About a month ago my maternity workshop mama gave birth to her third son. The girls that attended that workshop all gathered back for a newborn workshop. In this workshop I showed how I typically handle a newborn session, showed some soothing techniques and general rules I follow when handling baby.
Our workshop baby was very aware of us all around him no matter how quiet and slow we were going so he did not fall asleep easily. This actually was good because a majority of newborn sessions take quite a long time to get baby in a deep sleep. Since our little guy didn’t go into a deep sleep we were unable to get him into any poses…and that is the key to posing newborns; A DEEP, DEEP SLEEP!
Here is a little overview of what we went over for the newborn workshop:
Lighting: Most times I will use window light since this type of light gives a beautiful diffused, soft and even look to newborns. However, there are times when I’ll need to pop on my studio lights…this workshop I used one continuous strobe at a 45 degree angle about 3 feet away from my subject. Studio lighting tends to be a little hotter and the coloring tends to be a bit cooler than window light so we work our settings and exposure to get a pleasing result. For workshop purposes I showed the girls a comparison of natural lighting compared to the studio and then tried to mimic my studio lights to give the same look…I was pleased with the studio outcome.
Creative angles: I encouraged the girls to get away from shooting straight on all the time. In my newborn sessions I am constantly moving around, standing up, crouching down…you never know how many different looks you can find in one pose! This is the same exact pose from above but I shot over and down to baby.
Include meaningful things in the session: A majority of the time my clients will have a special blanket or memorabilia on hand for the shoot…try your hardest to include these in your session. I will pose baby with an heirloom teddy bear, wedding rings and most often a handmade or vintage blanket. Here mama made this quilt so we wrapped baby in it and I shot the full length of it so she will have it as a keepsake for years to come.
Quick editing tips: I shoot all of my sessions in color and my client will get all of their images in color but then I pull a few I feel would look good in a black and white or vintage conversion. However, I convert a little different from most and I showed the girls quickly my technique on how to smooth skin, get a high contrast black and white and make a quick vintage color. Editing shouldn’t take longer than your actual session (travel added in too) so making sure you have an image that looks print ready out of camera will give you a much better result when you go into your editing software to enhance!
Last words: The number one thing I wanted everyone to keep in mind throughout the session was to embrace whatever happens during the session. If baby falls into a deep sleep know that you will only have a small amount of time to pose before baby tells you enough is enough so work fast and accurately. If baby does not fall asleep make sure he/she is calm and comfortable and capture awake and aware moments with mom and dad. When baby cries don’t shy away from them, crying is a beautiful emotion and one that should be captured especially in the newborn stage. Peeing and pooping is a given so prepare for those. And lastly, enjoy the family bonding. Enjoy the baby sighs and cries. Meditate on their breath and capture those natural moments; this will help your newborn session to be a success!