Another reason for avoiding direct flash when photographing babies is that the sudden bright illumination can startle many babies, even though the brief burst of light from an electronic flash is more or less instantaneous, probably averaging 1/1,000 second.
PHOTOFLOODS OR HOT LIGHTS PRECAUTIONS
Although photographer’s photo flood lamps (also known as photofloods, flood lamps and hot lights) are not “flash” lights (because they do not give off a burst of light, but rather burn constantly with a very bright light), we mention them here because of the need for caution when they are being used to illuminate a scene, particularly a scene that includes children.
Photo flood bulbs and quartz lights generate a good deal of heat and should not be used where children could get close enough to them to come in contact and be burned. Never place a photoflood where it could accidentally fall on a child or come into contact with a crib’s blankets, for example.
No one should look directly at a burning photo flood, particularly up close; their intense light output could cause eye damage and they have even been known to explode.
DIFFUSED DAYLIGHT IS BEST
When photographing a newborn baby, select a location in the hospital or at home where indirect daylight or the light from an overcast sky is coming through a window.
Bright rays from the sun itself create too much contrast (dark shadow areas and bright highlights) for a newborn's pictures. If the sun is streaming in, place a sheet over the window to soften the light. If the curtains are sheer and white, close them to filter and diffuse strong sun light.