Newborn Shoot: 3 Day Old Twins
Our next parents, you will notice that they still have hospital bracelets on. They have beautiful, beautiful three-day-old twins, and they have come here directly from the hospital. They have not even been home yet with their newborn twins. So Judy and Patrick, what a gift this is to photographers all around the world that CreativeLive Studio is your pit stop on your way home from the hospital with your newborns. Thank you so much. Over to you, Kelly.
Yeah, this is pretty special, hey.
It's pretty, it's wild.
I can't believe it. And what's even more incredible is that they're from...
We just moved here about two months ago from Australia.
But we are Americans.
Yes they are, but they've been in Australia, and I just think it's amazing that they're now here and I'm here and it's really special that this is day three. I know exactly what they're going through right now, after having my own two babies. It's almost like you look down at them and you're like, there's two ...
of them. It's still so hard to believe. And I see my two tear through my house and there's two of them. (laughs) So yes, it doesn't go away. But the joy that you get from having twins, watching them interact, watching them play, watching them laugh, and you're just going to have so many amazing memories of them growing up together. So I'm going to help create something pretty special today for you to have. I'm excited about that. I'm going to start with a fresh backdrop again. I'm gonna do one setup on the bag. We have little girls, which is really, really special but they're fraternal so they're not identical, they're different. So I don't want to pose them identically. Not that I would purposely do that with identical twins, but these two little girls, they're going to be like chalk and cheese. They're going to be two different children just born on the same day, which is what they told me when I had mine. "They will never have anything in common." So I'm going to put them face down in here, I'm sorry, not face down. (laughing) It's been a long three days. I'm going to put them on their backs down here, facing me, and together, and I'm going to put a nice wrap around them and keep it really nice and cozy. So I'm creating a well in the middle of my beanbag. Okay. I'm gonna use something, here we go. This is just a scarf and the texture and the color of it is perfect so it doesn't have to be like an amazingly expensive prop or anything like that. I'm just use that to wrap around them and then I'm going to use my cloth nappies underneath the blankets, to help support them in that position so they can stay there. Okay, they're both pretty sleepy.
All right, we have nappies on or off?
Yes. You want it off?
Actually let's leave their nappies on just for this because I'm gonna put the wrap across them and it'll save me waking them up and we can spend more time. So I'm just going to place my hand in under here, under her head, there we go. Oh, my goodness. Hello. Who do I have here?
Ella. Hi, Ella with lots of hair. It's lovely and warm where I'm standing right now, so I'm not too scared about her getting cold. They both look pretty much the same size. Was there a big size difference between them?
Four ounces, goodness. So I'm gonna let her just relax there. So when I am posing twins and putting them down, I'm not going to spend too much time getting that one baby into position because when I position them very closely together, I like to use both babies to support each other if that makes sense. I'll show you how I position their heads so that they're actually supporting each other. Okay, and what's this little one's name?
Isabel and Ella, that's beautiful. Hi. Shh. (noise machine heart beating) Okay, so before I put her completely down I'm gonna keep her in my hand. And I'm just going to lift Ella up a little bit to slide Isabella in beside her. There we go. And by putting Isabella in there you can see that it's now holding Ella's head up because it was face down before, so they're actually resting against each other now. (person coughing) So we're gonna cover their nappies with this particular scarf, wrap. (laughs) We want to see both of their faces clearly so it's positioning them gradually toward each other. She's got a tight little arm there. Want to just push this hand just in here just back a little bit, without making her uncomfortable or putting too much weight on it, just so it doesn't look, there we go. Just tucking down that nappy there. So I've pulled this bit here out and I'm gonna bring it out on top across both of their tummies. And then this one from the other side I'm going to bring around the other way. And this is how we cover both the bottom and the top of the nappy. Some little feet out. They're tiny, these feet. It's such an incredible feeling to have two babies inside you. Isn't it, to be pregnant with twins, it's an incredible feeling.
Oh, it's pretty crazy.
