Live Shoot: Crib Shot
We've got a baby here. We are going to... I had mom take him down, how old is he exactly today?
10 days! Itty bitty baby. He is going to... We're gonna do some crib shots. First what we're gonna do is some shots with the onesie and we're just gonna show you how to do this crib shot, how I stand over the baby. You guys notice I have changed because the other black top was too flowly for me shooting. Like I talked about, we always shoot in black, white, or gray to prevent the color cast and I took my heels off so I'm not falling all over the place, okay? All right, we're ready for him. I just washed my hands but I always make sure that the parents see... When you're doing a new baby, you always need to make sure that... Oh, he's so sweet. That the parents see you wash hands and then also do the hand sanitizer. You guys can go sit down, yeah. Oh, he's so sweet. All right. We're gonna start with the crib shot. So I'm gonna show you with the onesie first and then I'm gonna take...
it off and I'm gonna show you guys how to wrap, okay? You guys wanna see how sweet he is?
Aww. Together now.
All right, now... All right, as you guys can see, there's a lot of light in the studio, okay? So we're not gonna have any lighting issues. Okay. He is really in here. Okay, they are not using a pacifier yet, so we're gonna do all that we can to keep this little boy nice and content. It is a little bit chilly over here so we're gonna do the best that we can. And the jib over here, okay. All right, these are my swaddles for in just a minute. Okay guys, I'm gonna be shooting using my 24mm 1.8 lens. We had talked about that a little bit earlier on what lens I'm gonna use. The reason I'm using that, it's wider, I don't have to go up as high. The problem that we get with the crib shots... I'm gonna go ahead and get my light set up, is you tend to get your legs in there. See, how he's stretching right now? I don't wanna miss this. (camera shutter clicks) So I'm grabbin' it. We tend to get our legs in there a little bit. Are we gonna have it come up on the thing? Here. I know, you're cold, it's okay. Hold on, buddy. Hold on, buddy. So, if we can, if you use a wide angle, you prevent having to worry about getting your legs in there. (soothing breathing) Babies tend to wake up, as you know, when we're unclothing them, when we're taking their clothes off, when we're unswaddling them and this is the perfect time to get the stretch shot, which I just got. That's why I went ahead and took that shot. This is the perfect time to get the yawn shots, okay? For some reason, it's showing up crooked, but that's okay. You guys get the point. Okay. All right. And he's yawning right now. Okay. Okay, so I'm just gonna show... (camera shutter clicks) (camera shutter clicks) He's being adorable. (baby gurgling) I know, I know, it's a little chilly in here. (soothing breathing) (soothing breathing) You guys will notice, I have his face turned away from the light, his eyes are closed and that's fine with me. I don't know if they can see over there. Okay, I'm gonna tuck his little diaper in. Okay. (camera shutter clicks) You guys see, I don't even really need the stool, if I use the 24mm lens, okay? And I'm trying to shoot (camera shutter clicks) straight down. (camera shutter clicks) Okay? You don't want to stand near his feet during the crib shot and shoot up. Because what happens? Where are we shooting? Up the nose, okay? We don't want to shoot up the nose, okay? (camera shutter clicking) Okay, and this is a good time to get a foot shot. (camera shutter clicking) Okay. Now, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna walk around and show different perspectives, okay? So we get down through the side of the crib. This is a little bit of a back-lit image right here and that's fine with me. (camera shutter clicking) Oh, he is so sweet. He's so sweet. We have all these lights coming from all over the place too. (camera shutter clicking) Okay, so when we're doing these, you wanna get every angle. He has such perfect skin that these images are harder to get in focus because your camera's gonna start searching. Do you guys notice that with newborns? Their skin is so soft. When we're trying to focus on a baby, we're looking for contrast points and he's so evenly toned and he's so blonde and fair, your camera's gonna have a tricky time focusing on him, okay? And I'm gonna turn his head here in a minute, but he's doing something really funny. (camera shutter clicking) That I wanted to get. Isn't that cute? Oh, the sun's coming out! Okay. All right, we're gonna go ahead and turn his little head. Of course, he moved his feet. Hold on. (camera shutter clicking) Remember, we talked about movement, okay? Babies move. Trying to get his feet. He had them still but then, of course, I was blabbing away. (camera shutter clicking) Okay. I know, I know. Okay, now what do you think is gonna help him calm down for this crib shot? Swaddling, right? Okay. (soothing breathing) Here, he's a little bit cold. Calm down. (soothing breathing) Okay, come here, little man. Come here, little man. (soothing breathing) We might move to swaddling here in a minute, he wants to be all swaddled up. Okay, guys. Another thing I want to tell you, when you're doing crib shots, make sure you have something over your (camera shutter clicks) camera, okay? So you don't drop the camera on the baby. So you need to always have something wrapped around you, okay? All right, let's go ahead and swaddle this child. He's ready. We're gonna move on. I know, he's trying to eat the air. He just ate, though, so we're gonna try to rally through. Okay, so I wanna show you guys what I use for my swaddles. These are literally... Hey mommy, would you come just hold him for a second? See if you can get him calmed down a little bit? These are just about three feet pieces of literally jersey fabric. You can see, if you see a closeup, it's about... Does he wanna eat?
