Newborn Shoot: Props and Safety - Stool, Basket, Crate
I'm dying to use this stool that someone bought in. Props like this and babies on top of things it's not probably something I do a lot of, but there are photographers out there that do it and do it really really well. So I'm gonna show you how to do it safely with a spotter. This particular stool is great because it's curved. It's not a flat object to position the baby on. Because it's curved, we're gonna make the baby look curly too. So he's gonna look squishier and more comfortable but I'm gonna use another cloth nappy to put underneath and then I'm gonna put a blanket over it and drape it down so it's nice and soft because it's a hard surface and we want the baby to be comfortable because if they're not comfortable they won't stay settled. So I've just folded each end in to add just a little bit more support where the head and the feet, like the ankles and feet are going to be. Then I'm gonna put another one over the top. Might leave it like that actually because he's pretty little.
How big was he? Six two. So he's not a very big baby. I think the average size of a baby is about 7, 7.5 pound today. So I'm just gonna grab, I might even use a nice blanket for this. We can use a... Use this one. A color. So I'll fold half of it over and just have the other-- So I want it to drape just down the side there, just so it looks good. I want to fold it so it's nice and soft up here. Cover that. I think this is gonna look cute. What we're gonna do is the bum up pose that I did on the bean bag, where he was laying on his tummy with his hand under his head and he's feet were crossed, I'm gonna do that pose up here and we're gonna have a hand on our baby the whole time we position him. So this is something that I would have probably a risk, a fairly high risk factor with because he's up off the ground, he's got nothing around supporting him, so it's so important to have a spotter next to your baby while you're doing something like this. The reason I'm doing it here and I don't do it at home, is because there are people out there that are going to do it so I want to show you how I would do it safely if I was to do it. So that is so nice and soft there right now and he's lovely and sleepy. If he wasn't sleepy I wouldn't attempt this. Does he have a nappy on. (mumbles) So I'm just gonna take his nappy off just while he's nice and comfy with his mum here. Okay. So what I'm gonna do is, he's literally on his stomach, so I want to transition him from here over to there without having to move him too much cause he's nice and sleepy. We don't want him to wake up. If you just lean back I'm just gonna slide my hand in here on him. And now just push him back against my hand for me. There we go. So that's gonna make him, see that? That's gonna make him really easy to put down now. How old is he?
Two weeks tomorrow.
So he is 13 days old as well. These babies born on the same day you were probably all in the same hospital together. Okay so I'm just gonna go down on my knees. He's nice and secure in my hands and it's gonna be so easy just to put him down on here like I picked him up without having to move him too much. So I'm gonna aim to get him in the center of the prop so that it looks good. Now if you could just put your hand on top of his head for me. That's it because he's pushing it back. Just while I bring my hand out. How cute is he? What is his name sorry? Shea, that's pretty. So the same with when I did this position on the bean bag, I had his face is like this-- Are you gonna hold him? And the arm at the back is a support arm so I've got that in that position again. I'm just gonna peel his-- Just keep your hand there, yeah great. I'm just gonna peel this poff off and we're gonna adjust his feet. Now this is gonna be over so quick cause he's just absolutely perfect and I'm gonna tuck his legs up. I've got my fingers underneath his shins again. I'm gonna bring one foot over the top of the other and tuck his legs up in together. Now when you're doing this with boys, it's always important to make sure all their little pieces are down and underneath and they're not caught in between their legs because that could be really uncomfortable. So I'm just gonna gradually bring him around like that. Okay so what I'm gonna do now is because I've done his back end, I'm gonna bring Denise's hand there. Now I'm just going to bring this hand out. You can see I've got my fingers on his elbows here, just to keep it in place. What I'm gonna do is now that I've got his hand right I'm gonna lift his head up and slide his fingers underneath his cheeks. There we go. So you have him? So I would ask the parent, I'm gonna ask Denise, are you nice and comfortable there, you feel all right sitting like that? And if not, that's fine, that's what you need to tell me. I will then take this and if you could just wriggle closer just a little bit. It's all about making sure they're comfortable and the baby's comfortable. I'm just gonna bring his