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Hand Held Set-Up with Mom

Lesson 25 from: Baby Safety and Posing for Newborn Photographers

Kelly Brown

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Lesson Info

25. Hand Held Set-Up with Mom

Lesson Info

Hand Held Set-Up with Mom

We only need a small piece of fabric. (rustling) So we're gonna shoot from over here this time. And that's down there on the ground. Perfect. Okay and we have a baby boy again don't we? Actually let me do that too. (hands rubbing) I'll just warm my hands up 'cause they'll be cold. And how old is he? Born on the 22nd of February. My hands are nice and warm. He's actually 16 days. 16 days? He's around 21 days. (laughing) Now do you think that you'll be comfortable sitting on a little pad over here? I'll get you nice and comfortable. (box thuds) So I'm gonna take him from you before we sit down but I'm gonna first show you how I want you to sit if that's okay. Yeah. Are you fairly flexible? Yeah. Haven't had a cesarean? I have. You have had a cesarean? Are you okay to sit on the floor? I'm fine. Oh my God. Okay so she said that she's fine. She's reassuring me. I just want to make sure that you are okay. I'm fine. Would you prefer to sit on a box or? I think t...

he floor will be fine. You sure? I just can't get up and down fast but I can-- Oh my God. (Woman laughs) Okay. So, you can sit comfortably in here but I'm really worried that this is gonna put some pressure on this area of your tummy. It's fine I have like a wrap on. Are you sure? Yeah it's okay. If you are, oh you are? Yeah I can walk and things like that so. So if any point of you feel uncomfortable I want you to let me know straight away okay? (rustling) Okay. Oh my God look at this hair. (Woman laughs) Oh and he has the longest eyelashes. Okay. Well get yourself comfortable but please if you are uncomfortable let me know. It's all good. You sure? Jamie would I be able to get you to come and grab those two towels for me? And take those and that nappy thanks. Ta. Thank you so much. Mm hm. (box clattering) Oh my goodness. He's so cute. (rustling) Okay so when it comes to putting the baby in a more upright position on the mums hands, you can tuck the feet up underneath them if they're naturally like that. You can have them with a bit of an arch but to get them to look like they are on their tummies facing down, they do have to actually be resting in the mums hands like a bit of a shelf so that their side is on the bag. But they are kind of coming down into that shelf that the hands are going to be in. So I'm gonna get you to bring your elbows together and your hands together like that. Are you able to push your sleeves down just a little bit? Perfect. I love that top. Thank you (laughs). Okay. I'll bring it a little bit closer. (rustling) Now if you rest your elbows forward there, and lay them down is that comfortable for you. Yeah it's fine. Okay. So this is our shelf that he's gonna be laying on. So we're gonna have him face down into the hands. I think the light coming across there will be okay. Otherwise we'll bring in a reflector. Oh he's teeny tiny. He is really tiny. Oh my goodness. So I'm just unwrapping him very slowly here finding out whether... I wanna get his little nappy off. He peed and pooped it already. (rustling) It's that sound when you undo that sticky bit. They're all like, they all jar at that point. Kenna do you have just while we're sort of taking the nappy off and things like that is there any questions that I can answer? Absolutely. So this one came in earlier. I'll do this one from Sandra Ecluse who says sometimes parents in her experience will say things like well you better take the picture now. Or, but the baby's not quite in the right place. How do you continue to coach the parents? Yeah. It's funny because earlier on in my career, I don't want to take too long here while you're sitting like that but I'll talk while I am going. So he has had a little vasectomy? Mm hm. Yeah? Is it alright? Yeah it's fine. Okay cool. 'Cause it's been like over a week. Okay cool. Yeah. It does actually look very good. Yeah, good. We talked about vasectomies before and how to protect. But yeah, earlier on in my career, sorry? Circumcision. Oh. What'd I say? (laughing) Vasectomy. (laughs) But I caught your drift. (laughing) I said has he had a vasectomy? (laughing) Yeah. That's a good blooper reel for you. This is real people. (laughing) Please don't misquote me on that (laughs). He's had a circumcision (laughs). And it is actually nice and heeled. It looks very clean. It's not red and, I mean it's a little pink but it's not, there's no gores or anything like that. It's nice and clean. And his little belly button clamp, belly button chord has fallen off as well and it's all perfect skin so he is just divine. Okay. So I'm just gonna curl his little feet up there like that. I can't believe I said that. (laughing) I'm so glad that you just went along with it. (laughing) I'd love to have a word count of what's come out of my mouth in the last couple of days. Okay, so I'm gonna position him in your hands. So if you keep your hands there, and you can see I'm keeping his legs exactly where they are and I'm just gonna sort of bring him into a sort of more upright position so he's leaning forward there. Just get that blanket off. Okay. I'm just letting, I'm waiting for him to stop sort of pushing on his legs there before I move him away from my body. Shh. If I pull him away from my body and he jolts, like I don't have that three point contact so I'm just waiting for him to relax before I go and place him down there. But yeah, coming back to when parents are telling you to take the shot, it's all about taking control of the session right from the very beginning. It's your studio or your session. Your the photographer. They're hiring you to do that. You need to take control from the get go. So in terms of how I communicate with my clients, it's more a matter of guiding them. I guide them through the session. I tell them how's it's gonna go. I tell them what we're going to do. And if I can sense that they're feeling like oh just take the shot, explain why I haven't. I know it must feel like you're sitting there thinking why isn't she taking the shot? And I say I'm a perfectionist. I love getting the fingers right, I love, I'm just trying to get his head up a little bit more so I can see more of his face. Talk to your clients throughout that process. They want to be valued. They want to be spoken to and the only reason that they hesitate or they show doubt is because they're just unsure. So it's your place to guide them and take them through the session so that they don't feel like they have to doubt your abilities of being able to take a photograph. Okay. So we need to turn his little face the other way but I just wanted to get his bottom down on the bag before I do that. He's gonna have a wriggle. And I'm just guiding him. (baby coos) Poor thing. You can feel his muscles. Yeah. He's like no I want my head that way. There we go. Perfect. Okay. He's already sunk back in to a nice sleep. It's so cute. Okay so, I'm gonna take his weight. But first and I'm gonna make sure the backdrop's not underneath me. He is in the middle of the bag. So if you sit back now, I've got him. And if you move around this way, is that better? Yeah I didn't want to keep going if people couldn't see what I was doing. You okay? Yeah. You comfortable? Okay. There you are. Bring your hands back in. Bring your sleeves down here. Oh he's arching his back. Good boy that's perfect. Okay. So if you just support him there that's it. I'm gonna position him down into your hands. I'm just gonna bring my box around. (box thuds) Okay, 'cause what I wanted to show was how I position those little legs and feet. We can have a