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Newborn Posing

Lesson 20 of 24

Newborn Shoot with Bean Bag


Newborn Posing

Lesson 20 of 24

Newborn Shoot with Bean Bag


Lesson Info

Newborn Shoot with Bean Bag

So I'm actually gonna do a couple of poses with him on the bean bag, and I purposely haven't brought my backdrop stand in this time, because I'm gonna use a couple of the girls from our live audience to hold the backdrop up to show you that if you are in an environment where you don't have a backdrop stand, or if you don't have, you know, anything suitable to peg your backdrop to you can just position the baby and then get someone to stand behind and just lift the backdrop for you, so it's not necessary to have a backdrop stand, but it is great and it is convenient. But we're gonna get started. We're gonna use a nice, chocolate brown rug for our baby boy so this is just another throw that I've bought from a Homery store. It's got a slight little pattern through it but it's not, it's not too busy, which is what I like. If you like busy, do busy, but I prefer to go with sort of more sort of natural tones and less sort of features. So we're gonna see how he goes with the taco pose, which ...

is like the image that's up on the wall over there. So it's where we bring the feet up underneath the baby. Some people, some babies can quite easily do that comfortably, but other babies don't necessarily like to have their feet up underneath them or to that extent, so that, that little baby was actually born breach because I remember that session so clearly talking to the parents about how flexible she was, and she said, yeah, she was born like that, with her feet up in her face, so it was, it's really good to know that as well without having to push a baby into a position that they're not gonna be comfortable with. I'm also, with the taco pose I also like to use a wrap just to make them feel a little bit more secure, because their back is arched, is rounded, so I'm gonna put a nice little knit wrap, this little chocolate one which will go well here around little baby Owen. And then once I'm sort of ready, we'll get two girls to come over and hold the, actually even just one is fine just to come over and hold the backdrop stand up. So, but this is probably the only setup that I will do where I will put a prop in underneath the blankets to start with, because we wanna create a little bit of a shelf look which is like what we've been doing with our props. So a shelf for his head and his hands to go on so that his feet are comfortable underneath him and he's not laying flat on his feet. So I'm just gonna use a couple of these. We'll fold them over like that, and we'll slide them in under our bottom layer and I've created my well in the middle as well, so we've got an even, you know, even bigger shelf without having to put too much height in there at all. But we're gonna put his head up here and his bottom down here, and he's gonna be facing back towards the light. Okay, I'm gonna come and grab him. He's pretty out. Is he? Just lean him back into my hand. Now before, before I actually pose him what I'm gonna do is, we had a really good question yesterday on the Internet about circumcision, and things like that, and how careful you would be. He's actually just had his done, so we're going to leave his nappy on, and I'm gonna pop a little pair of pants on him with a little hat, so actually I might not use the wrap. More like I won't need it now, come to think of it. So this gorgeous little set is from Monkey Moo Moo, again, she makes beautiful knit products. So I'm just gonna slide the pants on over the top of his nappy. Oh, he is adorable. So I'm keeping my hand on his face 'cause I was adjusting his legs side there just to help him feel a little bit more secure. And what I'm gonna do is while I'm playing with his bottom half here, putting these pants on, I'm just gonna bring the wrap up over his arms. You can see already just with the way he's laying that he's quite comfortable with his little feet up so we should be able to do this pose perfectly. Aren't they just the cutest? I'm just carefully placing them on. They're nice and stretchy so they are easy to get on, but I'm gonna do it nice and slowly because I do not want him to wake up. So these little things are great when it comes to a baby with a particular circumcision, but if you don't have any pants just a little piece of fabric or a knit just to drape over the nappy area is also a really cheap way to do it, because I know that some sort of props and things like that to buy quite a lot of them can get quite costly. So if you're just starting out and you want to sorta solve these situations I would just use fabric or get a pair of knitting needles and some wool (laughs) if you know how to knit. So I'm gonna tie a little bow there so they don't come off. Alright, and I'll put his hat on, because he's nice and out to it here. He looks beautiful in these colors, he's got gorgeous skin. So I wanna tie it to the side that we're gonna see, he's gonna be facing this way, so he is facing this way at the moment, so I wanna tie the tie here not underneath where we won't see it. It's a little bow. Mmkay. So I'm gonna turn him over in my hands and get him roughly into the position that I want him to be in in my hands before I put him down, so I'm not having to do too many major adjustments while he's down. So bring his legs up, and I'm gonna hold them into place with my stomach. So, having something to sit on is really handy