face and his elbow down trying to connect that knee and that elbow again. So I'm just gradually dragging him towards that knee. And he looks absolutely adorable. So he's not moving. He's not fidgeting, he's asleep. We can have Denise's hand here on his back. I'm gonna move back to take the shot and when I'm ready to take the shot what I'm gonna do is get Denise to just lift her hand here. Just life her hand up gently to there. It's like two inches away from the baby's back. That way if he's moved, she can come straight back down. Even though it's still in my shot, it's easy to clone out and I would rather do that than come away and if he was to move and fall. So just move back far enough. I'm gonna get an exposure shot first and then I'll let you know when to lift your hand. (clicks) Okay that looks pretty good. You can see in my shot when it comes up if it comes up. Did it come up on the screen? Yep. Denise's body is in my shot. That's all right we can clone, we can do whatever we want. I'm not about to sacrifice an image for the safety of a baby. I'd rather keep her there and make sure she's comfortable. Especially if she was my mum. Okay now when you're ready just lift your hand gently. (clicks) And bring it back down. And that is it. So it's so simple. He's safe the entire time. He's not going anywhere. He has a hand on him. It's off him for two seconds and back down. Okay we might do another set up. Very very quickly. I'm gonna use a larger basket and have him in it like on his back again because I think these set ups are so simple and so easy. I'm gonna use this but I'm gonna have him down inside it just a little bit more. Are there any questions? Yes?
Always questions. So everybody has been wanting us to ask you this for a while and there's a nice white blanket. But what we haven't had any accidents yet.
No we haven't have we?
Which people are knock on wood I think.
How amazing is that?
When that does happen, I may have just jinxed it. But the particular question was from Linda Docket. I haven't seen any of the babies have potty issues. The babies I often, I do have them, shortly after the diaper comes off. What do you do in that situation? Also from Sophia Wong. Do you have to change the props? Do you have to clean the babies? Does that effect anything?
If you can see it. Some babies are funny because they will go straight back to sleep after they've done their business and if you can't see it, I'll take the shot. Because as you can see, it takes one second to click the shutter. Then we'll clean them up. Babies sit in nappies. I wouldn't leave a baby sitting in poo for very long because it could burn their skin, but if they've done it and they haven't moved and they've gone straight back to sleep I'll click that shutter and then we'll get them out, changed the prop, clean then up. But it always depends on how severe it is. Sometimes it's just a little bit and sometimes it's a lot and you never know. Sometimes they really don't like being in it. So you gotta get them out there as quickly as possible. It depends on the situation. It's a really hard topic to discuss lightly.
That's why the ultimate question that's been coming into the chat rooms, on Facebook. Everybody wants to know.
But we haven't had a single accident and yesterday, I know I touch wood, yesterday for three babies, not one single accident. So we're on a roll. We are definitely on a roll. So I am going to use another wrap and I'm gonna use a little bonnet in this one as well just to style it a bit differently. Do we have any more questions?
Sure do, do we have any in our studio audience? All right we will go, Luciana Justice as well as some other folks are asking about your lovely word nappy.
Which is diaper here in the US. Is that actually what you're using the folded cloth diaper?
Versus a hand towel or something.
And you could use hand towels. Hand towels are anything like that. So I'm just now putting some more of these cloth nappies down inside here just so he's nice and supported when I put him in there. But these are great because the size of them, they're just a square white towel, it's like a towel, and it's not too thick so that when you fold it, it's firm but it's still nice and soft, which is good.
Okay, so we have another question from Sam Stewart who wants to know does Kelly show parents her shots as she shoots them or does she encourage them to wait until after processing them?
Good question. If I have a cracker shot, I will show them on the back of my screen. But they can see it. They can see what I'm doing and I think that whole reveal of showing them the finished images, cause they look so different, is amazing, but at the end of every session, and we'll talk about this with marketing a little bit more, but at the end of every session I post an image on Facebook from that day. If they approve it. If they're not on Facebook, I'll email them a little watermarked image but yeah, I like to give them a sneak peak to get them excited for the rest of their gallery.
