Is studio flashlight photography safe for babies and newborns?

As a studio light newborn photographer, we occasionally get questions from concerned parents about the safety of flash photography on their babies and newborn’s eyes. Usually, they ask is studio flashlight safe for a newborn? Is studio flash light dangeros for baby and newborn?

We completely understand your concerns.  We all want to protect our little bundles of innocence from every harm we can.

Does it? Not really! It does not if you are going to work with a professional photographer who specializes in newborn photography portraits. We use the safest and most recommended photography equipment to bring the safety of your baby as the first priority.

When it comes to flashlight photography generally people assume a pop-up light on a point and shoot camera. They are tinny but supper powerful and even an adult can’t look at them directly.

On the other hand, this kind of flash makes a flat light just to brighten a subject in front of it. Most of the time you don’t like your portrait with this light. This is not what a newborn photographer would use for a newborn photography session. Not even close to what the other portrait photographers use in the industry.

The studio lightings are beyond those tiny flashlights. They stand on a separate light stand with the power switch and the get covered by softboxes and diffusers to soften the hard light.

To have a better and more professional result, the best lighting is set on and shoot from the sides. They can make the scene more dramatically and look more artistic.

If you are more interested in photography lighting techniques you can learn more about it in our previous and future articles.


jana newborn photography natural light studio

We use the PLM umbrella flashlight system


Now let’s go back to our topic. As I said the best lighting is from the side. But still, you need to know what the newborn photographers particularly us is a huge PLM reflecting umbrella. We position it on angled down on the right side of the setup where we pose the baby. Regardless of the distance “at least 1 meter far from the baby” the flashlight goes to the opposite direction of the set up “Opposite from face and eyes”.

The light passes through a non-reflective umbrella and bounces back to light up the scene. Through this process, the light needs to pass through another fabric called diffuser to give us a nicer and softer result and to be safe on the baby’s face and skin. The result as you can see in our style will be very soft, classic and clean.

In fact, flashlights come with a dimmer to control the power of light. To be in the safe spot we always use the lowest power (1/32). And for covering the lack of power, we use one of the best Canon photography lenses with the widest opening aperture.

If you want to imagine the light’s power, it looks like a sunny day and the sunlight coming from a window passing the curtains.

Also, we normally photograph newborns when they are less than 2 weeks old. It means in this period of time they are usually sleepy with close eyes.


86” White PLM™ Umbrella

Is studio flashlight safe for a newborn?


For sure the flashlight never can harm them while they are sleeping. However, even with open eyes, these professional lighting techniques wouldn’t cause any problem when they are wide awake showing us their most adorable facial expressions.

In Jana photography, we also have a natural light studio. It means if your baby doesn’t like to go back to sleep, we can definitely use the beauty of natural light. 

jana newborn photography team

Check our Instagram page to see more newborn and baby portfolio.