in these situations when you're working on the bag, because you're at such a good height to transition them over. And you're sort of at a good sitting angle as well to have them on your lap and working with them. We want this back arm to be a support arm, up like this and not underneath so he doesn't roll backwards. So we're just gonna turn him gently. So I'm gonna hold that hand where I want it, up underneath his chin, and continue to turn him. (makes shushing noises) Don't think those baby sounds get old, do they? They're just too cute. Even though they keep you awake at night. So he's in a pretty good position there. His feet are crossed over, his hand is in the place that I want it to be in so when I slide him down we're really not gonna have to do too much except for maybe put some props in beside him or under him to support him. And we have his, we're gonna face him sorta forward that way but lay his body the other way so his feet are forward. And that hand is under the face, making it come upwards so we can see his little face. And he had his feet perfectly up, so I'm gonna tuck that nappy in, but you can see just here he needs a little bit of support at the back of him so I'm gonna place one of these in underneath him. It's also gonna stop him from rolling backwards. Mmkay. Let's make a couple of adjustments, and who's gonna help me? Who's gonna come and hold my, birthday girl can come and help us. Okay. We'll just tuck this down so we can't see it. Okay, I just wanna raise him just a little bit more, maybe pull his elbow back and his face, and turn his face upright just a little bit more. So I'm just pulling his hand out towards me, which will help support his face. Holding it in place while he's having a wiggle. (makes shushing noises) And we wanna see these feet so we don't want that elbow to cover that foot, but it can rest on top of that foot. Mmkay, so now I'm just gonna lift him slightly here by folding a couple of these props in underneath. Ooh, he's ticklish. Mmkay. Now if you stand up behind the blanket facing me, directly facing me, come around a little bit more, keep coming, okay, we want a nice smooth backdrop. It doesn't have to be lifted too high, but just pulling it tight across there... That's it, and we can smooth any of those creases out later. So this is another great way to get parents involved in the session. Would someone be able to just pass me my camera so I don't have to leave little Owen sitting here on his own? Thanks so much. So how perfect is that? There we go. And to get him so it seems like he's sitting more upright, what I'm gonna do is tilt my camera angle. I'm gonna come in nice and low, level with him. There we go. I'm just pushing this down at the front because I really wanna see all those little toes. Mmkay. So that is pretty simple taco pose, isn't it? So you don't have to put them down and try and tuck their legs up underneath them. By doing it in your lap, you've already positioned him and you just place him down and make some minor adjustments. I have found that the easiest way for me to do it, so if that can help, that's great. Mmkay, he's so sleepy, I'm just gonna do a couple little, few more poses with him here on the blanket 'cause he just looks so adorable. So before I would move him I would bring my props that are underneath, my cloth nappies, out and start working with a flat surface again. Another easy setup in keeping him on his side, but, and not having to do too many major adjustments to him, is I'm gonna keep his little face and hand exactly where they are, and I'm just gonna turn his feet out towards me. So I'm gonna stand up to do this, because I've found that leaning over the top of them is an easier way to sort of place your fingers underneath their shins to adjust their legs. So I just wanna bring this little leg that's on top downwards now. Bend that knee, and bring this leg just in here down a little bit more. Might use one of these cloth nappies at the back to support his back so he doesn't, if he gets a startle he doesn't go flying backwards and wake up. So I'm not lifting him, I'm just placing it in there behind him to support him. Mmkay, and now to keep these feet in place I'll put another prop in underneath. Now, if he didn't have a nappy on his legs would be going together a little bit easier, but we've got a little bit of padding in there so I'm not going to force it down too much. We'll try and get his feet there together. And then I'll use another prop to come in and just to keep them in place. And just give him a little bit of shape, lifting. So if you have a nice sleepy baby, you know, figure out where they can't comfortably lie, place their hands in great little positions. Just gonna fix his little finger under here, you can see he's just bent it under. I might just raise his face just a little bit more. Now I gotta be careful going underneath him here 'cause he's already raised, and I don't wanna push anything under that's gonna make him go backwards, so we gotta lift him gently and just slide another little prop in underneath. Another great reason to have some padding at the back there so that they don't go flying backwards. I'm just gonna turn his hips a little bit more to keep him in that position. And he's pulled that finger back under (mumbles). There we go, it's easy to fix. Okay, now do you wanna hold my backdrop up for me again? And another really, really cute angle is just this one in here. I gotta be careful not to block my light out when I come in, so you can see here I'm