Newborn Shoot: Props and Safety - Basket
So I'm going to finish lining my basket ready for this little baby. And we want to make sure that the sides of this are nice and secure and they're strong enough to support the baby when he comes up to rest on the side.
So even when (inaudible mumbling) I've read some photographers will literally weigh them down.
Do you know, I don't think you need to. So, if you feel like you have to weigh a prop down with something, go for it. Because the more safety measures you take, the better it is for the baby. I haven't had to weigh anything down so far. I want to have a little bit of a lip here on the top because it's going to come over the top and it's going to go over that hard metal bar at the very, very top. So, do you want to swap out with Denise for a minute?
Sure, no problem.
So that everybody gets a turn at coming in to help. I'm not too concerned at the moment what the back of the prop is doing because we're shooting it from the front. And he's going to be nice and upright. An...
d we have another one of these stretchy wraps from Drops and Props which I think we just gave away. And I'm going to drape it over the towel. And those textures are great and have it in the shop up here. So you can see at the back, I should bring this forward. So you can see at the back that I've got the part of the basket still exposed and this is where I'll continue to use my cloth nappies, so if the baby, at any point, goes backwards, it's not going to hurt itself on the-- and my hands are in there to prevent it. Now, gauging by the size of him, he's going to fill this basket beautifully. So I'm going to put another cloth nappy down inside the bottom of the-- What do you call these, an Ig basket, I think? I'm going to put it down into the bottom so that he's not going to be sinking down and he's at the right height to put his arms up here. So I think that looks pretty good. Okay. Don't necessarily have to have a hat in this one. I'll have a couple of extra cloth nappies handy if we need them. So come in nice and close, Denise. If Denise was one of my parents, I would tell her again, to put her back towards the wall, up against it, but her feet out towards me, and that way, she's not in my shot, she's not behind the basket, or in front of the basket, but her hand, if she brings it over, is nice and close to the baby. And I'm going to shoot from here, back over this way, so that she's not going to be in my shot at all. And if I need her hand on the baby's head, I can clone that out later in Photoshop, another really great trick to just make sure the safety of the baby is always being taken care of. Hi, what's his name?
Hello Liam. There you go, sweet pea. An how old is Liam?
He's almost two weeks. So this is little Liam and he's 13 days old. Shh, shh, shh, shh. I'm going to leave his nappy on. Cause you won't see it. I'm not going to wake him up by taking it off. Shhhhh. Okay, so just place your hand at the back of the basket to keep it in place. So I'm going to put him in there, into position. And then I'm going to use my cloth nappies to place in around him to keep him nice and secure in there so he doesn't fly back and he's nice and tight. And I want to bring his arms up first, if he lets me. Let's sit down. Ah, that's better. He's little. So what I'm going to do is, if you can push that cloth nappy back there, just down and underneath his bottom. That's it. I'm going to put another one there. Okay. So he's bringing his hands in himself, so I'm just making sure my hands are around his arms, and around his head so he feels nice and guided there. We don't want him to push himself forward with his legs because they are pretty strong, these babies. They don't have a lot of control over their muscles, but they do have muscles. Okay, I'm just going to turn the basket towards me so I can see him. If you could keep your hand on his back there, that would be great. Shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shhh. So I'm just going to gently rock him and adjust his hands here because we want his hands to support his head. So we need to get his arms and his little hands into position. Shhhh. When you're putting them inside a prop like this, and they need to be supported at all times, it's really important that their legs are comfortable, because they can become really unsettled in something like this, if they're uncomfortable. So making sure their feet are crossed nicely underneath, and then not in an awkward position, means they'll stay in here longer, more settled. So I'm just gonna bring this hand here. He's relaxing now. No, don't take that off. We won't worry about that. I'd rather keep your hand at the back of the basket. So I'm just going to lift his chin up, place his hand underneath it, and we're going to scoop his little fingers out. See his forehead is just resting against the palm of my hand there. I actually don't have hold of his head, except for my little fingers that are keeping it in place. He's got a tight grip. Shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh. Oh, he didn't want to let go of my finger. (laughing) There we go. Okay. So he's in pretty good position there. I'm just going to push his bottom down just a bit lower just by pushing the cloth nappy down. And I want-- You can see there, his little fingers are bent. If we can't fix those, it doesn't matter. But obviously, this is where I take my safe shot, to make sure I get something, in case when I move him, he's startles and wakes up. So what I'm going to get you to do now, Denise, is just put your hand on his back underneath that cloth. There we go. And I'm going to slide the basket back very, very carefully, supporting his head the whole time. I've got my fingers at the back of his neck and my thumbs are just on his forehead. So I'm just going to slide this back just-- Shh, shh, shh. Just gently. To where I can take my shot. And Denise's hand is still nice and-- (laughing) secure on his back. Shh, okay, you can. So because his head's going to move when I move my fingers, what I'm going to do, is get Denise to hold her finger like this, and turn her palm facing upwards, and you can see, I can