Becoming a Baby Expert
All right, we're gonna talk about becoming a baby expert. Hopefully, you guys have got some tips already just watching, but now we're gonna cover the ones that I think are really important. These are very simple. The real dues are just relax, take a few breaths and have a lot of fun because there's no guarantees in working with newborns don't force anything, including limbs or body parts. You know, you saw me trying toe with our six dale trying to move her hand around. There was a point where she's like I've had it just don't touch me don't stress and don't allow your parents to stress out that's one of the biggest things babies feed off of their parents energy and if mom and dad are upset that the baby's going to be upset a swell so you just need to make sure that you're constantly calming them down and relaxing them. Whatever you do, don't get up, don't give up because we get the shot always period I get asked all the time, do you have to have a baby screaming the whole time? Do you ...
reschedule? I explain that yesterday that's such a rare occasion, and every time it happens, I recognize going into it that something's wrong with the baby, meaning the baby's not feeling well. And that's not your fault and so it's not something you have to even consider yourself within the sense that a re schedule is not a problem um more often than not if it's normal crying and normal behavior you need to feed the baby, change the baby do all the normal things that babies will do and if they're just throwing a fit give him ten minutes and you know what they'll calm down babies don't scream for four hours straight unless there's a real serious reason for it and the on ly reason for that typically is calling if they're a colicky baby and parents know that already they walk into it going this baby never stopped screaming and all they want is a picture not even a good one theyjust want anything? You know? I think they actually want you to hold the baby while they know you don't have to for a few minutes so so understand parents are very cognizant of their own child even new parents we have an internal sort of navigator that tells us when something's wrong with our child so just relax what do you do with a crying baby? I think we just covered that one. What about a sleeping baby? How do you get a baby to sleep? We're going to let you know that as well the truth is I explained this yesterday eighty percent of the images that you look at that you're seeing of my work the babies are absolute not asleep this baby is not asleep um and I know it looks like this baby's asleep and I'm gonna show you a bunch of other images where the babies not asleep first of all there's a little video here I want to talk through it the pacifiers are our friends. We to somebody asked that question yesterday what? Why a pacifier why'd you bring that up? Well, obviously you can see the pacifier gives us and watch the technique I'm using with my fingers because what I'm trying to dio is closed eyes and if you take your hand and run it down the bridge of the baby's nose just your finger I'm sorry just down the bridge of the baby's nose one after another after another um eventually the babies you're touching their eyelashes eventually gets very heavy to them and they close their eyes pacifiers give us the opportunities to relax them so they start to relax their body so that this motion becomes a very soothing motion to them as opposed to you cannot do that with a wiggling screaming maybe they're not going to like that we did mention yesterday, but I'll mention it today again removal of the pacifier is critical if you get a baby sleeping I know this sounds mad, but I've spent far too many hours watching babies and I can literally tell the point where they drop out of that sucking motion so there's a point where their second, second, second, second you try to take it then they're natural reaction is to pull it back and it will wake them up there's a point where their mouth relaxes and as soon as that happens, you might think you can take it up remember that tongue is locked around that pacifier so even though they're relax and they're sleeping and it is okay to take it out it's how do you take it out? That's really important if it's here we take our fingers we tell the parents before you take it out let me show you how put your finger to the side, break the seal and then slide it out to the side if you pull it this way it's gonna go and you're gonna have a baby going wow, you know, and waking up so, uh, parents learned that the hard way I think we naturally learn it anyway, but after seeing it done so many times, you know, we're very careful usually will ask them, is it okay if we take the past fire out uh, just because even though we've told them what to do, they still tend to gank a little too hard so pacifiers are awesome they're a great tool to work with now stuck a little bit about miracle shots because you see me work so fast here and go through that that nine month old what was that fifteen minutes total time including a few questions in the middle that's honestly about par the difference in my studio though I would say twenty to twenty five his part but difference in my studio is I have far more props and things that specifically work with that age so I would have had him playing with blocks for a few shots if he was in the harley thing I would have that little motorcycle out with him hanging on it so we've pre selected things before the baby comes in so what I don't want you to think is we do one background and then one background and then you're done get out of my way that's not a normal session a normal session. We've already got ten ideas so we only might use three of them are four of them but we're pretty quick about getting through them and executing them so once that's done once we've created that that the sellable shots that we call them then we're going to work to the miracle shots those are the floating babies in the swings and the slings in the hammocks and all the really cool stuff I want that for every client that walks in the door I want to make sure that you know, they get something that nobody else has had before but it's all contingent on there baby if their baby's not having it then we're not doing it but I already have enough to sell to them that I'm gonna you know I'm gonna pay for my family's time I'm gonna it's okay for me to do that but I'm not going to finish a session in twenty minutes and let them go if I can help it if there's more to be done then there's more to be done so miracle shots or things like this one this baseball shot this shot was that kid's got to be close to college honestly to be very truthful he's he's way up there but this was taken years ago and this is one of those things that I happen to have a cancellation after him and so we had extra time and mom could nurse them and she got him to sleep and I had this idea that I wanted to do and so we put this all together and I lit it and he actually slept through it and we were able to get the shot well of course you know, this is many years ago at that time I know I would say my lighting is not perfect it's not bad but also proud of this shot, this was going to be an award winner for me, and so I put a big one up in my lobby. Well, that