standing in my light. If I come 'round a little bit more the light can still get into his face, and I can come in nice and close. There we go, so from this position I would then bring him around to the front. So this could be your next set of flying images with a blanket change. So when we did the first flying set of poses on day one we went from the back to the side to the tummy and it was a really nice system. So if you had to do a blanket change you could come in with the taco pose, go to this, and then bring them around into something like that. So you've still got those flying motions from pose to pose which work so well, and you get a couple of different blanket changes and you can dress them up with different, different hats and beanies (laughs) those are the words I was looking for. I'm actually gonna take, actually no, I'll leave it on, I'll leave it on. It's so cute. Okay, we'll take these props out 'cause we're gonna spin him around. You know, the styling of it and the way you dress the session with materials and lots of different textures and beautiful colors, it's all about you, you know, and filling your studio with things that you love and allowing your clients to get involved with that process. So if this was a set of clients that had come into my studio and I'd taken their baby, I actually asked them if there were any colors there that they like, and they said the dark browns, so I know that I'm pretty safe to start using things in my studio with dark brown tones and things like that. Then I'll start talking about their home, do they have any, you know, do they have a vintage feel in their home or is their home more modern and sleek, and is there anything that they've seen on my website that they like, and that's how I would go about talking to them and finding out a little bit more about them so that I can, you know, style their session with them and their involvement, and so they're gonna love every picture I do. And asking them to choose the little hats and headbands and all of those things, I'm just bringing him up to the front, is also a really cool way because then I'm not choosing things that they don't like. There would be nothing worse than a client sitting there going oh, God, I really don't like that headband she's using you know, so, it's not something I would've picked. So being able to ask them those things is just, is going to help your sales at the end of the day. Because if they love, absolutely love every image, they're gonna buy every image. Okay, so we wanna bring his arms forward and bring his little chin forward, he's so cute (laughs) he's just so snuggly. And then we'll get a great shot and we'll lift our backdrop up again. So I'll bring his arms forward, and then we'll lift him up. So I've got, I'm gonna lift his head just gently, just to bring, I'm pushing the forearm through. I'm gonna bring the other arm through. (makes shushing noises) So he started to tense up there, so I'm keeping my hand at the, my fingers at the base of his elbow so he can't draw it backwards and I'm just rocking him gently until he relaxes and that way he's not gonna continue to pull that arm back down and underneath him. And when they relax, just move them a little bit more. Mkay, so he's looking pretty good there for us to start lifting him, 'cause you can see where he's down quite low. When we start to give him some height he'll come back up, and we can really see his little face, 'cause, remembering that their heads are, are quite heavy compared to the rest of their body. I might just start with one first. So my hand is gonna slide in underneath him, I'm not just gonna start pushing that in. So by sliding my flat hand in underneath, I can then lift him and place the cloth nappy in underneath my hand. So it's already starting to make a difference, we can do a little adjustment back here with his legs. (makes shushing noises) Can you do me a favor, Stephanie? Inside that basket over there, the pram, is my white heartbeat monitor, can you turn that on? He's not fussing or anything, but just to have it there, 'cause it's very quiet when I stop talking so I don't wanna startle him when I do start talking again. (machine mimics heartbeat) So I've just rocked him gently until I felt his muscles relax in my hands to turn his chin around to the front, which is what we want. There we go. (makes shushing sounds) He's noisy, isn't he? Here we go. Okay, come and sit in behind me here and just keep your hand just on his back there for me, just while he's stirring a little bit. We'll lift him up some more. We're not having much luck with this pose, none of these babies wanna bring their arms forward. (laughs) So I'm lifting him up, just going from side to side, and I'll bring his arms forward again. Mmkay. (makes shushing sounds) So I'm gonna take my safe shot, I'm just gonna see if we can get a couple of these little fingers out. I've got my other fingers behind his elbow to stop him from drawing it backwards, 'cause you can feel him tensing up. And a little bit of height just in here to lift that face up just a bit more. So a gentle lift right there, and see if we can bring this chin around. (makes shushing sounds) There we go. I'm gonna get my shot without fixing his fingers 'cause he's a little bit touchy, and I just wanna make sure I get it. Mmkay, so if you hold the backdrop up now for me. (makes shushing sounds) if I can see any of that white, I'm not gonna jeopardize him moving. If I can see any of that white in the final image I will, you don't need to lift