get him to rest his head on her finger. So her finger is not pushing his head. His head is resting on her finger. And this entire part is not in my shot. It's not touching the basket. It's going to be easy to clone out of the background. So I'm just going to push this white cloth nappy down at the back. You won't be able to see it in the shot. Okay, just let his head rest against your finger. Now it's not at the front. It's at the back. So there's a line in the image, there's going to be a line in the image to make it easy to clone Denise's hand out. And if he moves, she still has a hand on him so that she can quickly support him. I need a camera. (laughing) It's behind me. So I need to get down nice and low for this particular shot. (camera clicking) He's so tiny. So if I had more time, I'm going to come in and get a beautiful close up of him on this green. If I had more time, I would smooth out the towel in the basket. But I just wanted to show you how to position them in here. And you can see his little hand is starting to go red under there from the weight of his head, so we're just going to adjust that. There we go and look, he opened his fingers. So that would be another beautiful shot right there and I would get Denise to lift her hand up again, like this. Have his head resting against her finger. And that way, it's not going to fall to the side. And we could take that shot. I'm not going to push him anymore because he doesn't want his fingers opened up, but I think we got a pretty awesome shot out of that one. So I'm happy to move on to the next particular prop. I wouldn't leave a baby in here like I would say, the nest on their back, because it's not great to leave them in a position like this for too long. So I would just bring him out and maybe sit him on the dad's lap while I get the next prop ready if it wasn't ready. But in our case, it's not ready. (laughing) So I'm just going to sit him on Denise's lap while we bring the next prop down. I've got the cloth back around his back there. And I'm going to lift him out gently from under here, so he's supported. Turn his head. And I would carefully pull him out so he stays nice and settled throughout the transition from prop to prop. Okay. And there we go. So now, we can move on and he's not waking up because we're not yanking him out of that prop at all. Okay. So we did the nest, and now we have another simple basket. It's so easy to get these beautiful set ups that are so simple. And this is just a round basket. I'm going to put a couple of cloth nappies on the bottom of that to make it nice and soft but firm. And then what this is, is a pillow case that I got from a um, I don't even know what sort of shop it would be. It's like a home ware store. And it's the most beautiful thing I've seen. The color of it's gorgeous. So I'm going to line the bottom of the basket with a couple of these. And use one of these wraps, to put around him to hold his arms and legs in place. So the bean bag, you can transition and flow quite quickly through that. With the props, they take more time to set up, but the actual images themselves don't take long to take. So just putting those in the bottom again, so it's nice and supported. So we'll do this set up and then we might have another baby come in and we'll work with another baby. Because we've got three. So you can see that's nice and firm and soft, and it's in that shape. And then this will just go on top. And we'll tuck it in. And he's going to go in there. And we'll put a wrap... Around him. And we can lift the sides of this fur at any point if we need to support him from underneath it, with another cloth nappy. Okay. So I'll take his nappy off while he's in there. I've got him. Oh he's so adorable. And this is the perfect sized round basket. Someone that works at Creative Life brought it in, so I'm so lucky. Just keep your hand just on his arm there, just to keep him secure while I take this off. I think it's the sound of that sticky stuff on the nappy that they don't like. It gets them every time. Okay, so I'm going to turn him gently onto his side. We want his face upwards, but by turning him onto the side, it's easier to position their legs. Just cross these little feet over. By putting a wrap in on top of the fur, it stops the fur from getting all over the baby's face as well, and agitating him. So furs are great textures, but they can be quite annoying to the baby. (laughing) So I'm just pulling this down in here and I'm going to tuck it underneath his leg. Okay, so now his leg's are being supported there. I'm actually going to use his nappy because when they're folded, they're so small and they're so firm that you can just slide them in underneath the fabric to support their chin and their head up. So that's a great little prop, because sometimes these cloth nappies can be too big. So, I want his little face to come up so we can see it. So I'm just going to slide this in, very gently, underneath his head just to give him a little bit more height there, and support. You can see, by doing that, now we can actually see his face. So just keep your hand, just at the top. There you go. There we go. And I'm just going to bring this wrap here down. Okay, and we're going to use his little hand to support his head here, so it's not covering his face. So I'm just going to slide his hand, back towards his ear, so you can still see it, but it's also stopping him from burying his face down again. See if we can open these fingers up, and rest them on his chest. Okay. Now I'm going to shoot down again. So, when rotating a basket and something like that, so if you can just bring your hand this way onto his legs and his hand, keep them in place, I will rotate the basket on the floor to where the best light that falls across their face is, to highlight all of their little features. Okay. So I'm just going to get a test shot while Denise's hand is still on him. And I'm going to come up and zoom out, recompose, I'm going to focus on that eye that's closest to the camera. And if you could just lift your hand for me, Denise. Keep your eye on him for me. (camera clicking)
When you're exposing these, are you going to the face?
