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Two Young Sibling and Newborn Session

 

Baby Safety and Posing for Newborn Photographers

 

Lesson Info

Two Young Sibling and Newborn Session

Our next setup has two siblings. So we have a four year old and we have, I think she is five and a half. And a older sister and a little boy. And we're gonna do a setup on the backdrop where they're actually sitting and holding the baby which is a great way, if you do have a younger sibling and an older one, if the younger sibling's kinda not really wanting to be a part of the process. Do the older sibling, they are gonna want to be in the photograph. So I always set the baby up with the older sibling first, make sure I've communicated with the clients as what's involved and if they're comfortable sitting there, and so forth. But what we'll do is, we'll move our posing bag out of the way. As they come in. Oh you look beautiful, would you be able to take your shoes off for me? Alright. So in terms of when you have quite a few kids come in to the studio and the styling of the photographs, you know I'm traveling fairly light this time. I think last time I brought all the different backdro...

ps and stuff like that, this time we're focusing on the safety, we're focusing on the posing, we're focusing our attention on all of those things and not necessarily worrying about all of that styling. Even though we're still gonna make a beautiful photograph for this class it's not about that. It's not about all the different colors and textures. But when you do communicate with your clients prior to the session, they've told you that they've got other children, talk to them about what sort of outfits to wear, what sort of colors to wear. In my what to expect guide it says wear neutral colors. They compliment each other and avoid large logos and patents and things like that. So you want to give them an idea but you also want to say to them if you have any questions about coordinating outfits and things like that, just please feel free to contact me. I'd be more than happy to help make some suggestions. Alright so we have, and what is your name sweetheart? Emma. Emma, is five and a half. Come on over. And Emma had gray pants on so how cool was that? Yeah. So cool. Yeah. Alrighty, so this is one of our wraps and look how it's done up on her. How cute is that? So simple. So what I'm gonna get you to do Emma, you can copy me. Can you sit down on the ground? Ugh, I'm getting old. Can you sit down like this? Do you feel more comfortable though if you sit like this? How do you like to sit? Sometimes I like to lay down because I fall asleep. (laughter) Come on, sit up. Alright, you have a very special job to do. Do you know what that is? What? You have to hold your baby brother. Okay that's a special job and I need you to sit really still while we do it. Is that okay? Yeah. Yeah? So if you sit like this I'm gonna put him in your lap. Is that alright? Yeah. Yeah? Okay cool, you comfortable? Mm hm. I like that big statue. You like what? That statue. You like that? Yeah, it's kinda creepy. It's kinda creepy? Isn't it? (laughing) So you can communicate with your siblings in a way that it is not going to uh, You're alright. Your alright just keep him right there for me. I'm gonna bring my hand up in behind. Okay. And I'm gonna bring one hand in back. Okay. Perfect. Okay. What's his name? Rory. Rory, that's beautiful. So I'm just gonna sit here for a minute while I put a special wrap on Rory. I know his pinky toes are so cutey. Yeah? Now because he's gonna be laying in your lap I have to wrap him a certain way. You can wrap all arms and legs down which is kinda easy. Or you can leave one hand out which is gonna bring that face up again which is what I like to do. I'm not going to have his head at this end. I'm going to have his head at this end. He's comfortable where he likes it right here. Does he? Yeah, doesn't he? So we're gonna bring in her brother and sit him on that side, the side away from the light when we're ready to go. So therefore I'm gonna put Rory's head on this side because when they both look down they gonna be looking at his face. And in terms of lighting, the light is gonna be falling in this direction, across Rory's face. As opposed to if his head was at the other end coming up at this direction. And I always want to create that connection in the photograph. So when I do get them both to look down at their brother they're gonna have that facial connection. They're not gonna be looking at the back of his head or the top of his head. Alright. He is sleepy. (baby grunt) I know, (murmur) Does he sleep all night? Or is he awake all night? Like, he (murmur) Shh, Shh, Shh. He's a little wiggly. He is, Shh. So as he's stretching I'm guiding his arms back down into a nice supported way. I'm not letting them come up in that startled reflex. I'm keeping him nice and calm as they stretch and wiggle around there. Is this paper or not? Is it paper? Yeah. This is a big wrap. It's long. Okay, so I'm just bringing it down underneath. Trying not to move him too much. The whole point of what we do is to keep a baby settled. You continually move them, pick them up, put them down. We want to keep him nice and sleepy. So you have to help me. Yeah? So I'm