Props and Backgrounds

Okay so here I am still photographing babies that can’t sit up and still photographing them from above.   Sometimes all you can do are the shots from above because the background just isn’t right or there is just to much going on around you. A great way to add something just a little different to these must do shots is the use of props. It can be anything from adding a blanket and some simple toys, to a stuffed animal, to even flowers or fruit.  Yes I’ve used fruit…lol. Below are a few examples of how you can really break up the monotony of the taking pictures of babies from above.  And don’t be afraid to stand on a chair or a step stool and always shoot from directly above your subject…like a little bird hovering above them. The distance from you to the baby can add a lot of depth to your picture as well. 

 

 

 

You can add a blanket like I did here to add texture, place a few simple wooden toys and viola!! Out fit: Baby Gap teethers: Oh Just Dandy Stuffed toy: By Maileg from the Fawn Shoppe Wooded toys: by Green Tones from Amazon

You can add a blanket like I did here to add texture, place a few simple wooden toys and viola!! Out fit: Baby Gap teethers: Oh Just Dandy Stuffed toy: By Maileg from the Fawn Shoppe Wooded toys: by Green Tones from Amazon

Sometimes the whole reason you are sick of shooting from above is because you don't like the stained carpet in the only spot in the house that has light or the awesome 70's linoleum floors that the previous owners left behind...Bahaha. A great way to hide this is to use fun blankets for your backgrounds. It can fill up the entire frame and look really cool.   Top: Mabo Kids Hat: The Blueberry Hill Blanket: Nordstrom  

Sometimes the whole reason you are sick of shooting from above is because you don’t like the stained carpet in the only spot in the house that has light or the awesome 70’s linoleum floors that the previous owners left behind…Bahaha. A great way to hide this is to use fun blankets for your backgrounds. It can fill up the entire frame and look really cool.   Top: Mabo Kids Hat: The Blueberry Hill Blanket: Nordstrom  

Here is a fun example of that same fun blanket with a little added texture and color from the grass. Shirt: Mini Zara Bloomers: by Seesaw at Thumbeline  

Here is a fun example of that same fun blanket with a little added texture and color from the grass. Shirt: Mini Zara Bloomers: by Seesaw at Thumbeline  

Fruit fruit fruit...I literally cut up a bunch of fruit from the many fruit trees in out back yard. Then I copy and pasted them throught the picture to make it look like I cut up even more...but that's for another post, fun with photo apps. Bloomers:  Bobo Choses Booties: Padraig Cottage  

Fruit fruit fruit…I literally cut up a bunch of fruit from the many fruit trees in out back yard. Then I copy and pasted them throught the picture to make it look like I cut up even more…but that’s for another post, fun with photo apps. Bloomers:  Bobo Choses Booties: Padraig Cottage  

Look around you, be creative. What can you find a lot of and use to your advantage? In this case I used leaves in a circle pattern. You could do any shape, you could place them anywhere in the frame. What about a line of leaves at the bottom of this square. This was a lot of fun to do.  Just experiment. Outfit is all Older baby gap Booties see photo above Bloomers: Nili Lotan but they are not available anymore

Look around you, be creative. What can you find a lot of and use to your advantage? In this case I used leaves in a circle pattern. You could do any shape, you could place them anywhere in the frame. What about a line of leaves at the bottom of this square. This was a lot of fun to do.  Just experiment. Outfit is all Older baby gap Booties see photo above Bloomers: Nili Lotan but they are not available anymore

The Awkward Stage

I thought I would start off with something I feel like I am really struggling with…photographing babies that can’t sit up….ahhhhh!  You can always do the typical lay down shot (which is great and has techniques in and of itself) but what about when that gets old?  You have to come up with other poses or angles.  I have double the trouble here too since I am dealing with twins.  This session was no different either.  I started shooting from above.  And after about two snaps, wiggly legs and arms, and drool I was over it.  So I took a different approach…I came down to their level…the ground.  I generally don’t do this because I don’t like a lot going on in the background…like the dust and dirt under the crib or all the boys toys spilled all over the ground.  But this was different.  I was already in the garage because of the clothing I was photographing.  I used the white wall of the garage and the great light to my advantage.  It got even better when the babies naturally turned towards me.  Ahhhh it was a different point of view and it was good!!!!!  The babies were intrigued by the camera and it made for some very dramatic and interesting faces.  Don’t get me wrong, I still got some great shots from above but this new point of view is refreshing and different.  It also showed me a different side of each of the girls.  Emma tends to look serious and Mila kind of tense.  I can work with serious but tense is harder.  Try to keep these things in mind when you are photographing each individual child.  Different angles work better different personalities.  Since Mila is so tense it is harder to shoot from above because she looks stiff and unnatural.  I actually think the lay down shot of her here kind of shows what I am talking about…lol!!  Sometimes no angle really works for this tense look so you just have to talk to the baby or child, calm them and snap like you have never snapped before.  Sometimes it takes 100 clicks to get that priceless shot.

