As I have decided to look into family photo’s I had decided that the first shoot I would do would be to shoot a newborn shoot, before I tried this on a real newborn baby I had borrowed a lifelike newborn doll, so I could look at different ways to take the shots, how to position the baby and the correct lighting.
I used a few new techniques when doing these test shots, the first was to create images with an added filter effect, to do this I added clingfilm around the edge of the lens, this gave a clouded effect around the image rather than adjusting the image in photoshop or lightroom afterwards, I wanted to see what other techniques I could come up woth whilst shooting, looking at tips online: Filter effects
Below you can see how I added the clingfilm around the edge of the lens when shooting, this then created the images with a soft clouded effect, this give the image a dreamy feel to it which is what I wanted, with it being a sleeping baby image I wanted to create a sense of peacefulness and quiet related to sleeping.
These images above are two successful images from my testing with the filter effect, I was happy with how the blurred sections fall around the image and give it a dreamy effect. When taking my images I experimented in many ways at taking close up images full images of the baby and then photos focusing on individual parts such as the feet and toes, as well as the fingers and close ups on the face, when taking these images I wanted to make sure I captured images that would be suitable for a newborn shoot, images that a parent would expect to get from a session, so focused on the delicacy of the baby, and making sure I captured all the tiny details.
I also looked into getting the image correctly exposed, using the techniques I learned form taking test images both indoors and outdoors I used the flash to get a well lit and correctly exposed photo, I used the white roof to bounce the light back at the baby to give a gentle glow but colour balanced image. By placing the set up in front of a window I was able to use the natural light flowing from the window to light my scene rather than harsh lights and flash alone, the light from the window worked well with the images, as the light came through the window it light the whole room and gave me plenty of light to work with meaning that when using the flash I had it on just a quarter of the power as majority of the images were taken using mainly natural light, however as the day progressed the sun had moved and when I placed the baby in the direct sunlight this created a harsh light source and created dark harsh shadows, so moving position from the direct sun light I was then able to get a softer less harsh light on my setting.
Looking at the images below you can see the difference in light from when the baby was located in the direct sun light and then to below the window.
Once I had finished my shoot I then decided on editing some images, to do this I looked at the effects of both colour and black and white and found that some images worked really well when in black and white and had decided to adjust them for a better effect, this gave a delicate feel to the image, it took away distraction from the background and gave full focus on the baby in the image. I also adjusted the levels on images I felt were slightly lighter and then made sure all images were had the correct colour balance, taking some of the yellow away from images that got too much of a golden glow from the sun.
These are the images I feel work best with the baby shots I had taken, I wanted to capture some images that captured the essence of a new baby, I wanted to get close up images of the tiny feet and fingers as well as a close up of the sleeping baby, including objects of importance such as the baby blanket, soft toy and first clothes/hats/costumes etc.
From this shoot I then looked into some tips o taking a real new born shoot, this included keeping the room temperature warm to keep the baby sleepy and easily manoeuvrable, using soft cushions to place the baby on and making sure to stop for feeding brakes and nappy changes. these are the kind of things I wasn’t able to practise with during this shoot however I had managed to have a go with a few different poses and ideas as well as making sure I got the correct colour balance.