supporting both legs as I bring that wrap out now. Can I give you that Jamie? I just don't want to put it on the ground. Okay, so bringing this wrap now, this one is going to be slightly different because I want to contain arms and legs I want to bring the wrap up to hold those legs in place. So we're gonna bring his little elbows up. He's a little bit more responsive to my touch than Margaret was. So as I touch him he kinda moves which means that I have to go a little bit slower and be a little bit more patient. When I touch baby, he never ever moves. He doesn't ever move? No. You must have the secret touch. Okay so we bring that up. (baby grunt) (laughing) Okay, get that hand out. He's having a wiggle. Shh. Shh. So this arm is gonna be down because the arm that's closest to the camera, we don't want up in front of the face because it's going to block his face. We want to be able to see all of his face. So the arm that's closest to the camera is gonna come down. There's nothing worse when you're positioning them and they wiggle that arm up and all of a sudden you can't see half of their face. (baby burp) Oh, that was a burp. There was a little bit of milk just on his mouth. He's alright though. Ah thank you. Okay so we got that arm down and this one is gonna stay out. (murmur) You like this one? Similar color to yours. What's this stuff made out of? Just material. So we got one arm out. Ah, he had like a big stretch. He did have a big stretch didn't he? Just sit him up for a minute because he's blowin a little milk up. The minute you touch the lips. (baby grumbling) So you can see my hand at the back of his shoulders and it's not just at the back of his head I'm supporting both shoulders because if those arms fall backwards that can cause strain on that joint and it's not strong enough to support itself. So we want to make sure they're supported and we don't cause any injury there. Okay. So this is a fairly loose wrap. I don't really want that, can I give that to you? (laughing) Thank you. I don't know where to put it. I don't want to put anything on the ground. But it's just kinda holding his arms and legs in place. And he's a decent weight, how much did he weigh? Seven pounds. Seven pounds, shh. And how many days is he? He's 15 days old. 15 days old, so he's put weight on? Yeah (laughing) Cause he feels a little heavier than seven pounds. So when I put him in here, in his sister's arms I want to make sure he's nice and comortable. So we're gonna position her a little bit closer to, turning her a little bit more towards the window, sorry, that's a girl. Mkay, so can you come back this way for me? (baby grunts) Shh, that's it. And turn this way just a bit, there we go. So what I want you to do is bring this leg out. We want to create a space in-between her legs for Rory's bottom to go but we don't want legs coming out towards the camera. Okay, so I'm gonna place his bottom down in here so he's nice and comfortable. He doesn't wiggle. He's a big, oops, let me get my shirt out of there. There it is. Okay now I want you to put your hands down on the ground for me. Perfect. Okay then I'm gonna tell you, keep your legs nice and still for me. I'm gonna tell you where to position your hands. Cool beans. Yeah okay I want you to bring this arm down and around his head for me. That's a girl. Okay now I want you to sit nice and still for me. But don't touch his face. Put one hand here for me. So I'm gonna keep my hands on him while we're getting him into position. Keep kickin me, I feel him kicking feet. Yeah, okay just keep your legs nice and still. Do you know why? No. So he doesn't wake up. Oh. Okay I want you to bring this over around here and you see where I'm placing my fingers? The bones on the side of the head are the strongest bones. But I'm not pushing him or sticking my fingers in. I'm just supporting his head there. So we're just gonna bring that arm down there. Okay, keep still for me. He's kinda laying in a funny way. He is because we want to be able to see his face in the photograph. Not my face? All of your faces, not just yours. So I'm just gonna create a little bit kind of, he's sticking his legs out there. Detail there. Okay now is he gonna come and sit in here for a photograph? What is your brother's name? Fin Fin? Mm hm. So I want you to put your hand nice and flat there for me. Mommy's gonna sit on this side. Yeah, mommy's gonna sit right there. Good boy yeah, hi. Have you seen Star Wars? Have I seen Star Wars? Yeah. Not yet. We like Star Wars. You like Star Wars? Feels kinda cool when he squeeze his fingers. He is, okay now can you do me a really big favor? Now his name is B B eight. B B eight? That's his nickname? (laughter) That is his new name. Okay now sit really still for me. So in this instance, because she's a little bit wiggly, a bit fidgety, it's very exciting there are a lot of distractions, I'm gonna get you to come and sit on this side. Yeah, because I want the head supported and I don't want to move back and away because he's asleep and the weight of his head is moving around so I want to make sure it's supported. Okay so can you sit right here for me. And if you sit like that but put your legs out to that side you can come in a little bit closer for me. Perfect. Because when I shoot it, I'm gonna