[video-description] In this video, professional newborn photographer, Kelly Brown demonstrates the art of flow posing for capturing the first months and days of a baby’s life. While this is a powerful art form, it’s also a demanding one. Covering everything from props, lighting, and camera angles, Kelly describes how to best capture the beauty and innocence of a newborn. In the full course of Newborn Photography Bootcamp, Kelly Brown will cover every aspect of the exciting field of newborn photography. [/video-description]
It may seem for a moment that compared to those above, this pose is relatively ‘boring’. Nothing could be further from the truth. The side poses offer considerable opportunities to customize, with the color of the blanket matched to baby’s skin tone, to dressing the baby in a wrap to contrast with the blanket, and caps/hats/crowns/pants/skirts to make the little one seem as special as he or she truly is.
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About the Author: Hi, I am Harshita of Avnida Photography. After earning two Masters of Science in Computer Science and spending 5 years writing code, I gave in to my real passion; photography, especially of newborn and kids. Trained by the top 10 photographers in the country, I love capturing the experiences of life, and the love in everyday moments through my lens. Join me on Facebook or Google+ in this journey to encourage me, share ideas and teach me new things.
So yeah, she’s having a great time creating all these wonderful bits and pieces. So we’re going to use this. And these colors are going to go really well together. >> Speaker 1: So I’m just using my hand over the top of the thigh there so he doesn’t kinda flinch. With the side pose, I like to have the feet tucked up towards the bottom as much as I can.
>> Speaker 1: So because our light source is over here, I’m actually gonna turn him towards that light source. Or would it be better for the camera if I turned him this way? It’s probably easier for you to see on this side, isn’t it? We’ll do that, because we still have our beautiful light here, and I don’t want you guys to not see what I’m doing.
We want it to be a nice smooth, round well. >> Speaker 1: When I shoot this image from over here, I want his little feet to kind of drift off into the background. >> Speaker 1: So now I’m gonna use one of my nappies just to give his little head a little bit of a lift and then that’s going to put everything, keep his, sort of, his chin and shoulder together to keep that hat in place as well.
This means, having the right room temperature. Not a temperature that feels good to you and the parent(s) but one that helps the little one feel the most comfortable. Remember, s/he is in her/his birthday suit; we aren’t (and thank goodness for that). We will cover this in our next post.
There is a certain joy in newborn photography that is unlike any other. It’s the baby’s first professional photograph, the expressions are uncontrolled, and the bliss of the photograph comes purely from capturing the innocence and cuteness of a baby. And they are really cute, aren’t they?
>> Speaker 1: So I want to put a beautiful color on in here. I brought too many things with me. >> Speaker 1: So my mom has been busy knitting. She does some beautiful things, and she’s been using some of the Monkey Moo-moo patterns which are now available. I used to buy a lot of my props from her, but now she’s actually making patterns and selling them, and no longer knitting.
Whoops. >> Speaker 1: So, when I’m shooting anything, I’m using my 24 to 70 lens. I want to be at that 70 mil focal length. >> Speaker 1: Oh, dear. So we’ve got a quick shot. He’s just had a little bit of a wiggle, but we’re gonna fix his hands, and then we should be right to take our image.
>> Speaker 1: Our windows can be fill light today. So, I’m just pulling the wrap. >> Speaker 1: There we go. And now, because we are going to turn him this way, this side here I want to pull down, like this. I’m not going to pull it out just yet, because as I turn him it’s now gonna come out the back.
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I would love for you to share this post using the social share buttons and please comment. I’d love to hear what you think and also if there is any category of newborn poses you know that is drastically different from those mentioned here.
The goal of photographing a newborn should be to capture the innocence and beauty of the child. That means capturing those cute, pouty lips, or little hands under the chin, the flexibility (some call it squishiness to make it sound more cute) when wrapped, the wrinkles or baby fat that is normal and healthy for a baby, and finally extending the personality of the baby by incorporating props. In today’s post, we will focus exclusively on 8 key poses, keeping baby’s safety in mind.
