Shoot: Newborn Portraits
I do shoot with an icon, I'm sure with a nikon d seven hundred here, and the main reason is that for that is we normally shoot a d eight hundred. However, the files are so huge and I want to turn these around quick so we can get him tomorrow, that I will have the laptop here, so we're going to do with the seven hundred for the small, smaller file size I typically shoot with fifty millimeter lens, and we're going to work on the beanbag here first on the fifty millimeters, really go to lens for me, and then for family images, I'll step up to the eighty five, and then I do some mackerel work sometimes as well with the one of five two point eight a macro, and then the faras, amanda and thomas are concerned. They're so cute. I mean, cute, cute couple, and I'm really excited to photograph them. I've talked to amanda already on the phone, and I've asked her a lot of these pre session consultation questions, and she also filled out a questionnaire for me online about kind of what her goals are...
for this session. She has a frame in her home, but she wants to put an image, and she also sent the images of the place where they changing table were leo, and you were when you were a boy your mom used that as a changing table for you so it's it's really kind of a special piece there's a beautiful area above their wall there that they could really put a gorgeous portrait of leo so I'm going to kind of design the session around that image and around her frame and stuff like that so they have a really bohemian taste worldly travel very eclectic home with some interesting colors and so my style will lend itself really well to that because I love texture and I love that worldly look and so I want to create images that'll kind of mesh my creativity with amanda style in particular sorry thomas we love you too but she's going to be the one making the buying decisions here and so that's kind of why I'm appealing teo you hear them more than thomas as much as we know that thomas was just apart it must have been a part of this is a man who was so we have baby leo here and I'll talk about my settings lighting wise as we go these air westcott tt sixes I really love the continuous light so when I use that amusing that with a parabolic umbrella here I always use it with some kind of round modifier to give that nice round light that radiates out on drily it's the one light set up with a large reflector and that's about it is not a complicated set up, and I pretty much used this for almost everything I do. We will add a kicker when we start photographing the family, but for now we're gonna do is photograph baby here with a couple different looks, do something on the floor and then do the family. We're going to do amanda and thomas and images as well, and they'll get to see these images that I shoot them, you know, on the screen here. But then, once we do, the family image is I'm gonna kind of don't want. I don't want them to see, because I want them to have some element of surprise for all this. So let's get started. This is my associate attire for tiffany, who is my dear friend and right hand, and she assists me with every single newborn shoot that we do. I used to do newborns alone, and then when she came along, she changed my world because having four hands on a baby is so much easier than to on so now we just don't shoot unless we can help each other, so I think that's really the things chips people talk to me throughout the process and I'm glad to take questions as we go, but if I do need teo focus on something I might say, I don't take it so you guys, if there's something from the internet that wants to talk, I'm happy to try and answer that and I know I'm not hitting on every single thing that I don't have a key note in front of people do have a question, just shout it out, okay? I'll try to talk through what I'm doing is we go even though it's, I know it's sales it's not really a baby class, but you know, some people may be interested in what we're doing, okay? Oh, good let's get rolling, okay, so now one thing I do want to point out is that a man and thomas don't have a nursery they were in a one bedroom apartment right now, I'm sure eventually they'll move on to bigger and better things, but they don't have a nursery, so I'm not really designing anything for the nursery, but we're we are going to design around their home, which has a very eclectic kind of bohemian style with worldly color since that's what we're gonna do e so this that appears to sway a puck style beanbag with a flick adi rug underneath and then blankets underneath to create a nice flat surface for leo to sit on here. What I'm doing is I'm taking towels and just building up underneath the flick adi and how this gets nice and smooth is to really make sure you have a lot of layers do you think he can go naked first you could go naked, okay, so we'll go ahead and try him and let me get some hand sanitizer this stuff is my religion right here she's gonna go ahead and pop him on the beanbag used to sideline making first waiting with sleep job buddy back behind the hand waiting for him to settle right now good bunny way fuzz on a picture like that can get a little cold we're looking can't see what I'm telling you I can't see hey rockstar his hands are a little cliched right now you can kind of see how his hands were way straighten those out for those of you who are interested, I'm a sucker for details and showing relaxed hands shows the baby is due soon is relaxed yeah, tiff and I are talking about different poses that we do with babies way