If you ever thought of jumping into Newborn Photography, it’s best to tip toe carefully instead. You will be embarking on a wonderful adventure, but one that takes patience and caution. Because, after all, you are handling a tiny human who has no idea you saw a picture on Pinterest that you would like to recreate – so please stay asleep and just let me pose you! But, Newborn Photography is so much more than dreamy poses and cute props. It takes thoughtful preparation to safely capture the quickly fleeting moments of newborns.
Today, Suzanne Krull, of Suzanne Krull Photography, is sharing with us some great safety tips for newborn sessions. Who would have ever thought that it takes prior planning and patience (lots and lots of patience) to achieve the perfect newborn poses?!
SAFETY TIPS FOR NEWBORN SESSIONS:
The very first tips are all about you, and all the things you can do for yourself to make sure that the baby is nice and safe, and the session runs smoothly.
- Before starting a newborn session, make sure your hair is pulled away from your face. Whether it’s a headband or a ponytail, you just need something that keeps your hair out of your face and away from the baby. Little fingers can get stuck in your hair.
- Always make sure your hands are clean before handling the baby. Mom and Dad are trusting that you are going to keep their little one safe, so you don’t want any germs on your hands. Also, make sure your finger nails are cut short, and are free of any nicks that could scratch baby. Pro tip: where clean gloves while handling the baby. Gloves serve two purposes: they make sure that you’re always touching baby with fingers that are free of nicks that could cut baby’s skin AND if you have cold hands, baby won’t feel the cold.
- You want to be HEALTHY for the session. Never, ever conduct a session when you have a cold or are not feeling 100%. You wouldn’t want anyone sick handling your new baby, so just don’t even take the chance. If you are not feeling well, reschedule. A day or 2 won’t make a difference.
The next few tips are ways you can prepare for a safe session in the room.
- Keep the room at about 80 degrees. If you are going to a client’s house, have them turn the heat up about 30 minutes before the session. Babies cannot regulate their own temperature in their first few weeks of life. So, it’s up to us to make sure that they are cozy and safe.
- Make sure the blankets are nice and tight. You never want to have a baby’s face buried down into a blanket that is bunched up, because you don’t want to cut off any party of their airway.
- You always want to make sure you start the session off in a tidy space. Things can get really chaotic and super messy during a newborn session. You don’t want to have any sort of safety issues lying around when you are working with a baby.
Lastly, these tips are all about the baby.
- Always remember to practice on a doll before you practice on an actual baby. All of those poses on Pinterest look so dreamy. Before you replicate those poses, make sure you are proficient in that pose before you try it on an actual baby. Look for a doll with moving arms and legs, and that is mold-able.
- Watch for cues from baby. Look for things like discoloration in the fingers, or arms that seem to be pinched. Babies pigment will change very quickly if their circulation is being cut off. Watch for fingers and toes that are not perfectly pink, and make sure they are not being pinched, or that a leg is not being smooshed in any way.
- Never force a baby into a pose. There are some poses that babies just don’t like. If you come across a pose that baby just seems uncomfortable and fussy, and quite settle, just move on. Sometimes babies don’t want to be molded and bent in certain positions and that’s okay. It’s not worth risking the baby’s safety just to get that perfect pose.
- PATIENCE! It takes lots and lots of practice to work with newborns. Pro tip: Choose one pose that you are really excited about, practice on a doll until you feel okay with it, perhaps do a model call and see if you can perfect that one pose before moving onto another pose.
Comment below if you found these tips helpful. Are you a Newborn Photographer? Do you have an other tips to share?
Suzanne Krull is an award winning, fine art Maternity, Newborn, Baby, and Family Photographer in Northern Illinois. She specializes in capturing a family’s story through real, authentic connections, and timeless artwork to fill their homes.