Is Newborn Photography Safe?

As a new parent you might (understandably) hesitate to hand over your new bundle to someone you likely just met, even if you do want beautiful newborn photos! Here are some questions to ask any Norman newborn photographer (like me!) before you hire her/him…and some red flags to watch out for!


Composites are 2 shots combined to make one in Photoshop or similar editing software. This is the SAFEST way to achieve the “froggy” pose. This pullback shows part of the process. Mom or another helper holds Baby’s hands/chin. The other step would be to take a shot where Mom is holding Baby’s head. The final edit would include both shots combined into one image.

Norman Newborn Photography Safety (Mary Thomas Photography)
Safe Froggy Newborn Pose (Mary Thomas Photography)

Here is a better documented account of the same thing 🙂 Photo credit:

Copper Lens Photography Newborn Safety

Baby should NEVER be left unsupported in this position – even for a second! The risk of him face-planting, or worse, is simply not worth it.

Tip-proof Props

Baby’s head is heavy compared to the rest of her body and can actually cause buckets to tip over unexpectedly. I use mini beanbags at the bottom of buckets and containers (and have a parent nearby at all times) to safely achieve shots like this…

Norman Newborn Photographer (Mary Thomas Photography)

Temperature Sensitivity

I keep my shooting space warm and cozy for Baby with a space heater. Newborns can’t regulate their temperature very well, and a safe shoot requires checking his skin to see if he is too warm or too cold and making adjustments as needed.


Babies have poor circulation in their hands and feet, which can turn purplish if blood isn’t flowing properly to these areas. When posing a baby where there is any pressure on the wrists and/or ankles it is important to stop and rub his hands/feet if they are blue or purple in color. Here are some poses where I frequently check coloring of Baby’s extremities…

Safe Norman Newborn Photography (Mary Thomas Photography)
Newborn Photographer in Norman OK (Mary Thomas Photography)
Trained Norman Newborn Photographer (Mary Thomas Photography)


Not all babies are as flexible and foldable as others. I like to substitute more baby-pleasing poses for other, more compressed positions if Baby isn’t feeling it. Two common substitutions are half-taco for taco pose and head-on-hands for froggy…

Safe Modifications Norman Newborn Photographer (Mary Thomas Photography)

Newborn Safety Norman Newborn Photographer (Mary Thomas Photography)

See my Pinterest board for more of my go-to poses for Norman newborn sessions.

Neck Straps For Overhead Shots

I always wear my camera’s neck strap for overhead shots like this one.

Newborn Photography in Norman, OK (Mary Thomas Photography)

A Couple of Other Things:

  1. I never have a baby in the studio if I’m not feeling well or have a fever. I always reschedule or refer out
  2. I buy new pacifiers (I like MAM brand) for every Norman newborn photography session and boil them. I also respect Mom’s wishes if she doesn’t want to use a pacifier for the session
  3. My sessions always start with me washing my hands, and I wash them throughout the session
  4. I NEVER force babies into poses! Here are a few “crowd-pleasers” that most babies love:
Norman Newborn Photographer (Mary Thomas Photographer)
Newborn Posing Safety in Norman OK (Mary Thomas Photography)

So…what IS the secret to safely molding Baby into those sweet, sleepy poses? Folded up receiving blankets. No, really, that’s it. Gently supporting certain areas of Baby’s body is the “secret” to molding her into those cozy positions. The secret to doing it safely is to keep blood flowing, to “listen” to Baby, and not to put her in any position that could put her in danger. Safety first. ALWAYS.

Secret to Newborn Posing Norman Newborn Photographer Mary Thomas Photography
Secret to Newborn Posing Norman Newborn Photographer Mary Thomas Photography