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Questions/Answers

 

1. What kind of lighting do you use when you photograph newborns and with what settings?

I often receive emails asking what kind of lighting I use and my  studio set up: natural light or studio light. Well, when I first started out with newborn photography I used natural light and several years ago have switched to studio lights and never looked back. Right now I work strictly out of my newborn studio in my home, which has no windows, I use Alien Bee 400 light and I have it set at its lowest (1/32). This way I can work with wide aperture. My setup looks something like this:

DSC_3277

here are some pullbacks

newborn photography on long island

newborn photography on long island

newborn photography on long island

 

So, here are the settings that I use almost every time: I like to shoot wide with newborns and always focus on the eyes, unless of course I’m shooting something other than his/her face 😉

DSC_4652

During the session, I move the light around a bit, especially when I try to get the best macro shots, but mostly the light stays in this position: to the left of me at 90 angle to the bean bag and on the same line with baby’s nose. This gives me a nice feathered light.

In post-processing I throw on my edits and

here is the final image:

newborn photography on long island

I get the shot I want in camera most of the time. Sometimes the corner of the blanket is cut off  (like above) and I have to fill it in during post processing. I do not like doing that. It takes me forever to go through every image to fix something that could have been avoided during the shoot… In the next post, I will share with you my post-processing technique and how it takes me less than an hour to edit the entire session….

Parents, parents, parents……..

Here are some tips that are very useful for a great session to happen. I am going to go into basic stuff first, stuff like:

Before the session, please have your children groomed, well-rested and well-fed.

Please do not give your children gold fish or any other staining snacks.

Dress your children in neutral simply toned clothing. I always go for natural but funky clothes. Please stay clear of animal prints for girls and khaki pants or short for boys…. Nothing more boring than khaki and a white polo shirt for photographs. Don’t get me wrong, I want your children to look like themselves in the images, but the point of these photographs is to capture them and not their current styles. So, again, simple colors, light tones: off white, grey, olive greens, tan, etc….

If you would rather go for more colorful clothes, that’s ok, too. Again solid and simple. A gorgeous yellow dress would look amazing on your little girl!! As long as you match the tone of the colors with your other children, it will be great!! Do not match them completely, keep in mind their personalities, but do match the tone of the colors.

 

That’s pretty simple, now what’s really important for the session:

AT THE SESSION….

We all want to have your children to smile and act great and cooperate at the session.  TRUST ME when I tell you that is what I want. We also want the children to look at the camera and communicate with the photographer taking the image, meaning me.

Not you.

Not here. Not at our session. Unless it’s a family session and I ask you guys to play around and look at each other and etc.

SO PLEASE, please refrain yourself from singing, making silly noises, jumping up and down to get your child to smile and etc.. Your child, naturally, will look at you and respond to you and your image will show them looking at you (when you are behind me) and not in the camera! Also, please understand that children will be somewhat uncomfortable at first and might act up, so please don’t punish them or threaten them… It will ruin our session. BRIBING, on the other hand, is definitely a plus. lol Tell them they will get ice cream …etc for good behavior…..

SOOOOOO, to avoid children listening to you and not me,  you have to give me full control of your kids. Sometimes, many times, walking away is the best thing to do. You can watch from far away…far enough that they pay attention to me.

I will be singing, I will be making silly noises, I will be getting their attention. I will bring out emotions out of them. It’s my job 🙂 It’s how I get those images. I need them to look in the camera to get those far-away looks..and etc….

 

Smiles, giggles, pouty faces, calm, thoughful, sleepy, tired, excited, whatever it might be, it has to come from me.

That’s first and for most.

Second, do not, do not bring your camera and start taking pictures. For the same reasons.

 

Now, for family sessions, when you are in the images, try to  think about how you look and not your kids. Pay more attention to yourself and where you are, I will take care of your kiddies 🙂

Also, show as much affection as possible. Hug, kiss, tickle (but not too much) your kids, swing with them side to side, dance… closing your eye is ok at these sessions, it shows emotions. It shows how much you love your precious ones…..

The goal of the session is to capture your children and you as you and they are right now. At my sessions, let your kids be kids. If they want to run around it’s ok, if they want to throw leaves or jump up and down it’s ok, I will capture that, too. We don’t want phony smiles, if anything I would rather see a natural pouty face than a fake smile, nothing worse than a fake smile.. yikes!! So let them be them and I will do my job 🙂

I promise we will have an amazing session!!!! Every child is different.. some are quite others are crazy, it’s my job to find approach to each and every one of my little clients :0 Usually, we have so much fun, that we are both crying when we have to part… yes. yes I am a big child!!!   SO,  keep these tips in mind and LET’S HAVE A GREAT SESSION!!!