Newborn Photography Safety by Stacey Ash

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I am a newborn photographer in Columbus, Ohio. I meet with new families all the time! Here are some of the most common comments I hear during a session. “Wow, you have to have a lot of patience to do this.” Or “I had no idea how much went into this!” Or, “How do you know how to pose the baby like that?” Newborn photography is an art that many do not understand until they see it in action. And probably the most important piece is the welfare of the baby. As you search for a photographer, please consider these 5 factors for newborn photography safety.

1 – Safe Posing

Trained photographers know how to pose a baby safely. This means we don’t just plop a baby in any prop. Rather, we carefully place the baby’s arms and legs where they need to go. When I position a baby, I always check for circulation. I also make sure the baby’s body is not compromised in any way. If there are hard surfaces, I will prepare the area with something soft for safely positioning the baby on top.

2 – Experience

An experienced photographer takes newborn photography safety very seriously. We know how to hold and handle a baby with care and confidence. Your photographer will have plenty of experience handing babies. You can usually find some behind the scenes footage on social media to show the care that the photographer takes with babies. (I definitely like to show this side of me). I talk about my experience on my website. My awards and certifications are also on my website. These are things you should be looking for, as well!

3 – Spotter

Some poses cannot be done without a spotter. The spotter knows the importance of newborn photography safety!

When I started newborn photography years ago, I did it all on my own. Then, I booked my first set of twins. I was so excited, but I also knew I needed help. I spend the next few weeks finding the right assistant for the job and got her trained. Now, 8 years later, I wouldn’t do a session without her! My assistant knows where she needs to support the baby for every pose. She has her hands on the baby for the majority of the session, only quickly moving for some poses so I can snap the photo. There are also poses where she never removes her hands. I will then do a composite image, where I edit her out of the frame. 

My assistant knows that her number one job is newborn photography safety! Her eyes NEVER leave sight of the baby. She keeps herself between big equipment and the baby at all times. There are photographers who do not have an assistant for spotting. That is okay, as long as the parents are allowed to sit with their baby for safe spotting.

4 – Equipment

Reputable photographers have good equipment. But, when it comes to newborn photography safety, there are other kinds of equipment that we need. For example, I keep flat and soft weights nearby my sets. These are used to counterbalance props such as buckets and baskets. When a baby is posed in these props, the head is very heavy. I use a weight to keep the baby safety in position and to prevent the prop from tipping. Other equipment I use include space heaters, sanitizer and wipes, white noise, soft fabrics, and solid props, just to name a few. All of my equipment is checked for anything that could be a danger to the baby. Things like splinters, sharp metal edges, or flimsy plastic. I can’t just pick up any random bucket at a store and thing it will be safe for a baby!

5 – Reputation

What are people saying in regards to newborn photography safety?

Newborn photography takes a lot of training. You want to make sure you are hiring someone with experience and a reputation to back up their business. Check their Google reviews! Sure, there are trolls out there who will give random 1 star reviews, but look for trends. Read the reviews and see what people are saying. Most of the time, this will give you an idea of how much care the photographer takes with babies!

Stacey is a maternity, newborn, and child portrait photographer in central Ohio. You can see more of her work and blog posts at