Newborn Photography is a specialist field. This guide will equip you with the knowledge needed to ensure the health and safety of your baby for their photo session. Gain the confidence in who you choose to capture your newborn baby.
1. Have you taken any workshops or had training in posing newborns?
Many photographers are self-taught, but those skilled in newborn portraiture have taken the time to learn newborn posing and how to safely handle the littlest of subjects. Newborn portraiture is a specialized field. If someone hasn’t taken any specific training with regard to newborns, be cautious.
They may not know how to safely replicate the poses they see online. I have heard stories of photographers bending baby feet and hyperextending limbs because they do not know the correct way to get the baby into posing positions. Every baby is different and won’t be able to do every pose. Look at the portfolio of the photographer you are considering. Do they have a diverse portfolio of babies and poses?
2. At what age do you prefer to schedule newborn sessions?
Most sessions are scheduled in the first 2 weeks of life. That means the ideal time for a newborn session is generally when a baby is 5-12 days old.
They are very sleepy at this time and still remember being curled up in the womb, so their legs tuck up underneath them very comfortably and we can pose them in all those sweet curled up poses quickly and easily. At about two weeks old, babies go through a growth spurt where they want to feed more often and don’t fall back asleep easily and they don’t stay asleep while we pose them.
This doesn’t mean that you cannot have a newborn session of your baby is over 2 weeks old, you will still get gorgeous sleeply newborn photos, – but it does mean you may have more images of your baby awake or you may choose a more ‘lifestyle’ session where baby isn’t being posed, e.g. being held by mum instead of in the curly, sleepy poses. Your newborn photographer should be knowledgeable about what she expects from the session based on the age of your baby at the time of the session.
3. How long have you been working with newborns?
Newborn photographers will tell you that every newborn is different. Some like being rocked, some like being bounced, some like pacifiers, some like to lay on their tummy, some like to be swaddled….and some won’t like anything you do! Having the experience of working with many, newborns gives professional newborn photographers the expertise to soothe colicky babies, to know what positions are best for babies with reflux, to understand how to pose multiples, and everything in-between. A newborn photographer must be patient, kind, and gentle with your baby.
4. Do you have props (blankets, baskets, hats, headbands, etc.)?
Make sure to ask your photographer if they have a variety of hats, headbands, blankets, baskets, etc. if you are looking for that type of thing during your session. These items can be very expensive, especially those that are well made and safe for newborns. Warrnambool newborn photographer
Professional newborn photographers charge enough for their sessions to cover the costs of having these things on hand in their studio for babies. They are often very selective about what they will choose to use during a session for safety or aesthetic reasons.
5. Do you do composites for difficult poses?
Many parents see photos of babies hanging in nests from tree branches, curled up in helmets, sleeping on top of chairs, etc. and think, “How did they do that? I want a picture of my baby like that!” What you don’t see is the process behind creating those images.
Any image where a baby is on top of a prop or hanging from something should be done as a composite, which means that the photographer takes multiple photos of the setup and then merges them together using photo editing software like Photoshop. This includes popular poses like the ‘head in hands’ or ‘froggy’ pose. (Example of a composite shown below) In these type of poses there is ALWAYS someone holding OR TOUCHING baby to ensure their SAFTEY.
A newborn baby should NEVER be left propped up on something where they could startle, roll off, or fall out. They should never be put in anything glass.
Example of a Composite where baby is safely posed
Head in hands pose composite 1
Head in hands post composite 2
Final edited image (joining composite images 1 & 2)
6. Are you vaccinated against whooping cough & flu?
Ask your photographer if they are vaccinated. It’s a good idea to be wary of your babies exposure to other people, especially in the first few weeks. This ensures the health of your baby is not put at risk. Further information on whooping cough can be found on the Department of Health website here.
7. Do you have insurance?
Any photographer who works with newborn babies should have business and liability insurance. These items mean that you are dealing with a professional. A professional photographer should also provide a contract agreement for you to sign that outlines all of the key terms and conditions for the session. You should feel comfortable handing your precious baby over to your photographer and trust that they have done everything possible to protect your child.
8. Do you have an assistant or will there be other people with you at the session? Sometimes photographers will have an assistant who helps them during the session, and other times they may rely on a parent to help. It’s always good to know if there will be additional people handling your baby or others watching at the session.
9. Are parents and siblings included in the newborn session?
Some photographers specialise in newborns only and do not include parents and siblings in the session. Other photographers may charge extra for each additional person. It’s always a good idea to clarify with your newborn photographer who will be photographed during the session.
Meet Jess, a passionate newborn photographer based in country Victoria, Australia. Having experienced the challenges of learning photography while caring for a newborn herself, Jess empathizes with overwhelmed parents.
Driven by a desire to help, Jess now offers offers online training programs for parents and photographers alike. Learn quick and easy techniques to capture stunning photos of settled and sleepy newborns effortlessly.
Whether you’re a parent wanting to document your newborn’s precious moments or a photographer seeking to enhance your skills, Jess is here to guide you on this beautiful journey.
Join Jess’s offers online training programs and discover the joy of capturing timeless moments that will be cherished forever.