Posing: Hanging Set-Up

 

Baby Safety and Posing for Newborn Photographers

 

Lesson Info

Posing: Hanging Set-Up

So going from a set-up like this to like a suspended kind of hanging shot. (heart beating) I'm gonna take the weight of him in a moment, and you're gonna be able to stand up and get comfortable. Okay. What I do is I bring the wrap down and it replaces the mom's hands, and then we push some of those beans back to the other side there to make it a little flatter so he's not sort of in that upright position. I'm sorry, I left that cloth nappy on your shoulder. It is clean. Oh, that's okay. (both laughing) So I'm gonna bring it up underneath this little leg. And then you can bring that hand down. Leave the other one where it is. Okay, now if you bring that hand away, I can kind of just push back here a little bit and disperse of some of those beans to the other side so he's laying in a flatter position. You can have them on their back for this. They don't have to be on their tummy. You can have them... I'm just gonna curl him up just a little bit more. Good boy. And then we can sta...

rt to bring the fabric around to give it that look. Should I get up right here? Yeah, are you okay to get up? Uh-huh. Do you need a hand? Are you sure? Yeah. Oh, you're good. So I'm just gonna tuck it down in and around underneath. He's going into a nice sleep there now. So I'm gonna try and push the excess part of the wrap underneath his head here, and I'm just gonna take the weight of his head and then push the wrap down into the black fabric. There we go. And again with this side and his little bottom. So that when we're pulling it up, we get that illusion. Whoo. We get that illusion that he is actually in a piece of fabric that's kind of hanging. I'll come around the other side now, so I can see where I'm placing everything. To clarify, back when you were photographing in that last set-up with mom there, were you standing sort of right over the baby? Or kind of angled back over mom? Because the baby is slightly elevated, like we said before, I don't need to get my camera all the way over the top. I can be on a bit more of an angle. So if the baby's like that, then my camera's gonna be coming in like that. If the baby's like that, my camera's gonna have to come in like that. So I've elevated the baby slightly so I don't have to get all the way over the top. Because the parent is there and it's physically impossible without having to stand on something. Again, that's not what we do. So yeah, I've elevated the baby purposely so that I don't have to get all the way over him and I'm on that angle. Thank you. That was good, let him go into a bit of a sleep here. Yeah, but when it comes to the hanging shot, we've seen the ones with the beautiful hanging scales. They look amazing. They're very arty. And you often wonder, how do people get that done? You can put them in all types of positions laying on their back on the posing bag. I know some people like to have them actually suspended in fabric above a posing bag, but for me it's always about the comfort of the baby. You know, there are potential risks with hanging them from fabric. You don't hang them from an actual branch, that's a composited image. So if you wanted to do this with a set of scales or something like that, there's no reason why you can't composite that in. In terms of, you tie this, you do the baby shot. Then you tie the ends. Remove the baby. And then put something else in there like your fake baby or even a ball, a large ball. And then photograph the scales from the same perspective and bring that in. It's easy to composite in when there's like a knot of some description, because it's quite a solid sort of... As opposed to trying to get fabric to all line up. So what I'm doing is just elevating his bottom here just a little bit. There we go. It's almost like he's trying to tell me to buzz off. He's trying to sleep here. Every time I touch him, he has a little wriggle. I don't think there's anything coming, but. I'm gonna get rid of this hand and underneath here. He's got through. Shh. Shh. Alright. So we're almost there. In terms of, how we're gonna get him to sort of sit in the frame, like if he's flat like that, that's not gonna look very realistic so we wanna bring his little head up so he's sitting upright like that. But he's kind of had a little bit of a stretch there and turned his back into the bag, whereas we kinda need to turn him a little bit, roll his hips forward a little bit more, to get that arch in the back to get him to come up. But we'll see how he goes. It's almost like he can tell I'm about to move him. So I'm gonna put my hand at the back of the hips, and at the front of the leg here, and I'm just gonna give him a little turn. And again he's gonna do that back stretch, good boy. Here we go. We get his little face up like this, and get that fabric in underneath. (laughs) Once he stops squirming. And we're gonna use a cloth nappy to keep his little face up. How much longer do we have to go? Hmm? 10? Make sure I've got enough time. Okay. So I need someone to come and hold my fabric up here. Will I get mom to come and do it? Or will I get one of our audience members to come and do it? Yeah, do you wanna come and hold the fabric? You can probably sit and hold it actually, because... And then that way once there's this tension on there, I know exactly where I need to kind of position him to get the right angle and the right look to give that illusion. Oh, look at him. I know. He's beautiful. So I wanna bring this bum up. (laughs) Every time I touch him. It's cool. Bring that foot there over that leg. Now I'm gonna have to give his bottom just a little bit more of a push, because then it's gonna bring his bottom half down a bit which is gonna help close the gap between his elbow and his knee. (baby coos) (light crying) Shh. Shh. Okay, little man. Gotta get this shoulder