have different terms for them just to help us communicate better with one another my biggest focus with this is, um getting the angle of the baby right says you can see I'm pushing his head back a little bit to create that butterfly shadow underneath his nose for a butterfly but lighting pattern on his face wait there for a second that what you're saying is the moral reflects it's a startle reflects in babies they, um, sometimes jerk awake suddenly this hand, you can also see tension in hands very easily. Sometimes you literally have to pry their fingers open to get them to relax, and what you'll see is you'll see white knuckles like you can see over here who is not sure if the camera can see this or not, but there there knuckles get white when their tents and then as they relax and fall back to sleep, you'll see the knuckles turn pink again and that's when you know that he's getting relaxed yeah, okay, come and want his feet a little bit more back, but it looks like you for now making faces sometimes you can tell when babies they're going to smile okay, hold his hand knocking what I'll do is, um yeah, but back thank you is all shoot the shot to get it and then I'll perfect the polls yeah he's tense he's okay, sweet baby, wait, wait and you'll notice that my I'm I've got some background issues because my normally at home I've got that background over there in the far corner really stretched out so some of my raw images you're seeing the this table stool over there but I will extend that later or crop it out eventually oh pumpkin here's cute okay let's, go ahead and, um switch to taco and try to do a drape with the hat way can think we'll use that could be cute with anything okay, talk off me go ahead and build up just attached, please switch so what we're doing is we're transitioning from a sideline positions so what's called taco pose and not all babies can do this so you kind of have to see if they go if they can do it or not let's go ahead and get that hand back good job oh, you are just delightful getting this rock stars can you get that tow out for me thinking what's nice about having an assistant that they think your thoughts before you think there yeah, maybe maybe wish oh you're just delicious get this naked and those little toes sticking out are so cute so I usually do a few naked and then we'll drape over with um something pretty manly well men lelio so a lot of my props come from I put together a list of resource is for everyone on how we who we buy stuff from and some of my props are handmade like it will get little bees in our bonnets and wanna um laffy taffy um we'll get little bees in our bonnets and wanna make something awesome thank you way call the shot laffy taffy because we make the scarf look like it's got its you know taffy which technical term so okay I'm trying to have a little stool I can stand on my chance get me up a little higher yeah, just something little like in santa thank you that's another reason assistant it's so great that moral reflects that babies get into her khun startle if you're not there and ready to help them out of that it ruins your shot and it's also not safe look at that behind a little but it's okay yeah somehow your sweetheart thank you aspirate before sorry about that. Thank you. This is one of my favorite shots and call it the angel song because it just looks like the baby's flying his future is bright awesome. Okay what's happening sideline. Yeah, well absolutely let's um you wanna bring him forward and do have kind of like we did with the other avenue yeah waiting for that okay, so what's gonna happen? We're going to transition to a forward position like this she's going to move the body and I'm going to move fabric excellent way back there so here ah a lot of this is about the towels I just go to costco and buy a bunch of clean towels and always works good job sweetie so you made a deal was made for you your future every intern aren't you and will usually do like one cute see shot I tend to keep things pretty classic and elegant but the's qc shots just you know familiar they're cute they melt your heart is getting a little bit more like that if we can change is a little low but that's okay honey again I'm going to shoot it and then perfect it so okay it's only a little tall but okay wait so what's wrong with the shot right now in my opinion is he's a little too he's not forward enough so I'm going to try to help him out with that just a touch yeah just a little bit more way the most important thing about newborn photography is the face this face these features are going to be with him the rest of his life and you will really notice that when you're a one year old walks into your studio the eyes the nose the mask of the face area right here is the same and so if you can capture that face for the parents that is going to be a better image than just a body shot or whatever yeah get back! No and with newborn photography it's all in the details like those little hands those little fingers you pull the fabric with them before they're perfect more something to that you'll see me till my camera in certain ways to get it right in camera so that he looks kind of like he's tilting upward and the lines the diagonal line on the image you want floating composition throughout your images I'm a negative space freaks are loving it it's ok no we're gonna do one more with this I want to do a little fly away way is putting a little scarf back here to make it look like he's dying little aviator boy his face is a little bit him but what you're just just right I think I'm just