was the worst thing I ever seen in my life. Every dad that walked into the studio said, I want the baseball and the standing in the lobby, and I'm like that's actually not something I could do, you know, in my head, I'm going so great, the baseball shot that's awesome! I need two hours and in benadryl and duct tape, I need a whole lot of things, and it just says it's not as easy as it looks, so don't he honestly don't put shots up that are impossible shots? If you've got an amazing shot, use it in your literature in your marketing. But putting something in the lobby that is hard to do is not a good idea, because this one bit me too many times to where we finally moved it so that it wasn't the most prominent piece in there. We loved baseball shot, and we tried all the time with babies that are awake and it's okay, we get shots. We don't get this kind of shot all the time with it what we do give it an attempt and we always tell parents uh what we're gonna do is we're going to do the things that we know you love and that are easy for the baby to do and then we're going tio we're definitely going to give this a shot and I promise you nine out of ten times we get it but I just want to make sure we get things that the baby's going to be comfortable with and that you're going to love what I didn't say is I want to get the ones that are gonna make the money you know you might know that that's the truth you might know that I am you're going for those sellable shots but let the client know that you're you care about what you're you know about the session on what you're doing so miracle shots are just that miracles in fact something like this you might be going oh that's a cute baby do you know what I see a terrified baby on and I see a terrified dad because uh it's his first baby and we've got him levitating over pillows so when you put a dad in that position he's really nervous and of course the baby hiss really nervous to this is, you know, not a natural situation so yes it's beautiful but I'm not going to put a baby in this position until I've got everything I need, because if that is super stressed, then the baby's gonna super stress and I'm not going to get the shot anyways, so so just keep that in mind that miracle shots are exactly that. These were the hospital shot seas of the shots that we try to get while people and get them in the door, but they're not necessarily the shots that were going to be able to photograph every single day. All right, a couple posing textbooks, I liked to humiliate myself as much as possible. If you guys remember the skydiving shot that is my life, I'm a total idiot and that's ok, these are just a couple of tips, none of them there are over got some way better ones, but these are actual shots that we've shot in our studio. I'm not necessarily the shooter on them on all of them, but I just want these are things that seem really obvious when you see them, but as photographers, we don't see them simple, something as simple as arm placement. Yesterday we were working mom didn't have a long sleeve shirt on, and my studio that never would've happened because we have long sleeve shirts, so she had a three quarter sleeve shirts so that tiny baby just looked just so lost with that white arm and that was not frustrating for me because if it happens you just deal with it but obviously having the arm as a describe distraction is a problem but if dad shows up in a t shirt that's what you have to work with the placement of the arm you could see on the top baby that arm is totally covering the baby where on the lower one the baby there's more baby to be scene even though the arms are distracting to me at least the baby is more prominent so you're gonna have to keep working these shots to make the baby the priority uh this one is you know everybody tries to get the sleeping baby on the chair the only really major thing wrong with this one is light placement were lighting the bottom so the the butt looks good but uh and very big and very prominent because the lights just coming from the wrong way so remember we said wherever the eyes go the lights go period that's the way it goes with babies down the lights go down if the baby's looking at the light should be up etcetera etcetera we don't have all the time in the world to move those lives so make sure you're using a light source like that three by four soft box or something that gives you that variation with that child so you're not working so hard shoes I don't wear them baby shouldn't either um you can see parents all the time come in and they have these cute little nikes there this big and they're like, oh, you're so keep issues aren't like those air adorable I'll tell you what I'm gonna take a couple with but my preferences no shoes and you can see why it's pretty obvious shoes make baby's feet look humongous and they take everything away from the shot so, you know, obviously I could have turned that chair to the side and got the side of the shoe, but my point here I was trying to make was really and truly shoes have no place on a baby at this age by the time they hit one and they're walking sometimes or if they're like nine months and they got this cool little outfit and they could stand up it's cool toe have little tennis shoes, but I only shoot a few shots if I can help it unless mom says she was on the whole time, which I've had one time in my entire career, get him off honestly at one to five, ten twelve I like no shoes honestly eighteen high school seniors, I'm not kidding, we just like take your shoes off, you know, unless they're bring fifty pair of high heels we want there to be barefoot in having fun eso no shoes here's my favorite people asked about I stick this in here because somebody asked yesterday one of parents bring props use a if dad walks in and he's got these and you have to use abusive I mean if they if they bring something in special we were trying to figure that you just did baby on the top for co we're gonna you know I don't know what to do but if they've specifically brought something in that means something something to them use it and use it first because you'll forget to use it then by the time you get to it the baby's given up and you're not going to get their shot especially if it's an heirloom item I'm not sure this was an heirloom item but way just still crack up about that just because it's just kind of one of those oddities that just shoot it and just move on and finally clothing way like making babies reminds me of that girl I'm willy wonka and the chocolate factory from one veruca or whatever it was you know mom came in graham about the outfit grandma loved the co graham was said to do it shoot it I mean you got to you can you have a choice and then stripped that child and get them undress and get them out of the blueberry are the pinkberry in this case because obviously clothing is a huge distraction with babies in newborns it's something that my preferences, none, or the cute little things that show that tummies, but there's all the time where mom walked in graham about the outfit grandma wants to buy the outfit. I don't know if grandma bought this. I bet she didn't. By the time we were done, I bet she bought a beautiful making baby. But shoot it if you have to. Just just make that happen.