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Photographing your newborn? Leave it to the experts, some doctors say

Posted at 9:10 AM, Sep 25, 2019

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla.-- Lisa DellaBella loves babies, and she practices the art of taking pictures of them. The Boynton Beach photographer just attended her third weekend-long workshop on how to properly photograph newborns.

"There's always a spotter nearby," she said.

At first glance, the newborn prop setup looks pretty simple, but professional newborn photographers say it is anything but. There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to keep your baby safe during a photo shoot.

"How to soothe the baby, how to wrap, how to pose them in buckets and bowls, and make sure you are always supporting their head and neck," she said.

She's sounding the warning about trying to position a baby by yourself or using a photographer who is not specialized or trained. "Just do your research," said DellaBella. "Make sure they have a good portfolio of work, they've been doing this a while, workshops."

Many photographs are not as they appear. The frog pose, for example, is actually a photo-shopped composite of three photos. DellaBella said in each photo, the baby is being supported.

"They have these photos where it looks like the baby is sitting upright or the baby is posing with their arms, and the babies don't have those motor skills to be able to do that," said Dr. Lynda Bideau with Children's Physicians.

Dr. Bideau warned to keep it simple or hire a professional trained in newborns.

"So what will happen is if you have a photographer who is not trained in newborn photos, an amateur photographer, a friend or family member who is taking these photos and they look at someone else's photos they think they can do the same thing," she said. "And they put the baby in these positions, and then the baby could slump down, fall, the airway could be compromised if their neck goes down and it's not safe."