using the other side of my frame here his face is a little bit now just one second milled in some walk around so kind of looks like a little aviator flying so that the qc to be shot okay let's go ahead change backgrounds yeah anything cold that touches a baby is a sure sign that they wake up so yeah um let's d'oh let's do yeah cream because we're going to shoot the family on cream and so I'd like tio I have something that matches that okay, so tiffany is going to change the backdrop out here um as far as their questions can you take some questions any questions absolute there? Because in questions of their watch in africa, like I've never had a newborn be this easy. It's a good question, you know what it is? I gave mom homework you wanted, do they have my son? Can I tell them? What can I say? We actually don't want to talk too loud, so I don't want the baby to hear her voice. I gave amanda instructions to stay out of smelling and hearing range. The voice of the mother and of her smell triggers the milk instinct, so when I'm working with baby by himself, I don't want her near child in that range. I mean, obviously we're ten feet away. Leo can't smeller ok, but she talks out loud, he'll hear her and it might make him a couple of it does always happen. Everything is is I gave her homework, I told her to keep her baby awake for two to three hours before she came to see me. It's really hard to do babies want to sleep. And then when she arrived here, I put her in a warm room and I had her feed that maybe a full full feeding he's had both breasts he's, happiest, khun b and he went coma and that's what I want and when you do that and then the other thing that we try to do is keep it warm in here is going to know I'm sweating like a pig right now and keep it warm in here and then keep him tucked in there's something called the five s is by dr harvey karp dr harvey karp is a pediatrician if you look this up on youtube will show you the basically the five s is our swaddle swinging side or stomach position and sucking and she's okay, so you've heard me I'm he's honest side he's on his belly right now and I'm kind of going like this what am I doing? I'm replicating the womb he's all tucked in curled in he's cozy and I'm giggling I mean imagine amanda pregnant running that's a pretty violent environment yeah it's water but he's moving I mean you could juggle these babies pretty good obviously shaken baby syndrome is an issue so you don't want I always liken it to giggle like jell o you know when your mom made jello when you're a kid for those of you who are internationally probably know what jell o is but jealous like a gelatin deserves really good kids love it, you're on your mom made jell o just jiggle the jello don't crack it that's how hard you jiggle okay and swallowing keeping the arms and legs in that moral reflects that started with x I'm sure you saw that that startle reflex you want to minimize as much as possible and so we worked real hard to keep his arms and legs in and you hear me go sh that's the sound of mommy's blood flow through her wound okay since sometimes you got to be how babies hearing is not fully developed right now and so you will be allowed in here moms all the time who say oh the blow dryer put my kid to sleep that's why it's because of that town that loud noise okay, so let's go ahead and do bowl wanted to pull with this one and then we'll do sleepy time with it as well. This is just a little bowl it's around wooden bowl that I got from j d vintage props and we just put it under the body and pat it a little bit so that it's got a nice cushy place for leo to sit. I think I'd like to use thie gray wrap because dad's gonna be wearing gray. This is gonna look so cute in that wall with thea where the train station is because it'll match with family so you could put family and be really cute really long drop more over here don't even uh no more over here on the side it's because it's a big wraps you have more noble that's fine sometimes transitioning is the hardest part thank you, wayne we always ask me how do you find your assistant? Well, she walked through my front door which was amazing but secondly you can always go to internship programs at the college and it's not hard to train someone to do this and once they're trained how to do it they can help you tremendously it's just so easy when they just makes you look at his tongue he's such a cute e go ahead and tell him just a touch people go ahead and get the shot wait, wait wait wait my story you are just delicious and a half yeah wait go back a little bit I get a lot of my back drops I can't see it mr chipping money I get a lot of my backdrops from joanne's fabrics all you need is two yards of fabric. Oh, you're drunk in two years is you? All you need is about six feet did I say three years? I said leo said three only we three are but maybe I missed miscommunicated there we go I don't think he's a normal baby myself you show me changes hands sometimes I have really trouble getting things of which you know you think that was photography one o one but I think my mac roland's readily available I don't think it is what tiffany's doing is just making sure hands and feet are adorable ur love bug well, I think I've got it yeah I don't want to spoil the moment here and you know what? I only this's taken me a long time to learn and tiffany just go ahead and make sure he's okay we anticipate him next. Tiffany has harped on me about this just like you shoot too much. I know, I know I sure much um but the sea what am I going to use for sleepy time? So I've