There are two absolute truths to newborns. 1. They are beautiful and 2. They only stall that tiny for a short period of time. With these two things in mind, there are many valid reasons why a new mom and dad may want to have a newborn photoshoot done. Newborn photoshoots are a relatively new trend, if we go back just 30 years, we can see how far they have jumped in popularity.
The first photographs of myself were either in the hospital, or taken with my dad’s camera at home. The first professional photograph of myself was take much, much later. Now, parents are searching for the best photographer to complete that perfect first photo. The end results are breathtaking, but only if they are done safely.
The first step is finding a good, and professional photographer. They will have the knowledge and skill it requires to capture these precious moments in a way that is safe for the baby. In a world full of social media and Pinterest, more and more parents are looking at these photographs and trying to recreate them at home. This is normally done to save some money, but they come with their risks.
Photographers have little tricks to safely get the baby in poses, and sometimes they will even use photoshop to create the images. Now, we are not telling anyone not to attempt to take any of these adorable pictures on their own newborn, but we are here to tell you which ones are safe. We have found the 10 safe newborn photos that you definitely should be trying, and 5 that we need to leave alone.
15 SAFE: Parents Holding The Baby
There is no safer place for a baby to be then nestled in mom and dad’s arms. This is probably the safest photoshoot that you can achieve with your baby. It can be quite easy to recreate these photo shoots at home. All you need to do is form some sort or backdrop, and stand in front of it holding your little one. This shoot is normally done with the little one naked, so you may want to have some towels hanging around.
The reason this pose is so safe, is because mom and dad are holding the baby. They are supporting the head in the way it should be, as well as keeping the baby in a nice, comforting pose. Usually, they are held in the fetal position in order to keep the baby calm enough to capture that shot. You can do it with just mom and baby, dad and baby, or use a tripod and get the whole family in it.
14 UNSAFE: Head In Hands
This is one of the most popular baby shoot poses, but it should NOT be done unless with the help of a professional photographer. A lot of photographers hold a big secret when they complete this pose. They photoshop it. They take two photographs, one of the baby’s head being supported by a parent under the chin. And another of the hands, with the parents supporting the head. They then piece them together digitally.
While babies may be flexible, they do not have the strength to hold their head up like this without some form of assistance. If this is a shot that you desperately need in your collection, you need to get it done by a professional photographer, and do not try it at home. While it is un-deniably cute, it is very dangerous to try and create this without some help from the pros.
13 SAFE: On The Tummy, With Hands Under Head
This is another very popular pose for newborn photo shoots, and there is good reason for this. It is easy to create and very safe for the baby. It is also the ideal pose if you want your baby to be naked in the photograph. It allows their little arms and legs to be shown, without exposing parts that a parent may not want exposed.
It is also best to do this one when the baby is sleeping, so a good tip is to try and do this shot immediately after they eat, so that their tummy is nice and full. The reason this shot works so well, is because since the baby is all wrapped up together, they are more likely to stay still. Babies have a Moro-reflux which causes them to make sudden jerky movements. When they are all nestled in tight (think being swaddled) it prevents these movements from ruining the shot.
12 UNSAFE: Slingshot Photograph
We have all seen the picture, a cute little newborn is nestled into a hammock made of some sort of material, and is hanging from a branch or pole. This is another one that is only reserved for the professionals, and that is because there is more computer work at hand here. They do not literally hang the baby from the branch to take these photos. They take a photograph of the material hanging from the branch, and another one of mom or dad holding the baby up in the fabric.
Now, this is unsafe to do at home for one big reason; the baby could fall. The material could rip, or the branch could break, this may cause some serious harm to the little one. When mom and dad hold the material for the pro, they are holding the baby off the ground half a centimetre, above a padded bottom.
11 SAFE: Baby Laying On Back
This one may seem a little bit boring, but it is one of the safest newborn photo shoot ideas. That is the baby laying on their back. If you don’t want them to be naked in this shot, due to exposure, you can get some pretty cute diaper covers. A lot of parents also do not want a large pamper in the shot. Lay down a soft, fluffy and cute rug, and lay the baby on top. It doesn’t get much more simple than that.
A baby, laying on the floor and on their back, is just about the safest position for your little one. You can even go a little further and lay a stuffed animal beside them, or some other accessory. If the baby is squirming and not settled enough to take the picture, have mom or dad place their hand on the baby’s chest until they are calm. Then it is all timing, you got to get the shot and quick.
10 UNSAFE: Balancing Act
A baby never looks cozier then when they are cradled in the loving arms of their mom or dad. This is another very popular photograph that a lot of parents crave with their newborn baby. It looks like quite the balancing act, of a little baby nestled in the crook of dad’s arm. This is another one you want to steer clear of unless you have the help of a professional photographer and their expensive computer equipment.
The truth is that dad is not really performing a balancing act, he has his arm rested on a bed or a surface of some point. The baby is lain in such a way that it looks like the baby is just hanging off the arm. The problem is, when people see these photos without knowing the editing work behind them, they think it is possible for a dad to balance a baby on his arm like that. The risk of the baby falling off is to large to try and attempt this one at home.
9 SAFE: All In The Details
One of the best photographs of newborns are the ones that are super close, zoomed in on those tiny little fingers and toes. If these are the type of shots that you are dying to have, go ahead and go crazy at home because they are completely safe. The great thing about these photoshoots is that baby can be laying just about anywhere.