leg dangling down and we can have the face up with the hands coming across like that. So what I'm gonna do is, bring this little bottom foot up to that groove of the knee, and bring this foot out so it's more of a dangling foot. But yeah if you can bring your thumb down there. And we're gonna (laughs). (baby cooing) Tucking a little bit more there. Perfect. And then on this side... I wanna roll him a little bit more onto his side. Oh God love. So I'm just using flat hands here. I've got one hand on the back of the shoulder, and one hang on this side of the forehead. There it is. So it's waiting for them to move and just guiding them into that position. Good boy. I know he can't understand me but you know. You can't help it. Okay. And now we wanna get this connection with the knee and the elbow. So if you bring your hand so it kinda, so it sits more flat that way. Perfect. What I'm gonna do is, bring your hand back as far as you can for me. I'm just gonna tuck his little legs in. He's tensing every time I move him. A little bit more. Perfect. And bring your hand back to there. That's it. So we've got the bottom half right. (heartbeat thudding) I'm just gonna bring this bottom hip and turn it a little more. (heartbeat thudding) So he's more on his side. That's it. Shh. (heartbeat thudding) So this hand that's slightly underneath him, can you bring it so it sits flat on the bag like that? So it's like this. Bring your hand up like that, yeah. Perfect. And just bring your risks together. That's it. I'm gonna bring him down into your hand. (heartbeat thudding) Okay. I'm just gonna let him relax there for a little bit because he is a little bit tense and I want him to be nice and relaxed. And the more I fiddle with him the more he's gonna respond to my movement. So now that he's in a comfortable position that's kind of where we're headed, I want him just to, again pull back. Remember to pull back and let them sink into that sleep so that if I, because if I keep moving him he's gonna keep responding to my touch and think it's time to wake up. (heartbeat thudding) Jamie can I give you those? Okay. We are gonna use some cloth nappies again to give him a little bit of support from the bottom and the top. I'm gonna come in just behind his back there and give him a little bit of support now while he's going off into that sleep. (heartbeat thudding) You can see even just moving that his little foot was like what are you doing? So I'm using the blanket to kind of take his weight there a little bit so I can push him down. That's it. And it's just sort of rolling him further in to mums hands as opposed to having him kind of back like this. (heartbeat thudding) Black backdrops are the easier to remove any creases or things like that and get them looking jet black. So I'm not too concerned about any of the lines that we've got going on. Okay. Bring your hands down just a bit for me. Just away from him yeah. Shh. (heartbeat thudding) Shh. Just bring the thumb down. Your finger this way. (heartbeat thudding) Okay. So I'm just curling his bottom half down just a bit more. That's it. And then we can get this leg to have like a little bit of a dangle down here. So it looks like he's being suspended. Bring your hands around just a bit more. Perfect. So the foot cover the bottom area. And mums hand is covering up that part as well 'cause we don't wanna see any of that. (heartbeat thudding) And then to turn his face out we need to give it just a slight little lift. And have his cheek resting on his hand as opposed to, you can see now, the hiding there. So what I'm going to do is to take the weight of his head and then I'm gonna guide your hand just out a little bit so it's sitting more like this one. That's it. So that now I can turn. Keep that hand in there for me little man. (heartbeat thudding) And bring his cheek up onto that hand. Perfect. So now we can see all of his face. (heartbeat thudding) The leg dangling down helps cover that little spot in there. Just relax that hand, that thumb. Perfect. I might even, whoops. He's moving. Shh, shh, shh. (heartbeat thudding) Perfect. (heartbeat thudding) I might actually get a safe shot before I do anything else because he is a little bit wriggly and being able to pull back for a second, and let him sink into that, I know that he's gonna go into a bit of a deeper sleep. (heartbeat thudding) (laughs) No don't apologize. (heartbeat thudding) Should that be okay? Mm hm. (heartbeat thudding) (camera beeps) (camera shoots) So I've got a safe shot. Now I know exactly where I need to kind of do some adjustments in terms of getting it perfect. Making it look realistic to give that illusion. (heartbeat thudding) So I can see here, when we bring this hand up here, this wrist is actually lower than the other wrist so I want to bring that to, oh no not that way. Yeah keep those wrists together. That's perfect. But it's actually down further in the bag, so I am gonna come in and support that. And what I do need to do is bring his little face up a little bit here. (heartbeat thudding) Just bring your hands up just a bit slower on the bag. Perfect. (heartbeat thudding) (shushing) Shh. Okay. So you're leaning to one side. Don't worry about the cameras. Make sure you're nice and comfortable. I don't want you hurting yourself. (laughing) Can I get you, see where your arms are in this line? Mm hm. Can I get you to bring them around just a little bit more? Perfect. (heartbeat thudding) There we go. (heartbeat thudding) And what I'm gonna do is come in here. Come in and move your hands. (heartbeat thudding) move it all the way under and I'm just gonna bring him back to this way just a bit more. There we go. (heartbeat thudding) I know. I moved you and you wanna go to sleep. (heartbeat thudding) (laughs) He keeps arching his back. (laughs) Alright. He's finished moving? (heartbeat thudding) So as I was talking about earlier about babies that do prefer to arch their back as opposed to... (heartbeat thudding) As opposed to having a nice rounded back where they would go into that, what do you call it? Taco pose. (heartbeat thudding) Okay bring your hand up again there for me. (heartbeat thudding) If he doesn't want to do this we'll stop in a second because I'm obviously pushing him to a point where he's not comfortable and he's trying to go to sleep. So the more I move him, the more cranky he's gonna get with me touching him 'cause he's not in that deep slumber that I want him to obviously be in. (heartbeat thudding) And just bring your hand out for me. Perfect. (heartbeat thudding) That's it. (heartbeat thudding) There we go. (heartbeat thudding) It's hard to see from behind. (laughs) (heartbeat thudding) So I'm just gonna give his head just a little bit of a lift here. (heartbeat thudding) Just gonna get that curve. (heartbeat thudding) Push that elbow into, towards the knee. Now your hand here, that's it. Bring that thumb out. (heartbeat thudding) And then I want you to kind of yeah. Squish him in there for me. I want to see more of your fingers here. I know it's difficult but I'm gonna help you. And what I'm gonna do is actually put one of these down underneath your hand. See how that's bringing your hand back up from underneath? Okay. (heartbeat thudding) You have tiny hands by the way. (laughing) Which is a nice thing. (heartbeat thudding) Okay and when I count to three, if you can bring your head to this was again for me but when I count to three can you give him like a little curl up with your hand? That's it. (heartbeat thudding) (camera beeps) (camera shoots) Now his back is getting a lot of light here. I really need a reflector in. So what I'm gonna do is... (heartbeat thudding) (camera beeps) (camera shoots) (heartbeat thudding) You see the difference bringing that light in onto his little face. (heartbeat thudding)