You feel four little legs kicking you constantly. And, there we go. So I'm just going to tuck this in now around them. All right. So I'm pretty much nearly done here and ready to take a photo. The only thing I am going to do is turn my bag so that the light is perfect. If I need to, we'll get someone in to hold up one of the little white cloth nappies as a reflector because there's two babies, so we're looking at the light falling across two babies' faces, not just one. So that's just there to help stop those feet going flying out. Got a little tag here I'll try and hide. There we go. Okay. I'm just gonna bring their little faces up now and position their hands a bit more, and we're ready. I'm pulling their heads apart and I'll just position them side by side so they're resting against each other. One hand in here. What I am going to do is just slide something in underneath Isabella just to lift her head up 'cause she's kind of like this. So I'll push down just a little bit here. Getting the fingers ready. And she's doing a little cheeky smile. Okay. So I'm just going to add a little bit more support in here by sliding something in underneath. You can see how that raises her face. So now we can see it, we're not just seeing the top of her forehead. Just tuck this in. Okay, so I'm gonna spin my bag around. (laughs) She's smiling. Okay, who hasn't been my helper today? Can I get a helper? So all I'm going to get you to do, Miranda, is just to hold up one of these cloth nappies. We've got beautiful light coming in here, and you can see over the top. So just come in nice and close, now just drop that and you can see these shadows come back up on the face. And lift it back up, and it's just filling that a little bit more. Okay. Grab my camera. We don't want that too far out of the shot. So the beauty of this particular lens, the 24 to 70, is when you are shooting down like this, I don't have to stand on anything to get both babies in the shot. So I'm gonna get a nice closeup of the two of their little faces together. (camera beeping and clicking) One more. And I'm shooting on f/ because I want to get both babies nice and sharp. And a stretch. So just adjusting fingers, making sure they're nice and comfortable. And they don't have to be identical or the same. I'm gonna come in right over the top. (camera beeping and clicking) And come down a bit. That hand has a mind of its own. (camera beeping and clicking) Nice. So we still need to add a little bit of light here on her face when we're doing a little post production to make the skin tones a bit more even, but that is pretty much perfect. And if you can just hold that up just again, I'm just going to come in from this angle and get a beautiful shot just above you. (camera beeping and clicking) Righty-o. (laughing) That startle that they do. Right, we have some time left, so what I'm going to do is put them in a prop together. If you can stay right here next to them. You can come actually around and sit on the little chair if you like just while I set something up. I'm gonna use this great big basket again. And being beautiful girls, I'm gonna go back over here again 'cause it's easier for everyone to see, I think when I'm on this backdrop. I'm just going to fill it with a couple of blankets, keep it all within this sort of light, creamy feel thing we've got going on. I might just grab a couple more towels. Have to fill it. Okay. This one in underneath. So what I'm planning on doing now is (clears throat) putting the girls in here so that they're both sort of upright again this way together and facing outward and using our backdrop. So I'm just going to try and line this so it's nice and full and supportive for them. We don't want them to touch the edges of the basket, again 'cause it's quite hard. And we'll bring them over when we're all set up ready to go. Do you have any questions while I'm setting up?
Well, personally I would love to hear from the parents, who I just am loving watching their reactions, to seeing their three-day-old twins not even yet home being photographed. What is surprising by you, what does this mean to you to have these images?
Oh well, it's just amazing how Kelly can just handle these two newborns with such grace and control. She obviously has a lot of experience with this. I'm just overwhelmed. It's almost as amazing as the day they came out. It's really a treat for us to be here today to witness all this with you, Kelly.
Thank you. (Judy laughing)
You make me want to... It's the end of day three. Okay, I'm gonna drag my camera over first so I don't have to come back and get it before we even start positioning the girls. So I've brought some cloth nappies over to help line the basket. We might use... I don't think I have anything small enough for your little girls! I don't. So we might just leave them without anything but use this to drape over the top of them which will be really pretty. Okay, so instead of picking both of them up and carrying them over, I'm just gonna bring the beanbag just a little bit closer so when we're transitioning them off of there into the prop we don't have to carry them over a great distance. So I can just, I'm gonna go right to the very bottom, I'm not going to pull from the top because might pull the blankets and not the bag. So I'm always gonna make sure that I've got hold of the actual bag underneath. Slide them over. All right. Isabella a little bit bigger, longer?