And last, but certainly not the least, the “We are a Family” shot. To be 100% accurate, this really isn’t a pose but rather a setup. For mom and siblings, it’s either in the arms or lying down next to each other, with their heads touching. For dad, it is holding the baby in the arms, or if he has really good ink (which is awesome for a photographer), I like to incorporate that into the newborn photographs. After all, it’s all the unique things that make up a good memory.
So just going to bring his little bottom around, making sure that the elbow stays in line with the body and the hand is up so that when I do turn him his hand doesn’t end up up here. And we’re gonna really struggle then to bring it down in line with the body.
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>> Speaker 1: And then, we don’t want it covering his cheek here, so we wanna bring that cheek forward, so it looks nice and full. >> Speaker 1: So just push in that hand a little bit further, up and underneath his cheek. And then we’ve got beautiful straight fingers. Let’s tuck that hat in a little bit more.
You can see just by pushing there, I’ve just turned his little nose up towards the ceiling, which is where we want it to be. >> Speaker 1: Okay, we might get our first shot. Even though I’m really happy with where this is at, I would still like to get some flat fingers in there.
All the time. We do it without even noticing. We move until we’re comfortable. Yes, they do the same thing. And they have their own comfy place and we have to remember that not every baby will go into every pose comfortably. And as easy as a side pose is, sometimes babies don’t like laying on their side.
So I’m just gonna give him a little turn down that way, and push his bottom towards the back of the bag, so let him sink back into that sleep. >> Speaker 1: I try and make my blankets as smooth as possible before I take a shot so that I’m not having to do so much work in post-production to make them smooth.
However, it is not easy to photograph a newborn. After conducting more than 100+ newborn sessions, my personal perspective is that there are two primary reasons why this is the case.
So what I’m gonna do is stand above here and I’m going to take the weight of his head off his hands and slide the other hand in underneath. So I’ve put my finger through the palm here, bring those little fingers out, and push the thumb through just like that.
As the name indicates, the baby is posed on the his/her side, most often the right side. The hands are under the chin, and may be joined together. The difference between the two being the depth of the pose; see newborn photograph examples below.
But we want this bottom hand in underneath. Because if I was to take a photo now, it would become quite blurry, and you would see that in the image. I’m shooting wide open. I’m focusing on the eye. The hand is going to be in front of the face, so it’s going to appear bigger, and it’s going to be blurry.
You could say that Froggie and Tushy Up also give this combination of three (face, hands and feet) but as I said earlier, the former requires significant expertise to perform safely, and the latter might not be preferred by all parents. As such, the Taco pose which is relatively safer – you still need to be careful as with all poses – should definitely make it into the portfolio for every parent.
For best results, combine it with the “Prop” pose, like a baby in a wooden bucket. Now, I might sound like a broken horse but that won’t stop me from saying this again – when you pose the baby in a prop, make sure that there it is stable so it won’t tilt over, and always have an adult sitting very close by to quickly take action, in case it does.
There you have it. Eight poses that make up a big part of how we, as newborn photographers, capture memories for families for a lifetime. Now to prepare for the cake smash session!
Props are an excellent method to extend that personality into the physical realm, and to incorporate the parents’ desires into the newborn photography session. So, ignore those who act like purists, take names and do not ever apologize for using props. Who doesn’t love a cute newborn cowboy, a little princess in her carriage, or a newborn flying in the clouds?
I hope you enjoy this book, and that it can serve as a guide for you to hone your own craft of newborn photography. It has been a labour of love, and all my greatest wishes stem from a desire to strengthen and unite the photography community.
>> Speaker 1: You gonna take your hat off? >> Speaker 1: I’m just waiting for him to just relax. Had a stretch. >> Speaker 1: And that’s something else that we also need to remember is that when we lay down in bed or we lay down on the couch to watch TV or we sit somewhere, we get comfortable.