shoot it kinda down in this direction so mom's not gonna be in my photograph. And because she's a little bit further back we're not interfering with the light source either. Okay, I want you to bring this hand across and just let it rest right there. So it's a support hand. Alright, perfect. You are doing such a great job. Stay really still. Okay look at me. There we go. Now I want you to bring that foot there. Okay perfect. And these little feet that are under here, I want you to rest that hand there. Fin, this side for me. Shh, shh, shh. Doing a great job. I'm gonna get him to rest his hand there. He's gonna hold your hand in place. Okay Fin, we're nearly there. You ready? Okay wiggle your bum in here nice and close. That's it and swing your legs out this way. Perfect, and you can put this arm down in here and lean on it. Go ahead, bring it in close to your sister. That's it, and look, good job. Can I get my camera? Are you gonna stay still? Ah, perfect. Okay Fin, come forward just a little bit. That's a boy. It's hard to hold his hand he wiggles around (murmer) Yeah, so in this instance I would rather clone out a support hand than I would let go of his head because it's so heavy here. And in a moment we'll get a safe shot and then I'll come in and I'll make an adjustment. Okay, feet out the side, that's it. Sit nice and still. Let's look down at Rory. (laughing) Okay Fin, can you sit back here alright? Listen to me for a moment. Can you look down at Rory but keep your bottom there? Yeah? Good job. Let's get this hair outta the way. I'm gonna put it behind your ear. So we don't want her hair interfering with Fin's face. Okay this little hand here, see how it creeped up in front of his face? What I want you to is bring it over around it more. That's a girl. And you put your hand there. And Rory can put his hand here. Okay legs in. Good listening guys. Great job. Okay can you look up at me for a moment? Well done. Tuck your legs in fin, that's it all the way up to your bum. Good job. (camera beeps) Okay, okay, can you look down at Rory for me please? Beautiful. (camera shutter) I'm getting my exposure shot. That's look pretty good. Now what I'm gonna do here with your hand is so that we can easily clone it out, yeah if you just move it to the back, perfect. Okay keep your arm really still sweetheart. Okay Fin, remember how you were sitting. Okay, looking down, hands on the feet. Okay ready, looking down, how many toes does he have? Two. Two toes? I can count more than two toes. Put your feet back that way. Good job. Okay looking down at Rory for me. Come in a little bit closer Fin, move in a little bit closer. (laughing) Look down, you guys are so cute. And silly. But you can see how hard it is with toddlers even when they're a little bit older trying to get them to listen to your commands, it's gone a second later so you've got to keep on top of them in terms of giving them instructions so they're not wiggling around. Go sit on that side. Then you can sit next to mommy in a bit. And I think if we've got time, I'm gonna do a set were they're lying down and show you how I would position two children with a baby and have the baby in the middle which I think is gonna be nice and safe. Hey, come here. Wiggle your bum right in here. Wiggle wiggle, come in nice and close. That's a boy, perfect. Okay now I want to make one more photograph so do you reckon you can stay as still as a statue? Then we will be frozen. It's getting maybe silly. Okay if you can bring that out, perfect. Okay bring this arm around a bit more. Yeah, we're gonna do funny faces now. Yeah. We'll do a face. I don't want a funny face. I want a nice face. Okay looking at me. I'm gonna get one photo of you looking at me with a pretty face, not a crazy face. Can you tuck your legs in? Good boy. Okay, and a little smile like this. Chin down a little bit, sit up a little bit, that's it. Come forward, that's it. No no no, just your face, that's it. Come in. Good job. (camera beep) Look at my camera. (camera beep) (camera shutter) (Laughing) You love it when they take you so literally. Like moving right in. Good job. We're gonna do one of you guys laying coming in a little bit more. I think that, Yeah, let me get one more. Come in nice and close, one more. I want you to look down at Rory. Look down at Rory. Okay now come up, come look at me. (camera shutter) kids and animals they reckon. Alright. Okay bring your arm out for a minute from under his head. Good girl, you can stand up because I'm gonna get another photograph of you guys laying down. Which I think is still gonna keep your bits still up. Can we get the posing bag brought back over? Shh So I'm just trying to keep him nice and steady here, getting back into that sleep. Shh, shh, shh. Okay can we get the posing bag brought back over there. A big pillow. Shh, shh, shh. Can you guys come over here? Okay Jamie can I get you to pop this over top again for me? I could go on it and (murmur) Yeah, but I have rules. Do you know what my rules are? What? You gotta be really still. There's no jumping on there. Um, on the other way. Just so it's easier for me to put my props perfect. Okay. This is the best day. The best day, how cute is that? So I'm gonna make a little bit down here again. Wiggle my bum in and this is where