So several people continue to ask about the baskets and the sizes. Do you actually go and measure the size--
No I don't measure them. I think you can just look at it and see that that's big enough to put baby in and some fabric and things like that. There's some smaller baskets on here that are on here for show. I wouldn't use them to put a baby in. But if you're trying to squeeze a baby into a basket it probably shouldn't be used. So I'm gonna warm my hands up cause I've touched the floor and I've been touching the baskets and things. But I'm gonna put this wrap around him in my lap. This is the last shot we'll do with this little guy. If I was continuing to move on to other props, I probably wouldn't wrap him so much because I don't want to disturb him and I want to be able to move him easily into the next prop. But because this is gonna be the last shot we do with him, I want to wrap him up nicely. So to get him off here. I might actually come on this side. I've got the wrap in my lap. I'm gonna turn him onto his back and I'm gonna put it around him. So thanks Denise. I'm just sliding my hand in underneath his head there. Oh he's so sleepy. So I can see how I've just picked him up. I've scooped my hands in underneath his shins. Now I'm just gonna gradually turn him onto his back in my lap. I've lifted my knees because I don't want him to be going head down. So to feel secure, so I've lifted my knees, so he's still elevated and he's nice and supported. I'm just gonna position his hands here before I actually start wrapping him. Oh now he's weeing.
In your lap, nice. Nice and warm.
I'm sorry. (laughs)
It is your fault Kenna.
We knew it would happen.
And look at that he's sound asleep and it's on me.
Beauty of life.
So that did not bother him one bit. I'm gonna keep moving. So that's what I would do in that situation. I would just keep moving with him because he's asleep and we want to get the most out the session. So at the end of the day, the end of the session, mum and dad can go home and they haven't been here all day. I'm just putting his fingers together there. I'm gonna use the wrap to hold his fingers in place.
How tight do you?
Tight enough to keep them in position but not too tight so that it's cutting off any circulation or anything like that. So you can see that I just kind of put that around there.
It's not too tight.
No, not at all. Okay. So it's very very loose and I'm gonna sit him in here and then I'm gonna put the beanie on his head. I'm actually gonna shoot down and have this light at him before as my backdrop for this one because I've got a lighter fabric inside here. I think it's really important to not make such a big deal out of a baby going to the toilet on you. Because the parents feel bad, they'll usually jump up with a cloth or something to try and clean up the mess, it's just their instinct. But I want them to sit still-- Not still, but I want them to sit comfortably and not have to worry about things like that. What I might do, I might use this to push down here underneath his hands to keep them nice and supported. I'm just gonna place that down in there and we can't even see it. Oh now you want to move. He's been so good hasn't he? As you can see, his little feet there. You can still see a little bit of this fabric and the texture in it, which is great. Any more questions while I'm fiddling here?
Absolutely. So after seeing the really sweet emotional reaction from the parents, we have a few questions from people also asking about the emotions that come up for you during shooting. Do you find yourself having baby fever all the time? Do you find yourself getting emotional during shooting? How does it feel for you as the photographer?
Do you know, it is such a rewarding job to be a part of that and I've said that before. It really is. I actually love the fact that my children are now older. I do and every year is so different with them and every age is so much fun. I am definitely past my newborn stage, but I can so relate to how the parents are feeling because I've been there. I understand how they feel so it's just so nice to relive those emotions that you yourself have had with your own children, which I think is great. I'm just gonna lift him up a little bit more on this side form underneath. I'm gonna put something else under there. But yeah, the when I'm doing the parent shots, it's definitely a really special thing to be a part of. And we will no doubt see some emotion and some beautiful connection tomorrow when we do that with our families. So he's just having a little squirm here. I don't need a spotter for this particular shot because he's down inside there. He could not fall if he tried. But he can fling his arms out but he's wrapped. So I would be quite comfortable for mom and dad to stay where they are. I'll come in nice and close and get a close up of his little face. (clicks) And finding the angles that you love when you're taking your images is all part of your style and the way you do things. Some people like to come in on angles and tilt their camera. I probably tend to shoot directly straight down on most subjects, but I have a thing for straight lines, but that's me personally. But I would recommend definitely doing and finding and shooting babies from as many different angles as possible so that you find those angles that you love. Because it's not until you download them and you see all those images side by side that your eye will go to the one and the angle that you love the most. That's exactly how I found that I was drawn more to the straight angles and lines. So I'm looking at the histogram on the back of my camera here and I'm making sure I'm shooting a lot of light colors here and whites. You can see it up there on the screen. So over to the right side of the histogram are my whites and over to the left hand side are the blacks. So you can see that all of my information of my shot is within that range, so I'm not losing any digital information. I'm not overexposing or underexposing. To get those perfect skin exposures, I would be pushing my exposure higher so that they're nice and perfect, they're not too dark and full of reds, because when you underexpose skin tones, you would get a lot of reds in there as well, which are hard to remove in Photoshop. So by lifting your exposure by maybe a third of a stop, of two thirds of a stop, you'll bring it up to get that really creamy skin. I'm sorry, talking, I haven't talked this much for so long it's making my throat itchy. So we are gonna do another set up with this little guy. I'm gonna use this red and orange crate. Do we have any questions while I set up?