I’m gonna keep them where I need them to be, and we’re just going to lift up gently here. >> Speaker 1: I just wanna bring some of these fingers out under here. There we go. So what I did was I used this part of my hand to just push his head up, nice and flat, it’s not pointing or anything like that, and then, I scoop the fingers out.
From the family of “chin on …” newborn photography poses, like the hands on cheeks in the “Side Poses” or the “Tushy Up”, this one has led to some of the cutest moments in my studio.
I am a sucker for newborn props. A quick glance at the photos of my studio, my blog posts, or my shopping bill will easily prove this. My personal belief is that each newborn has a different personality – yes, even at that age – and that each parent has different desires and dreams for their newborn.
>> Speaker 1: So when I come in to fix hands, I’m placing my hand over the whole body there. I’ve got this part of my hand on top of the knee, I’ve got my fingers on his body, and I’ve got my other two fingers on that top hand so they’re not gonna go anywhere.
So I’m not actually lifting his head this way, I’m kinda turning his nose up towards the ceiling. So I’m not overextending his neck or anything like that. Cuz if you stand there or you lay down and you try to go like that, it’s not that easy. But you can turn easily.
So we’ve got those hands in place. >> Speaker 1: There we go. I’m just tucking that hat in so it doesn’t look too big. >> Speaker 1: Okay, now we can start to move our cloth nappies to get everything in the right place. So I’m just pushing it down underneath his little knee there, so we don’t have like a big deep sort of well here, and then it kind of just comes up at the end of his feet.
When it’s got a little bit of length you can actually drape it and it looks beautiful but we’re going to tuck it in. >> Speaker 1: All right. >> Speaker 1: Just grab that cloth nappy from the back of the bag. You can see a little bulge there, and when the light hits that, it’s gonna cause a shadow.
There’s a reason babies are called “Bundles of Joy”, and this pose goes to prove that name. You wrap the baby snugly yet carefully in a wrap on a blanket or a flokati rug, or both. Each provides a different texture and feel to the photograph. Hands can be in or out, although the latter is a bit more tricky. You can go with what feels natural but more importantly, safer for the baby. Caution: this is very much like swaddling. So if you are a parent, it might bring back memories of that time in your baby’s life and the sleepless nights. Don’t say you weren’t warned!
So we want our blankets to be nice and smooth. >> Speaker 1: I’ve got his feet pretty much where we want them to be. We will perfect them in a minute, but I’m just gonna pop that cloth nappy in underneath there just to give a little bit of resistance there so he can sort of feel some form of support there.
Second (and Equally Important) – Ensure the Newborn’s Comfort.
Newborn photography Posing Video Tips Newborn Photography Flow Posing
So, I’m sliding one hand underneath, it’s there under the bag. And what I’m going to do from there is lift his head, take his weight off the bean bag and slide the cloth nappy in underneath his head. >> Speaker 1: It’s moving that cloth nappy. So you can see it, I’ve kind of just bunched it up underneath there.
>> Speaker 1: You can see where the arm underneath is now. It’s in line with the body. If it was up like this it would be the same as the hand. It would be a large, sort of, object in front of the face, being the elbow. So we don’t want that anywhere near his little face so it becomes all about the face and he’s lifting so I’m gonna bring that up.
And, that’s the beauty of having the flow posing, and if you’ve got a little one that’s not quite happy in one position, you can transition over into the next. >> Speaker 1: And when you’re using bows or anything like that, if they’re too big, they’re gonna become distracting. You do not want anything in your images competing with the little one’s face.
So it’s the same with babies. We’ve gotta remember that they’re the same as us, they’re just a ridiculously small version. So making them comfortable the whole time. >> Speaker 1: I’ve just, oh he’s going to do it for me again. Easy baby. >> Speaker 1: Now I want to bring his top hand, when he’s lifted his head earlier, he’s brought the top hand in over the top of the bottom hand.
