Lately I’ve had a few images that other photographers have asked me “How did you get that shot!?” and I realized, that some of them might look risky, and so I wanted to show everyone how they were done, and what they REALLY look like when they come straight out of my camera, before the magic of Photoshop happens!
If ever you see something in my portfolio (and in many many other experienced photographers portfolios) that looks a little on the risky side, you can rest assured that it’s what’s called a “composite” image. Generally, there are at least two images combined (or a lot of “cloning”) to make the one final work of art that we share with the world. For example…
“Heart Baby” is probably one of my favourite newborn images to date. In the final product, it appears that dad is balancing the baby upright in his hands. Nope! I personally feel like that’s too risky, so this particular shot, for me, was accomplished by making a big well in my jumbo high rise bean bag and positioning baby safely on his side while moulding dads hands around him. The rest was done in photoshop. Baby was safe the entire time, never at risk of falling. Also, by the time I managed to get this little guy into position, I was a sweaty, out-of-breath mess (seriously anyone who thinks this is easy should come and watch a session one day! lol!) So I missed that his boy parts were playing peekaboo with my shot. In an effort to maintain his dignity, I’ve edited them out.
When I’m working with a basket or bucket, sometimes baby will settle in nicely and their little heads will just naturally lay where I want them to go without any need for hands holding them up. In this case, he kept pulling his little chin in towards his chest, plus he was a little unsettled and I had positioned him off a little farther to the one side of the basket than I wanted to. I didn’t want to attempt repositioning him since we didn’t want to wake him up again, so I needed mom’s help to just prop his head where I wanted it to get my shot. I should also mention that this basket had 10 lbs. of weight in the bottom to counteract the baby’s weight in the top. I always have a spotter no more than arms length away from a prop at all times.
Sometimes I will flip a box or flat bottomed basket upside down for a different look to a prop shot. In this case, even if baby is nice and settled into a pose, there is always someone no more than arms length away from them in case they startle.
Working with siblings can be especially precarious. They’re still little too, baby usually isn’t wearing a diaper, and if the sibling gets scared or peed on, they’re apt to forget about baby and bolt. All of my favourite sibling shots had dads hands on or very near baby at all times for safety.
Whether it’s a police hat, fire helmet, cowboy hat, or Uncle Joe’s favourite beanie – babies do not balance on top of these things on their own like this.
Sometimes, the shot you see never even really happened! In this case, it was right after a tornado literally devastated the street that this little guy lives on. His dad was part of the volunteer fire team that was assisting in putting everything back together afterwards. It was really important to him that we got this shot, but no way, no how was that baby going to let us put him into that bucket. Try as we did, he just wasn’t having it. Not all babies will do all poses, and that’s perfectly fine. In this case though, since it was so important to dad, I took a picture of the set up, and then arranged another pose on my comfy beanbag that baby was happy in with the intent to merge the two together later on. Dad never even knew the difference!
So it should go without saying that a newborn should never be left without a spotter throughout their session, but what about older babies? They’re sitting on their own, they should be cool, right? Not if they’re in a prop. I never ever ever leave a baby without a spotter within arms length if they’re in a prop.
This little guy was just barely sitting on his own, so put him into a wobbly prop and there was no safe way that he could safely balance by himself. I just had mom help him out a bit.
So the moral of the story? If you’re a photographer, always have a spotter. If you’re a parent and have hired a photographer to make portraits of your child, always ensure their safety. If a photographer puts your baby in a prop and then steps back more than an arms length away from your baby, speak up. No shot is ever worth sacrificing the safety of a baby.
Thanks for reading!
Stephanie made our newborn session a special experience! Her studio is clean, organized, and professional. She totally takes control by helping sooth the baby. She definitely has the most care and patience I’ve seen and a special vi… Read more
Steph is one of the most professional photographers I have worked with. Her patience especially with little ones is unmatched and the finished product is spectacular. I have never finished a family photo shoot with so many images to ch… Read more
Loved our family photo’s! Very accommodating and great with kids 🙂 Excellent Customer Service! Nothing but 5*’s for Raindance Photography!
I first took my four children to Raindance Photography in 2011. I told Stephanie I didn’t need a group shot of them as they wouldn’t sit nicely together for more than two seconds anyway, just take individual shots. I couldn’t believe… Read more
Just wanted to say thank you for the GREAT experience! I was so disappointed at the hospital when the nurses were too busy to get a family picture of the 3 of us. After having our photo session with you, I felt a lot better. You … Read more
We have had the pleasure of using Stephanie at Raindance Photography for at least 3 extended family photo shoots. Her work is lovely, she is friendly, great at communication and so adaptive when working with our family with ages baby t… Read more
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Words can’t express the amount of admiration I have for this photographer. She is capturing all of the biggest moments of my familys life. She has a natural talent that you cannot teach anyone. Her pictures are beautiful and she is so … Read more
I just wanted to take a minute to express how grateful we were to work with you! You are a very talented, patient, and sweet person and I’m so happy you are pursuing what you love… it’s very clearly what you’re meant to be doing! Yo… Read more
The pictures you have captured have overjoyed me and brought me to tears. Words cannot describe this journey for my daughter and I and I cannot thank you enough. I am sincerely thankful that we have met you. You don’t just take phot… Read more
Steph did my son’s cake smash pictures for his first birthday & they were AMAZING. My family absolutely loved them all! We had a wonderful experience too, very professional, friendly & outgoing. We got the best smiles out of my little … Read more
Stephanie has been taking our family photos for years and they never disappoint! She’s amazing with the kids and always gets so many great shots that I have a hard time making decisions on which to get. Pro tip – get the package that i… Read more
Stephanie from Raindance Photography was very professional, and was able to capture the personalities of all three of our young boys. We were extremely happy with her friendiness, photography skill and editing talent. We absolutely… Read more
Great with my baby and offers lots of choice!
Stephanie from Raindance Photography did our amazing family photos, she was absolutely fantastic. My family “may” have been at each other’s throats mere seconds before arriving at her studio, but with her friendly, easy-going nature, … Read more
We have been having our photos taken with Steph at least once a year for the past few years! Every time I book an appointment, I am so excited. she is amazing with kids and always gets pictures when I don’t think we will. We are st… Read more
Best photographer!! Stephanie is amazing with newborns and a phenomenal photographer!!! Definitely going back 🙂
Amazing photographer, some of our best family photos are from Stephanie.
We have been clients of Raindance Photography for years. She has documented my child’s life from around age one, and I treasure all of the photos she has taken. My son has some significant disabilities, and Stephanie has always been ki… Read more
Stephanie is amazing. She is always calm and able to capture great photos, even when the littles are not at their best! She is gentle, relaxed, and the children always respond to her! She does amazing work.