Have you seen those hanging babies in the hammocks? The babies in buckets? The babies propped up on their hands? Or the babies on props that are off the ground? Know what you don't see? The hands touching the baby, the bean bag within inches of the hanging baby, or the weight in the bottom of the top-heavy bucket.
So HOW does the photographer get those poses? 95% of the time they are composites. Why 95% of the time? There have been times that I had the baby propped up on their hands, and when we were done getting the 2 pictures for the composite, mom or dad took their hands away, and baby was still up in the pose. I snapped one or two quick shots...of course, who wouldn't?!?!? But truth be told, this doesn't happen very often...if ever!
My advice to those aspiring newborn photographers. If you don't know how to use Photo Shop to create these images DO NOT attempt to do them until you can! There is NO safe way of doing these poses without a spotter and safety measures.
I have a 5 month old daughter. I NEVER do anything to a newborn that would make me uncomfortable if someone else did it to my daughter. Remember, mom and dad trust you, you are the professional, and they are assuming you know what you are doing. God forbid one of your poses goes bad, and hurts the baby. You can kiss you photography career goodbye.
I am not the kind of person to keep secrets, so here are a few of the before and after composite shots. I hope this helps some of you, and puts the parents' minds at ease:-)
|Yes, now you can probably tell where the editing was done, but I bet you didn't really notice before:-)|
|This is such a popular pose....I LOVE when it comes out right, but it takes a TON of patience...I think this may have taken 20 mins to nail, and then another 30 mins to edit. Patience is definitely a virtue in Newborn photography|
Some other tips for safety:
Place a 10lb+ weight into the bottom of any bucket or container prop that becomes top heavy with the baby in it, or have mom's hand hold it up, and edit it out.
Any hanging bag, basket, sling, make sure it is only inches off the bean bag and/or there are hand directly below the baby. If you secure the sling to a backdrop with a knot, have mom or dad hold the knot as well to be certain it isn't going anywhere.
I remember being a new photographer, wondering HOW these shots were captured. Here are some of the secrets. Start slow, with basic poses, and work up from there. Also, let the parents know they can say stop at any time. If they ever feel uncomfortable, stop that pose, and move on.
Note to mom and dad: if you EVER have a photographer who doe not use safety measures, don't hesitate to call them out, and ask them to STOP! Your baby's safety is #1!!