P.S. – If you prefer to edit in Lightroom, Pretty Presets for Lightroom just released their fabulous Baby Bella Newborn Workflow which includes tons of presets and brushes – everything you need to edit newborns in Lightroom!
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And then when he relaxes that elbow, just giving it a little gentle rock. Now when I lift up, he’ll probably move with me. And slide that thumb in over the top of the other wrist. >> Speaker 1: And I’m just waiting for him to relax those fingers. There we go.
If you like this post, I would really appreciate if you would share the link to it. Why? Because I’d love to hear comments from as many folks as possible. It benefits all of us to hear different perspectives and learn something new.
I’m moving it around to sort of push them into that position. >> Speaker 1: If he was really stirring at the moment, I’d get a safe shot. I’m just going to do a little more tucking here, because I want these images to be beautiful for mom. >> Speaker 1: And then a little bit more height here underneath the face, underneath those hands, just to lift it up off the bag.
The classic, the evergreen, THE newborn pose. They should probably name the frog pose “The You-Have-To-Do-It-Newborn” pose. It highlights the baby’s facial features and flexibility. Legs by the side, and hands placed under and cupping the chin. But definitely not for an untrained photographer. Safety of a baby is always paramount, and most photographers (I hope) do this as a composite like shown below. Get this pose right and be on your way to impress your clients.
Alternatively also called, “How-Kim-Kardashian-sleeps-comfortably” pose. It helps the photographer strike three birds with one stone: capturing the newborn’s facial features, the cuteness of wrinkles/baby fat, and the natural curvature of a baby’s bottom. However, you need to keep this in mind: even though this is a very cute and innocent pose, some parents might not be comfortable with it, especially for little girls. So suggest it gently and watch the reaction to move forward with posing the baby.
And this is gonna come over the top, and it’s going to just. Aw, hi. >> Speaker 1: He’s just having a stretch. He’s posing himself. >> Speaker 1: I’m not actually going to have any of this coming out as a detail. I’m going to tuck it in really tight because it’s not very long, so I don’t want it to look too silly.
>> Speaker 1: Bring his feet down. And now I’ve got his fingers. Sorry, I’ve got my fingers on his elbows. So as I gently turn him, my little finger under here is going to push that wrap out the back. >> Speaker 1: I’ll just leave that over him for a minute. Make him modest.
And then bringing him towards the front of the bean bag towards that beautiful light. >> Speaker 1: Oh. >> Speaker 1: There we go. And then the hips, so they’re not facing up. We’re gonna sort of face them over, turn them over towards the bag. And I’ve got one hand at the back supporting him, and one hand on his shins and his knees.
This pose is also known as the “Womb Pose”, that is comfortable for the baby. The Taco pose is one of the few poses that offers the benefit of showcasing the facial expressions as well as the cute little hands and feet.
Oh, look, he’s smiling. Oh, that is so cute. He’s still doing it. >> Speaker 1: I’m gonna use another piece of fabric now just to wrap over the top of him. And I’ve got lots of different textures in here and beautiful color tones. And he’s just got the most beautiful skin.
>> Speaker 1: I’m just gonna use the weight of my arm just on his body. It’s not heavy, it’s not hard, it’s just so that he feels secure whilst I’m moving him. >> Speaker 1: So with this side, what I’m gonna do is in a second, I’m gonna lift here from the side of his head, and I’m gonna push with my finger down on the bag to bring that tassel down.
It’s funny, whenever we have sort of, different little props and things like that, not all of them are going to fit every baby. So we can tuck them in wherever we need them to be, and they don’t need to look perfect at the back, they need to look perfect at the front.
By the way, this last line should explain my ‘shopaholic’ attitude to buying props, as I also have a large collection of hats, pants, caps, tutu skirts and headbands in my studio.
>> Speaker 1: So when you’re working in your studio and you’ve got this down pat, you wouldn’t be going through all the steps and going slowly like I am, you’d move through these poses really quickly. And sometimes, the trick is just knowing where to put your hands to keep them secure.