you're gonna lay down for a couple, okay? Okay so come on over. Alright so I want you to come this way just a little bit. Okay, perfect. Do you know what I'm gonna do is position them first. I'll give him back to you for a moment. Okay thank you, got him. Okay sweetie stand up for me. Stand up. (clap clap) Okay. What is it? It's called a flokati. Can you say that? Flokati? Flokati. Flokati Now what I want you to do, this is important you have to listen. Can you roll onto your side to look out the window? But come back this way a little bit more. Because we have to make room for your brother. Come turn toward mommy. Okay, hang on. One, two, three, up. That's a girl. Lay down. Perfect. There we go. So we want the little, you stand up for a moment. Alright let's get organized here. That's for your feet. Make it nice and comfortable. Lay still for me. What is that for? That there is a special machine that I use to tell me how hot the room is so it doesn't get too hot. Lift your head up. Okay, laying down. So what you're gonna do in a moment is bring this arm out and Fin is gonna come and lay down over here. But I want you to kinda push your bum up a little bit higher for me. Oopsie, sorry. That's alright, push your bum up a little bit higher over here this way, up this way. Keep coming, keep coming. Now where am I supposed to go? (laughing) Oh my gosh, so cute. Too cute. Its a (murmur) It's a what? It's just a box. Oh. We'll leave the special machine down there. Can you pull your pants up a little bit for me? Like, pull your pants up, that's it. My pants always slip. Do they? Mine too. Mine's also. Okay I'm pulling this down because we don't want to see any flesh or anything like that in this photo. Alright, Fin. We're gonna make a little space here for Fin. Squish, squish, squish, squish, Okay, just be careful here for a moment. When I was a little boy I fell a little. Hang on, move your hand, okay move your hand. And roll your hips back this way a bit. Yep, that's a girl. Lay down. Okay Fin, I want you to lay, hang on. (laughing) Fin I want you to turn this way a little bit for me. Roll this way toward your sister. If we got bigger one then it would be bigger room. Fin can you roll toward your sister? That hurting. Fin, can you roll toward your sister? There we go, that's a good boy. Scratchy, does it scratch you? It's scratchy is it? Yeah. Okay, alright we're havin fun. It's the best day ever, right? Okay, so this little space in here is where we're going to put Rory. But we need to create a bit more space here. Yeah. Cause you're wiggly too. So if you stay still for a moment what I'm gonna do is, turn your hips this way for me. Alright, one, two, no no, don't straighten. Up here, there we go. Sometimes you have to just do it yourself. (laughing) Ow, ow, yeah. (laughing) You guys are awesome. (murmur) they are bad. Oh right, well okay listen. Lay back down for me because we're gonna put Rory in your arms. Here come up a little higher. Stand him on my arms. In fins arm, in here okay. Alright trust me, it's gonna be beautiful. And then your arm's gonna come around here. If fin was older and bigger I would have him on the bottom. So I'm trying to get the oldest sibling along the bottom here. So are you comfortable? Can you stay there for a minute. Yeah, I'm on the top. Your on the top? Yeah. And I'm five and you're six. Yeah. Oh and he's wide awake. You know this is live people. Okay, lay still for me. Because I'm just gonna wrap little Rory's arms up so we can get a cute photo. You keep that hand over there. Lay really still. Okay, same type of wrap as before. The arm that's closest to the body's gonna go down. The one that's gonna come up this time, Rory's gonna be facing the light. (baby grunt) Shh, shh, shh, shh, shh. Okay, so Rory's nice and secure there with that wrap. But he's not sound asleep. So let's just see how he goes in case we're running out of time. Because I'm not sure how much time we actually do have. (laughing) Okay now you've wiggled down a bit. Can you wiggle up just a bit higher? Fin can you push your bum, yep that's it. Come up higher. Okay, I actually will need you to come in and help me here. Getting the parents to do this is much easier than getting me to do it. So what I want him, is to bring his bottom out this way a little bit. Okay we're gonna scoot your booty here. Okay come up a little higher this way for me. Can you scoot up Emma? Yeah, good listening please, good. Okay so you need to go back onto your side. That's a girl. Turn those hips. Okay you're gonna live I promise. Okay now we're gonna make a little pocket for your brother. Having a section on the floor would be best for this because obviously they are sort of wiggling around. If it's on the ground you're gonna have more room to move. Do you need more space here? Yeah, (laughing) it's alright though. Fin can you come towards me? Can you come, oh no. Alright Fin can you turn your belly button towards Emma? Go that way yeah. Face daddy. Oh yeah, look at daddy, good idea. Okay good boy. Okay now bring your bottom up a bit higher. That's it dig your feet in. That's a boy, there we go. Okay can you turn his hips a little bit towards, bring his hips back this way a bit so we can create some space. How is your back? Strong. Okay, I reckon we