Baby Posing: Knowing what to look for in a newborn photographer

Baby Posing: Knowing what to look for in a newborn photographer

Baby Posing: Knowing what to look for in a newborn photographer

So you’ve scoured the internet and just about every local photographer’s websites to find THE perfect photographer to expertly capture your impending sweet arrival and you’ve narrowed it down to your favorite few. So now what? When all else is equal, you need to get down to the nitty gritty. First and foremost when seeking a photographer, you want to make sure the photographer you choose will be experienced enough to capture your little one in all those cute poses safely. Although poses of little ones resting their chins on their hands or hanging and standing upright in sweet bundled sacs look adorable, what’s more important is that they’re done as safely as possible. After all, the subject and focus of these images is a priceless new bouncing bundle of joy.
So without further ado, here’s a couple of tips for choosing a safe photographer:
1) Ask questions. How long has your photographer been working with newborns? How many newborns have they photographed approximately? Does the photographer shoot with an assistant or will they ask or allow you to participate by spotting your baby in the setups?
2) Do the babies in your photographer’s images look comfortable and not strained? A strained face, furrowed brow, colour change in the face (towards red or purple) or claw like fingers can be indicators that babies are experiencing various levels of discomfort though sometimes they can simply be characteristic of a baby in particular. Seeing a few of these characteristics in your photographer’s work is expected, but if the majority of their photographs look this way you may want to think twice.
3) Has your photographer attended any newborn baby posing workshops? One of the best ways to ensure your photographer practices safe posing techniques is through their attendance at workshops aimed at teaching safe posing . When choosing a workshop, photographers should aim to learn from someone in the same position as themselves (for example learn from a solo photographer if you yourself photograph without a partner or assistant) with a background of experience or knowledge in physiology and safe handling techniques.
The shots below are the result of another successful weekend for the Crafty Baby Workshops. This particular workshop hosted 6 participant photographers from across Canada and as far away as California and Atlanta as well as 7 adorable tiny newborn models ranging in age from 3 to 17 days of age. The morning started out with a blast… or two… or three… literally… from our oldest model Miss Morgan and we ended with a quick jaunt outdoors to photograph one sweet little soother loving boy in my new favorite prop and a field full of prickers. Day two was as much fun discussing all things business related as well as taking a quick trip into post processing, specifically how to achieve a great looking composite shot and tackling newborn skin tones amoung other things. But my favorite part of this weekend had to be the portfolio reviews and the chance to shower my out of country guests with a couple of treats unknown to them. I am still SHOCKED they don’t sell Smarties, Coffee Crisp, Crispy Crunch, Kinder Surprise, Five Alive, Ketchup or Dill pickle chips in the States. SERIOUSLY!


Stephanie Buckman
  • Shannon Dodd
    Posted at 11:41h, 22 September Reply

    Steph is AMAZING! Great feature!!!

  • Amber Black
    Posted at 12:58h, 22 September Reply

    Beautiful work Stephanie!! Excellent points on newborn safety here too!

  • Robyn Russell
    Posted at 15:05h, 22 September Reply

    spectacular work as always steph!!! why do we have to live so close 😉 i’m proud of you!

  • Leslie
    Posted at 16:01h, 22 September Reply

    Great article Stephanie!! With such practical advice that is often times overlooked or forgotten!! 🙂

  • Sara
    Posted at 17:08h, 22 September Reply

    When you photograph newborns inside, are you using natural light or a light set up?

  • Lisa Phillipson
    Posted at 18:55h, 22 September Reply

    Beautiful shots and beautifully written. A newborn’s safety comes first over any great shot. 🙂

  • Steph Robin
    Posted at 20:35h, 26 September Reply

    Thank you so much ladies. Sara – I use strictly natural light for all my shoots. 🙂

  • Veronika Goisova
    Posted at 21:46h, 23 October Reply

    Amazing work Stephanie,would love to learn from You:-)

  • Alaura
    Posted at 00:51h, 29 November Reply

    Lovely post. Although I have to disagree about the One of the best ways to ensure your photographer practices safe posing techniques is through their attendance at workshops aimed at teaching safe posing”
    I have been photographing babies for over 9 years now, and have never attended a “posing” workshop. My experience over the years and through literally thousands of baby sessions has taught me everything I know. I think the trend in newborn posing workshops is simply a way for photographers to make big bucks off of all the new photographers who are interested in the industry. I think that is the purpose of this post send many more aspiring photographers to the posting photographers workshop. Personally I think that this trend is doing nothing but teaching people how not to be creative and come up with their own ideas. Sadly newborn photography is starting to look a little generic which in my opinion will lead to a “fast food” style mentality within the industry.
    I think another point could be added:
    How about looking for something different in your newborn photographer? Does your choice of photographer actually offer you creative original art or does all their work look just like everyone else’s? Are they producing the same poses over and over and is that all they know how to do? I would suggest asking to view at least 2-3 entire galleries from a recent session so you can get a good idea on the actual abilities of your photographer, and whether they can competently produce consistent results throughout each session.
    Just one photographers opinion.

  • Stephanie Robin
    Posted at 14:47h, 29 November Reply

    Thank you so much for all your comments and thoughts. Especially those of opposition. I love to hear everyone’s different points of view on the subject of newborn posing and safety.
    Alaura – thank you for pointing out your views and how they differ from what was presented. You’ll note that I outlined attending a workshop to be “one of” and not the only method to ensure your photographer is safely posing babies. 🙂 Of course experience in handling counts for quite a bit. I however do take offense to the implication that I am part of a trend of offering workshops to make “big bucks off all new photographers who are interested in the industry”. 58% or more of those who have attended my workshops have been photographing newborns and babies for more than 5 years. Furthermore, I am not simply a photographer who is offering to teach how they do things. My background in Physiotherapy in particular makes me a distinctly different teacher as I have a knowledge and sense of the workings and physicality of the body that goes beyond simply having a touch for newborns. The materials I teach at my workshops cover much more than simply attaining poses.
    Furthermore, I can see how you could assume that the purpose of the post was to send photographers to the workshop. The truth of the matter is that I was contacted personally by the administrators of this website and blog who no doubt care for the safety of potential clients and their babies, specifically asking that I post on this topic using materials from a particular workshop post they had spotted on my own personal blog. Let me assure you that registration is not the purpose of this post. The post is instead meant as food for thought for parents seeking out photography for their sweet unassuming babies who may potentially be put at risk from those attempting to provide the same poses you see on numerous newborn photography websites.
    Aside from this, I do agree that there is a trend in newborn photography whereby poses and setups do in fact look quite similar to things seen elsewhere and that creative art has a definite place within the newborn niche. However, the human body has limits and there are only so many poses it can attain naturally whether in the newborn state or as a child or adult. This in and of itself limits the posing options of any and all newborn photographers and also perpetuates the need for workshops whereby safe handling and poses can be demonstrated and taught and unsafe techniques reviewed and dismissed.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 02:16h, 29 December Reply

    Well said Stephanie! 🙂

  • Crystal - Prenatal Coach
    Posted at 14:06h, 05 February Reply

    Beautiful photos and informative post – thank you!

  • toñi
    Posted at 04:10h, 25 March Reply

    por favor me podeis decir donde puedo encontrar el carrito donde esta el bebé.gracias

  • Hire Newborn Photographers in Toronto
    Posted at 06:13h, 01 May Reply

    Yeah, I fully agree with you that a newborn photographer must have some unique qualities to make newborn photography perfect. Thanks for your suggestions.

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