5 Essential Newborn Photography Safety Tips

baby photography safety

Newborn Photography Safety Tips

Newborn photography is one of the most rewarding types of photography in the industry, yet it is one that you NEED to be experienced in to ensure your little subjects are completely safe and sound during the shoot.

Conducting a newborn shoot is a delicate matter, and if you are just getting started in newborn photography, you will need to get up to speed with the best ways to handle a newborn during your session to ensure you are safely setting up shots and the baby is 100% protected during the entire process.

Newborn Lightroom Presets

Before Handling a Newborn

Before you even start handling the newborn, you will need to:

  • Ensure your studio is warm.
  • Make sure your hands are washed.
  • Make sure you are not wearing any jewelry.
  • Make sure you are free from fragrance of any kind.
  • Set up some white noise to help your little subject keep calm during the shooting process.

newborn posing safety

Tip #1: Use Natural Poses as Much as Possible

Aim for natural poses whenever possible.  You can do this using a newborn posing beanbag which is available online and works to help prop a baby up or lay them down.

newborn photography safety

Tip #2: Setting Up Composite Shots

If you are looking to set up a shot with the baby’s head resting on its hands (also known as the froggie pose), you can do this by holding the baby’s head from above or below for safety (you can ask one of the parents to do this for you).  Once you have taken the shot, you can then Photoshop the hand out of the image.

newborn posing safety

Tip #3: Photograph Baby as Soon as Possible

Arrange your newborn shoot around ten days of age (or earlier).  This is when newborns are most squishy, floppy and bendy.  If you want to photograph stunning images parents will love, posing up to 10 days of age will take advantage of your subject’s flexibility due to the baby’s lack of muscle tone.

baby photography safety

Tip #4: Always Support Baby's Head

When picking up the baby, it is ALWAYS important to support the baby’s head adequately.  When picking up baby put one hand underneath their head and one hand underneath their bottom and then hold the baby close to your body when you are moving them to the newborn beanbag to shoot or laying them out to photograph.

baby photography safety

Tip #5: Talk to Parents Ahead of the Session

Before the session, ask the parents what sort of positions the baby likes to be in (such as resting over the shoulder or laying in their arms) to ensure the baby is comfortable when you are transitioning them between photo set-ups.

As a rule of thumb, you will usually have at least one parent at the photo shoot, so just ask the parent to move the baby and then you will simply need to position their hands, legs and body for the shot.

newborn photography safety tips


Newborn babies are quite delicate and must be handled correctly during the shoot.  They also have trouble regulating their temperature, have poor neck control and can often feel uncomfortable in specific positions due to gas, so its essential you know about these issues and how to deal with them ahead of time.

Parents can often be concerned about their baby's safety, so don't forget to speak with the parents AHEAD OF TIME to provide an overview of the techniques you will be using to photograph their newborn.  Run through how you will be positioning the newborn and the safety precautions you will be taking to ensure parents are comfortable and happy before the shoot.

Download the Newborn Safety Cheat Sheet Here

newborn photography safety tip cheat sheet

Editing Newborns

If you edit in Photoshop and want to create beautiful newborn images for your clients -- you must try the LUXE Newborn Workflow Collection for Photoshop.  You will be so happy you did!

And if you prefer to edit in Lightroom, Pretty Presets recently released their fabulous Bella Baby Newborn Preset Collection, which includes tons of presets and brushes specifically for newborn editing in Lightroom

All images courtesy of Jenny Cruger Photography and Avnida Photography

Do you have any questions about Newborn Photography Safety?  Leave us a comment below - we would LOVE to hear from you!  And PLEASE SHARE this post using the social sharing buttons (We really appreciate it)!

Newborn Photoshop Actions