Creating the Right Environment
understanding babies and and the environment that they come from is so important. And that's important to understand when you are creating your environment and how important it is to keep your baby settled throughout a session so that you don't have to be in your studio for four hours with a baby. It doesn't it doesn't have to take that long. And when our clients come to us they're usually sleep deprived no doubt about it. And if a mother has had to have a caesarian, they're usually very very sore and they have an amazing amount of hormones and and feelings and everything that's going on. So they're not they're normal everyday today self so when they come to us we want to get that session done as quickly as possible. We want to create the perfect environment so that the baby stays nice and sleepy throughout that session and we want to get them out as quickly as possible so they can go home and get some sleep. Understanding the environment they come from which is the womb degrees in th...
ere. Which is in its about 100 I think it's about 100 degrees. Is it Celsius Fahrenheit, is that right? Conversion? I'm not sure in Australia. We do Celsius. So but it's warm in there and when they're born into um the birthing suite and places like that, they have heating pads for them to go onto. And it's because at that age they can't regulate their body temperature. Like we can so we have to protect them from the heat and we have to protect them from the cold because they can't they can't do that themselves. So understanding that is really important for for the environment that we're going to create Um the flexibility. So as an adult we have 206 bones in our body. As a newborn. They have I think it's like plus bones but it's soft cartilage and that's so that they can move easily inside the womb in the last few weeks especially when they're quite big and it gets quite tight and if you've been pregnant you know that feeling of oh I'm stretching and it's itchy and there's no room for that baby to move. So they are they are designed to fit into those tight spaces. Um they're hearing is intact in the third trimester. So inside the womb it's actually very noisy. I hear a lot of people say you have to be really quiet around babies but you don't because it's so noisy in there. You know they can hear the wishing of the mums blood in all of her major blood vessels running through her body her digestive system every time she drinks every time she choose, every time she swallows they can hear all of that and every time she speaks it's actually much louder than what when when we're speaking because it reverberates right through her body. So the sounds are constant in there and there and it's comforting to them which is really really nice and you know, they're moving, they're inside fluid. Their arms are free. I am. I don't I don't actually they've got the arms held down in that particular image there. But that's because there's a two year old and a four year old and it's easy for them to hold him while his arms are down and believe it or not, he was awakened that photo but he blinked so he looks nice and sleepy. So I do photograph them when they're a week. But a lot of the times I will have their arms out because they have them up near their face when they're inside and trying to hold them down is restraining them and it's not natural to them. So I like to put them, you know where they're nice and comfortable but keep them up near their face. Um So when I'm creating the environment in my studio I have to make sure that it's nice and warm. But I don't want to overheat it. And if you see photos of babies where their skin looks quite blotchy, you can see the blood under the they're trying to that's them trying to warm up. So to get that beautiful peachy skin tone, it's to make the room nice and warm and make them comfortable. Um so I have it set to about 28° and I found that that works quite well for me. I think that's about 80°F here and yeah, I have that with like a pedestal heater that's about this big and it has a thermostat on top of it. So it tells me what the temperature is in my studio at all times if it goes up, I open a window or open the curtain to my studio or something like that and I let some some cooler air in. So I'm always keeping an eye on that and I found that that temperature is good because it's quite a comfortable temperature for the parents. It's warm, like it gets warm in there and when they're moving around they start to get hot but when they're sitting still it's you know they're actually quite quite okay and I'm always asking them how comfortable they are and if they need to step out for a fresh breath of fresh air or something like that as well. So having that temperature in the in the studio and in the room a constant temperature and something that's not going up and down that will help keep your baby really settled as well and nice and sleepy. Um The noise I have playing I have downloaded from Itunes um white noise so I just play that continually throughout. I have my mobile phone or you could have it on your ipad, you could you know how they have it running through a system in your house whichever works for you. But I have a mobile phone that sits near my bag and the baby can hear it, it drowns out any talking or loud noise, especially if they come with a toddler and they have toys and they start dropping toys. But you'll find that most babies don't even react to that because they're used to it. But moving on to um on from that, which is keeping in line is the equipment I use in my studio. So this is my little space. I have a home studio and which is perfect for me because of my family situation. I don't have to go off site to work and it's it's nice and comfortable and it's actually pretty cool inviting people into my home. Um Some people don't do that, which is, which is fine. I mean everybody's different. So we all do what fits fits best. But I love the fact that people come into my home and and when the minute they walk through the door where my office is, they can see all my images on the wall and they get excited about it. So I can welcome them in and make them feel at home, which puts them at ease as well and they can come into my studio where it's really warm. I have a change table to the left, which is the best thing in the world. So the minute they come in, I'm like poppy baby up into the change table. You know, do we do we need to feed is he hungry? Is he is he benefited all of those things and we get started pretty much straight away. And when I'm setting up my my bag and my backdrop stand, I angle it slightly towards the light because what I wanna do is have it on a 45 degree angle, will have the baby on a degree angle for that light purely, you know, to get that beautiful soft life lighting across the face to define all the little features that the parents want to remember. Um And then opposite my bag, I have like a little timber flooring section and a little timber um It's called a wood ply panel and I've just stained that with some lacquer I think in total it costs about $20, it was really cheap and my flooring, the dark flooring is just vinyl flooring. So I got that from a company in Australia called Harvey Norman and it's just, it's vinyl timber flooring that that sticks together, It's got a sticky back and and you can move it. Apparently you can drive a truck over it, you can't damage it. But if the baby decides to go to the toilet, I can clean it up very easily. It doesn't absorb into any canvas backdrops or anything like that. So it's it's really good underneath my bag. I have some more timber flooring and that's from Ikea And that was about $40 in Australia for a box and that's one box. So it's really good to be able to have a couple of different options for backdrops and they're cheap options as well. I have a basket which has all my raps and small blankets which I can just grab quite easily. And I have a little stool to sit on and that's for me. Mhm. And that's a great place because I can get down. I'm not above my clients when they're sitting, I'm down and I'm on a nice level with them that I can talk comfortably and easily with them and I'm at a really good height for my beanbag. Um I also have it's a bit hard to see but as a pile of white cloth nappies and I use those to prop my babies up from underneath. And they're also perfect if the baby goes to the toilet to grab and clean clean it up without making too much of a big deal out of it. Um I get a lot of parents in that feel terrible when their baby goes to the toilet and they do they feel they're like oh my God I'm so sorry but it's I just don't make a big deal out of it. I clean it up as quickly as possible, put it to the side because I don't want them feeling uncomfortable or um yeah we're worrying about having to jump up with wet wipes and things like that even though some of them do so but I also have um some polystyrene boards. If you have watched any of supervisors course she uses the polystyrene reflectors and I got that tip from her and they work beautifully in there. So my large one is for when I'm doing the parents and the families and I can just bounce light. It just rests up against my chairs or the wall and I can just bounce the light back in on my mums and dads and and family shots which is great. And behind it I have a smaller one about this big and I can just rest it against my backdrop stand when I'm working on my bag or with a with a prop for the baby to bounce some light. And if I need it.