Quick – name an important tool for ensuring safe newborn photography sessions!
I bet software wasn’t the first thing that came to mind. I mean, unless you read the title of this blog post first (spoiler alert!). But seriously, most people don’t realize how important Photoshop is in newborn photography.
Which is by design, of course! The best Photoshop work is invisible. But unfortunately, this characteristic can lead to inexperienced photographers attempting unsafe poses that they don’t fully understand. And your 8-day-old baby should never be put in danger just so someone can learn an expensive lesson.
What do you think of when you look at this portrait? I’m going to guess something along the lines of, “Awww, look at the BABY!“
What you don’t see is that this image is a composite – several photographs combined into one seamless result. A newborn baby is not capable of maintaining a pose like this. Their heads are too heavy to be properly supported, and a baby left alone in this position could easily injure its neck or spine.
How do we make it then? Photoshop magic.
First, I used the bottom half of this image to get the baby’s facial expression and body position.
Then I grabbed a “clean” version of the top of her head from this image.
Using two different images and creating this composite in Photoshop allowed me to achieve this pose without ever leaving the baby unsupported.
Similar tricks can be used to create images where it looks like the baby is hanging from a hammock, or balanced on a motorcycle or rocking horse. Responsible photographers would never put a baby in those situations in real life, but editing software brings these ideas to life.
No portrait is ever important enough to endanger a baby. Make sure your photographer practices safe newborn photography at all times!
For other tips on choosing your newborn photographer, check out my guide here.