really tried to pare down how much ice you notice don't you? Very fast shoot what I need and when I've got it, we move up maybe there's really no sense in overshooting it just makes your life miserable later so, um you cray hat we should have a white hat what do you think? Tickles, huh? Oh, yeah, that could be pretty way don't need to stretch mine in his hands in the middle of a week actually that's two suicide I'm telling her where to tie bonnet this is a shop called sleepy time it's pretty stinking cute in parents love it totally highlights the face tell me his neck to get more support I'm just tilting the bowl so that he lies back a little bit more julia yeah I just wanna let you know the pictures look amazing come where we're sitting and people are loving them okay there's nothing like babies babies and animals huh so you have excellent job yeah we're looking at the's not even processed right out of the can there gorgeous I'm sorry can you say that again I could not you know not even processed right out of the camp oh yeah I'm they're good to go you got it you got to get it right on camera you really dio and it took me a long time to figure that one out let me tell you yeah I think I might let's do this and I will pull a hand up not used to being tethered it's a whole different experience ok whatever is easiest for you straightened up just wait camera on always helps you think like chip we realize so much on that now that we're in the digital age yeah I mean I took four five shots I've got it you need toe do something different jello grampus required yeah just wanted to think just one you wanna try the wing thing well this will do it you know? Okay tiffany I love to experiment way gone like little right brain spurt getting his own and we just like yeah let's keep going do this we could do that oh he's such a good baby let's do some more strike a pose little booth oh, I just want to eat you he told I love my job that's a little bit but leo man chance you could this's tithe but he hands his head come on buddy give it to me give it to me you know you're thinking about it they start to breathe real heavy and their eyes flutter you see I mean his eyes are totally fluttering I only knew expression is so cute theory starts off letter and then all of a sudden I just pop how this huge miles e I missed it oh, pumpkin so um let's go ahead and move to bowl and then I'm removing let's just keep going rock n roll so that's it for the beanbag I show thirty to forty shots the most so we need to looks for poses we moved to the floor we'd be family and that's it my newborn sessions like this when they're this good will be under an hour so you want to move that fast you want I mean why spend longer people spend three four hours any more sessions oh, good grief talk about a waste of time. I mean it's not a waste of time I guess I shouldn't say that like if I should just say if you khun start paring it down and making it simpler it's so much more to your advantage you know I mean it's just so we have a real strong system for how we do new warren portrait where we kind of limit ourselves to just a few looks we plan it out according to what the family wants, what their houses like and we go from there okay, let me think about what I want to do here. So under here there is um this is a scarf from jade even touch props that's one of those like it looks like a neck scarf like a cowl and it's just there's this right here is a little you know those draft door stoppers like that you block the air from your door that's what all this is just a long snake relative and then that's wrapped around that and the nice I like my setups to look really even and like very planned I'm actually thinking I don't want this after all I think we'll discover with this and we'll do a hat move my light gonna move that here too these floors are great these air from serendipity backdrops they're just canvas you could take me where you want the location photographers this is your a little cuter right here you can get these floors and there's simply great cause they just roll up their super light way he's lame out like a piece of canvas and it looks like a wood floor okay let's see here um I want ribbons going this way because they'll be white and not one from closest to the light so let's go ahead and do bull rap with him um but I'm gonna make everything go so head there yet and I was just up there wrapping like that he's an amazing baby he's fun he's letting us do a lot so you're gonna get to see a lot so don't be overwhelmed with doing appointment comes there will be a lot that's good that just means we could make an album right make a book of him that he can have later yeah I was gonna make the little things you can meet twist him just to touch this way oh you're not really in a side just mourn us back here thank you are you talking talking sweet little boy I always get my hormones raging when I do these babies makes me think of my little boy you're my rock star oh yeah you gonna let the gas go on me, huh? You little bailey talking to you? Details details, details good one get it, boy what? It rips your stinky too good job pay back some hurt take this in there just touch don't lose it this foot wants to fly up a touch it because he's gassy okay, I really like this super pretty I'm gonna be right in your spot I don't think we need to sell this light is so huge I don't know if we need it so very ok you see oh that's awesome tio already when you were mayweather ready here we go no I'm ready can you make the scarf go out there's two touch for me and I think