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Photography Question 

How to shoot new borns

I took a photography course a long time ago and haven't really practiced it. A friend wants me to shoot some b&w of her newborn, about 3 weeks old by the time I shoot. I need advice on how to set up the scene, just simply all black or all white? Other options? Any suggestions on poses for the newborn as well as the family (3 all together)? Any other suggestions/advice on lighting, film type etc, etc... I will be reviewing my old notes to prepare for this. Anyone know of any websites I can consult for ideas?
Thanks in advance.

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4/29/2003 12:25:37 AM

Brian Knox   I'm now in the exact same boat you were in (about to do my first newborn shoot) and I'm wondering how yours have been going and what tips and techniques you have to offer. What backgrounds? How do they get that black background where it seems as if the baby's feet or the mother's hands, etc. are just emerging from the darkness? Any advice you have is greatly appreciated! I'm new at this. Thanks!

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8/11/2005 2:21:04 PM

Aurelia Ruiz
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/14/2006
  I have shot numerous of newborns and the no advice anyone can give you is Patience! Alot of it. I had one 2 days ago with a 2 1/2 week old. The day of the shoot he was suffering from hiccups and bad gas pains, the shoot took an 1 hour 20 minutes, but had about 9 breaks to calm him down. The equipment I had was 18-200mm Tamron lens, 10-22mm Canon Lens, 1 Softbox, Canon Flashgun, ND filter, black cotten background 20x20inches. The most popular background for the shooting newborns is black as it looks fantastic setting up in colour or black & white shots. The trick for the black background and the hands coming out of the dark is simply photoshop or any photo programe you have on hand, and editing it using a brush stroke with black with hardness at 0. That and a keen eye for detail. A very good advice I give to photographers when shooting newborns before you actually start, make sure your hands are warm, if cold run your hands in hot water for at least a minute or near a heater. If its in the studio make absolutely sure its warm for them, if on location warn the parent they might be naked and to make sure the room is warm for them. Keep the shot simple is the best thing to do. As in posing them I normally have them on whatever prop is around the room a big cushion with my black cloth over it, or a good trick is getting a wicker laundry basket, put a pillow in it or thick blanket and then the background cloth over it. You can mold it then to position the baby on his/her side or back and able to shoot alot of angles.

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4/8/2008 12:16:29 PM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
you will find a lot of help on the Studio Photography Threads.
Please keep in mind that sleeping poses are just as beautiful as awake,I personally like them better.
getting the parents involved is also a plus!
They become you BEST props.
I just had a 4 day old last week,the photographer I had trained 6 months ago, along with other family members were all loud and calling this child,
I was going to loose it on someone!
You will get NO Where like this with a child of ANY AGE!
when photographing children you should be the one who talks to the child, you know where you want those eyes to be looking if you get them.
** Note for childrens Photography a remote comes in SO handy.
for most babies as they can focus or be attentive to something, soft soothing voices by only the one person trying to get expression will do fine.
Just tell them as mommy would oh what a pretty baby, you are so good........
it may take a bit ,but you will usually get that smile.
This works best on infants days to 3 mos old.
tinkling some bells SOFTLY, in front of the eye will also help.Remember they can only see up to 3 feet depending on days to weeks old.
Loud nosies, toys and teddys will not help until older.
PROPS: Cribs, Laundry basket, Baby Scales,or baby posers will work,
Mom & Dad add so much more,and the more you envolove your parents the more they are already attached to your work.
Put naked baby in Dad's hands,on brown or black background.the following with soft lighting( I usually turn off the fill and use just the main.)
Shot #1: Have him at a 45 degree angle holding baby close, but UP closer to face with baby pointing towards camera,Dad looking at baby.
#2 don't move Dad, Have Mom come up behind Dad(you may need to have her stand on a posing block) she looking at baby rests her cheek on Dads' shoulder
and her hand on her husbands hand under baby or on top of baby's little feet.
#3 pull Dad out and turn Mom the other direction and take a close up of Mom with her cheek resting on babys head by temple.
Such a easy sell of a wall grouping!
and you hardly bothered the little one at all.
Just baby on black tends to look like BABY in Space, so a gell on the background complimenting the sex on the infant is really nice.

Ok here is the studio photography thread part #1:

I hope this helps,
Debby Tabb

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4/8/2008 1:31:53 PM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Sorry I had to run,
I wanted to add:
Bean bag chairs make Wonderful baby posers.
and baby pink,blue,white blankets are wonderful backgrounds since many shots are lying down and or sitting in a bean bag or baby support poser.
Satins are great as well!
asking parents to bring thier own special blankets and toys is a wonderful practise through out those baby years,as well as the next few years as most parents would like to remember what thier child was into at the different stages in thier life:
Thomas the train/Dora/ whinnie the pooh ect.

as far as other backgrounds for kids, I have Clouds, some floral seances, and of course Gells to give you a range of colors just using your brown/white/black/and blue backgrounds.

Ok, I hope this helps,
Debby Tabb

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4/8/2008 4:12:42 PM

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