it too much which is great for this one, I'll just clone it out in Photoshop because he's just a little bit sensitive to my touch at the moment. Mmkay, so now I'm gonna make a couple of little minor adjustments 'cause I got my safe shot. Fix up those fingers, and I'm gonna bring his little toes out so we might be able to see those as well, which is really cute. And also by going back to take that safe shot, I'm allowing him to just relax a little bit more and giving him a break from me touching him. So he's, now that I've come back he's actually a little bit more relaxed, which is great. So I've been able to bring those fingers out. Just gonna gently slide his little foot out so we can see it bring that knee out a little bit closer to him. We might be able to bring this other foot up, but because we have a nappy on, plus a pair of knitted pants it might be gettin' a bit tight back there. Yeah, I don't think we're gonna get it hooked over to see those little toes come through there, but this is really cute anyway. Mmkay, just hold that backdrop up for me again. So I'm shooting still at 2.8. I haven't changed my ISO for the past three days so it's at 1280, and I'm at 320, 320th of a second. (laughs) And I'm focusing on this eye as it's closest to the camera. Righty-O. I think we're done with this little baby. How gorgeous is he, and how good was he to us? He did so, so well. Thank you so much. Thank you to the parents as well. So we're gonna do a couple of questions now, we have our next family is ready as well, but we can start here. So Kelly, I had a question regarding the froggy pose? The which one, sorry? Oh, the composite one? Yeah. So I was just wondering, like I know some parents either they really, really like it or they really don't, it's kind of a controversial shot. So if a parent comes to you and they request it, what do you look for in a baby before deciding to do it? It's definitely a pose, if I was going to do, that I would leave to the end of the session, and I would tell them that, especially if the family is requesting it. But I actually don't offer it in a session. But if they have seen it somewhere, and they're gonna see it because, you know, other photographers do it, and it's on the Internet. Hang on, let me just pass him back. Sliding my hand in here, he's having a squirm. There we go, just put him over your arm, perfect. You can take those off later. (laughs) So yeah, it's not a pose I would offer in a session, but I would, if they asked for it, I would say to them, you know, that if the baby is capable of doing that particular pose I would leave it 'til the end of the session, and also I let them know that there's so many risks involved with that particular setup. You know, the baby cannot sit like that, so it needs to be supported throughout the whole image and that's why we do it as a composite, to put the images together in Photoshop later on. And also, if I have a baby, we had a little baby yesterday with a little cream bonnet on, and she was quite a tense baby. I would know straightaway that that baby's not gonna be relaxed enough to go like that. So a very, very super sleepy, super relaxed, super flexible baby would go into that position. I'm not going to force a baby that's a little bit tight and very sensitive to touch, so you can create the perfect environment for a session, you can really encourage the baby to go to sleep, but if that baby is still uptight for some reason, I wouldn't attempt it at all and I would just say to the parents, look, I'm really sorry, you know, I know you wanted that pose, but I just don't think we're gonna get it with your baby and I would rather not do it because of the risks that are involved, and I don't want to upset your baby. So there, by saying that and putting them at ease hopefully they're gonna trust my judgment, because I'm obviously the photographer that they've hired and trusted with their baby, so yeah, it's not something that I offer, but I would definitely, you know, definitely attempt it if they had requested it and I knew that the baby was capable. We actually did that setup on Wednesday and we did a video of it, so it's part of the bonus material. Alright, well it looks like we're just about ready here with our next family. And Kelly, we're wondering if while you're posing if you could do a little review and talk through how you move the head and sort of the safety tips about how careful you are and what you're really considering while moving that, I think that would be a great review, we've got a few questions about that. Yeah, definitely. So we talked on the first day when we're working on the bean bag as to where I actually place my hands on the baby's head. I don't push on the temples, and I don't push on the top of the head, but the side bones here in the head, they're actually quite strong, so I will just place my hand over the baby's head and that's how I will lift. And if I need to move the chin, I will just gently place my fingers at the base of the baby's chin, and as I lift guide the chin with my fingers, so they're very small, very gradual movements to keep the baby settled and sound at all times. But yes, you have to be careful where you put your hands, and as you're just gently rocking them into position they will loosen their little muscles, because if their muscles are really tight and you're trying to turn them, you may hurt their neck muscles or any other muscles that are in that area. So yeah, relaxing them while you're moving them and soothing them is really important.