it's a little short I'm gonna get what he did let it rip tony good job bunny you know get that are you gonna smile at me come on see him breathing hard have faith uh don't they just make your heart melt come on give it to me okay yeah I think we're good let's move on to family okay amanda you can talk now I haven't forgot family we need to change sets just a little bit he needs to be cleaned up because he did poop in there and then we'll also get you changed I wantto wrap you in some fabric and stuff like that so we might have to do that we'll take some questions technique and can help get you ready to go and then I'll have you take off your honey we're gonna work with your gray shirts okay so let's go ahead and take some questions while we kind of changed set up here like stuff and so susan what's out there now we're ready right? I have to people are really curious about what the parents are feeling right now and they're going through um I don't know they might. I don't know what you guys have microphones on, you have a background on there are people you could just quickly ask them how they're feeling. It's actually, from layla who says, how are the parents feeling about all of this right now? Can you put the mike like that? Um from what I've seen it's a very professional environment, he seems to be very happy. I've seen some of the shots there very well done so I love it so far are you guys feeling pretty sleep deprived right now? Be honest, a pretty low maintenance baby. This he's pretty cute given. I mean, he seems t breastfeed two seemingly change them healed, he'll fall asleep for about five or six hours. How they scored wait really started this far. I mean, obviously, you know, we gotta knock on wood. You no things to change, but for the time being it's been pretty low maintenance as soon as we change him that simply feed him, you get up five or six hours and we get to sleep with that time. That's also, what do you think of the experience? A man isn't making here? Hormones go, I feel like he's in good hands so my mother's in creative images, yeah, kind of fun to have somebody else hands on the baby that night something some of my clients actually fall asleep on our sofa at the studio just he was second baby's first babies usually wanna watch but second maybe there's hope okay break someone's watching my kid this is fantastic. Any questions from up there? Yeah sorry who's first I have a question to you is it all the images before you show them to your clients yes and I only show you know thirty to forty images typically and sometimes I get a little excited I have a really great session probably this one will be that one of those andi I you know show a little over forty but I try not to ever do it more than forty five but if I know they're doing an album we've talked about that in the pre consultation I will definitely plan for that and she's a little bit more so we can fill an album really nicely especially one of our higher and albums um and yeah we retouched everything and I'll talk about that in our pricing I don't want clients to see an unfinished image and you know this is a unique situation they get to see him but we don't do much to him it's usually color correction a little bit of liquefy on mom and some skin retouching and that's really about it we have an action that's a little bit more of our style that we apply sometimes but that's really it it takes I mean tiff how long does it take you to proof a session? The normal special plan in one hour and a half of the most so she's done it out of there quickly so any other questions for a couple more? Yeah one from the internet to related questions one is from lindsay and one is from an on an ass is a good idea to have the parents assist you if you don't have an assistant and lindsay asked about in rial sessions do you ask the parents to sit back and chill while you and the assistant work together? Yeah, I asked in the real session I asked the parents to sit back and chill they can watch what I like I said before I don't want mom within smelling ranger hearing range of the baby right when we're working with him alone the minute we work with because now we're going to family and she's obviously going to holding the baby so that's fine and often times it works really great that way because right after you see them they're in more of a milk drunk state and so they're more willing to let you do the things by themselves and then when they get into mom's arms they re settle again because they loved ing and mom's arms so it's kind of like a second wind for you to get that real sleepy happy baby to put him in the arms after it and sometimes you know you have siblings will have like a two year old with you and you got to get the family just done first we have a two year old so sometimes we do family first and as we do baby first but we always kind of try to keep mom away from the baby once we're working with maybe by himself and then as far as assistant goes yeah I mean I used to do this by myself and I had parents help some parents are great out of some stink so I think that's you know you kind of have to do with trains especially first baby especially dad's unfortunately dad sometimes more often than not aren't as good of assistance as the mom is so sometimes you know you might have to take that whole keep mom away from baby thing in stride because you may need your help if you don't have to but I really have to recommend getting some help getting friends photographers in your community p teaming up together you guys are gonna have different styles