Newborn photography is always a lot of fun and a lot of challenge all in one. I am an on-location photographer, and choose to go into my client’s homes rather than have them come to me. I know it would be easier to shoot in my own studio, but where would the challenge be in that? Just kidding–But there is much truth in that question. I have shot both ways.
So, as an on-location photographer, I will share a few of my ideas/lessons learned in this blog and then share some of the CUTEST images of a little newborn with his big sis and mom and dad.
Going into a new location always has its challenges and blessings. The major challenge is finding a spot with proper lighting for the type session. In the case of this newborn session, I wanted diffused window light –and a good amount of it. I set up my backdrop frame so it was facing the light. I then put an ottoman (the family’s) about 4 feet in front of the backdrop. (If an ottoman is not handy—I have used a chair, bench, the floor, or whatever works). I chose the backdrop material from the supplies I had with me. (I had several material choices with me, but chose the one I liked best, in case the session was a very short one). Side note: In a client’s home, where studio sound may not be able to be achieved, one has to be ready to capture the images that present themselves, using one’s own creativity, in a very timely manner.
I draped the backdrop material to cover the ottoman, where I had also placed a rolled-up towel, forming two little bumps with a valley in-between. One bump would be for the head, one bump for the bottom and the valley for the little tummy. I made the material nice and tight with the backdrop clips, so when I was ready to place baby on it, it would be nice and smooth. Okay—I am all ready for that little newborn sleeping bundle.
Oh yeah, that is right. I am on location in my client’s home. Baby, who has been sleeping non-stop (almost) since he was born 7 days ago, is now wide-awake. (I know babies sense when I am around. His big sister did the same as a newborn), as have others. Okay—so, since I am set up for a sleeping baby, on to idea #2.
Take out the big old metal/wire bowl, drop in the furry fabric and lay wide-awake baby in it, so I can capture his cuteness with his eyes wide open with catch light from the window. This particular family happens to have the perfect wood floor, so I can shoot around the whole bowl or just shoot part and get the correct amount of wood floor look. Since I had planned ahead (this is not my first rodeo) and had left plenty of room between myself and the sliding door (window light), I placed the bowl in the perfect spot on the floor. (I didn’t have to disturb set-up #1, which is still waiting for sleeping baby). Success! —Great images of a wide-awake, and oh, so cute baby.
Oh—wait! Is he falling asleep on my furry material? Why, yes, he is. Two missions accomplished! However, not enough asleep to pull of the sleeping baby look I need, so on to set up #3, which I have handy—my baby poser. I quickly cover it with another fabric I have with me, place sleeping baby in it and grab a few more cute images while baby is in a reclining position.
Remember, baby is not sound asleep, so what to do? –On to set up#4, the family images. I always like to make the most of my time and my client’s time during a session, so, knowing we were doing a few lifestyle images, the family sat together on the sofa and I snapped away. These are some of the sweetest images. The big sister grabbed a favorite book, mama held the baby and dad read. The images captured, during this time, are so very reflective of the closeness of this family.
So, it is now time for baby to nurse. Of course, that does it, and baby is sound asleep. From here, everything is good to go. He was so sound asleep; we were able to take quite a few images in setup #1, including some with big sister. We continued with this very asleep baby by putting him on the baby poser, removing the ottoman, and taking a few more images with a selection of caps/hats and big sis. Then, we added mom and dad and took a few more family images in front of the backdrop, as well as back on the sofa. These images include the mom and baby and the dad and baby images. Those are must haves in a newborn session, right?
The relationship images, I call them, are what I love to capture. I remember back to when my children were babies, and these are the ones I cherish the most. Normally, I was the one taking the photo, but when someone else captured me with my baby—it was very special.
When I first arrived at the client’s home, I had scoped out a shady spot in the yard for the garden cart, set-up #5 (or this could have technically been called set-up #1, but then I would have to change all the other set-up numbers, and I didn’t want to confuse the reader more than I already have). However, this particular yard has filtered light at all times in all locations, so I chose a location I thought best. I placed the fabric for this pose, on the cart, so it would be baby-ready and went to greet my clients and begin the session. At the end of the session, with this little cutie so sound asleep, we took him outside and placed him in the cart that I had to quickly move, due to the changing filtered sunlight. — Oh, wow! So cute!! I will be able to share those images at a later time. Mom is waiting to use those for something special and I dare not spoil her surprise.
So…approximately 3 hours after it began, the session is over and we have captured some priceless images for this family.
So, true to my business slogan, ‘Capturing special moments…for a lifetime of memories’, I end another session. And, appreciate the blessing and privilege of doing so.
Have a blessed day…
Pam Dad’s from his childhood. A very special image, indeed. I had to include this next one- just because. This was big sister’s hat–I didn’t try to make it fit, just placed it on his little head. Too cute! All hands with feet 🙂 I just love this. LOVE it!!! Caught a smile! Could not leave without capturing one of this beauty!