Class Description


  • Set up a home studio, using the surrounding area to create a safe and inviting space.
  • Use props to support newborns in images.
  • Discover new posing techniques, including basic and more advanced poses used by professional photographers.
  • Perform flow posing for a newborn photography session—seamlessly and safely moving an infant from one pose into the next.


Parents are eager to document their little girls and boys' lives through photos, from the moment they’re born until the day they leave the nest. But those first few months of infanthood are some of the most challenging times to get beautiful photos. Whether you're in NYC or San Francisco, posing those pliant little ones in ways that are both creative and secure is something even the most experienced photographer can find intimidating. Doesn't matter if you have a Nikon, or Sony, you can always look into your baby's eyes and take a picture.

Kelly Brown has made newborn photography her specialty, consistently delivering stunning images of these precious subjects to overjoyed parents. Through many years of practice, experimentation and success, Kelly has gained the expertise to teach you how to become proficient in newborn and baby photography, and build your own business around this lucrative niche.

This class will show you:

  • The essentials and little details of setting up your newborn photography business for a great start.
  • How to market your business, get new client.
  • Tips for working with older siblings, parents, and whole families so that everyone feels happy and comfortable.
  • How to handle and pose newborns safely and basic photography safety tips.

In this course, Kelly will show you how to create a safe, comfortable and happy space for families and newborns alike, so you can take pictures that will celebrate these special first months of life. She’ll guide you step-by-step on how to pose newborns using a variety of props, what photography safety measures must to be taken, how to build trust with parents and older siblings, and what equipment you’ll need. From setting up lighting and taking close ups to editing skin tones, she'll help improve your photo sessions. She’ll also give you helpful advice on how to start, run and grow a newborn photography business, from using your surrounding area and setting up your studio to pricing your services to marketing and client outreach.


  • Newborn photographers who are interested in adding another genre of photography to their business.
  • Those who want to feel confident in their ability to handle a baby safely during photography sessions.
  • Photographers who want to learn how to interact with parents to calm their fears and make them feel comfortable.


  1. Class Introduction

    Kelly Brown talks about how she got into newborn photography and what this course will cover to get your photography business off to a great start.

  2. Taking Photos of Newborn Babies in the Right Environment

    Learn how natural light and warmth impact infants and how to use blankets, natural light and artificial lights to create a soft and secure environment.

  3. Questions & Answers

    Kelly takes questions from the audience.

  4. Newborn Posing bean bag Part 1

    Watch Kelly do a real-live shoot with a newborn posing bean bag. See how she uses props, white noise and swaddle blankets to keep the baby warm and content.

  5. Newborn Posing Bean Bag Part 2

    Watch Part 2 of a baby posing bean bag.

  6. Newborn Posing Nest Shoot

    Kelly shows you how to take newborn posing nest photos to ensure that the baby always remains safe and secure.

