photography some of the “failed” photos make me a bit nervous. Without the proper insight into photography some of the things I’ve seen range from “That looks uncomfortable.” to “That is dangerous!”
Last night I saw a video clip and a few pictures of a “photoshoot” where the newborn is shown laying in a bed that is placed on a rock over a body of water. It made me cringe. Scrolling through the comments I expected to see the majority of people feeling the same way I did... uncomfortable and concerned for the little one. Instead I found most comments celebrating the father/photographer's creativity. Those who expressed concern were met with people telling them to "mind their own business" and accusations of them having reasons other than fear for the baby for their disapproval.
I believe the heartfelt, loving caption the father has attached to these photos. I do not think he set out to put his baby in harm's way for a good picture. I do think he is not educated in what actually happens behind the scenes in newborn photography.
So now we play a little game I will call “What you see. What you don’t see.” I would have loved to include more examples (and maybe I will do a part two) but I felt a bit of urgency in posting this. So here are a few of my recent photoshoots.
No Teddy Bears Were Harmed in the Making of this Photo
Warm and On Steady Ground.
Little Flower Pot Baby
These are just a few examples of how professional newborn photographers are ensuring the safety of your precious child while still getting some fun creative shots.
"I can't afford to spend $500 on a newborn photoshoot but I want pictures. What can I do?"
Some photographers (self included) offer mini newborn sessions. These can be a good alternative to a full shoot if you just need a few photos to mark this stage but have a limited budget.
"Well, ________ says she will do them for $50 because she has never done a newborn photoshoot and would like to start."
Proceed with caution!! There are good reasons professionals charge what they do (we have experience, education, and equipment to name a few). That being said, we all have a first photoshoot. Make sure your photographer is familiar with safe posing or, even better, go with a lifestyle session. These are more natural photos that show your baby and family without a lot of staging. See image below. If you see something that looks unsafe or that you are not comfortable with, speak up. Tell the photographer you are uncomfortable with the pose and would like to move on to something else.
I assure you there is no picture beautiful enough it is worth risking your baby's safety.