My baby has a rash - should I cancel our newborn photography session?
Newborns will often experience skin conditions shortly after birth such as baby acne, dry skin or those little white spots called Milia. All of these are generally harmless and will disappear on their own in time however, you may have concerns about your finished photographs if your little one’s skin is affected at the time of your newborn portrait session.
Please don’t worry! A professional newborn photographer can use Photoshop or a similar editing package to soften or remove any minor blemishes on your baby’s skin. There are various methods we employ to do this, I personally like to keep my editing as gentle and natural looking as possible to preserve as much details as possible and ensure baby doesn't end up looking a little, well, plastic or wax like.
If your baby has a touch of jaundice or is a little red, I will subtly adjust colours, which will also of course help minimise the
appearance of redness associated with skin rashes or irritation. When it comes to dry skin which is very common especially with overdue babies, I use a mixture of removal and softening techniques again, always keeping baby’s skin looking as natural as possible. My before and after image below shows the subtle changes I have made to clear up this baby boy's complexion. You will see that his skin has been gently softened, any obvious flaws removed and then subtly colour corrected to remove overly red areas whilst still retaining a normal texture.
There are various types of birthmarks such as stork bites and port-wine stains and babies with darker skin tones often have Mongolian Spots, which are grey/blue patches on the skin. In both instances, I will ask the parents if they want the marks removed completely or simply softened down. My personal preference is the latter, as I do believe a photograph is meant to record how a baby looks at that particular moment in time.
In conclusion, please don’t worry if your little one’s skin isn’t perfect on the day of their session. A professional newborn photographer will have a long list of processing techniques at their disposal which they can use to enhance your images without creating unrealistic results.
Finally, it is of course important to say that, should your baby develop a rash that you are worried about, you should always consult a medical professional.