I wanted to start experimenting with my own setups using my new Stand-In-Baby, so I can learn how my props work and look in camera, also how they react with other props.  This will enable me to make sure my props are the best shape, size and material they can be.  I also learnt how hard it is to be a Newborn Photographer and this is without a real baby and the pressure of parents watching you!

These are the set of props I chose to use in this setup, I wanted them to reflect the bare branches on the trees outside in Winter (January/February in the UK) Natural props all taupe, greys and browns in colour, natural and earthy! A variety of textures which might be too much but we’ll see how they look together in camera!

My first attempt didn’t look great, I decided it was too messy and busy.  I also didn’t like the white background, it was too bright against the brown props and therefore too distracting.

I’d used 2 knitted blankets thinking one was too small so I removed one leaving just the edges poking out, this looked better.  I experimented with the arrangement of the props, lighting and camera angle.

Still not totally convinced by the wood background I tried a plain grey paper, thinking I could add texture or tweak the tone in post processing.  Much happier with the overall look I continued to play with the setup to see what results I could get.

I used the same order of props each time starting with the wooden bowl.  1. Support cushion. 2. Knitted blanket 3. Hessian  4. Plain felted blanket/wrap

I then did the following…

  1. Use a plain stretchy wrap first to hold the baby in a pose and get them settled into sleep!

2.  With the felted wrap, pull over the bottom and legs, then wrap round each side and tie over the legs, tuck ends underneath baby.

3.  Arrange the edges and sticky out bits of the felted wrap in a creative way. Same with the hessian.

4.  I also tried wrapping the felted layer completely over the baby, underneath and then sticking out the side. This gave more shape to the baby.

5.  I tried to make sure the shape of the baby could be seen and not just a bulk of felt

6.  Lighting… I always find tricky!  I went with one main source of light on the right hand side. I experimented with moving the bowl closer and further away, and changing the height of the lights and changing my aperture on the camera.

7.  Thinking the shadows were too dark I added a reflector, to direct some light into the left hand side.

8.  I decided the heart was too similar a colour so I found a felted acorn instead.

9.  I played around with how to arrange the ties from the bonnet and even changed the material of the ties to a purple silk

10.  I played with showing the feet and not showing the feet poking out of the wrap

11.  I tried showing the wooden bowl and hiding the bowl

Although I was pleased with quite a few compositions I decided this was the image to label “the final result!”

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