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So in the ever growing world of newborn photography there are zillion poses and positions we photographers persuade our gorgeous models to wriggle into to achieve the cute images that are so popular, but there is one that seems to be the holy grail of many photographers…the frog pose.
lts a divisive pose, with some loving it, and some hating it. But whatever your opinion of it, there is one thing that is vital to remember. No baby can hold that pose on his own. Fact. So, great care must be taken to ensure no baby is harmed or upset when doing it. Personally, l refuse to accept the stance that in the right hands a baby will balance. l don’t care…..no, l REALLY don’t care! l don’t care if you can get a baby to balance in the pose…..letting go is dangerous! Why? Let me explain.
A newborn baby’s head is a third of its entire weight. Thats heavy. Not only that, a baby has no control of its neck muscles, which means that if you allow a baby’s head to flop too sharply in any direction you COULD cause great harm to the delicate structures inside, like the oesophagus and windpipe. lf you do, how would you feel? Will it happen? Maybe not….maybe 100% of all babies you balance will be fine. However, the smallest chance that even one would startle and throw out their arms and so allow their head to flop, should be enough to stop any photographer worth their salt from not even risking it.
So how do l get the images l do without ever letting go? Well, firstly l needed to know l could be skilled enough in Photoshop to allow me to merge the necessary images together. Then l had to know l could persuade the baby to settle happily in the necessary position. l didn’t even attempt the frog pose until l was over two years into my career. l was not prepared to ever try it until l could be sure l could do so safely.
Not every baby will do the frog pose. Part of doing it well and safely is developing the skills needed to know which will, and not trying it with those who wont. That all comes from reading each baby. They are all different, and a huge part of what l do involves getting to know them a little bit, and if l’m honest, loving them a little too.
Once l think a baby will do it, l ask the parents if they’d like me to try. As l said, not everyone even likes the resulting image. l wouldn’t ever do it without asking. So each time its done, the parents are watching every move l make. You will see that each frog pose l have done is of a baby happy, relaxed, comfortable and sound asleep. No matter what pose l do with a baby l am gently moving arms and legs, hands and fingers, gently moving and using lot of gentle motions to get baby to leave them where l want for the images. This pose is no different. l gently move baby until l am happy baby is relaxed and settled. lf l try and baby doesn’t want to do it, l don’t push it. Thats totally ok, and sometimes l try and then don’t get the pose, even though l thought baby would.
Thanks to Ingrid Timmerman Photography for the above image of me doing the frog pose.
Once baby is in position, l gently support baby with one hand and take the images l need with the other, moving the position of my hand in between. l NEVER let go. My hands are on baby at ALL times. You can see the two images l take below, and how l then use them to create the finished image.
You can see that even as l moved my hands, baby remained totally relaxed and asleep.
So, if you love the frog pose, and would like your photographer to do it for your baby, please don’t be afraid to ask them if they do it as a COMPOSITE. They’ll know what you mean. Ask them to show you images like the ones above. lts your baby. PLEASE don’t assume that just because they claim to be safe that they are.
The industry isn’t regulated, and probably never will be, so its important that you know how to keep your baby safe during the session, and especially when doing this very clever, but very skilled pose.
For more information on composite images, and how to check your chosen photographer is safe, please visit the BANPAS website.
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