A great number of photos you will see of newborns involve photoshop work to make them come to life. Newborns do not have the strength and body awareness to hold themselves in some of the positions that we like to photograph them in, and should they involuntarily start or flail it is not safe for them to be unspotted while being suspended from branches, or balanced on household utensils, not to mention simply putting their heads in unsupported positions.
We do on occasion present images that require some photoshop compositing to achieve. A composite is a combination of 2 or more images to create a single final image. Here is an example of one that you’ll see on our website that took 2 or more shots to create the final product. No newborn baby is capable of holding up their own head like this unsupported, and in order to achieve this pose there must be photos taken where the baby’s head is being supported and others taken where her arms are being supported. In the final product, of course, those parts of the image are removed and what we’re left with is a magical fantasy, a beautiful whimsy that tugs at our heart strings.
Here’s a shot where the baby appears precariously suspended in nowhere, however if you look carefully you can tell that the black “background” is actually his dad’s caring body supporting his entire body from behind.
Please take care when you browse all the cute newborn images you’ll see online, and please make sure before you hire a professional (or attempt any dangerous DIY!) that the person taking the photos knows full well what they are doing and has safety at their #1 priority.
We treasure the natural look more than the prop-based approach, and so many of our sessions are practiced without any compositing. Regardless of the pose, we never expect a baby to sleep holding their head up, balance on a precarious object, or pose in any way where the baby is not fully supported, padded, and spotted with the greatest care.
Please visit one of our favorite posts about the safety precautions that are taken in the more “creative” newborn photographs.