We are delighted to have Ana Brandt of The Art of Pregnancy and Newborn here today. She is graciously sharing how her method of transitional posing can help you in your newborn photography sessions.
Photographing newborns, while being an absolutely amazing job, is not always easy. It may take 20 minutes to pose a baby in the perfect position, only to have them move in such a way that you have to start all over. Two things I have learned after photographing newborns for over 14 years is that:
- assistants are awesome to have, and
- to plan the next shot while creating the first one.
You may not have an assistant, but you can easily learn to plan the next shot while creating the first one. That’s where transitional posing comes in.
Easily Create a Series of Portraits
By creating at least 2 – 3 variations that require either no movement of the baby or very little moving, you can easily create several images that would work well in a series, or in a book.
When clients come in for a session, I have them choose their wrap and pick a few outfits – especially hats or headbands. I almost always start with a wrapped baby, as
I know it will be the most comfortable to start a new session with. Then once baby is settled, I can easily switch hats or headbands without disturbing the baby and yet
still create another “look”. I then begin a series of transitions, by slowly adjusting the wrap and body angles all while keeping the baby in the same basket. When babies are on a beanbag, I will often have a wrap handy as well, add bonnets or headbands and transition as much as I can.
Create an Smooth Flow During the Session
The idea of transitional posing can work for any type of pose – whether in a basket, prop or on a beanbag. By practicing transitioning and planning the next shot while
creating the first one, you can have a very easy smooth running session. Often times it can really be challenging to get baby into the perfect pose. Soothing, shushing and
wrapping is so important, but what happens when the baby is naked and sound asleep and you already have the shot? In the transitional posing method, the idea is
to move the baby slightly without much movement.
I plan to capture at least 2 – 3 “look changes” with each pose. I am always thinking ahead and planning my next move. The clients see that the movements are soft and subtle, and the transitioning is easy and gentle and their baby is well cared for, and finally they know they will have lots of images to choose from.
Small Adjustments Help You Perfect Your Work
Transitioning can often start in just subtle movements, where once you have the shot – you want to perfect it. You can do this by just transitioning just a little bit.
This next series of transitional posing is with baby on a beanbag. Notice baby is in the same pose. In three easy transitions, we show baby covered, baby with hat and
then baby bare. There are usually slight adjustments with feet or hands, but the idea is to keep the baby in similar positions and then adjust. The adjustments can be
minimal – such as adding or removing items – or actual poses.
You can also see in this Lightroom preview how the movements flow. You can even create yourself transitional posing posters to get in the habit of working in this method.
By making slight adjustments and changes you can learn to perfect your work. Often we are trying to grab the “perfect” pose and often that “perfect” shot is discovered along your way of transitioning. Rarely is my first shot the best; rather after a series of slight changes and movement I can really study the baby, angles, and light and find the gem of an image along the series.
We hope these tips help you with your next newborn photography session!
For more info please visit: www.pickmydowncomforter.com.
Ana Brandt loves all things pregnancy and newborn and runs her studio in Tustin, California. She works in natural light and studio light, is a Mama to three amazing littles and teaches workshops internationally. You can follow her beautiful work on Facebook and learn more about newborn photography at The Art of Pregnancy and Newborn.
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