2: Remove Outer Layer
Because the baby was wearing a diaper cover under the sack, I was able to
carefully remove the outer bundle and
still get a good shot. Next, I gently lifted
her up so we could place a flokati fur
underneath her for a new look. The whole
change took less than a minute.
Newborns change so quickly in size, and
knowing their hands and feet will never
be this little again makes details super
important to capture; my clients often
use them in announcements and books.
They’re also super easy—I didn’t switch
lenses; I used the same 24-70mm USM
II L Canon lens I had been using. This
image was captured using studio light
and my settings were 1/160 f/5.0.
4: Switch Props
The baby’s bonnet was switched in this image to a headpiece with pearls. For props,
I ask Mom to pick out hats, headbands
and coordinating items in the same colors
so I can then transition quickly during the
first set. I keep extra blankets and layering
pieces handy in the same color palette.
When switching props, I will often
shush in a baby’s ear and have an assistant or Mom keep her warm hands on
the baby, generating heat (babies love
physical contact). Once the switch has
happened, we pull our hands away very
slowly—too quickly will startle the baby
with the difference in air temperature.
5: Naked Baby
I usually end sets with the naked pose
(in case of a baby accident). Years ago,
I would start with the baby naked and
spend the first hour just cleaning up!
Removing the clothes takes some care
and often a pacifier. While Mom or an assistant is very close with hands covering the
baby, I gently remove the cover. Usually the
baby is in a deep sleep by then and we can
do this with ease. If the baby is not sleeping, we will have her suck on the pacifier,
and once the diaper is removed, cover her
with a blanket and lull her back to sleep.
Each set takes up to 30 minutes and
once I have that first shot, the transitioning is done very slowly so as not to disrupt
the baby’s sleep. Changing the headband
may take a few minutes, but it only takes
seconds to capture the image. I would
rather put the bulk of my time into the
care and safety of the baby, allowing for
quick exposures when ready.
Find Ana Brandt at bellybabylove.com,
on Twitter and Instagram @ana brandt,
and Facebook at bellybabylove.