He's a little cold.
Yeah, yeah, it's a little chilly. Just try wrapping him and see what happens. It's about a foot wide, okay? See how it's stretchy, see this? This allows me to get the baby really, really tight. A lot of times a lot of people have those thick swaddles, and they're really hard to get the babies really tight in. So before I put any decorative swaddle on top of a baby, I like to use these jersey fabric. Literally, I go to the fabric store and I get a three foot piece and I cut strips, okay? And I always do white because you can always put a decorative swaddle on top of it, okay? You wanna top him off real quick? We have time, if you want.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. He's trying to eat, yeah, he's trying to eat. He just ate, but we're gonna top him off, yeah, it's fine, just go back there. I'm gonna talk for a second, we're fine. Take your time. Go with the flow, right guys? We're going with the flow, everybody lives gonna go with the flow too, okay? And that's totally fine. We're just gonna top him off really quick. And that's just for the class. Typically, we'd probably rally through a little bit, but we're gonna just top him off, there's no rush, okay? Back to my swaddle wraps. Larger babies, you're gonna need two of these for, okay? And when I do these swaddles, I always bring a step stool, okay? There's like little black flip one that I get. Have you guys seen that little black flip stool you can get? You can keep it in your car. I always have a step stool in my car. I have the small step stool in my car and I also have a taller ladder step stool, in my car, as well. I typically don't need to be that high up with the crib shot, if I shoot with my 24mm lens. If you guys need to shot... If I needed to shoot, say, at 1.4, to let in a little bit more light, so I needed to use my 35, then I would, for sure, need the step stool. We're gonna use the step stool today 'cause I wanna show you guys how to put it over the crib to shoot it. You don't necessarily have to... See, how he's kind of fidgety, but you don't normally have to do the whole crib at one time, okay? You guys can do different perspectives and him looking at the crib and him just being there. This is a different environment for him, it's a big, huge room. It's really bright in here, we have studio lights going on, it's not a typical relaxing environment for a baby. So today is gonna be a little bit different, obviously, than if you were in a client's home, okay? Yeah, anyone have any questions about these, while she's feeding him? Yes?
Not about that per se, the swaddle per se, but can you tell us again the colors that you wear when you're actually doing the photo sessions?
And, again, the why.
Okay, typically I wear white and I'll wear like black workout pants and a white T-shirt 'cause I'm naturally reflecting back onto the baby. Here, I chose black because we have a lot of light, obviously, right? So I didn't wanna add any more reflection back onto the baby. If I were gonna wear like hot pink or something, it would be a problem 'cause the baby would look pink, okay? So I always wear neutrals, essentially. Another thing is I had that black shirt on earlier, that was a little bit flowlier and I took that off because you're gonna find that when you bend over the crib, it gets in the way of your camera and that's gonna drive you crazy later when you go to Photoshop and your shirt's hanging in there. Another thing you have to be mindful of are these scarf straps on the camera. Let me show you. I use them because it disperses the weight, right? It's really pretty and elegant, I love it. But when you have it on here, it sometimes will come in front and it'll clip your camera, so you guys needs to be mindful of all of these things when you're doing crib shots. The biggest thing with the crib, though, is you have to have this around your neck, because you cannot drop that camera 'cause you're hanging over the baby, okay? And typically I have dads supporting me or somebody supporting on the taller ladder just to be... You need to be careful about yourself too, okay? All right. Yeah?