We do, we have a related question to what you were just discussing with the skin tones and the exposures. Thomas wants to know does she do skin touch ups for red splotches and jaundice? If you do end up with a photo where the baby has red skins, splotchy skin, jaundice. Do you do skin touch ups in Photoshop?
All the time, all the time. I really like to make their skin look nice and soft as possible, but without making it look too plasticky. Okay so I'm gonna use this towel from before just to put into the bottom of this. Because he's a little baby we need to fill this as much as possible. So filling it with a towel or my cloth nappies is a really great way to go.
All right so maybe a couple questions while you're doing that and I love how our baby is still cooperating so much. So from snaps four, five, six, what if parents recommend a pose that is unsafe for the baby or is not consistent with your style? For example, using different types of props. Again, we talked about the props earlier but just, do you have a lot of that where parents are trying to suggest what to do?
Yeah, occasionally I will have a parent come to me that will request a particular set up that they've seen somewhere else. If it's unsafe I will not do it and I will explain to them why and what the risks are involved, because every time I do a session, every time I have a baby in my hands or take a shot, that's my reputation as a baby photographer. So I would not want to jeopardize my reputation for future clients to think that I was doing something that was unsafe or not realistic in my view. I hope that my clients respect that in me, as a photographer. I have quite a clear style and way I do things, which you can see on my website and my blog and things like that. So I just tell them that it's just not something that I would normally do and I don't feel comfortable doing it. If it's a composite shot, for example, that I have done in the past that I don't offer and if they request it, I will say yes, I'll attempt this particular set up but if your baby becomes unsettled at any point during I'm not gonna force it into them. Especially this one. Right, so I'm moving on. I filled my crate, I suppose you could call this, with a couple of towels and I'm gonna have his bottom back here and he's gonna be upright and up like this into this position. What I've done is just folded a couple of these cloth nappies up in tight to the front here where he's going to need that support underneath his chest and his arms. We don't want him resting on this metal edge of the crate, which is really important. Turn that off me, it's a bit hot. So I'm just gonna fold a couple more over here. Not that one. And I'm pushing it down so that I know how much give it's got in it because if I don't and I put him in here and he pushes it down, I'm gonna have to pull him back out and readjust. So I want to get it right before I actually put him in. So I've got that fairly compact there and I'm gonna put that over the top of that bar and I've got a nice support at the back there but I'm gonna put one more towel in. So he has got a ledge. His bottom's gonna be down lower than his head, but that's gonna bring him up higher so that he's not sinking down forward like that. So I have this beautiful felt blanket that I'm just gonna tuck in around the cloth nappies. This was made by Brand New Babe, she hand makes these, they're absolutely amazing. They're great textures and colors. So I'm just pushing it down so you can't see the white and I'm gonna bring it forward again with that cloth nappy so that it's over the top of that bar. Tuck it in at the sides. And how you dress props with your fabrics and your textures, you know that's purely up to you. I'm sort of grabbing stuff here off the shelves that I think is gonna look good with the colors. See how it's got a little bit of like creamy yellowy colors in here. So I've tried to match that up with the felt and I'm just gonna sort of use this as well, just to add a little bit of extra texture to drape over the top. You can still see that beautiful felt underneath. So I'm gonna have Denise come back again in a minute when I put him on top of this prop. I'm gonna use this particular pose here. So most of the poses that I do on the bag are the very same poses that I use when I'm putting then into props. So this particular one up here in the middle is the same position that I'm gonna try and go for when I put him into this particular crate. So you can come back and sit over here for me. Sit up on the white and I'll come closer to you. I'm gonna try and keep him nice and sleepy while I'm getting him out. I might see if I can just unwrap him a little. I'll do it when I get him out. Oo scratch. (baby coos) Don't you love it when they do that? So I'm just trying to unwrap him as carefully as possible without waking him cause we want him