you're not going to copy one another because you're not gonna want to look different and when you have someone you can trust that you can always help out with that's it's huge I mean now now that I have tiffany and she has me we don't want to shoot with anyone else like this friends forever behalf up so seriously, I it's so funny shit whether we read each other's minds and my sister is the same way when I shoot my sister it's like we're on the same wavelength and it just makes things go faster, things are smoother and the twenty thirty dollars that you have to pay an assistant is so worth it build it into your session fee I mean, really it's so worth the time savings, the safety and the fluidity of the session that makes them well, we have time for another question, tonto, I think we have time for there was one more question our studio audience. I believe I'm gonna take this. And one of you ladies have a question. Okay, how is this any different for you being in the creative live audience in terms of your interaction with the parents? Or is that pretty much, pretty much? You know, actually them sitting here is pretty common like bells don't want to sit and watch, then I'll pop over there and I'll show him the back of a camera like this getting grounded. I can't really see them, they see it right there and I can't really show in the back my camera here, but yeah, I all come and chimp q q and mom's usually freaking out oh my gosh that's okay, because they see the bucket they see the everything there like that is adorable. I'm so excited. So remember what we talked about earlier that segment that excitement is really building they can visualize what the images look like and then they see the back of my camera and they're like, oh my gosh this is gonna be really cool we got to do something special with ease to get my point is that excitement is building and then they go home and they realised ok, maybe we should consider we should put something nice up you know we should do a wall porter we should do an album something special to commemorate a very momentous occasion I mean their life will never be the same ever an amazing way so this marks this time that I'm photographing with their baby mark's a huge change in their life and I want them to be able to relish that feeling and that's how they're going to do that with these images great so okay we ask one more quick question but let's go and switch light to the other side if we could and then put the four by six over there that's okay one more quick question while there's still seven hours okay cherie wants to know do you do the family shot last or first? It depends if I have a sibling so for the second baby and have a sibling, I'll shoot the family first then let the sibling leave because a two year old can't sit around for an hour while we're shooting the baby they need to get the session done with them and get out of there like the images that you see on the wall over here I don't know if we can get those now or later, but that's families she was three years old she shot those images first, okay? And then we did baby by yourself so if it's just mom and dad then I'll do the baby first to kind of keep mom away and then we'll do family for that second wind that's great, yeah, we also have from emily k and also elissa they'd like to know your approach to the mommy homework, especially like how do you sort of verbalize it if you don't, you don't be too firm and what about the lion that on and also the client that's driving for an hour before yeah that's hard and usually I would have had that happen sometimes and the baby falls asleep in the car and there's nothing you can do about it, but I mean those car I mean that's why parents get in the car with their kids in the middle of the night to try to get it to go to sleep so, yeah, it's a problem? Just go with it. They're going to sleep, and you just gotta feed him when they get here and, you know, deal with it. It happens to me all the time. So there's really not a solution for that. You can try to keep mom in the back seat, but I literally tell my parents. I mean, amanda, you got the email with the instructions. What did the instructions tell you? And how did you take it? Um, the instructions said to try and keep him awake for two or three hours prior. And so we actually ended up driving up last night to make things easier. Think he fell asleep in the ten minute car drive? Oh, yeah, down here. So we just yeah. I mean, we changed him. We tried to keep him naked. We we've we timed it so that he was going to be hungry when we got here. But it was you didn't have, like, a full feeding, so he was definitely ready for it and a little bit cranky in the meantime, which kept him awake on dh. Sometimes I tell my clients, unlike your baby's. Not gonna be happy with you. I tell them to get him naked, take a bath with, um, get him a little cold, even as a last resort, if you absolutely have to rub a little ice on their feet just momentarily. I mean, it really makes a man, but it keeps him awake. And I really stress. Keep your baby awake for two to three hours, and I have a letter that I sent out to every mom and amanda got that, and it gives them instructions on how to do that. I tell moms to bring a pacifier and a bottle of milk should we absolutely needed, and obviously, with leo here, we're not gonna need it, but sometimes the baby gets pussy in the middle of session, and when I'm with that baby in the beanbag, I don't want. I don't want to have to give him two on, so I usually use a bottle or a past fire if I absolutely have to.