I recently had the opportunity to photograph some handmade newborn props for a cute prop shop and I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to show some behind the scenes of how some of those more creative shots are really done. My number one priority during a newborn portrait session is the baby’s safety and comfort. I am handling the most precious things on earth and new parents are trusting me with their often less than a week old babies, and often times I am a complete stranger to them! There are a lot of new photographers coming onto the scene and so I think it’s important to point out and show that things aren’t always what they seem in photos. I feel that it’s important to teach and inform photographers that are less experienced so that these kinds of shots are attempted safely. I’ll let the photos illustrate for me.
Before we put the baby in the hammock, I took my “base shot” (below left) without the baby, so that I could get the proper shadowing and background that was below the hammock as I knew I would be doing a composite (when more than one photo is combined in Photoshop) for this shot. Once I had that, we moved the beanbag underneath the hammock and made sure that the hammock just barely touched the beanbag. We got baby all nice and cozy in it and mom helped to very carefully lift one side of the hammock (while the other side was tied and clamped to the crossbar) so that we could get the look that baby was actually hanging in the hammock, without her actually hanging in it. As you’ll see below, she never came off of the beanbag entirely.
I then took both images into photoshop and with a little magic, we have the below resulting final image. And a safe and happy baby girl! 🙂