are almost there. This arm here is gonna hold your brother. So I want you to bring your arm down in here. We're gonna pull your top down. There we go, good boy, no no don't move, don't move. Fin, lay down, that's a boy. Okay, we're gonna put baby in there. I want you to just, he just turned so we got to close that gap. Okay, ready, one, two ,three, (grunt) Oh god. I promise we'll be over very soon. Would you like a special job? Would you like to hold Rory? Yeah. Yeah? Okay well I'll tell you where to put your hands okay? But it's a very important job. I need you to listen to what I'm asking you to do okay? So I'm gonna place him down here in the middle. Bring your arm down for me. Okay, keep your arms still. Alright really really still. Ah ah ah, we don't touch him. Mkay, so if this continues I would stop. Because she's pushing him away when I go to put him down which means they're not really gonna lay still enough long enough for me to get a shot. And to get everyone in position. So if they can't listen to what you're asking them to do you don't want to endanger the baby. Because the baby can be pushed or moved or poked or prod or anything. Not saying they're gonna do it. But you just want to make sure you are eliminating any of those possibilities. They're laying really still now because I'm using my teacher voice. Can I try one more time? Yeah. I'm kind of scared. Hey? I'm kind of scared. Alright are you ready? You gonna put your hand down there. And I'm gonna put him in here. You gotta stay nice and still for me though, alright? So we're gonna bring this arm out. Ah he's comfortable, he likes laying on you. So I'm gonna bring his little hand here up underneath his face when he stops pushing. Mom, I want you to hold my hand. Aww you can come over here. She wants you to hold her hand. So let him stop wiggling there for a moment. Good boy. Okay so can I get you to come in nice and close there? And just put your hand there for me. I'm gonna give you a pillow for your head. So lay really still for me, lay really still. Yeah, she's gonna make it all comfy. Is that better? That's it, perfect. Okay let me just get your beautiful hair out here. Head down. Oh you want my hand off? Okay, okay. Okay Fin, I want you to bring your hand down here please. That's a boy. So when the clients do come in, like if you got one that is like, this is the photo that they want, you're gonna try to do it. We had a question before about how long would you continue to try to get this shot for? If they've requested it, you're gonna get a shot. So you will try. Can you put his hand on his bum. Oh yeah, there we go. So now we're gonna support Emma's little arm here and her back. Alright so your little hand around here. And then your hand comes up in here as well. And push that material down. Can I have this hand? You look like you're gonna go to sleep Fin. Here bring this arm down for me sweetie. Oh you want to have it up there like that? That's okay. Can you hold your tummy? That's alright. Okay now we little Rory's face up a little bit higher. Remove the connection there with the stripes by placing his hand in here. So I'm just taking the weight of his face of the chest. Push that wrist in. Make sure we're not squishing up any of the cheeks. I think we may have done it. Okay good job guys. Bring your hand right in here for me. You did well, you did well. Keep your feet still. Can I get my camera? You gonna stay nice and still? Yeah. Yeah? Can I get you to do this with your head for me Fin? Perfect. Aw good kids. Want me to step out? No you're alright. And just bring this leg up for me. That's a girl. Keep that nice and still for me. Okay just keep your hand there for two more seconds mom. (camera beep) What is that? That's a crazy face is it? Not so silly. (camera beep) Okay, ready, looking right into my camera for me. Ready one, (camera shutter) Ready two, A little smile, just a little one. Okay good job. (camera shutter) Good job. And can we get this hand up a little bit higher? (camera shutter) Aw good work. See, I'm just covering a little bit of the belly there so it's not standing out. Okay, one more, looking up here at me Fin. Good boy, good boy. And just a little smile. That's a girl and ready? One, (camera beep) Where's the camera? Hey. Hello? Listen. Good job. (camera shutter) And what did you say his name was? B B A? He's trying to move. Hang on, I know he's moving. I think him needs a bottle. He needs a bottle does he? In just a little bit honey. We're gonna take one more picture. Shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh. Okay, I think we're good. My exposure was a little bright there on the side but in terms of him wiggling I'm okay with the exposures on the skin and everything. Okay, so Fin if you can wait just two seconds while I get Rory off you then you can hop up. Can you look at me, can you look at me? Good boy. Alright. So getting him to look at me took his attention off trying to get up so I could get a hold or Rory safely cause he was like, I'm trying to get up. I'm trying to get up. Gets their head up. Now they want to go back on the posing bag. So I'm gonna give Rory back to his mom. So when we said before about at this point This is where I would kinda stop and move onto something else. If they're not listening