You can lay baby on a soft and adorable blanket and get those fingers and toes, or even when they are asleep in their bassinet or stroller. Photoshoots are best done when a baby is sleeping, they don’t move and they cooperate. It is the best time to get those close-up shots of the cute little toes. These shots are very sentimental as babies grow very fast, and they will not be so little forever.
8 UNSAFE: The Sit Up
This is not one of those shots that you see very often, but it is a shot that is super adorable and can have every mom dying to recreate it. The problem is that newborn babies do not sit up on their own, they can’t even hold their own head up. They lack the strength required to accomplish this pose without some sort or professional at hand. Again, this is another shot that should only be managed with photoshop programs.
How the professionals create this shot is that they have the parents hold the baby up in the sitting position, and then they edit out the support later. This is really the only way you are going to be able to capture these precious moments. To attempt them without this, is extremely dangerous to your baby, and it is just not worth the risk.
7 SAFE: Simple Back Drop
Sometimes we think that we need these professional photographers because they have all that great and wonderful accessories. The truth is, we don’t really need them (just don’t tell them that). A nice backdrop can be easy for anyone to create, and can take a normal picture of your baby to a professional photo shoot quality in no time. A cheap, furry blanket always does this trick. They add nice texture, are comfortable and warm for they baby, and they can be found for little money.
It is also the best photograph to take when you are thinking about the safety of your newborn, since all it requires is for your newborn to lay on the floor. If you want more of a textured look you can even lay them on a large bean bag, with mom or dad nearby.
6 UNSAFE: Baby In An Object
This is another popular method for taking a baby photograph, placing them in an object. This is one that is usually done when there is a theme to the photoshoot. Whether the baby is in a construction truck, baseball mitt or even a pumpkin, it should not be done unless by a professional. These photographs are cute, but if they are not done properly, then it can lead to damage in your newborn.
We all know that newborn photoshoots happen before they are 10-days old because that is the limited window you have until their bones start to fuse. This means that they are more flexible and can be placed in these adorable positions. When we lean them on or hanging out of objects, we risk injuring them unintentionally. This is best left to the pros, and their special equipment.
5 SAFE: Costumes
If you do not want to hire a pro to get the adorable shots in themed objects, you could try this safe alternative. Placing your baby in a themed costume. There are some pretty adorable costumes for a newborn photoshoot. These usually include a diaper cover and a hat of some sort. This gives you the look of a themed photoshoot without compromising safety for the newborn.
These costumes are popping up more and more in your average retail stores, however if you have a particular costume you want and can not find it, the internet is always there for you. You can either find a pattern for a grandma to knit, or shops like Etsy will always have a great selection! You may just have to think about this before your little one is born so that you can have it in time.
4 SAFE: Cocoon Shot
One of the cutest photographs is when a newborn is all wrapped up tight. Babies love to be swaddled, and this is sort of the same idea. This is also completely safe for baby, as they are often wanting to be all tucked in together. The trick for this one is that you don’t want to use an ordinary swaddle blanket, you want to find a thin, textured blanket. Wrap that little baby up and lay them down on their back.
The bonus for this photoshoot is that since baby is swaddled, they are more likely to stay calm while you are taking the photographs. They may even fall asleep. If you have a little baby girl, you can also add a cute little headband here as well. For an extra ounce of cuteness, you can even have one little hand poking out from the top, because baby hands are extremely adorable.
3 SAFE: Face Up
When we look at a lot of newborn photographs, a lot of them are baby laying on their stomach, we seldom see ones where they are laying on their back. I think that we are all missing out on this shot, which is completely safe. You can have baby naked, with maybe just a little hat on their head, and take the shot. The reason it is safe is because they are just laying on their back.
What makes this adorable and a must-have, is that you get a good look at the little baby belly, including the belly button. If you want to do this with your baby naked, but do not want to expose their private parts, you can cross their legs in front and hide it. The trick for this shot is to make sure the room is very warm, so that the baby is as calm as possible. Immediately after a feed never hurts either, as babies do not tend to like being on their back.
2 SAFE: Wedding Ring Feet
We already talked about the photoshoot you can take where you focus on their little feet, it is adorable and completely safe. A variation of this shot, which we see a lot of people doing is using their wedding bands as little toe rings. You can lay baby down on the bed, or even in mom or dads arms, and place yours and your partners wedding rings on the baby’s big toe.
It is safe because baby is laying down, and all you need are your wedding rings. This is becoming more and more popular, because a baby is a symbol, the biggest symbol, of the love between you and your partner. A product of the love that has come together to create this new life. It is not only very easy and safe to complete, it is a picture that everyone can’t help but swoon over.
1 SAFE: Anything With Mom & Dad (Or Siblings)
Lifestyle photographs will always be the best, they do not have to be staged, as the joy can be seen in the eyes of everyone. This is probably the safest photoshoot you can do with your newborn baby. Newborns will never feel safer than when they are in the arms of their mother, father, or even an older sibling. There are many different poses to try with this one, the list is endless.
You can do baby cheek-to-cheek with mom or dad. Laying on Mom’s chest, or even getting a snuggle with an older brother or sister. These are the best photographs because it is a candid snapshot of your life with a new baby, the happiest time in your life. It is these types of photographs that get framed in your house, and have all the relatives begging for a copy.
Sources: babysproutphoto.com, huffingtonpost.ca, itsalwaysautumn.com