Not much, she's a little bit larger.
She's a little bit bigger. So I'm always going to put the bigger baby down first and that way, we can adjust Isabella on her. Now if you can come a little bit closer, Miranda. 'Cause when I move one baby it's going to be a little bit of an adjustment to them, so we need to make sure that they stay nice and settled and you can pop a hand on her to make her feel calm. A firm hand to make her feel secure.
You mean on this one?
So I'll just put that under there for a minute so the legs don't go flying out. And because I want to bring them forward here I just want to use a couple of these to create that nice, firm shelf for them to rest on for this shot. And we can add some more support if we need it, which we might. Now, they're not heavy, but there's two of them, so combined weight, that will push all that stuffing down in there, so we want to make it nice and firm. Okay. So I'll just bring this a little bit closer. Having this mat underneath makes it so easy to move the props back and forth if you need to. So I'm gonna put Ella over here and then I'm gonna put little Isabella over here. They've got busy arms, haven't they?
Really do. She like to--
Yeah. It's amazing with twins, because when one is crying, for some reason, the other one does not wake up. They can scream the house down, and the other one doesn't even move! (baby grunting) So again I'm going to leave their nappies on because I'm gonna use this little white wrap and the way I'm going to position them we won't see them. Oh, big stretch. (baby grunts) So I'm just positioning her hands on top of each other underneath her chin while she's upright. You can see when I put her down, if I can pull my hand out I'm not actually going to have to do too much at all to reposition her. She is tiny. And because we have two babies, I might get another set of hands over here if that's all right. Have you helped me? Who hasn't helped me? Who hasn't been to help? Someone jump up.
Somebody jump up. (footsteps approaching)
Good work. So just pop you hand on Ella's back there. So when parents with twins or triplets come into my studio, I tell them, "You know, this is going to be a pretty hands-on experience "if you're up for the challenge," for the parents, and I get them involved and they love it. They love it, because like they're sitting there and they're watching it and they like to be involved with it. They're still mesmerized by these little people. So I'm just keeping her hands in place while I pull mine out. And she's drawing back down. Bring her back up. There you go. And you can feel the muscles relax. Okay, so just slide your hand up now, and that's it, just at the back of her head there and keep your thumb there, and that's going to make her feel nice and comfortable. Got another cloth nappy under here I can use. Slide out. I'm just going to put in another support at the back here. Okay. So we'll bring little Isabella over. And the same with when I was positioning them on their back, and their heads were keeping each other's head facing upwards, it's pretty much going to be how we're going to position them again up here. We're going to put their heads nice and close together and they'll be resting on each other. Look at this little hand.
She's out like a light. Okay, just lift your hand gently and I'm going to replace your hand with mine so she doesn't get a fright 'cause it's nice and warm. There we go. I'm gonna bring the wrap with her because it's gonna be easier to pick her up with it. And I can peel it off in my lap. Aren't they just divine? Okay, crossing those feet up and underneath. I was just waiting for her to bend her little legs then, she was sort of having a bit of a stretch. I'll put her back here. You got her head? Just put your hand there, good work. Okay, you can pull this little arm down a little bit and bring her in nice and close. Okay. Right, can I get you to do me a favor Miranda?
And just slide this beanbag just over there for me please. Since we are finished with that. Okay, now the fun part of positioning. Are you comfortable sitting there on your knees?
I'll put my hand there, if you just want to put your back to the wall and slide your legs out, there we go. And so one hand at the back. Okay, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to turn Ella's head this way. I know it's against the light but I'm actually going to turn the prop back around to the light. So I'm just gently lifting the side of her head there this way, and then this allows me to bring, okay, just put your fingers here, gently, that's it. Okay, now I know we need to lift them up a little bit underneath here. And also push them down into the basket just a bit at the back so they're a little bit more upright. I'm not actually pushing them. I've got my fingers in behind their bottom and I'm just pushing down at all that stuffing just at the back where their bottoms are. So the stuffing is going down and they're going down with it. Okay. I'll bring their little hands out. I'm actually going to get you to swap sides just for a minute just so I can adjust on this side. And just, yep, your hand in there, nice and gently. So what I want to do is bring little Ella's face out and her chin forward just a little bit more so we can see it a bit clearer. So my finger's gonna go in behind because it's this arm in here that's quite far back. So we want to bring it forward as much as we can. Bring those fingers over the top. Okay, that looks pretty good to me. So I'm going to ask Tammy to slide her hand in the same as it is here, just in there, in between the two of their heads.
