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  3. It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of a long-standing member, Just Dave.

    Dave Barker was a member of Talk Photography for nearly 10 years, and was a prominent member for most of those.
    A very warm, friendly and enthusiastic member, he spent the largest portion of his time on TP welcoming and helping others.

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  1. AWills

    AWills

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    I am hoping there are some newborn photographers here who could lend some advice. I've been photographing my own children for a few years and I've been taking photos of other children / babies the last few months to get some experience, build a portfolio and see if it is something I could do professionally. I'd really love to try newborn photography, I love the documentary style shoots and I also love the natural light beanbag type shoots. However, I do not know a thing about safely posing babies on beanbags, and I would not feel comfortable offering that type of shoot without first understanding the safety.

    Where can I get the training / experience I need, preferably without spending a fortune?

    What other ways did you get into shooting newborns?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. danpug

    danpug

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    Name:
    Dan
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    Tracy Willis is currently offering a huge discount on her annual training package. She's advertising it on her newborn training Facebook group if you fancy checking it out.
     
  3. Phil V

    Phil V

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    Phil
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    There's no shortage of courses, and IMHO they are absolutely essential for anyone wanting to do newborns.

    However, given how specialist an are this is, the training isn't cheap*.


    *most 'cheap' training is useless, and this is certainly an area you don't want 'useless' training in.
     
    boyfalldown likes this.
  4. DG Phototraining

    DG Phototraining Woof

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    3,578
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    Dave
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    Yes
  5. redhed17

    redhed17

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    I have no experience of photographing babies, and hopefully never will, ;) but I have noticed a number of courses on Creativelive over the years about photographing babies and children, which may be of interest, but maybe this one in particular.
     
    AWills likes this.
  6. bovey9

    bovey9

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    Nick
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    Things you need to photograph newborns. Patience , Patience , Patience Patience , and wet wipes :)
     
  7. AWills

    AWills

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    Thanks @bovey9! I keep wondering how often you'd have to change the blankets!
     
  8. JimPMM

    JimPMM

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    Jim
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    We tend to have a change of 3 backdrops on the beanbag already set up one under the other, with a 'spacer' blanket in between and puppy training pads in between the layers - that way you get variety of backdrops, a quick way of changing the backdrop (just strip off the current + spacer + puppy pad) and any accidents only affect your current blanket and spacer underneath.

    I would strongly recommend having one-to-one training on this, it really does make a massive difference between watching a course on-screen (although the ones on CreativeLive are generally pretty good, especially the Kelly Brown ones) and actually having hands-on. It depends where you are in the country as newborn photography trainers tend not to train anyone within about 50 miles (understandably!) but there are several dotted around I could recommend if you would like - feel free to PM me. Also happy to give whatever advice I can too.

    It's a really rewarding genre to get into but as has been said previously it's not for the faint-hearted, half-hearted or the impatient - those lovely sleepy curly peaceful shots? That was 15 minutes out of a 4 hour session. The rest was hard work! It's absolutely essential that you nail the safety aspect of the whole thing, from when they come in to when they leave - if nothing else, take that away from this post!

    Kind Regards
    Jim
     
    starkersclark, danpug, cargo and 2 others like this.
  9. friesianfan69

    friesianfan69

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    Donna
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    I done some pics recently for a friend for her newborn ( for free as im a hobbiest ), I had already read in this forum how hard it can be and patience.
    Well thats an understatment and ive had 6 children .
    The baby just wouldnt play ball, wouldnt sleep, and when he did would wake up crying as soon as we tried to take his clothes off and he kept wiggling out of position , ill stick to horses x dogs :)
    Heres a few from my attempt

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2017
  10. Ben johns

    Ben johns

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    Ben
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    I've just had a baby (4 weeks old) so had a little bit of experience...but not much :). The best tips I can give are try to have it lit by light coming from one place, something like a window on a sunny day or a light, obviously not too bright. Then In post I've used a graduated filter to darken the opposite of the photo up to about the babies shoulders, seemed to emphasise where the light is coming from.
    Also make the photo "soft focus". I do all the normal editing first, contrast, white balance then use the soften skin tool on the babies face. After that I use the radial filter, make a circle around the babies head and face with a good amount of feather and reduce the sharpness and clarity all the way. This blurs the background in a way that doesn't make it so obvious that you've messed around with the photo plus is also draws attention to the babes face which is what the attention should be on. I realise all this is post processing advice but other than sleeping baby photo I don't have any experience on poses lol.
     
