Adventures in baby photography part 2
I would like to share with you here some of the things I've learned. I'm not going into the technical details at this time, other than to say that all the images were studio shot. What I would like to share here, is the experience of posing baby and dealing with young parents.
All the babies I've photographed are around 10 days old. Older babies often develop baby acne, can be colicky and are often a little more alert and more difficult to pose.
Once baby is finished feeding I ask mom to place him or her on the bean bag. At this point I take over. I warm my hands on the little space heater I use to keep the room extra warm and then start soothing baby into a deep sleep before I attempt to pose. I always like to talk to the baby constantly and softly throughout the entire session. I think this relaxes all the adults in the room as well, including myself.
When it comes to the actual posing, slow movements are the key. Although some babies have been like putty in my hands, many are very easily startled. I usually start with the easier poses first, belly down, and work my way to baby on the side and end with baby on it's back. My style is simple and natural, and still evolving.
If babies start to fuss, I find that shushing loudly in their ears, and rubbing their backs, their foreheads or using a pacifier will usually settle them back into sleep. I also play a playlist of never ending womb sounds in the background.
When it comes to the new parents, I believe that showing your confidence with their baby is very important. I like to think that I am naturally confident with babies and I do hope this relaxes parents immediately as they watch me handle their new little bundle of joy. It's important to me that the parents enjoy the experience as well. It shouldn't be stressfull for them. But all parents are different. I've had one second time mom go into the other room to watch tv and she actually fell asleep! Good for her, but I'd be surprised to see a first time mom do that. I try to keep a session to two hours although I will go longer if mom is game and eager for me to try other poses and blankets. I really love doing this and could happily fuss with one baby all day long.
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Photo credits: Barbara Helgason.