When in doubt photograph the details.  For this shot I used a wooden wardrobe (but you could use anything) to display the clothes I was photographing.  I also shot this in the garage...yes the garage.  During the day your garage can be flooded with natural light and if you are lucky like I am the walls are white!! When in doubt photograph the details.  For this shot I used a wooden wardrobe (but you could use anything) to display the clothes I was photographing.  I also shot this in the garage…yes the garage.  During the day your garage can be flooded with natural light and if you are lucky like I am the walls are white!! This shot was simply shot from above.  I am standing more so on top of Emma, feet on each side of her. This shot was simply shot from above.  I am standing more so on top of Emma, feet on each side of her. shot from above MIla shot from above MIla Props props props...use what you have a round the house but keep it simple and clean.  They call this a flat lay...maybe not what you want for regular photos of your kids but you can do your own interpretation of the flat lay.  Also for this shot I was actually standing on a chair above Emma.  Standing on a chair above allows more of your scene to be photographed and adds more depth. Props props props…use what you have a round the house but keep it simple and clean.  They call this a flat lay…maybe not what you want for regular photos of your kids but you can do your own interpretation of the flat lay.  Also for this shot I was actually standing on a chair above Emma.  Standing on a chair above allows more of your scene to be photographed and adds more depth. This is where is gets fun...get down on the ground and photograph a different view.   Use the back ground to your advantage.  I love the mix of sweet and beautiful baby clothes, with a not so clean white urban wall. This is where is gets fun…get down on the ground and photograph a different view.   Use the back ground to your advantage.  I love the mix of sweet and beautiful baby clothes, with a not so clean white urban wall. I am literally laying on the garage floor and yelling Emma's name, oh and making really weird noises, oh and sometimes I even use a squeaky toy to get there attention.  You should see my neighbors faces as they drive by. I am literally laying on the garage floor and yelling Emma’s name, oh and making really weird noises, oh and sometimes I even use a squeaky toy to get there attention.  You should see my neighbors faces as they drive by. Shot from above.  One thing I like to do when I am photographing the twins is to NOT put them right next to each other.  I don't want them to look like they birds lined up on a fence post.  I simply placed Emma down and did the same with Mila but with a slight slant.  It adds interest. Shot from above.  One thing I like to do when I am photographing the twins is to NOT put them right next to each other.  I don’t want them to look like they birds lined up on a fence post.  I simply placed Emma down and did the same with Mila but with a slight slant.  It adds interest. Again think of different views.  Just because you are photographing people or babies, you don't have to have their beautiful faces in each shot.  Think about all the sweet little rolls and crinkles your baby has.  The fat rolls and chubby feet.  Those are just as sweet and things you don't want to forget.  Again think of different views.  Just because you are photographing people or babies, you don’t have to have their beautiful faces in each shot.  Think about all the sweet little rolls and crinkles your baby has.  The fat rolls and chubby feet.  Those are just as sweet and things you don’t want to forget. And again shot from above.  And another side not...they don't always have to be looking at you.  A snap of your baby or child looking away is a moment in time that they are discovering their world around them...its the little things but they matter. And again shot from above.  And another side not…they don’t always have to be looking at you.  A snap of your baby or child looking away is a moment in time that they are discovering their world around them…its the little things but they matter.

Clothing for this shoot was provided by Olivier Baby

Olivier Baby is run and owned by Emma Davison and her sister Alice Smith. The company was set up in November 2011 by Emma who was shortly joined by Alice. Emma is a knitter herself and as a team they design the pieces and put together the collections. Emma knits all the samples herself and they are rigorously put to the test by our five children.  The clothing has a distinct nostalgic feel, a mix of traditional and fun.  All of the wool is 100% cashmere and is made both in the U.K. and Bulgaria. The hand knitted pieces are made in Bulgaria by a small team of knitters using the traditional two needle method. Each one is individually made and as such is one to be treasured and looked after and then handed on to the next person to enjoy.

 

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