  11. Ben johns

    Ben johns

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    Name:
    Ben
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    Not bad, seems like your baby played ball better than my daughter has!
    In terms of advice I would suggest putting up a backdrop the same colour as what the baby is laying on, I find the background too distracting. You don't need to have anything massive, I've see a video where they just cloned the background to make it look like they had a big backdrop.
    Also I'd suggest warming up the photos, they seem a little on the cool side, maybe use the soften skin tool too
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  12. friesianfan69

    friesianfan69

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    Donna
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    Thankyou , I'll take that into consideration if I'm ever brave enough again ha
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  13. Ben johns

    Ben johns

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    Ben
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    I haven't found it too bad, but it's been at my girlfriends request lol, I prefer natural photos.
     
  14. AWills

    AWills

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    Thanks everyone. I asked on a mums website for some 'models' and I have a woman who said she would be willing but she wants to see some credentials. What does she mean by this? I don't have any qualifications in photography as I'm sure many don't.

    @friesianfan69 bless, he is wide awake! How old was he?
     
  15. Phil V

    Phil V

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    That's a problem when you appear to be asking 'favours' people need reassurance.

    If you were just advertising your services people assume you're trustworthy if you have a portfolio and previous happy customers.

    There aren't any actual worthwhile 'credentials' you could show, have you a portfolio of other portraits? You need to meet up and reassure her with whatever you can.
     
  16. friesianfan69

    friesianfan69

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    Donna
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    He was 2 weeks old, wasn't interested in sleeping at all
     
  17. Seajay

    Seajay

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    Cathy
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    When I took my newborn shots I had no training other than my job as nursery nurse over most of my working years. Due to this and having my own children and grandkids I had the experience of how to confidently handle a newborn, However I am so pleased to see you are going for training as it is the right way to go. I only did this for a very shorttime and if I had continued I would definately go for training too.
    There is so much to watch out for as it is so easy to put these little babies in positions where their feet hand etc turn blue or their little fingers get caught up in a thread etc you need to be watching them every second and I always have a spotter right next to baby who I taught what to watch out for and to always have her hand on baby until I was ready to grab a shot. I tried to keep my images as simple as I could. Good luck and hope you enjoy whatever course you go on.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
  18. Seajay

    Seajay

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    Newborns dont always sleep and you can go through a 3 hour session without them having even a nap lol If it happens again just gently wrap the baby and take some beautiful natural shots of the baby just as they are. Wide awake shots can be so beautiful. I have the shusher app on my phone which can sometimes just help to drift them off to sleep.Or maybe you will look at mum and dad and they will have drifted off lol!
     
  19. friesianfan69

    friesianfan69

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    Good tip thankyou
     
    Seajay likes this.
  20. Iren

    Iren

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    Irina
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    I dont photograph newborns, but when my daughter was week old, we had professional newborn photographer coming in to take her photos.
    She did all the set up (heated blankets underneath, so baby would feel warm), a lot of props for us to choose and she had a lot of wet wipes :)
    Our daughter behaved very well, but even them, it took her good 2,5-3h as you have to be gentle, calm and change the settings very slowly (babies need to eat as well). Moreover, the photographer was like baby whisper, she managed to calm her, sush and pat, so for me being newborn photographer is being able to handle the baby well :)))
    She told us than in some cases, it might take half day if the baby wont cooperate or she will have to come back another day.
     

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