FIVE Things I always have within arm’s reach during a newborn session
1) A stack of cloth nappies! (diapers) – These are an invaluable tool for the studio!! Great for the inevitable pee or poop catch that we all need to make now and then. Perfect for stuffers, not only underneath bub while posed on the beanbag but also for the prop shots and even flokati where a little lift is needed! And as if this magical item weren’t already enough, it can also be held up and used as a makeshift reflector to bounce a little light into your shadows if you find they are a tad dark!
2) A white noise machine – My life became so much easier when I discovered this piece of sophisticated equipment!! It gives baby a “constant” during a session.. A soothing noise for them to sleep to while I pose them from beanbag… to blanket… to bucket… to nest… to hanging pod etc. etc. I find that with the constant noise plus warm temperature in my studio most babies sleep pretty well.. (There are always those who are cheeky enough to break my rules though!)
3) A few options for wraps/hats/bonnets and tiebacks – You may have the perfect hat in mind for a particular set up then after putting bub into the shot, you realise their skin tone or face shape just does not work with that particular item! Or, commonly with wraps, baby will pee on it before you get a chance to take your first shot! Backup plans are great practice when working with these gorgeous but unpredictable little subjects!
4) My camera and lenses I want to use – Now I know you would think this goes without saying but, it’s a fantastic habit to get into, placing your camera at your setup FIRST before you do anything else. I do not know how many sessions it took me to learn this.. I would get carried away in creative-land, spending a solid 10 minutes setting baby up in the perfect position only to reach over for my camera and grasp thin air.. Oh bother!! It’s on the other side of the room at my last set up.. I absolutely can’t leave that baby unattended to go get it, so awkwardly, I would have to ask Mummy or Daddy to pass it to me or to hover over baby while I run to grab it! Whoops!
5) Hand sanitizer – Nothing is more important than safety and hygiene when it comes to photographing a brand new human! I always begin the session by washing my hands (in front of Mummy and Daddy so they can see that I am taking every step to ensure their baby’s wellbeing). Then sanitising my hands between every couple of set ups. It is so so important for us to keep these little ones in as sterile an environment possible as we are handling them before their little immune systems have had much of a chance to develop!