Safety Tips for Maryland Newborn Photography

Newborn Photography

Black and white image of newborn baby in father's arms, safely posed by supporting baby's head and body.

Welcoming a new baby into the family is such a special time that passes by all too quickly! Life with a newborn is intense and can easily become a blur, so documenting those early days of your baby’s life with professional photos is a gift that keeps on giving as baby grows and changes. As a seasoned newborn photographer based in New Market, Maryland, I have the privilege of being trusted to photograph the tiniest humans. Newborn photography is so much more than putting a baby in a knit hat and swaddle and taking cute photos. There is a lot to consider when it comes to handling a newborn safely. Your newborn photographer will be the only non-medical stranger your baby will come in contact with the first few weeks, so it is important to choose someone who knows their stuff!

Newborn Safety Basics

Newborns are fragile on the inside and out, so being well-versed in their vulnerabilities and how to protect them in every way is so important! 

Protecting Them From Illness

One of the things that makes newborns so fragile is that they have not yet developed an immune system. This makes them extremely vulnerable when it comes to illness because their bodies have not yet built up what they need to fight sickness. When choosing a photographer or handling a newborn yourself, it is so important to minimize the risk of exposure to harmful germs and toxins. Some ways to do this include:

Wash Your Hands Often

It is a good rule of thumb that hands must be washed thoroughly before holding or touching a newborn. A photographer should also disinfect their camera before a newborn photoshoot so that germs aren’t spreading back to their freshly washed hands. You can even carry something like this with you when you need  to sanitize your hands on-the-go!

Sanitize All Props and Surfaces 

Opt for a photographer who prioritizes cleanliness by using natural cleaners to disinfect props and surfaces. This helps minimize the baby’s exposure to potentially harmful chemicals as well as germs.

Avoid Exposure to Any Kind of Sickness

To protect newborns from illness, make sure that anyone who comes into contact with them is in good health and free from contagious illnesses. If this means rescheduling because the photographer has a cold, it’s better to be on the safe side.

Safe Handling Techniques

Newborns are so delicate, and they require gentle handling and support at all times. Whether posing for photographs or simply being cradled in a parent’s arms, here are some safety measures to keep in mind:

Head and Neck Support

Proper support for the baby’s head and neck is extremely important, both during poses and in times of transition. There are a lot of adorable newborn pictures floating around on the internet where it appears that the infant’s head and neck are unsupported. But photographers who are well-versed in newborn safety know that the right way to get those shots is by editing out the hands of the photographer or parent who is properly supporting the baby. These shots should not be attempted in any other way. Remember, the baby’s absolute safety is more important than a cute picture. No pose should cause strain or discomfort for the baby.

Secure Positioning

When posing newborns with props or on surfaces, it is important to make sure an adult is spotting the baby just in case he or she moves and tips over or starts to fall. An example of when this would be absolutely necessary is those pictures of newborns laying on a swing, or in the “froggy pose,” shown below. Hands are easy enough to erase in Photoshop; an injury to a baby is not. Always make sure baby is secure!

Eliminate Hazards

Be sure there are no loose hanging objects that could fall on the baby, including the photographer’s camera! All photography equipment should be strapped to the photographer’s wrist, waist or neck, so there’s no chance of it hitting the baby if it slips. Avoid holding hot beverages around the baby, and make sure to keep the baby out of reach of any pets or well-meaning but unpredictable toddlers who may be joining in the photoshoot. Accidents happen, so it’s better to be safe rather than sorry.

Choosing a Photographer Committed to Newborn Safety

When it comes to choosing a photographer for your baby’s newborn photo session, here are a few things to look for to best ensure safety for your little one:

Safety Training

Although there are no mandated safety regulations in place for newborn photography, there are newborn photography and baby safety certifications that photographers can obtain. If a photographer has a photography certificate in newborn safety, they will likely mention it on their website, and that’s a good bet your baby will be in good hands. If not, you can use the tips below to be sure the photographer is still experienced in safely handling newborns.

Ask Questions and Consider Their Experience

You can always reach out directly to the photographer you are considering and ask them if they have newborn safety practices they follow. A robust newborn portfolio is also a good indicator that they have a lot of experience handling newborns and that they know what they’re doing. 

Mentions of Safety Practices on Website

Look for indications on their website or in their portfolio that emphasize their dedication to newborn safety. If a photographer specifically mentions newborn safety on their website, this is a good sign of their knowledge and priorities when it comes to baby safety. 

Book a Newborn Session with a Safety-First Photographer!

If you are looking for a newborn photographer in the New Market, MD area, rest assured I take newborn safety practices extremely seriously, and I would be happy to work with you. If you have further questions about the ways that I prioritize safety or about any other parts of the process, I would be happy to chat with you! Feel free to contact me here for a quick phone call to make sure we’re a good mutual fit!

 

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