to be fairly sleepy when we put him up here. Just gently rock him. And the reason I rock them back to sleep when I've got them in a pose and I just give them a gentle little rock is it's very soothing to them. Inside the womb they've been floating and rocking and moving the entire time of their pregnancy so every time the mom laughs, gets up, walks, sits down, they're moving inside all that fluid. Obviously less before they come out because they run out of room, but they're still moving none the less, because they're moving with the mom. So I want to put him on his tummy with his hands up. So I'm gonna position them up with my fingers as I turn him over like this. Bring that hand forward. There we go. So it's just getting that wrap out from underneath him there because we don't want that in this shot. Hang on. Don't pull it just yet cause it's just tangled around the back of his foot. (laughs) There we go now I'll get you to pull it for me if that's all right. There we go. So the same way I picked him up is the same way I've put him down. And that way there's minimal adjustment when they're actually on top of the prop. So the light is behind me so I want his face to be towards the light. So he's just lifting his head here, I'm just supporting it with my fingers and I'm just gonna turn him gently this way. There we go. Shh. Now if you could put your hand, just there on his head, so that he doesn't go kicking himself forward and this is what I would do with the parents. Because he's actually got a ledge back here he can push against that with his legs and he could come flying out of here. So it's really important to have a hand on his head so that cause they're so strong with they get that push going with their legs. So just put your hand back down there on his legs for me. He's just getting himself comfortable. Shh shh shh. Just gonna use this to put over him and just give him a little bit of a pat. Shh. Okay. So now I'm gonna bring his little hands up underneath his face. You're comfortable? Yeah, no? Okay, get comfortable cause we're not taking the shot just yet. (laughs) I'm gonna bring this arm up first and we're gonna bring this arm up so it's over on top. So he's having a little bit of a squirm there. Okay so his hands are beautifully placed, but what I want to do is because he's facing-- I'm gonna take the shot from here, I'm only get the top of his head. So what I want to do is turn his chin and bring it around to here and we may need to use Denise's finger for his head to rest on again. Just so we can see all of his face in this shot. I'll just use another cloth nappy just to put on his back there to make him feel nice and secure. So I'm just gonna keep my fingers on his hands so that they don't move when I lift his head up. I'm just gonna slowly push them around underneath that chin. Did you see that? And how cute is that? I know that we're gonna definitely have to use Denise's finger because his head is gonna fall to the side. Which is okay, but I think with just a little bit of support it's gonna look a little bit better in the photos and not awkward. Not like his head is over extended at all. So I am ready to take this shot. And I'm even gonna turn this prop just gently. I wouldn't turn it if nobody had their hand on him. Okay, so we might just take this towel here off. Keep your hand there. So this finger is going to stay on his head at all times, but I'm just gonna move it back. Turn your hand facing upwards so that way no-- By turning it upwards, these fingers aren't gonna dangle down into my shot. They're up high. When I'm ready to take the shot, I'll do what I did with other hand and just get Denise to lift that hand up nice and high and then bring it back down once I've taken the shot. And that way he's supported the entire time. But what I'm gonna do, is because your leg is quite close to this one, I'm just gonna bring him this way just a little bit. And you're still okay there for a minute? Okay. Just tucking that in. I don't know if you could hear that but he's got a little snore going on. It's really cute. Okay I'm just gonna get a close up shot first. So if you could just lift your back hand up for me. (clicks) I'm just gonna expose a little bit brighter. And lift up again for me. Nice. He's having a little bit of a squirm. So now I'm gonna come back and get the whole prop in. (clicks) I'm still focusing on that eye that's closest to the camera and I'm down nice and low. Again, you could shoot this from any angle to get that right angle for you without blocking out your light. I'm shooting at my ISO is 1250, I'm at 2.8, and my shutter speed is actually an eightieth of a second. So I'm just gonna take a couple extra ones just to make sure I nail that focus on the eye line. But in Photoshop I would really darken down this background and make it really beautiful. I love this set up.
