Is flash photography safe for babies?

As a studio light newborn photographer, I occasionally get questions from concerned parents about the safety of flash photography on their baby’s eyes.  As a Mum of 2, I completely understand the concerns parents have.  We all want to protect our little bundles of innocence from every harm we can.

The Chinese Baby who was “blinded by flash”

Last year the Daily Mail republished an article out of China that went viral on the internet about a reported 3 month old baby who had apparently gone blind as a result of having a flash photo taken “10 inches away” from the baby’s eyes.  This article caused a lot of concern and worry among parents about the safety of flash photography.  No specifics were provided in this article such as where the incident is reported to have occurred, the names of the parents, the names of the medical “experts” who were quoted, or the hospital where the baby was alleged to have been treated.

Flash photography – a doctor’s perspective

Since the article was released, many medical doctors specialising in child vision have debunked the idea that flash photography causes damage to babies eyesight.  Dr Alex Levin, chief of paediatric opthalmology and ocular genetics in Philadelphia has been quoted as saying that the events described in the article are “inconceivable”.  It’s more likely, the doctor surmises, that the infant was already blind in that eye and physicians discovered his condition when they examined him. “To attribute the blindness to the taking of a photograph would be incorrect,” Levin insists. “There’s no way that a camera can cause such damage.” Flashes are diffused light, he explains, “so they’re harmless.”

Studio Light Newborn Photography

During my newborn sessions, I use a large 50 x 50 inch softbox on the lowest light setting which diffuses the light dramatically.  For the most pleasing results, I “feather” the light so that your baby is at the edge of the light.  The resulting light that comes from my studio light is extremely soft and not at all bothersome to newborns.  Here’s a behind the scenes shot to show just how soft the light is during my sessions:

Is flash safe for babies


Please feel free to voice any concerns or questions you may have about flash photography.  I would be happy to help!

L~ F~:
  • Tejaswi

    Hi…my question is is there any reflector which the photographer uses inorder not the flas light falls on the babies because if some one takes photo for us we usually blink our eyes due to that heavy flash light…is it so harmful,is there any photography property so that tha flash light is reflected back and no flash light falls on the baby

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