Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mamatography Newborn Tutorial: Part I

This past weekend I attempted to document a newborn shoot as a tutorial for all you Mamatographers. Things didn't exactly go as planned, they never really do with babies, huh?

Baby boy was only 4 days old and just 6lbs 9ozs. He was a precious little peanut! But he was still sore from the trials of birth : ( He wasn't sleepy at all and was VERY strong so he was able to push his way out of many of the poses we attempted. I WAS STUNNED!

For future demonstrations such as this, I'm going to line up a few babies within a certain time slot. This is often the case on modeling jobs. 
So this project is a work in progress, which I'm okay with. I think it's an important topic and it's my goal to try to help Mamas document their own baby photos in the days following birth. This is not an easy task but POSSIBLE.

Here's a few tips:

1. Refresh your knowledge of your camera settings while baby is napping so you can have a clearer mind frame

2. Set up a scene with your choice props*keep pads and cloths near for potty accidents (I chose to shoot in my garden because I was shooting a cute carrot suit as a prop)

3. Prepare to shoot outdoors for easy lighting scenarios either early in the AM or around 5pm in the afternoon when the sun is setting

4. FEED THE BABY! BURP THE BABY! ROCK THE BABY! Try to put them to sleep if at all possible.

5. Undress baby gently

6. Pose them in a way that their face is most exposed and light is filling in any shadows*Use a Reflector or Flash just to fill if you know how

7. Shoot using a wide aperture i.e. f3.5 or 1.8 for very shallow depth of field

8. Use spot focusing on the baby's face to selectively focus on this area

9. Work quickly but move the baby around gently between poses and scenes

10. Keep baby warm and comfortable between poses especially if you are doing nudie shots!

BIG thanks to New Mama Danielle Hart, Lisa Della Bella Photography for her help with setup and props and Kristy Tompkins of Willows Garden for the adorable crochet carrot suit that she hand made!