at the back here. He's gotta turn further into the blanket. That's it, that's the look we're going for right there, but it's getting him to stay in that position. But it was pulling that shoulder at the back just out a little bit more so he was more facing down as opposed to being upright. Okay. So I'm gonna get that head some support now. Which is gonna bring it up and make it look like it's actually in the right position. So if I bring this hand in underneath the head, then it's gonna bring it into position so I know exactly where I need to elevate to. And see that lift happening? Which is what we want. And then a little more here. And now we just bring the fabric down underneath his little arm there. I want that wrist to come in underneath the chin as opposed to being out like that, so his arm is inside the fabric and then his fingers are coming out over the top. Shh. Shh. (baby coos) I'm just gonna wait (laughs). If this was taking too long in my studio, I would just stop but because we are on a timeframe here and I know I had 10 minutes, I'm gonna go until I get the shot because I've kind of come this far, and he's not crying or anything. He's just not in a deep sleep, so he's responding to my movements. If he was uncomfortable, he'd be letting me know. He's just drifting off into that sleep. He starting to take some bigger breaths there. Okay, I'm gonna push this over this wrist and underneath his chin here. There it is. Okay. Don't move. I'm just gonna curl this under a bit more, there it is. Bringing that face up towards the camera angle that I want. You don't want one finger out. That's it. Can you give that a little tug there for me? Perfect. Shh-shh, shh-shh, shh-shh. Shh. Shh. And give that a pull. [Audience Volunteer] Alright. Alright here, while I'm fiddling, is there any questions in the audience? We do have a question in the studio audience. I can quickly take one from online first and then we'll switch over to you. Did you say, is it possible to do this pose with a color background or are you using the black specifically because this is part of an illusion? I'm using black because it is easy. And I want it to be an easy conversion. When I'm using a color background, it becomes a fairly sort of, you know, there's a lot of shadows, it becomes a fairly kind of tricky process in terms of making it looking like it's on its own, it's not resting up against anything, it's actually hanging. Okay. And when you're in your studio and something's not working, how long before you give up? Oh, I would have stopped about 10 minutes ago. But because this is what we're going for and this is what we're teaching, I've continued to sort of keep going. 'Cause we didn't specify that we were doing anything else in this segment. But, yeah, in my studio if we'd tried to do this, if we'd got the handheld shot and it's kind of just not working in terms of getting them to settle or anything like that, but he's very, very sensitive to my touch which is making it difficult to get him in position. And when he's wriggling, it is hard. But you can see what I'm going for and the purpose of trying to keep them safe throughout this process. I am gonna get a shot though, I'm determined to. But I'll keep answering questions if there's more of them, while he's having a wriggle there. Alright, so a question-- Love's going on his back. A question from Jennifer Verges. What kind of lighting would you use if natural light wasn't available? I would use a continuous LED light, daylight balanced LED light. Shh, shh, shh. And then I would use reflectors and things like that, if it's not strong enough. Like, we just have an abundance of light here at the moment. There's so much light. (baby coos) Shh-shh-shh. Shh. I'm just gonna keep rocking him. But, yeah, when it comes to lighting and using all of that, obviously we're not teaching lighting, but it is important to have a lighting system that when you are setting up your studio and things like that, it's something that you don't need to worry about. You should be able to pose to your lights, and you should be able to know your camera well enough to set your settings to be able to read that light, whatever the light source. Your camera is the tool and you need to know how to use it in order to record the light that's available. Right, I feel him. Oh. (laughs) He's pushing me, he's making me work hard.

Class Description


Parents hire newborn photographers to document every detail of their babies at that brief instant at the start of their lives when they are tiny, bright and new to the world. Newborn photographers can feel a lot of pressure to fulfill parents’ wishes. In the rush to capture the perfect shot, it’s easy to forget that the subject of these photos are incredibly fragile little beings. Safety should always come first.

Join Kelly Brown for tips on handling newborns safely, reading their moods and needs, and prepping your studio for a newborn shoot. You’ll learn:

  • Safe posing techniques
  • How to operate a safe environment in your studio and on external shoots
  • How to understand newborn behavior
You’ll discover how to sanitize your studio, choose cleaning products and plants with the newborn’s health in mind, and make sure that your furniture and equipment meets newborn safety standards. Kelly will also focus on safely posing and handling a newborn during the shoot. She will teach you how to execute poses like the Potato Sack, the Froggy pose, and other advanced techniques used to create composite images. You will learn about newborn anatomy and the environment they come from to help you better understand what they are capable of doing in a shoot setting: how to avoid imbalance, overheating, and injury.

Finally feel capable of communicating about newborn safety. If parents feel that they can trust you around their child, they will be put at ease and remember the experience of the shoot more fondly.