How do you set your white balance?
A lot of the times, in my studio, I just use a gray card. Here I'm just actually on auto white balance because I'm not really covered a lot of the technical stuff and going over my exposures and things like that. But I would, if you're having trouble with your colors and your white balance, I would definitely recommend using a gray card to get that right exposure. But in here, you know, I'm pretty happy with these warm tones. On auto white balance. When we're shooting indoors with natural light, we have to be careful of varying light. If the clouds go in front of the sun, things like that. If we have any color cast in our images, all those things, it's best to shoot with the back up and the safety over raw image so you can do some adjustments in Photoshop. But if you're nailing an exposure and you're in an controlled environment like this, and you've got nothing really going on, a jpeg image is pretty good. Okay blanket. So yeah, I'm-- My camera shoots pretty amazing jpeg quality images and my clients aren't putting their images on billboards so I'm happy with those unless I'm having issues with exposure and all those things. If I was shooting outside I would definitely be using those raw images if I needed to.
Can you go through your steps and just give and overview of the composite images and when you decide you do that and then you know, the steps along the way.
Oh definitely. Having a finger in there, I would clone that out so it's not a composite image. But when I'm doing something like the froggy pose, I think someone asked before about those particular images that I find risky and everything. Yeah, when we go through post processing first up tomorrow morning, I'm actually gonna show you the image that I photographed yesterday of the cocoon. It's a composite and I'm gonna show you how I'm put those images together in Photoshop. It's just overlaying and things like that.
Let's see we also had a question from Casey N., who said, I notice she's on the floor a lot with the babies, are there any types of stretches or exercises that you do before hand. Is that the way normally shoot.
Usually afterwards. (laughs) But no, I'm pretty flexible. I actually have a bad back, I had surgery a couple years ago so I have to be careful when I'm down on the floor, but I find it easier to be at the same level as the baby. If I was continually bending over I would be putting a lot of strain on my back and things like that and I'd have to be careful. But being able to sit on the floor with the baby, put my legs around the prop, I'm sturdy, I'm comfortable, and yeah, I just find that the easiest way to work with them.
Question for you about the timing and this is from Bridgett Lopez photography as well as others, what is the typical session for you and what do you tell the parents?
I usually tell the parents to allow two to four hours. So sometimes a session is over in an hour and a half, sometimes a baby will feed for quite a long time during a session, but if my sessions start at 10 o'clock, I'm generally done by 1:30 at the latest and they've gone. That's from the meet and greet, it's from the discussions, it's from the settling, it's from the feeding. So once the baby's asleep it's a really good idea to move as quickly as possible with them. Obviously I'm going a bit slower today because I'm trying to talk about everything I'm doing step by step, but yeah, I try to move as fast as possible with them while they're asleep to get the most out of that time because they don't stay asleep forever.
Just to follow up to that, I saw this question earlier, and do you ever have parents who say you do complete it an hour and a half and yet you had said two to four hours, do you ever sense that they think that you're cutting them off short or do you kind of overly explain?
No, because I think because I always go into such detail and I'm such a perfectionist, I really go to great lengths to make sure that all the details. I'm not being such a perfectionist here today, I'm sorry. Only because of the time limit that we have for each segment.
We would never know. (laughs)
But you know, I will pay particular attention to all of the details and you know occasionally I'll get a set of parents in that just want to sit quietly. And so my session is actually done faster because I'm not talking so much to them. But when I have a couple or a mum that's really chatty I'll make sure that I pay enough attention to her and have those conversations with her because obviously she needs to have those conversations. So it's a lot to do with the back and forth with the parents and the timing and telling them. They know to expect 20 images in their final gallery. They've already got that information. They know they're gonna get it. The speed that I get those images, I think they're grateful that they get to leave early. So it's really good. I used to feel bad that I didn't think-- I used to think that my sessions had to go for four hours and I would spend so much time and I would be loading so many images into their galleries and they would hardly be ordering anything. And I'm like, I'm putting so much time and effort into this, why are they not buying every image? But then I learnt that less is actually more and the more images you put in there that are the same, the more you're going to confuse your client and they're not going to buy every image. If you give them a really good variety, keep it really simple, it's just gonna be easy for them to decide on which images they want.
