Newborn Safety Series: Part 1
What is a composite (Compos-what)?
Newborn photography comes with its own unique challenges; the most important of which is the safety of the baby you are working with. In this series, I will discuss composite photography: what it is and why it is imperative that your photographer be trained in this technique. I will also go over how to tell whether your photographer is trained in newborn safety, as well as other questions parents should ask potential photographers to ensure that your baby’s safety is their top priority.
What is a composite?
A composite is a series of images that have been edited together to form one finished image. Common composite poses include:
- Potato sack
- Any position where baby is up high
- Any photo with pets
Below are a few examples of photos that were used in composites, as well as their final images:
Notice how the photographer’s assistant remains near the baby, with a hand on him/her for support, and how the head is supported to protect baby’s airway.
Why are composites important? What happens if these poses are not composited?
Newborns are hardier than they seem, but there are still some very real risks involved with many of the favorite newborn poses. Poses in a hammock or the potato sack pose can cut off an infant’s airway if they are not positioned properly with their chin away from their chest. Placing them on an elevated surface without a spotter is a fall risk. Newborns cannot stabilize or catch themselves and have the Moro or startle reflex which can cause them to jerk unexpectedly. Compositing these kinds of images avoids unnecessary risk.
So why is it important for parents to know how composites work? Aren’t all newborn photographers trained in newborn safety? Check back next week for part two of our Newborn Safety Series.