And support their heads. I've got Isabella's head.
Yeah, so take your hand off, and now slide your hand in between, that's it, and just let her head just rest gently against your hand, you can just take the weight of it. So now what I'm going to do when she stops wriggling is bring this little hand here, 'cause her other arm is down here, so I'm gonna bring this little hand here up on top here. I'm just gonna lift her up gently, slide my hand, my fingers in underneath her arm. And she, you see that natural pullback? So we'll just wait for her to relax. Try again. So now I'm just putting this finger in behind that wrist because her muscles are tightened because I've moved her, so I don't want her to continually pull that hand back down, so I'm just waiting for her to relax now. Pull this, turn her head around just a little bit. Okay, now if you just slide your hand out, Tammy, that's it, perfect. Now what I want you to do is bring your hand in like a flat palm, just on the side here. You don't need to push but just support gently. I'm just gonna adjust one of the little towels under here to give her a little bit more height. So I'm going to support her underneath the blanket with my hand while I just move some of these towels. Okay. Here we go. So I'm pretty much ready to take the photo except for I just want to adjust this little wrist here that's popped up. And just by lifting her gently and pushing her down there, and... You've got the other little one's head. Okay. Now your job is going to be using that support finger like we've been doing with all of our babies. To use that finger to let her head rest against your hand. So I want you to get comfortable and come forward towards me just a little bit more, and I want you to use this arm because it's closest to the babies and that's right, hand up. Now no pushing, just relax. No pushing and just let her head there rest against your finger. So we just straighten these little fingers. Oops. Okay. We've done a little bit of turning here. So we don't want to put too much weight on little Isabella. There we go. A cloth nappy would be perfect in here at the moment. Underneath little Isabella's, I mean a disposable nappy. So I'm gonna get a safe shot and then I'm gonna come back and, where is that, wrap?
Is that it?
Oh, it's behind me. So I'm just going to drape that gently over them. And that gets rid of those nappies. Oops. So I'm just pushing down on my support just to even them up a little bit. There we go. We can bring her a little bit closer. Okay. All right, now what I want you to do is just use your finger there. You can use this hand if you like. Put this hand in here, turn your palm facing upwards, and don't push but just let it rest. I'll get a quick snap. We're a bit messed up with our blankets and things, so I'm just gonna, yep, good idea. And we can do a little bit of tidying up later but I want to take this shot because I can see the circulation there. (camera beeping) (camera clicking) All right. Okay, can you do me a favor while I'm supporting them and just grab me a very, very small knit wrap from under there please. Actually, did you have a disposable nappy? Perfect. (Tammy speaking indistinctly) Yes, perfect. Okay, come back in. So we got our safe shot so I'm just going to do another one. So just use your hand, your flat hand now just while I position them. So the finger is just for the shot. And all I'm going to do is just give a little bit more height just in here. So I'm just going to slide it in. I'm going to put my fingers under her arm, and I'm gonna lift her just ever so gently and slide that in. So now that is nice and firm and it's raised her up just a little bit. So I'm just taking the pressure off this hand for a minute. She's tensing up just a little bit. I'm waiting for her to relax before I go putting her down. She wants to pull that in, that's all right. Okay, now with this hand, just bring it to this side so she doesn't fall to the other one. Just gently. So I am taking a little bit of extra time here because these shots are really special for them to have, and I want it to be perfect. There we go. Okay. So, lift this hand here away, right. And finger up. And now the heads aren't moving too much, but we don't know they're not going to move. So just rest your finger just ever so gently, no pushing because it will then push her sister's head. Okay. Now your hand that's in behind the basket, just, yeah, either put it in your lap and then it's not in the shot as well. Okay. (camera beeping and clicking) Those faces. Righty-o. That's pretty much what I would do there without having to sort of do too much more. We fiddled a fair bit but I was really patient, I took my time, I made sure it was perfect and that they were comfortable and safe the entire time. All right, so I'm just going to turn her head that way, make sure she's comfortable. If you can put your hand there. While we get our wraps. Is Trudy in here to come and get some babies, help with babies? Do we have any questions? Lots of questions?
