My husband, and the father of three boys, likes to joke “safety last” when it comes to family fun but if you’ve spent any time with me you know that I’m a firm believer in the motto ‘Safety First’!

Believe it or not there are a lot of risks that come along with taking photos of little ones and they’ve become even more prevalent with the popularity of Pinterest and Instagram.  People see photos that they love online and want to re-create them but don’t realize that there is a lot of deception used when it comes to creating beautiful photos.  For example, I oftentimes remove parents from photos using Photoshop, as I like to have them close by spotting their baby or toddler during a session.

Here are a few of my favourite tips for keeping your little one safe while you’re taking photos:

1.  I’m a fan of DIY for a lot of things but when it comes to newborn photography, make sure that you’ve hired a professional who is well versed in newborn health and safety.  There are risks to posing newborns, such as positional asphyxiation, over heating, and cyanosis (reduced circulation), all of which can be caused by improper posing of a brand new baby.  

2.  This is one of those times when plastic is best!  As we move towards conservation efforts, there is a move towards using more products made of glass and other materials.  Make sure to never pose a baby or toddler in or with a glass jar, bowl, or vase, as they can shatter quickly and unexpectedly and shards of glass are difficult to clean up.  Many craft stores sell plastic replicas of popular decoration elements like mason jars and glass candle holders.  

3.  It’s always exciting when babies learn to sit, stand, and climb.  If you want to capture photos of your little one and their new skill make sure you have a friend or family member nearby and that you’ve given them clear instructions to keep their eyes on the model at all times.  They’re there to offer an extra hand to prevent your little one from toppling over and hitting their head.  

4.  When it comes to water safety “within arm’s reach” is the most important advice you’ll receive but it’s also one of my favourite pieces of advice for photography.  When we’re taking photos with our phone or camera we are focused on the task at hand and not what our child is doing.  If your child is near something that is hazardous (an animal, a ledge, on top of furniture), make sure there is another adult with them while you are taking photos “just in case”.

one year old in striped romper smiling

5. If you’re taking photos outdoors keep an eye on your little one’s hands.  When we are taking photos we are often so focused on their face that we don’t realize they’ve grabbed a rock, garbage, or a prickly weed off the ground.   

Ottawa Child Photographer