and you're not gonna get the shot I'm better off using a prop, getting the baby in a prop and then having them both come and sit on either side of the prop and have the prop in the middle of them. So you can see it doesn't necessarily matter how old they are, but for safety, anything from kind of four and under, that's where I'm gonna go for a laying down shot. Because I can have the parent there nice and close. Older if they are capable of holding onto the child. That's why we brought mom in, because we talked out in the waiting room about Emma holding her brother, which she had done. She'd had lots of cuddles, they informed me. So that's good. She had done it at home before. It's not her first time holding him but kind of gauging that situation and then moving on from there, get a shot then go and create something that's a little bit simpler. Which I thought would be simpler. But trying to get em to wiggle around. But yeah, very fun working with kids. (laughing) Well first of all Kelly can I just say thank you on behalf of everyone watching all around the world at home. I've seen about the word patience in the chat rooms in the questions about 100 times. Because this is the reality. This is what kids at this age are. And so, it's so important to see the patience that you have. Oh yeah, and you know it's interesting because I asked a lot, gosh you must be so patient. And you have to be. I am a fairly a kind of calm, patient person. But when I come into the studio, it's really important that before every session I channel my energy levels. Because if I've been running around all morning and I'm anxious, you know I'm in a bit of a rush to get things done, I've dropped my kids off at school, I'm cleaning up the studio, I'm getting it setup, I'm making sure everything is done. I'm trying to get myself presented properly. If they turn up and I open the door and I'm like, hi, you know and I got that high energy going I'm gonna set the tone for the session. So I have to make sure that before every session I really do calm myself down and breath. And forget everything else that has kinda happened before the session because then being patient, being calm, being able to speak to children in a way that they can listen, be a little bit assertive. You know I can have more control over them. But you can tell that is reality. That happens in my studio on a very regular basis. I have a question. I'm just wondering, would you revisit that later if they weren't listening and behaving? Would you maybe go on to single baby shot and then maybe they go run around the park for awhile and then bring them back in? Yeah, I think sometimes it can work. But in the past what I've noticed is, if I'm trying to get it now and then I let them go and then they come back, they kinda already know that it wasn't fun for them. So they're not gonna want to come back and do it again because it wasn't fun. So change the scene, which is why I would go to a prop and then play a game with them where it doesn't involve the baby. Engage it that way, but yeah it's interesting working with the different kids and seeing how unpredictable they are in terms of responding to our commands. Hi Kelly. I just wanted to mention that you didn't say it, but you did it very repetitively every time you used your camera above the children I noticed you putting your camera strap over your neck. And I think it's such an important note on safety and it's nice to see somebody doing it so consistently. Every time, every time I pick my camera up. And like what we were talking about before about looking after your health, if I didn't have my camera and I fumbled and I dropped it, even if I dropped it on a toddler or an older child I'm still gonna hurt them. And it's so important that camera strap is ridiculously important but I will emphasize again, if you are putting your camera strap over your neck and you want to adjust something do not swing it behind your back because when you lean forward it's going to come through and the weight of that camera can cause a really, really bad result. It could critically injure a child if it hits them in the head. We have some more questions, and let me know if you have any here. So we have a couple questions from folks at home about how do you keep the parents calm especially in sort of that scenario where maybe they're upset seeing their own children, not misbehaving but just being kids, how do you keep the parents calm in that scenario. Ah definitely. And it's a bit different here in the studio because I'm teaching, so I'm explaining what it is that I'm doing. So a lot of my attention is actually focused on the teaching side of things and not necessarily that. But when you're in a session with your family when you have a couple in there and they got a couple of kids, sometimes you can sense that tension. Especially if they're running around the studio and they're worried that their kids are gonna knock things over or break something or touch something. That's why getting those shot done early on can eliminate that because then they can go out of the shoot. Yeah, keeping your parents calm it's being assertive, giving them boundaries like I mentioned before. If I'm shooting toddlers or siblings it depends on how old they are, but sometimes they can