First of all, once again, the looks on the parents' faces is just, again tells us why we're here and why we're doing what we're doing. And thank you again. What I think is actually would be really cool to actually watch you unwrap the babies and get them back to their parents safely because that's equally important.
The value of that after you get the shot and getting them back out, but in the meantime, we also, we do have a question in our studio audience.
So as you're posing babies in these baskets and things, what are the signs that maybe they're not getting like their proper circulation as you're photographing? How can you notice that and what do you do about it?
So I had to come in and readjust her little hand because the weight of her head, and because their bodies, their blood doesn't sort of circulate like ours does, their little hands will go either red or purple, or their feet in certain positions, so it's important to either take the pressure off that point when you can see it happening, give it a little bit of a rub, and then yeah, put them back into that position. So keep an eye definitely on hands and things that are going a different color (laughs) 'cause it's not good. Okay. So yeah, another question?
We do, we have a question here from Luciana Justice in the chat rooms, and she wonders if you generally approach the posing flow system the same way with twins, or do you approach it differently than with single babies?
With being slow?
Just the flow of your posing?
Oh, the flow. Yeah, you actually do have to go with the flow of the baby in a twin session, because, oh, god, she's so tiny. Hang on, just wait for, watch that leg. There you go. Yeah, so when they're both asleep, I photograph them together as much as I can. And then if one wakes I'll continue to pose the other baby that's still asleep, and I will go through a flowing system because I don't, I want to keep that baby asleep as long as possible, so being able to flow through the motions of poses is going to not unsettle them as much as you know, sort of taking them from the bag, taking them to a prop, all of those sort of things. But yes, when they're asleep together, I grab that opportunity and I photograph them together.
And so, once again, I know we talked about this earlier in the workshop, but a question from Rachel in Dorset, UK, "Do you also shoot preemies up to two weeks?" Or would you shoot say for up to three weeks or longer because of the size of when they're born, and maybe again you can talk about preemies.
Yeah, preemie babies like these little guys, they're not too premature, but they are premature to a point, but they are smaller. Even though she has gone sort of longer in her pregnancy than a lot of twin mums, they're still teeny tiny babies because there's two of them in there. It's just the way our bodies work. You just have to be very careful with them. Premature babies tend to stay in the hospital a fair bit, so you can't really say, "Oh, I need to photograph them "in the first four weeks" because they might require six weeks of care, like mine did. And the photo that I showed in the beginning of my husband and the twins, they were seven and a half weeks old by the time I took that photo. So you can still get beautiful images, they just might not be as easily to sculpt and mold into those tight, curly shots. So yeah, but you can always move around that with beautifully wrapped shots like the two of them together on the beanbag, but I would photograph them as close to their birth as possible, not their due date. So whenever they get out of hospital, I usually just say to my clients, if they have had a premature baby, "Let me know as soon as you get out of hospital, "and we can arrange a suitable time and day then."
Great. We have another question from T. Mayfield Photography who's wondering, "When you work with newborns, "it's obvious that patience is key. "Do you generally find that the parents mind "if they're sitting there for several hours? "Do you discuss with them in advance how many props, "how many changes so they understand the timing in advance?" How do you talk to them so they're prepared for the time?