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Baby Safety and Posing for Newborn Photographers Bonus Packet
Baby Safety and Posing Slides
Potato Sack and Frog Pose Editing Videos - Large 1.1 GB download

Ratings and Reviews

Lindsey Wall

Kelly Brown is one of my favorite teachers not just in newborn photography but photography and learning in general. Her patience is inspiring and she makes this job seem so much more enjoyable and installs passion in you to improve and be the best you can be! Kelly is an expert at what she does and is great at communicating how she does it. I have taken the Creative live baby bootcamp class which is actually what got me to want to go into newborn photography! Ive also purchased a few of her newborn posing courses and I love them all. I literally own my new blossoming little career to Kelly! I love creative live, I have just learned so much from these courses. They are constantly giving out new classes that are so affordable and such amazing resources for any photographer or professional. I am so lucky to have discovered them and Kelly Brown. Thank you Kelly and creative live!

Alice T.

This is an amazing class! Kelly Brown offers a wealth of information that is comprehensive and straightforward. She has such a soothing voice and such great patience that it translates into becoming a great presenter and instructor. Her methodology both in business and her art are sensible and desirable which has taken me up significantly. She has helped me in understanding this business and how to become successful while doing what I love in a profitable and safe manner for both my clients and myself!


Kelly is such a fantastic instructor! This class is wonderful for both beginners & intermediate newborn photographers to improve their posing and keep safety number one. Not only does Kelly teach you step by step how to safely pose, she also explains why she poses the way she does - which is so important. This class is a great resource to watch over and over again until we are all masters!

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