Like most newborn photographers, I have shelves full of props that can be used to offer a sense of scale or to emphasise a pose, but occasionally a client will bring in something personal to them to use in the shoot. This could be something that represents a parent's favourite sport, instrument or their career.
While these can be fun to incorporate, every precaution must be taken to ensure the baby's safety. All of my own newborn props have been tested to make sure that they won't tip over, that there are no sharp edges and that they are big enough and comfortable for the baby.
A recent challenge was a football that I needed to pose with a newborn. My first thought was to bury the ball into a dip on a beanbag and have the baby lean over the top, but when we put the babba into position, it worked better for him to lean into the ball from the side. The finished image shows how the baby is balanced nicely against the ball. For this shot I had both Mum and Dad as baby spotters. The final image is a combination of two different pictures.
Mum holds the ball to stop it from rolling forward while Dad held the baby's back to make sure that he didn't slip sideways. Once I had that, Mum and Dad changed their hand positions so I could put the pictures together in photoshop.