The minute that they walk into the studio, we've been talking about how, when I bring my clients into the studio, I have my change table, I ask them to undress their baby or babies, and it's usually when they're feeding their baby when they first get there, that I sit and talk to them about how the flow of the session's going to go. If they have a toddler I say we're going to start with the toddler shots, and then the family shots, if they're okay with that, otherwise we'll just move straight into the posing of the bag where I'm gonna use two blankets, probably going to do around sort of four to five different poses on the beanbag, and then we're gonna move on to three or four props. So I say, "You can chose your props now, "or you can choose them while I'm working on the beanbag. "And then let me know which ones you'd like to use." So I always tell them what's going to happen in the session because they don't know. And they are nervous. Like they trust me, they've hired me, but they've come to the session and they don't know how it's going to go. So yeah, I give them as much information about that as possible. I get them involved in the selection, you know, "Are there any colors there in the blankets "that you'd like to use?" And yeah, "You can choose three to four props." And then I might bring my album out and show them the images that have got props in them because they can see what they look like and that'll help them choose as well. And if they say, "Just go for it," I'll just go with the flow and choose a few things that I like and will suit, if it's twins, obviously choose props that would suit twins, like that are big enough for two babies. If it's a single baby I'll just pick a few things that I think look nice.
So again on the, let's see, a question from Rachel, and parents taking photos with their cellphones or other things while they're in the studio with you. The question is, "I've had some parents taking photos "of their kids and I don't mind that "but I wouldn't want them to take photos of my setups." How would you handle that?
Do you know it's funny because I actually have photographers that come to me with their babies or there are women that are getting into photography and they don't tell me until halfway through the session. So they come with their babies. I don't mind. I teach other photographers in my studio, but for you personally, if that was me in that situation, I don't know, it's up to you. It's a personal choice, if you don't want people to do that just ask them politely if they could just not take pictures of anything else and just focus on their baby if you're okay with the shot of their baby on their iPhone. If they want to quickly send it to grandma or something like that, but yeah, those photos that they do take don't look as good as the photos that we give them in their gallery.
Okay, we have one more. Laurel from Gainesville, Florida, again related to having the parents there in your studio: "If you're keeping your entire studio at 80 degrees, "how do the parents generally handle "the warmth of the studio?" Or do you kind of try to contain it just to the area where you're shooting?
That definitely comes back to always making sure your clients are comfortable. So I've sort of talked about that throughout the whole couple of days, and I always check to them and make sure they're comfortable. "You're not too hot or anything like that?" But we're all sitting in here, and it's 80 degrees in here and we're all pretty comfortable. If I'd noticed that someone, or a client started to get uncomfortable, they can just step outside, cool down, I offer them a drink of water. I say, you know, "Strip off a couple of layers if you can." All that kind of stuff. So anything to make them comfortable, and I tell them why I have it at that temperature because it's most important for the baby, their baby, and that matters.
So I have a question from Fashion TV who is one of our regulars in Singapore, and the question is: "In your definition, Kelly, "what should be the connection between two siblings "or two twins in a pose?" What should we create or look out for in such an image?
Posing them together like I just did then so they're beautifully soft and it's not, I don't know, that's a hard one because they're sleeping babies and they're not really aware that their brother or sister is laying next to them, so getting them as close together as possible to get that togetherness I think is important. I try to get their hands together to get their hands to connect, but they kept pulling them away, so I'm not going to force that, I'm just going to get a beautiful shot of them where they like to naturally have their hands. But yeah, if you can, I had a twin shot up on the wall here and I had them posed completely symmetrically and that happens very rarely, so to be able to achieve that was pretty cool.
I had a question regarding closeup shots. So I know that it's kind of a newborn posing class, we're not seeing a lot of the closeup shots and I'm just wondering how many of those do you usually show to your clients, and do they usually sell?
Well it depends. So I always take a closeup shot. So it just depends on how many more images I need to fill that gallery with. And if I do take a closeup shot, I might, in the full shot if it hasn't had a hat or a headband on, then I would take that off for the closeup shot to get a point of difference so that it's in the same prop, same setup, but take something away or add something to give them a completely different image if you need more images for your gallery. If you've got a baby that's say a little bit unsettled and you're thinking, "I'm not gonna get 20 shots." So you could do it that way, just mix it up just a little bit and change your angle. But yes, no, I love the closeup shots, and so do the parents. The majority of the time, that's what they're buying.