I come in nice and close and I fill the frame of my camera with his skin, and then I will expose, like I will meter expose with him, and then I'll come out, and I'm not changing my settings, but zoom out, compose my image, and then take the shot.
And if I need to, if I was blocking my light, I can just bring it down a third of a stop, or bring it up a third of a stop if I need to. But I would come from here, and nice and close, to get a different angle of his little face, where his hand is lying because the textures in this are just beautiful. And there's a nice little close up of his face. And that's what I would do with him. So we're ready for our next baby, I think.
Would you have a reflector?
I would use a reflector, and do you know what else works really well as a reflector? These white nappies. So if I don't need a spotter or a hand on the baby, I would just get mom and dad to hold this up nice and close and the light hitting that is going to bounce back. So if you drop that, you can see, now lift it back up again, you can see the light just very, very subtly filling those shadows around the nose and the eye. The dynamic range in our cameras from black to white is not as great as what our eye can see. So when I'm exposing for say, the highlights, my darks are going to be a lot darker than what I can actually visually see. So by filling those shadows, we're going to lift it up and have some more information in there that we can use. Okay. Come in, I'll pass him to you.
He's a good little guy.
He was so good. It's such a shame to move them when they're so sleepy. Now, do we have a blanket for him? Can you go and grab that?
So while we switch babies, I just wanted to ask the parents how I was watching your reactions to seeing Kelly shoot your newborn. And I just wanted to know what that experience was like for you and was it what you expected? Did you have fears about this? Did she overcome them? Just tell us about that, because you looked so amazingly happy.
Well, it's an interesting experience and the emotions are still pretty heavy, cause he's only two weeks old. And it's just, it's pride. Right off the bat is how cute he is. And that he follows directions so nicely. (laughing) So yes. But it's wonderful to watch someone be so caring with him and to have him respond so kindly. And we love this opportunity. Thank you.
All of the models--
It's an honor. Coming along, have given up their time to come here and help us all out. So I think that is so awesome and amazing. Thank you.
We appreciate it beyond words.
Thank you so much. He's beautiful.
Thank you. I just loved seeing their reaction to the cuteness.
That's why it's so addictive. This is why newborn photography is so amazing because it has such an emotional impact, not just on them, but on me, being able to be a part of that connection with their baby. They're still getting to know their baby and to be a part of it, it's brilliant. It's absolutely the most rewarding job in the world.
Yay, so I'm going to change up some props. Do we have a quick question while I'm?
Absolutely. We have quite a few questions. A couple different people were asking about cold hands. Miss Yoma asked, I have very cold hands and I was wondering if in this case, it was better to use gloves, and if so, what kind of gloves would you advise? Another woman asked, Jazzy Lea, asked the same thing. She hears that newborn photographers often wear gloves if their hands are cold. What would you recommend?
Over these three days, I'm going to show you everything that I do. Everyone is going to do things slightly different and have a different way of doing them. But I'm going to show you exactly what works for me. I personally wouldn't wear gloves because I feel like I need to have hold of that baby when I'm working with them and I need to be able to feel in my fingertips, you know, the baby moving and things like that. But that's why we have little space heaters next to the thing. So I occasionally, especially if I'm pushing myself up off the ground, if I'm touching the tiles in my studio at home, I will quickly just hold my hand in front of the heater and warm them up before I touch the baby, or go like that. So yes, definitely, cold hands will wake a baby up, but I don't know if I would ever trust myself to wear gloves and not be able to feel that skin to skin touch. And that's why I wash my hands continually, and I use the anti-bacterial pump and things like that, which is great.