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Alisha read through all of your questions from her part 2 “styles of newborns” from her series on newborn photography here on the MCP Blog. Today she is back with answers to help all of you. Look for her next part of this series sometime in mid to late April depending on her schedule.
Thank you all for your wonderful emails and comments. I so appreciate your kind words and I am thrilled this is helpful. I wanted to really quickly answer the questions posted. If I missed yours or you have another one feel free to email me.
Thanks and until next time… happy shooting.
Parent interaction. I see in some of your tips, you mention that dad helps here…there…do you find that’s easiest? Or do you find that it’s easiest with just you and an assistant? I guess it’s probably a function of parent comfort, eh? I LOVED the how you get the baby in the pose pieces…more more!
I generally do all the posing myself. I do ask them to help occasionally but one of the things I figured out early on is that I need to handle baby. I take them from them and they go sit in a chair and relax. It works better that way. You develop your own techniques for keeping them asleep and the parent’s often handle them in a way that startles them or wakes them up. So it just works better if I do it.
Do you know of any other resources ~ websites, blogs, books, podcasts, etc?
There are TONS of blogs that inspire me. Flickr is a great place too. Search youtube for posing babies and you will find some videos. I know Sarah Ulrich (who is a phenomenal newborn photographer) has a few on there.
I have not been able to find cute newborn hats (I live in a small town), but I love the knit one that you use with the long ties! Did you make those, or can you share where you found them? Also, what would suggest for a minimum diameter or length for props to put the baby in, such as baskets? Newborns are 20″-22″, but when they are folded up they are shorter… I am getting ready for my first real newborn shoot, the baby is due any day now and I can’t thank you enough for your info – you have given me concrete things to work with and it has totally boosted my confidence level – thank you…
The hats I usually buy from Etsy. Do a search for newborn hats and you will find LOTS! J As far as props get all different sizes. They all make interesting images. You would be surprised how tiny a small newborn can curl up.
Any suggestions where to find some great props (baskets, wooden bowls, etc). I can never seem to find any that are big enough.
Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Antique Marts. You really don’t need them that big.
How long does it normally take you to do a newborn session? I think the thing I’ve had the hardest time learning is how to pose a baby without waking them up. I guess that it just takes practice, right? I look forward to more tips.
A typical newborn shoot for me is 2-3 hours. Sometimes longer but not usually any shorter. Move slowly when you are posing them. I always start on their belly. They are warmer and more comfy there. Let them settle into poses and don’t try and move them too much. Be patient.
I might be missing something here but are these all natural light? LOVE the nursery shot with the entire family…including the dogs, great candid!
Yes these are all natural light.
Thanks for your tips. You said usually baby is photographed naked. I was going to ask you about “accidents”. How often do they happen?
I have my share of accidents happen. Doesn’t bother me at all. There are those rare newborns that never pee or poop and then there are some that have multiple accidents. I find if they are breastfed they poop more. So I encourage mom/dad to use a pacifier to soothe them if they are in between feedings. It cuts down on the poops.
I do have one question… In the first picture in the clean and class section (beautiful) are you using a beanbag or a blankey with a slight lift in it underneath? Thanks again!
That is all beanbag. I just put a slope on it.
Quick question for you: How many shots do you take of one pose? If baby is cooperating and everything is in place whats your norm for shots taken? I know when taking “non-newborn” shots, people move, change expressions and all that good stuff so I usually wind up clicking away. But with newborns, especially sleepers, they just lay there. Nothing really changes. Do you still fire away? Thank you.
I take lots of shots of each pose… from different angles and different apps if light allows. It gives me something to play with at home. You will be very surprised how one slight movement can change a whole shot. In my opinion angles and details are what really set you apart as a newborn photographer.
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