Newborn photography - it's all smoke and mirrors!

Well, not really...but sort of! Newborn photography is one of my absolutely FAVORITE types of sessions.  I know, I know,  I have heard it before, but I will say it again!  I just can't get enough of those teeny tiny little people!  I love their smell.  I love the way you can just tuck them in your arms like a little tiny package.  I love their noses and toeses and everything in between!  I love how we want to kiss their toes and take photos of their squishy back-ends.  I mean, there aren't many times in most of our lives that those are one of our most attractive features!  HA!

But newborn photography is hard.  It really is.  I can spend almost 6  hours on the session itself - between travel and the actual session.  Newborns have no schedule whatsoever.  There is no way to make a newborn happy when they aren't, other than feedings, changing or cuddlings.  So each session has a LOT of down time.  And that doesn't include the time it takes me to prepare for the session, pack up for the session (they need lots of STUFF!) and then, of course, culling and editing and more!  But that is part of the gig, and I still love it just the same.

The other thing some people (including some photographers) don't realize is that many of the more creative "poses" and props in newborn photography are really a lot of smoke and mirrors.  That doesn't mean their work is fake or less impressive.  In fact, I find it extremely impressive!  What it means is that many of the poses and props, if done incorrectly or by someone who does not know what they are doing, can be very dangerous because there is really is MUCH more going on behind the scenes than some individuals realize.

Oh yes, did you catch what I said?  Some poses can be DANGEROUS if done incorrectly or by someone not experienced or trained.

Let me give you an example - those poses, where the baby is hanging in a sling?  Or hanging from a branch?  Or hanging pretty much anywhere?  Well folks, hate to burst your bubble but those babies aren't  literally "hanging" anywhere.  At least they never should be!  Those amazing photographers such as Carrie Sandoval and Kelley Ryden and Keri Myers - just to name a few - are extremely safe because they actually aren't letting any of their babies "hang".  They are using assistants and often lots of photoshop to give their photos the impression of hanging while not actually letting your baby hang at ALL.

Oh, and sadly (and scarily!), I have actually seen photographers who are HANGING BABIES!!!!  AWK!!!!!!!  If that baby falls?  If that baby gets injured?   Well, I don't even want to think about it.

Another example - those photos with babies  posed - sometimes almost teetering -  on props such as rocking horses, or benches, or tables or chairs or anything that has the potential for a fall. Those babies are NOT actually teetering on anything.  They are either being held or spotted by at least one if not more assistants or the photographers are creating a composite (combining two or more photos) photo in Photoshop to give the appearance of a baby teetering on an object while never actually putting them ON the object.

Please, PLEASE -  NEVER let a photographer take a photo of your baby on anything where the baby can quickly stretch and fall to the ground.  Those poses are ONLY safe if there is an assistant (or two!) with their hands ON THE BABY at all times.  And if they try?  Grab your little one and run for the hills!

This is an example composite photo.

Obviously, newborns can't hold up their heads with their hands.  If you try, they will droop and look awkward.  The only way to achieve this type of pose is by having an assistant holding the head and then the arms and then combining the photos in photoshop and erasing out the assistant hands.

So, you see, there is SO much more to newborn photography than many people realize.  Some photographers do an amazing job at creating these types of images.  Some photographers tend towards more natural poses and less props.  I use a few props, but I will never be hanging a baby.  It is just not my thing.

When choosing a newborn photographer, not only choose someone whose style you love, but also make sure if they are going to try any of these types of poses, that your baby is, first and foremost , SAFE!

If you want to see an interesting tutorial in doing a hanging baby on a scale pose - check out this article on Inspire Me Baby.

Another great resource for newborn photography is You Tube!  There are tons of newborn posing videos.

Oh - and lastly - did you hear about my New Year, New Baby Promotion?!!  NO???  Well, if you or someone you know is having a baby in the next couple months - please CLICK HERE to read about an amazing deal!!!! Hurry!  Time is running out!!!

Until Next Time!!