Welcome to an educational blog!!! It’s been a while!!
You ALL know Ryan Tamayo; videographer of choice for me, what about you?! I know that at least three of my to-be-wedded couples have chosen his beautiful work!! I had the amazing opportunity to mentor Ryan, and what was even better is that our little model was his beautiful newborn daughter. Ryan is bless, like me, with a boy and a girl. Lucky man! They will drive you batty for the first three years, but once they hit that fourth year they get pretty awesome together!! Nothing cuter then watching your little baby boy who you thought would never grow up from those stinky diapers, run over and pick up his baby sister and kiss her boo-boo and tell her “it’s okay, i love you”. That’s the moment that will make everything just sparkle. Enough mama emotional talk haha. Ryan’s little girl was amazing!! I think I just might have annoyed them when we were doing our session with how many times I looked over just to say, “OMG she’s AMAZING”..! HAHA. From the moment we walked in and set up she was quiet as a mouse.
Her mommy got her out of her crib and took her out of her jammies, only then she opened her eyes and made a statement, but as soon as I got a hold of her and rocked her a little she was right back asleep. Newborns of all shapes, sizes, and ages are ALL different in many many ways. All of you are pry rolling your eyes and thinking, “duh!” but you really don’t understand until you have to handle them on a weekly basis. Think of them as teeny tiny people; really. They have likes and dislikes and they protest in all different kinds of ways. Sweet Adrianna was perfect and it’s hard to give advice on working around the fussy baby with this one, but…..she still had her preferences like no other sweet newborn I’ve ever had. When I was rocking her she didn’t just want to be rocked, she wanted to bounce a little and sway a little at the same time. If I didn’t do this she fought the eyes closing. She also loved to be stroked on the nose brim, which many babies tend to adore; so try that one out!!
After a few minutes of rocking her to sleep in diaper only, I loosened the diaper and laid her down. At this point baby always fusses a little in protest to not having cuddles any more. Some babies are okay with being naked, but most aren’t. My go to tactic is laying a on-hand blanket over baby’s back and tucking in their legs and feet and holding with one hand to feel secure while my other hands holds baby’s head and that thumb strokes the nose brim. Another trick, in this particular situation it’s key, you will want a heater on baby (not too close remember baby is new and skin is sensitive) and a noise machine. With the noise machine, each baby has a preference; big time!! I’ve had baby’s HATE the noise, some love any noise and others are very particular about it. Adrianna loved my silly excuse for a heartbeat that really sounded like a horse trotting haha, and she liked it right by her head.
Trick is to start with the cuddly positions first on the blanket backdrops. So here you will want to do a wrap or blanket draped. Adrianna did so well with going right into a very smiley deep sleep that I went straight for the naked poses and then right into the tricky pose. When doing wrap shots your best bet is to focus on the little details rather then moving baby to completely different situations, because at this point you want the baby to fall into a deep sleep while you just fiddle with things. Push fingers down; no curls! Watch that chin/neck/cheeks; they get smushed and makes baby look like someone they are not. Watch those feet and toes; be sure to crisscross them and tuck them in to cover up the unmentionables.
By now baby should be asleep, if not, ask yourself what could baby not be liking and change the situation to make baby more comfortable! Babies are sensitive, not all of them “sleep like babies” so from the moment you walk in the door you need to keep an eye on the entire situation and the environment and asses it as your work with the baby. Again, all babies have different preferences so if baby is still fussy and not sleeping the chances are there is something bothering baby. Typically, its the new and foreign situation arising in his/her home, but with special care it can be overcome! I’ve had babies who’ve hated a blanket texture, a hat, a noise, and even mommy being near can disturb them because they smell milk and want to eat all the time.
When it comes to those tricky poses that you see; baby in a hammock, a net hanging in a tree, on a book shelf, in buckets or baskets, or even the chin up on their hands, please keep in mind that each and everyone of these beautifully pulled off shots are in FACT composition shots and require an extra pair of hands, tripod, a smart mind and a heart. Never put baby in a compromising position; EVER! If baby isn’t SOUND asleep and you do not have an extra pair of hands, do not attempt the shot for the sake of getting “the picture” it’s never worth the baby’s health or life; ever!
There are many many tricks to these beautiful little beings and getting those amazing shots; more then I think I could write about and that is why I agreed to mentor Ryan and show him a few things of my own. When it comes down to it, there is no special tactic or “right” way of Newborn Photography. It comes down to WHO you are as a person and how strong is your passion for your clients and your work. I absolutely adore my job and even more, I can not get enough of the amazing people I work with! I do believe that is what helps me over come so many obstacles, even if they are fussy babies haha.
Adrianna’s Newborn session went amazing. I believe that she slept for us for about an hour and a half solid, and we were able to get all the shots we needed! Through the whole thing, I made sure that Ryan was set up with his camera just like I was so that he was able to get an experience like I was getting. Next time, if there is one Ryan, when I mentor you you will not be given such an easy route haha! The first time is always an intro and you can’t learn if you don’t sweat a little with us big timer Newborn photogs!
With all that said; I absolutely adored being the teacher and having someone look up to me in that manor. I hope that I am able to mentor more people in the future!!
Enjoy her photos!!
Her amazing starter shots
The tricky composition shot and her tiny details
and who doesn’t love pullbacks?