Did you read last week's entry on prepping the parents for the session?
Remember how I said that parents would be zombies, well that's them walking in your door. I know you're excited, but they are probably exhausted! Likely with sleep-deprived parents their imagination will be lacking, so you must help them with that.
I like to already have a game plan in mind - as far as poses go - in order to streamline the whole session. It may be a good idea to have an inspiration board at the session, so it is easier to convey your vision to your clients. An inspiration board can be poses that you want to do, so they have a visual explanation. It can also be a general feel you want to portray during the session. Your inspiration board is used to enhance the session for both you and the client.
So, they are here....what now?
- If you haven't met with them before, introduce yourself and get acquainted with the newest addition to their family.
- Undress baby and wrap him/her in a receiving blanket (diaper still on, but loose).
- Have Mom/Dad feed baby.
- Ask how the delivery went! If something happened, or they have a concern it should come up now - this is the way in for the parent to open up about any concerns or issues they may have avoided before.
- Ask about birth marks or other skin issues (if you see any) that way you know what to work on when editing, and what to leave alone.
- Ask what they brought for the session and show them what you have (if you haven't done this previously).
- Once baby is full - then they will be in what we like to refer to ask the milk coma, this is a good thing!
Sleeping baby, check! Excited photographer, check! Anxious parents, check!
What's the next move....
- Start off simple so you can get a feel for the baby - some will prefer getting to sleep laying a certain way. Some will even hate having their body a certain way, such as arms tucked in.
- While you are getting the starter pose, I like to do baby on belly with feet tucked under OR baby on side with hands together - have Mom/Dad/siblings prepare to make their way in frame (last minute face check etc.)
- Once baby is in starter pose 1 get full body, half body (head) and get the details now! (hands, feet, lashes, belly button etc.)
- Family - Get one to two family poses
- Sibling - Get one to two sibling only poses
- Parents - Get one to two shots with baby and parents
- Each - Get one to two shots of baby with each parent alone
- Solo - Get baby in to starter pose 2 with wrap. Now you want to get baby into a deep state of sleep and feeling cozy since he/she was likely just being held. Wrap them up tightly and get a few more shots (get creative here).
- Complex - Now move on to your more complex shots, ones that likely require a bit of composite work. (chin in hands, sack of potatoes, frog).
- Last chance - Once you have your full set of poses completed if baby is still willing do a few 'unnecessary' shots - ones that are creative and *could* sell but aren't guaranteed like previous poses. Be sure to ask parents if there are any poses left that they would like to see.
Are you tired and sweaty? You should be :) .....oh and you will feel like you did a full scale squat work out in the morning - that's normal.
- Thank your client for their time, and let them know how much fun it was!
- Give them information (again) on how the gallery process works and when to expect to see their images. They will be excited to see them :)
- If you noticed any skin concerns during the posing, that you didn't before - ask again now.
These are the basic things you will do during a newborn session.
Rachel Brenke for snapping this at her son's newborn session at the Jewels Avenue studio.