I actually meant macro shot.
Oh, the macro shot, sorry.
Like, yeah. No, that's okay.
I did a macro shot on the first day, I came in really close and focused on that eye line. That's entirely up to you. If that's the style of photography that you want to do and come in and capture all those macro details like the little bit of fluffy hair on the back of their ear or on their shoulder, or on their hands, on their feet, by all means go and do that in your studio, because parents love all of that stuff. That's the little details that they forget, and if you're going to offer an album, they're great shots to be able to include in that album to remember all those tiny details.
For the older babies, like the closer to two weeks that are more familiar with a feeding schedule, do you let the parents know that when they come for their pictures, that schedule might be out the window?
I always ask them if they're comfortable. I always just say if they're feeding their baby now when I take them I say, "If they stir a little bit "and they're still hungry, you happy to continue feeding, "or are you on a time limit?" A lot of people will just demand feed if they're breastfeeding. A lot of people who are formula feeding will feed at three or four hourly depending on their baby and their needs, so it is always a good idea to ask, and I do ask, breast or formula. Straight up. I need to know how their babies are fed, and if they are demand feeding or if not. So I ask them if they're comfortable feeding their baby when they need to. And they are more than happy.
We have a couple of questions about again that we saw you doing a lot of shushing of the babies, and keeping them calm, and you yourself were doing that. Zoe Stuart Photo says, "If you have a baby "that will only settle when hugged by the mom, "or cries for the entire time, what would you do?" And Sharina said, "I found that some babies "actually stay aroused when they hear the mother's voice, "do you then ask the mother to whisper?" So in what way are you--
I've never really asked the mother to whisper, but I, if a baby is really like, what's the word I'm looking for? If a baby reacts to the mother's voice or the smell or the sound of her, anything, then that baby may be hungry, so I'm going to be aware of that. But yeah, there's probably something going on. But if the baby is well fed and you've got that perfect environment to keep that baby nice and sleepy and settled, I don't mind the mother being right up close to me helping me throughout the session. I've done that quite a few times.
We have another question here from Way who wants to know, "Do you usually experiment with new poses "or do you stick to sort of the core poses "that you have in your repertoire?"
I experiment with new poses in my time and with babies that I've got in for that. When my clients come to me and they're paying me for my service, I give them what they want because they're the ones that are paying for the session. I won't, yeah, but if a client comes to me and says, "Oh my god, do whatever you want." I'll be like, "hey, well there's something "I would really love to try." But I've thought that process out before I try it. If there's something that I think that I could do that was really, really beautiful with a baby, I actually have a fake baby that I can practice on, you know, and see how I would like to get them into that position, see how I would put their arms or legs or anything like that, so. But I'm not about risk or anything, so I tend to sort of go with poses that look more comfortable and where the baby looks peaceful.
And a question from Adelcus, "How many people do you let stay in the session?" And this was from Panama. And I know I had an experience where I actually went to the client's home, and grandma and aunt and cousin and neighbor were all there, and it was a little bit hectic. How do you allow that not to happen, or what do you do?
I think that's actually the beauty of having my studio at my home. When they come, it's just them. And I've even had parents come and the phone will ring and they haven't told anyone they're coming for their session because they want it to be a surprise, but I have had grandparents come, and just off my studio I have like a lounge room, and I will just guide them into there and say that if they would like to have some grandparent shots, and my room's not very big and I only have two chairs in it so they only have to visually see that to know they're not gonna fit in there. (laughs) So if more people do turn up for the session, I'll just take them into the lounge room, and they can swap out, and come in if they need to, if the dad wants to have a break, the grandma can come in and have a little bit of a watch, but I actually haven't had that happen too often. But I did do a family shoot once for a six-month-old baby and there were 11 of them. So we shot them all separately in the studio and then went to a park that was outside. But yeah, it can happen. (laughs) It can be very distracting as well.
So I just say that you know, maybe just "The commotion "and the energy of the room might be a little bit "unsettling to the baby," if the baby's not settling, and "is it possible we could do this "in a quieter, calmer place?" if I get there.