All right, question from Jasmine Mory, what is the maximum age that you would swaddle a baby?
Until it's too big and doesn't want to be swaddled. Typically like five weeks-ish. After that, they just get... They really want their arms free. Some babies, though, depending on the baby, really wanna stay swaddles, even when they're bigger. It just depends on the baby. And then there are some little babies who don't wanna be swaddles. You will see that on a live shoot, the baby did not want to be swaddle. We did it anyways 'cause we're teaching. (laughs) But she sure fought us. And then when she was in it, she was fine. A lot of times babies have a hard time getting into it 'cause they're mad and their arms are down, but then once they're swaddled really tight, they're good to go, so it's fine, okay?
Can we talk a little bit about how you got to these sittings that you're using in this particular lighting scenario?
Yeah. So I am set at... I needed to give myself some wiggle room. We have some clouds coming in and out. So the first thing I decided to set was my f stop which is at 3.2. Typically I would be shooting this closer to about 1.8, but there really isn't anything in here that I need to have a blur for, right? Like I don't need a background blur, I don't need bokeh. It's only the baby, so I don't have a lot of people to worry about getting in focus, so I don't need to have it super closed. So I just kind of kept it at 3.2, just kind of as a safe zone for right now to keep things in focus. My ISO is based upon what my shutter speed was at. My shutter, a minute ago, when there were more clouds outside, got down to 1/800, okay? And that was when my ISO was down at about... I think it was closer to... It was like at 4,000. And that was too risky for me, right? So when you're using natural light, you're gonna notice that the clouds come in and out and you need to have a shutter speed that has the capability of going up and down. Because what's gonna happen if we get that low shutter speed? Which is what we talked about a little bit earlier, right? So when I got closer to that 200 range, I'm doing this, I'm moving, I'm over the baby, so I need to make sure that my shutter speed stays high enough, so that way I have some wiggle room, I don't want to go under any 200. So that's kind of where I'm at with that one. It's completely dependent upon light, 100%, and if you're moving. Okay?
And another followup question with regard to higher ISOs, we're talking a lot about thar low light scenario. Rechel Hatworth asked when you are cranking out your ISO to capture something in darker rooms, what happens when the parents want that particular image blown up as a large print? She says, even if it's technically imperfect, that's always the one that the family seems to want.
Always, always, always.
So do you prepare your clients that not all shots will be the same quality?
100% yes. As long as you're shooting in raw, for those situations, where you're having to bump your ISO, you have a much greater chance of saving that photo to print large, you know? Because you're not compressing that information in the camera. We've prepped our parents, though. They know it's gonna be dark, right? My thought is, when I'm calling my session, would this photograph print well? If it wouldn't, I pitch it. And that's a really way for you to think about when you guys are calling images, 'cause without fail, your client will pick the image that is... If you have one that's like completely dark and moody, and it happens, you know? Light comes in and out, color casts change by walking in front of the window just as you're getting the shot. That happens, it's life. Pitch it, they've never seen it, it's not the end of the world, okay? It's just real life.
I was curious why... You're shooting straight manual mode, yes?
Is there a reason you don't shoot aperture priority?
'Cause I like to control my settings.
Yeah. (laughing) I don't like to give my camera control, no, no. (laughs)
That question was also asked by Sophia, do you always shoot in manual mode?
Always. It's funny because beginning photographer classes, I teach how to shoot in aperture mode. Once they get comfortable doing that, then we move them over to manual. But I need to be able to control all my settings at the same time.