Newborn Photography – How to Create the Head in Hands Pose

November 2, 2010

in Newborn Photography, Photography Tutorials, Photoshop

Newborn Photography - How to Create the Head in Hands Pose


The head in hands pose has become a very popular pose among newborn photographers and one of my personal favorites!

The steps to achieve this pose start in camera to keep baby safe. (you don’t want a newborn flopping over!) You will start by taking 2 photos. Once you have baby in position and still asleep take the first photo with someone holding them below their chin (I usually ask mom or dad to do this).

Newborn Photography - How to Create the Head in Hands Pose

Then take a second photo (without moving from your position) with someone holding them at the top of their head.

Newborn Photography - How to Create the Head in Hands Pose

Open both photos in Photoshop. Select the 1st photo and using your lasso tool select and copy the top half of your photo.

Newborn Photography - How to Create the Head in Hands Pose

Next use your move tool and drag the 1st photo on top of the 2nd.

Newborn Photography - How to Create the Head in Hands Pose

Lower the opacity of the new layer to match up with the bottom photo. Use free transform if needed (hold shift while adjusting to keep from distorting photo!) Use the hairline, nose and mouth as guidelines while adjusting photo.

Newborn Photography - How to Create the Head in Hands Pose

Adjust with levels or curves on each layer to match colors and skin tones.

Newborn Photography - How to Create the Head in Hands Pose

Use the eraser tool to erase everything but the hand holding baby in place.

Newborn Photography - How to Create the Head in Hands Pose

Set opacity back to 100% and flatten. Crop photo if needed. Select stamp tool to clean up background.

Create a new layer and using the healing brush clean up newborn acne, red spots and flaky skin.

Flatten when finished and run Coffeshop Baby Powder Room. Using a soft brush set at low opacity select red skin repair layer and go over red areas. (adjust opacity if needed)  Do the same with smooth skin layer and  lighten skin layer. Use brush at 100% on eye define layer to sharpen eyes, nose, mouth and toes.

Flatten all layers. Create a new layer and set layer style to soft light. Adjust opacity to create a soft color pop. (I usually set mine around 30%)

Newborn Photography - How to Create the Head in Hands Pose

Flatten and save!

Newborn Photography - How to Create the Head in Hands Pose

 

And here is a peak into my newborn setup:

Newborn Photography - How to Create the Head in Hands Pose

Jessica Vaughn is a lifestyle photographer specializing in newborn photography located in Indianapolis, Indiana. You can find out more about her at Jessica Vaughn Photography and photography facebook page.

Don’t Miss Our Ultimate Newborn Photography Guide. An amazing FREE resource for all photographers!

Newborn Photography Tutorials | Baby Photography Guide

{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa Franchot May 21, 2014

Thank you! That was so helpful and very cool of you to share that! I have to take photos of a friend baby tomorrow and this was a HUGE help!

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Darah April 22, 2013

I am a novice photographer, and absolutely love this website! I just wanted to show some love. I’ve pinned a few of the pages to my Pinterest and have read through them, plan on practicing some of the awesome techniques in the near future. Thank you for making this wonderful blog!!

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Melissa December 11, 2012

Wow I have been trying to get my newborn to pose in this position all week. I had no idea that is was done using photo technology. That would be why my newborn could not seem to hold this pose alone!

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Alejandro January 12, 2012

Hi:

This is useful information for those starting or wanting to do it themselves. I would like to add though, that a different method I use and find it a bit easier is to have both images opened as layers and then use the auto-align feature and later on mask the top layer to delete the supporting hand. It is quick and easy.
It is a standard recommended method for deleting unwanted features or elements from your photos.

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Brandi November 10, 2011

Yes you can do it in Elements. The steps are the same and so are tools to merge the 2 photos together.

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Martha November 10, 2011

Could you do this editing in PS Elements? If so, could you explain please?

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TJ November 10, 2011

finally someone said it!!!

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Carol Winikerei November 9, 2011

I love the information you have provided, safety first. I personally do not use photoshop or have the software to use it but i think that if photoshop can help someone achieve that pose safely then that is a great plus. Loved the tutorial :)

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Julie McDowell October 16, 2011

I just wanted to thank you for the last shot showing the set up for the picture. Stuff like that is so helpful to me and I am grateful that you shared how the shot was put together.

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antoinette August 3, 2011

wow its not fake its the same pose you would get if they were to do it on their own YET its safe! you can break a babys neck by doing it on their own i hope the people that do it that way have good insurance thats what they will need if they keep doing it the “real” way and not the fake way!
way to go its lovely to see someone is helping photographers stay safe when working with babys!

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Jessyka July 21, 2011

Is there a video tutorial to do this?

Thanks
Jessyka

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