Alisha is headed to WPPI so there will not be a Newborn series post this week but she has answered the questions you left from the part 1 of her newborn series.
Thank you to everyone who left comments on my post. I am so happy to hear that it helped some of you refine your approaches to a newborn shoot. I wanted to write a short post to answer some of the questions posted in the comments section.
Jennie wrote: Awesome post! So specific. This is just what I needed to learn and build my confidence. Do you have any advice on how to get clients? I don’t have many pregnant friends anymore!
Casting calls, as I mentioned, on your blog is one way to get more clients. Also try offering some free sessions to friends, but I see that is not helpful to you as you don’t have many pregnant friends. Make sure you have a good newborn gallery on your website. As with any website image, make sure you only show your best work on your website. That not only means technically the best but also show what you love to shoot. I am a firm believer that you attract clients by the work you show. So make sure you are putting on your website images you love and not ones you THINK clients will love. I have never done them but advertising in local baby magazines/ parent magazines and offering OB/GYN offices displays can make your work more visible to the general public. As for my business, most of it has been on referrals, most pregnant people know other pregnant people. I would say 80% of my business is from referrals and the other 20% is from internet searches.
Tracy wrote: THANK YOU so much for posting this amazing info!!!!! I love working with babies and really want this to be my specialty. This makes me feel like I’m moving in the right direction. The info you shared is so helpful! I can’t wait until the next post… Question: The first few images have a beautiful softness to them. Would you mind sharing your post processing info? Also, what camera lens and settings are you using? Thanks!
Thanks Tracy. I am glad this post helped you. I do as little as possible in the way of post processing. My goal is always as close to perfect SOOC as possible. But I do occasionally use some desaturation type actions at a very low opacity. But for the most part I edit in Camera Raw in PS by adding some brightness, adjusting WB, contrast and exposure. I used the Canon 5D Mark II on the first and third shot and the Canon 5D with the second shot. The 50mm 1.2 is on my camera 99% of the time for newborns.
Kristi wrote: Thanks so much for this post! It is great info. I’m also wondering about lighting – what kind of lighting do you use if you aren’t able to position next to a good natural light source? Do you usually do newborn sessions in the mornings?
I try and do all my newborns in the am or in early afternoon. I just find they are less fussy. I use all natural light. I can almost always find light in any house. If it is really rainy and they do not want to travel to me (I have a natural light room in my house that is perfect rain or shine) then I reschedule. A sliding glass door, storm door with a window or floor to ceiling windows work best. I have been in some pretty tight places before just to get that light.
Brittany Hale wrote: Thanks so much! You mentioned you bring your flash but never use it— do you bring studio lighting to any shoots or is it all natural? Sorry if im rushing the lighting question, I know it will be covered on a later post… I cant wait!
I have a flash but I do not have studio lights. All my shots are all natural. I have not had to resort to bounced flash yet. And yes I will do a whole post on lighting soon! J
meg manion silliker wrote: such beautiful photos. any tips on shooting older babes….2 month olds?
I think you have to treat this age like a 3-5 month old. And I always try and wear them out enough so they will go to sleep for me at the end so I can get some sleepy shots.
Pam Breese wrote: Very nice! My question is about sleeping vs awake babies. I photographed a 6 week old and the mother was clearly wanting awake baby photos. From this post it appears that having an awake baby is not even an option for you. Do you ever photograph babies when awake, and how do you explain to parents that sleeping babies are preferred?
Well I don’t consider a 6 week old a newborn and I would definitely start with awake shots, unless they happen to be asleep when I get there. I tell my newborn clients that the goal is to get them asleep. If they wake up and they are happy then I get those too. And the parents always love awake shots but they are not easy with a 10 day old. Crossed eyes, hard to get eye contact, arms swinging around and odd facial expressions make it a difficult shot to get. I show mostly asleep shots on my website so that they know that is what I mainly shoot.
amy little wrote: I LOVE this post! I just posted a question about this on thebschool forum. So I’m so glad to find this post. I do have two additional questions: -do you ever place anything underneath them to catch any accidents? and -would you mind posting the specifics of the bean bag? I went to that website and I must be blind. I could only really see charis. Is that what you use, or do you have something smaller? Thanks again for your selflessness in being willing to teaching the rest of us.
I layer my beanbag with lots of blankets so that if they have an accident I just remove the top one and put a new one down. But I know people who use puppy pads and other similar waterproof pads under their blanket.
This is my exact beanbag. Mine is black.
Casey Cooper wrote: Great tutorial! For the 6th photo, what lighting setup did you use? I love the lighting contrast (black background photo)!
She is lying on a bean bag with a window camera left. That is a black vellux blanket from JC Penny’s.