Newborn photoshoots have become a very popular “must have” for new parents. Frog, tushy up, wrapped, taco, chin in hands are a few set poses which are used in most newborn shoots. A newborn shoot can last at least 3 hours and is mostly done when babies are between 2 days and 14 days old. This is a big commitment for all new parents to attend a studio away from home for this length of time so soon after birth. This alone shows the desire they have to want professional photographs of their baby.
On numerous occasions these photographs have come against criticism for letting a photographer place your baby in these “un-natural” positions. Are parents allowing their babies be manipulated into certain poses just for the sake of a photograph? Are the babies uncomfortable or even in pain during these shoots?
We all know a photographer would certainly not aim to hurt a baby but how do we know they aren’t? Well for any parent of family member who has attended a newborn shoot they will confirm the confidence they have that the photographer has gave their baby the best attention and care they possibly could. From the moment they step into the studio the atmosphere is designed to give them the ultimate comfort with the room temperature around 21 degrees, background noise is calming white noise, the time in studio is increased to allow time for the baby to be settled, fed, changed or winded. These details are all in place so the baby and parents can enjoy the experience and feel comfortable in their surroundings.
Newborn photographers will not go into posing babies without a lot of training and experience. These precious bundles are handled with care and as the photographer poses the baby they will place their bodies into the correct position so baby is relaxed and in no pain at all!! Each head, arm and leg as set exactly where we want it for the photograph without putting the baby or parents in a compromising position.
The frog position is one which questions a lot of people as it is not a normal position to see a baby in. This pose is actually made from 2 photographs combined. In each photograph the photographer will have their hand supporting the baby’s head, one at the top and one at the bottom and then these images are placed together and the hands are removed. This is a very difficult pose to photograph and edit and so it requires a lot of experience and training.
For this reason I do not do set poses for newborns anymore. I have to give it up to newborn photographers, it is a very specialist niche and requires constant training. I stopped taking any newborns for a good year and had to keep referring everyone on to some fabulous photographers close to my area who do newborn photography. Lifestyle newborn photography kept attracting my attention as it wasn’t something I provided but was an interesting why of photographing newborns with their family.
I have set up a light, bright, white home scene in the studio and based all of the photographs around this scene. Incorporating all of the family and photographing the close details of baby while in the arms of their parents. Giving parents the professional photographs they desire but taking away the poses I did not want to to be photographing and so finding a happy medium for my studio.