Setting Up the Crib Shot
The crib shot. This is what we are heading into next. Crib shots don't have to be boring, right? Why be like everybody else? You can go from above, you can go through or between, grab a wide-angle lens and make it fun. You only need a little bit of light, and a step stool. And if they have sunglasses, put them in sunglasses. Cute. So you don't need to keep this boring same crib shot all the time. An example of that is when I moved the crib, I consider that a crib shot kind of, right? The crib was there but I moved it. Think about the crib, what you can do with the crib, and how can you make it cool. And the crib shot's hard. I'm gonna show you how to do it in the studio, so we'll move on from that. Different perspectives. Shooting over, through, around, the side, or move it, grab what's behind it. I'll stand a lot of times outside the door and I'll shoot into the nursery with the baby in the crib. Just be mindful of the crib slots 'cause sometimes you can't see the face. It tells a sto...
ry as long as you know the baby's in there, but if the crib slots, I'm telling you. They're just like, "You took a picture of my room." So just change your perspective with the crib shot. Changing perspective. I wanna tell you something. This bottom right hand photo, this was one of those times where I did not wanna miss the moment. Had I set it up differently, and we tried to set it up differently but we couldn't re-create the moment. Remember we talked about it. You can't re-create moments. I turned the baby a little bit so that I could see the baby's face more so I could see the connection, but then we couldn't get the dog to look at the baby again. So, who cares, right? Still cute. I'm a sucker for dogs and babies. But the dog just wanted to lick the baby the whole time. And then when we wanted the dog to cooperate, when I moved the baby so I could see the baby's face, then the dog didn't wanna lick the baby. (class laughs) That's the parent's favorite picture 'cause they don't see the connection as much as we do.
I have one question that came from Arto Art, do you provide makeup or artist services for new moms?
I give them a link or I give them a list of people in the area, if they want it.
Do people usually want it?
No. But I've had a few ask. Most want them for maternity. I've had a handful of moms that want it for newborn but they typically already have their people. But I do have a list if people ask.
Any tips for getting dogs to engage or like little tricks? Cheerios? I don't know. You know what I mean?
You'll see it in a live shoot but, I always have treats in my hands. The number one thing with dogs, the dog that you're gonna see in the live shoot was a Weimaraner which have really long, skinny legs and really long nails. So you need to be really careful. When we're going through the questionnaire I always ask parents how's the dog with the baby? Some dogs love the baby, some dogs could care less about the baby. For the dogs that could care less about the baby, typically I have the dog snuggling dad and the baby brought in. Some dogs love the baby and they're calm and the parents know that the dogs aren't gonna trample the baby. That being said, we always have tons of people around the situation at all times 'cause you don't ever know dogs, right? There are some dogs you know are just fine. This is a parent-photographer decision based upon each person. A lot of times, dads will bring out cheese and I try to encourage them not to because what happens is, and you'll see this in the shoot, is they wanna jump up and go after the cheese. You don't wanna hurt the baby. A lot of times we'll be end up being like, down, down, and I'll get the shot and I'll be like, down and I'll get the shot and I won't get excited until I go get the baby off the bed. If we're doing a dog and a baby right here which I do a lot of dog and baby shots. You guys have seen them. They'll be right here, mom is always right here, and dad is always right here, always. I'll clone them out if I have to. We get one good dog shot and move on. And that's the only if they really request it. Typically the dogs are being held by family members. The dogs that come into the studio are like the bulldogs that just lay there and smile and drool. (class giggles) I don't let labs come into the studio. It's all white so they go nuts. I don't think they can see. (class laughs) I'm serious, 'cause they see in black and white and they can't focus on anything. We do have treats though. But the thing with dogs is you just have to be so careful with the baby. You get a gauge per dog. But cheese is like a no-no, which they did on the shoot. We did everything wrong on the shoot. You guys are gonna learn a lot. (laughter)
Going back to the whole if the baby is just having none of the session, you go to say we need to reschedule and the clients say no, it needs to be done now, and how do you respond to that?
It has happened to me one time. And the reason it was happening is because she assumed that my schedule was not going to be flexible because I'm so booked up, and that's not the case. So then I had to regroup and I told Kenny. I'm like, "You know, we need to make sure that people realize that things happen." If we need to reschedule and we have plenty of time to put them and we will work around their schedule. If it really happens that way, you just do what you can. And they know it's gonna happen. But that was my fault I feel like because it was a time where I think it was fall or something and I was just slammed with shoots. You need to always make your clients feel like they are the most important thing, especially new moms. So you never wanna come across that you are too booked to be able to fix this thing. When we talk about this, and I always say when I'm on the phone with people, if for some odd reason, it rarely happens, and we have to reschedule, don't worry. I've got plenty of time open next week. And then I move everybody. If we have to, or I shoot on the weekend. There's been many times where I've shot on a weekend. And that will also help alleviate the issue of parents taking off work. And that's another big issue that happens. Parents get upset because they've taken off work, and you know like you're sick. Life happens and I sacrifice, I shouldn't say sacrifice, I make sure that my clients are first and I will then put them on a weekend. And so that's really another reason to leave my weekends open. It's like a big reschedule thing too. So that's would I would do, recommend doing.
So just maybe one more question. Going back to as you were talking about all the preparation that you're doing with the family. Several people had asked about if you ever meet with the client in-person to discuss all of these details in advance, or is it just phone calls and emails?
Typically it's just phone calls and emails. There are times where clients just really are not sure if the lifestyle session's for them. Then I'll absolutely go to their house and check out their house and find out if it's a good house, if it's a good fit. You can kind of tell on the phone and on email. I have more clients coming to the studio to meet me versus me going there, if that makes sense. Just 'cause they ask if they can come to the studio. I have gone to people's houses to check out the light. And I'll flat out tell people, "You know what, I'm not sure. If you're not stuck on this, it might not be the best for a newborn situation if you want to have light bright images. If you're okay with having moody and beautiful and we'll get beautiful images, then it's wonderful." But if you have a client that's dead set on this, you just have to be honest with them. And if you don't have a studio, it's one of those things. You can't fake light.