be up to seven years of age. There can be quite a big age gap. But letting the parents know, if you take a seat over there, I'm gonna take them over here. If I don't need them to spot. If I don't need them for any form of safety in terms of supporting heads and things like that but I just let them know to sit down, we're gonna play a game. I'm very suggestive in the way that I communicate with my clients. I suggest what they should do. I'm not necessarily bossy, even though sometimes it might come across that way but, you can tell, pull your legs in, I want you to do this. With the children I need to take control but with parents I suggest that they go sit down. You know, go and have a seat. We'll be fine over here. However you're communicating with your clients let them feel at ease. Because if you start to get rattled by children that are not listening regroup, take a deep breath, and then think right, this is not working. I'm gonna move onto something else because the more time you spend trying to get something like that, and we're a little bit time conscious here in terms of how our days panned out. But in your studio if you're wasting too much time trying to get a shot that's just not working, move on because you are only going to make the parents more anxious and upset the children. So when you have siblings like this who are getting a little ancy and you get the sibling shot but you know parents also want a family shot. Do you ever just bring the parents into that shot and not move the children versus setting up a whole new shot for them? It depends because of the way I like to layer my family shots, I like to position them. If there is just one sibling my family shots tend to be with the mom holding the baby. So it means I've kinda got to reset anyway because we're going from the toddlers holding the baby to the mom holding the baby. There's a few different ways that you can do it. I would normally, if it's a large family like that I would have them sitting on a backdrop so you're getting all of their faces together I would layer it with both parents in the middle with their backs towards each other and I would put one child here on dad's lap have the baby in mom's arms, then have a child standing behind mom with their arm around mom. Layering it in that way so that everything's together. But if there's one, I might have the parents standing and then I might have, I have a stool in my studio and it's the only time I allow children on my stool because I can put the stool in front of the dad which elevates the child, bringing him up into where the action's at and I can have the dad's arm around the toddler standing on that stool so I can get a great shot that way. But when it's multiple children I'll do a new setup cause if I had two parents try to come in here it would look really kinda cluttered and messy and it would be kinda uncomfortable for the parents to also bend down especially if the mom has had any cesarian or any complications with birth. So yeah, try to make it really comfortable. But a lot of my family sessions tend to be toward the end of the session, but if it is the situation where I've got real busy kids and I've got their attention now I'll do it at the beginning and then its done. And then the kids can get messy. They can be rewarded with whatever bribe they've been given or offered. Then I don't have to worry about that towards the end of the shoot yeah. But I would do it like a new setup. Definitely. That sort of answers some of the questions that have come in about, I know this is a class scenario so someone was asking, do your clients expect more than one shot. More than one image. Where we saw you be able to get a particular pose with two photographs but that's not the only thing you're providing for the clients. No, definitely. And it's fun because, you might have, the first little girl, she was so sweet, she was so cute and really kind of gentle, but you get some toddlers in that have got crazy outgoing personalities and they're like, hugging and squeezing, kissing and pulling faces. You know I love to photograph all of those because that's them and parents want their personalities captured. But usually if it's laying down like this I'm gonna kinda interact with them a little bit. I'm gonna get one of them looking at the camera. One of them possibly kissing the baby. All looking at each other. You know one of my favorite images of sibling with a baby was taken, I don't know, five years ago, and they're sitting on the floor and the little toes of the baby peeked through the knit wrap. So the little sibling, the one that wasn't holding, the one that was on the outside, she's playing with the toes and it's so cute because they were giggling while they were doing it and the parents just adore it. So I'm capturing their personality for that. I've got my poses but it's not because I'm posing them because it's the perfect pose. I'm posing them in a way that brings the baby up into that area where the faces are and I'm doing it safely. That's why I do it. Not because I'm looking for the next big creative pose with siblings. I want to keep it safe. I want to Get them all in that shot because it's all about their faces and it's all about the baby.

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.