  7. Newborn Basket Photo Shoot

    Baskets are a great prop as long as you line them carefully with towels or swaddle blankets so the baby sits securely inside. Watch this demonstration of newborn basket photos.

  8. Newborn Photography with Props

    You can use stools and crates to pose a baby if you’re able to shoot quickly and provide continuous support. It's always important to ensure you are engaging in baby photography.

  9. Twin Photo Session

    Get some newborn photography tips for twins, including how to position them together and how to keep them simultaneously satisfied.

  10. Photography Posing Bean Bag Shoot

    Learn how Kelly post processes her photography posing bean bag shots, including cropping, softening backgrounds, adjusting exposure, smoothing skin and more.

  11. Newborn Cocoon Photography - Post Processing

    Continuing her post-processing demonstration, Kelly demonstrates how she creates a composite image of newborn cocoon photography.

  12. Newborn Pictures with Siblings Shoot

    Create a beautiful family shot and take newborn pictures with their siblings.

  13. Newborn Shoot: Posing with Parents Part 1

    Learn the tricks to taking newborn photos with parents, including how to handle a fussy baby.

  14. Newborn Photos with Parents Shoot Part 2

    Kelly demonstrates different ways to shoot newborn pictures with parents, with different combinations and positions.

  15. Newborn Photography Marketing

    Kelly demonstrates different ways to capture newborn images with parents, with different combinations and positions.

  16. Newborn Photography Prices

    Kelly gives some advice on pricing for newborn photo sessions and how to come up with the ideal pricing structure that will ensure your success.

  17. Older Sibling Photo Ideas

    Watch Kelly do a shoot with a newborn and an older teen sibling and get some great older sibling photo ideas.

  18. Newborn Photoshoot Props

    Kelly experiments with a red basket and a wood block to create a warm, homey feel and demonstrate how to use props in a newborn photoshoot.

  19. Newborn Photo prop Ideas

    Get newborn photography tips on how to style photography props like a handmade, wooden boat from Etsy to make beautiful photos.

  20. Newborn Shoot with Bean Bag

    If you don’t have a backdrop stand, you can work around it by having a helper or two hold your backdrop for your newborn bean bag shoot.

  21. Family Photography with Newborn Session

    Create a lovely family portrait with newborn, siblings and parents.

  22. Photos of Down Syndrome Babies

    Kelly takes photos of Down syndrome babies, a wonderful experience for all involved.

  23. Twins Photoshoot

    Parents with 3-day old twins stop in for a twins photoshoot at the CreativeLive studios on their way home from the hospital.

  24. Presentation of Photos to Families

    Watch Kelly present her photos to the families and see their excited reactions.



I have been a photographer for years and just recently decided to transition into the realm of newborns. Safety was my number one concern before learning all the other important details and Kelly does an amazing job teaching safety and comfort while also going into the best ways to get the perfect shot. I have taken away so much knowledge and she explains it in such a fantastic, comfortable manner, I urge anyone looking to begin newborn photography to purchase this class. Completely worth the investment, I will go back and rewatch again and again while continuing to learn and grow. Thank you Kelly and CreativeLive.

a Creativelive Student

I am so amazed. I am a newborn photography vendor and a brand new photographer. Right now I am doing photography for fun. I wanted to learn all the in's and out's of Newborn Photography before I went and charged people. I want to be the best at what I do first. Also, wanted to know what actually goes into a quality session. Especially as a vendor point of view we don't necessarily know what goes into everything, and how our props are used. I have to say I have learned so much already. And I have only watched Day 1 of my purchased course. Worth every single penny. Kelly and Creative Live thank you for making it affordable to learn. I have been following Kelly's Photography page on FB for quite some time now. It is amazing how passionate she is, and how that passion spreads through out her course. I wish one day I can attend a live workshop in the future. I would purchase every one of her workshops. I have learned everything I need to know to get started, marketing, editing, planning....

a Creativelive Student

My first granddaughter is going to be born in Aug and so looking forward to trying all of these great and wonderful ideas. Who knows..this might be the beginning of a new career...since I do boudoir now. Thanks were wonderful! ps..thanks for sharing your Mother's day with us and sharing that beautiful family. Best wishes and Thank you again.