A question that came in about outdoor shoots. Do you ever shoot outdoors?
I have and some outdoor shoots are amazing. They're really really fun to do. It depends on the climate, the temperature outside. I would never put a baby into a full sun situation where it's not protected at all. So if I am going to do an outdoor shoot, I generally do it at a nearby location to my house that we can either walk to or jump in the car and go to quite quickly. I prefer to do those on overcast days or under the shade. I would never put a baby in direct sunlight, in the middle of the day, and because I'm shooting in Australia, from say 10 till 2, that's the hottest part of the day. So I would be very mindful when I am taking a baby outdoor because their skin is so sensitive.
We have a question here from CO Photo. What do you do if a parent brings you an older baby, like two months or so, and wants poses like this? Do you turn them down? Do you talk them through the process? How do you do that?
Yeah, I'm so lucky now that I actually only book babies in that are under two weeks of age. If I do get those requests, I'm actually so far booked in ahead that I don't have time to shoot them. But what I do is, I inform them as to why I photograph them at that age, and I also tell them that the next best time to photograph a baby is when it's sitting safely on it's own, just before it can crawl. You can get some really fun interaction photos with that baby. So I tell them that unfortunately, I don't have any availability at this time for their child but the next best time to book in, if they would like to book now, is for their, say, six, seven, month session.
Smart, that's good.
So earlier we were talking about, and some people had asked online about the beautiful wall portraits that have been decorating our set and somebody had asked how big they are, where you got them.
I think they're a 20 by 30 inch stand out.
Think it was 30 by 40.
30 by 40?
We can confirm, we'll confirm.
We will confirm that, I'm sorry. I'm a bit hazy about the size. Anyway, it's a 20 by 30?
30 by 40.
30 by 40. They are a stand out with a bamboo edge from Whitehouse Custom Color. They are so beautiful. I couldn't believe them when I saw them. I haven't actually had the chance to order big prints from Whitehouse purely because I'm in Australia. But I do use them for all of my little birth announcement cards and things like that. They print on some amazing stock paper.
So I just want to clarify for people that you've talked about the 20 images in your gallery. How many of those do your clients usually purchase and then, I know we're gonna talk about marketing tomorrow, but do you also sell albums and those types of things?
I have four packages that I now sell. So this year I changed my pricing up a little bit. Last year, I did a la carte, now I do a package. So when you buy a particular package, you actually get the images from your gallery. So they're included. So it's such a digital world that we live in and everybody wants to be able to share their images online with their family, with their friends, all over the world. So I make sure that they have an amazing product that I love and that I sell that they can display in their home and yeah, they actually get the digital files along with that product.
That's great. We have another question from Tuftoodle, what are the essential newborn props for just starting out? If you had to pick just a few core things, what would you do?
I would definitely pick a good basket. I know a photographer in Australia who has one basket and she seems to just mix it up every time with what she puts in it. Whether it be fabric, wraps, knits, heshin materials, things like that. She does such a great job of doing something different every time with this one basket. She does a really good job. I would have probably some type of wooden crate. I actually don't have any on here at the moment, but I started out with four or five blankets to choose from and they were all very neutral. I had a dark brown, a light brown, a white, and a gray. So they were the four colors that I actually started out with before I was earning enough money to be able to add a great variety to my studio. You know, having a variety is excellent because not everyone-- I get a lot of friends of friends who come to me, so not everyone wants to choose the same products because they don't want the same photos, like same set ups and same props in their photos as their friends have. So a variety is good, but having say a basket that's big and maybe a basket that's flat, like the one at the top there, you could do something really different with it and use it in a few different ways. I've done a lot of posing on their back. I like that, that's the safest way to do it and you can do it differently with different fabrics. You can position their hands differently and it's such a great way to see their face in every photo. So having something like that is definitely a must.