If you’ve already read my previous blog in my Newborn Safety series, you will have gained some valuable insight into choosing a newborn photographer. I would like to continue with another important thing to remember about your newborn portrait session – your baby is not a prop.
From time to time, newborn photos go viral on social media. Some of them are absolutely adorable, but some of them are downright frightening to me. There is absolutely no picture that is worth putting any life in danger of bodily harm or worse. Under no circumstance should a newborn or anybody ever be placed inside of a glass jar, wrapped in Christmas lights that are plugged in, posed in a basket on a railroad track or balanced on top of things. These kinds of pictures are not only dangerous, but some are actually against the law. Trespassing on railroad property can cost you not only a steep fine but can also cost you jail time, or worse – your life.
Many times the pictures you see are actually composite photographs, meaning the photographer has combined two images into one using advanced software. For example, the froggie pose is often achieved with the help of an assistant. The assistant will support the baby in the froggie pose from the front while the photographer snaps one picture. Then the assistant will move around to the back of the baby supporting the froggie pose still, while the photographer snaps another picture. The two images are then combined into a composite photograph later with the assistant removed from the final photograph.
Creating a composite photograph is a wonderful tool, but can often mislead the unsuspecting viewer into believing that a baby can safely be posed while hanging several feet off of the ground on a swing (for example).
There are numerous viral photos of babies in precarious poses and environments, but I would never recommend anybody to ever allow a photographer to put their child in a dangerous position for the sake of a photograph. It’s simply not worth it.